The Dark Side of Halloween
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Two occult sites discovered the day after Halloween
What's going on? The sidewalks are swarming with excited children masquerading as every imaginable creature and character. There is Batman and the Joker, Wonder Woman, witches, devils, ghosts, skeletons and even razor fingered mass murderer Freddy Krueger. These children are going door to door shouting "Trick or Treat," hoping to collect a "ton" of candy before the night is over.
Take a look at the houses the children are going up to. They are strange, too! Eerie grinning Jack-O-Lanterns watch as the children approach. Skeletons, witches, black cats and more decorate the doors and windows.
Oh yes, don't miss the "haunted house" downtown. You'll be able to find it by the long line and the strange sounds coming out of the old mansion. Likely you will find a group of kids talking about what they've just seen inside... the bloody body in the bathroom, the axe wielding maniac that chased them, the body hanging by the neck in the closet, and the bubbling pot in the kitchen filled with body parts.
Then, across town there's a party going on at a friend's house or perhaps at school. The activities are different than the usual party though. Someone is telling fortunes. Perhaps a group is playing with the ouija board and there is going to be a seance right after they watch the newly released horror video.
By now you have guessed what is going on. It's Halloween. To most people it seems like harmless fun. But, beneath Halloween's candy coating is a history of diabolical evil, evil that is directly connected to the occult and Satanism, evil that you need to be warned of!
That is the purpose of this file, to make you aware of the dark side of Halloween. I have researched this topic for more than a decade and Halloween's occultic connection is becoming increasingly evident. As I begin, let me share two first hand examples of what I am talking about when I refer to the "occult connection."
My phone rang one afternoon, early in November of 1989. A friend who works closely with law enforcement agencies was on the other end of the line. He said, "I've been notified of what appears to be, two occult sights in your area. Would you go and check them out?" We talked a bit more and I found out where they were located. The next day, camera in hand, I went out to each sight. The first sight was in the middle of a small woods, which was adjacent to a large apartment complex. A tin circle had been constructed which was about 9 feet in diameter and 4 feet high. Numerous Satanic symbols were spray painted on the exterior as well as an obscene sexually oriented word and Slayer, the name of a black metal rock band. This sight was likely put together by a group of younger teenagers, perhaps junior high age, who were dabbling in the occult. Inside the tin circle were the ashes of a fire and several beer cans.
The second sight was quite different. It was in a rural area of town. I discovered it in a small grove of trees about 25 yards from a steep bank that drops down to Lake Michigan. Whoever had built this sight knew more about the occult. There was a rudimentary altar inside the intricately built three sided stick enclosure. It looked to me like the work of late teens or young adults.
Perhaps you are wondering, what does any of this have to do with Halloween? These occultic sights were discovered the day after Halloween. They were used on Halloween! As I will show you in this study, Halloween is an Occultic/Satanic worship day. It always has been. Increasingly, Halloween is being used to attract and introduce people to the occult. It is a time when bizarre and often illegal rituals are being performed.
Now, don't jump the gun and "turn me off" before you read the rest of this expos. I am not criticizing you for celebrating Halloween in the past. The truth is, I took part in Halloween activities for years, until I discovered the occultic/satanic connection Since that time, I have followed the injunction of Ephesians 5:11 "...have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them." I will share the facts that I have uncovered and you must weigh them and make your choice.
Let me share with you my personal history relating to my own Halloween involvement.
There are three holidays that nearly every American kid loves...Christmas, Easter and Halloween! I was no different than any other American kid. I looked forward to them all. But there was one that had a dark side, a side that I didn't like, a side that made me very uneasy and that was Halloween. To be sure I liked the candy and I have a "ton" of silver in my teeth to prove it. As I moved into my teen years I outgrew trick-or-treating or rather, I should say, I was told I was too old. So Halloween parties and dances were the "in thing" for teenagers. I remember being on the committee for our class Halloween party. My job was decorations. So I went to a long forgotten, overgrown, Civil War era cemetery and took a broken tombstone and used it as a part of my Halloween decorations. I felt uneasy about what I had done and to make matters worse, when I cleaned up the old grave marker, I discovered that the person had died on my birthday, January 20th. That gave me the creeps. The party could not get over soon enough for me. I wanted to get that grave marker back to where I had found it and I did! "You were too superstitious!" you might say. I would agree. But that was just a part of the aura associated with what I call "the dark side of Halloween."
My association with Halloween did not stop after high school unfortunately. The fact is, until 1980 I had taken church youth groups on NIGHTMARE OUTINGS sponsored by an international Christian youth organization. I sponsored Halloween parties in the church. It was the only day I wanted anything to do with the devil or allowed him in my church.
What caused me to change my mind began when I was leafing through a back issue of Moody Monthly magazine. The October 1975 issue to be exact. An article by Joy A. Sterling caught my eye --"We Should Unmask Halloween" was the title. (Take a moment and read a copy of that article for yourself) Her article really got me to thinking. If what this lady said is true, I need to rethink my involvement in Halloween activities. I decided to do some research on my own and see if there was anything to what she was saying. WOW! WAS I SHOCKED by what I discovered.
Our Pilgrim forefathers well knew of Halloween's occultic roots. In fact they banned celebrating Halloween in America. Halloween was not celebrated in this country until 1845. At that time multiplied thousands of Irish emigrants flooded into New York because of the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-46. They brought with them the old Druid holiday of Halloween. Gradually celebrating this day spread throughout the rest of the country.
Now, to understand Halloween better we must go even further back. I found that the original celebration was not called by its present name, Halloween. But, it began long before Christ among the ancient Celtic peoples (Britons, Gauls, Scots, Irish). They observed the end of summer with sacrifices to SAMAN (Shamhain). He was "the lord of death and evil spirits". This marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year.
Depending on your source material, the Druid lord of death and evil spirits was called Saman, Samana, Shamhain or Samhain. His "holiday" was called "The Vigil Of Saman" or Samhain (pronounced so-wein). You probably have seen a modern day version of SAMAN without even knowing it. This pagan god was shown as a ghostly, skeleton holding a sickle in his hand. He later came to be known as THE GRIM REAPER.
Ralph Linton in his book Halloween Through the Centuries, says "The American celebration (of Halloween) rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in a direct line from pre-Christian times. The earliest celebrations were held by the DRUIDS in honor of Shamhain, lord of death, whose festival fell on November 1st."
Searching other sources, I have this information to add: The Celts considered November 1st as being the day of death because the leaves were falling, it was getting darker sooner and temperatures were dropping. They believed Muck Olla, their sun god, was loosing strength because Samhain, lord of death, was overpowering him. Further, they believed that on October 31st Samhain assembled the spirits of all who had died during the previous year. They had been confined to inhabit animals' bodies for the past year as punishment for their evil deeds. On the eve of the feast of Samhain, October 31st, they were allowed to return to their former homes to visit the living. Supposedly to protect these people, Druid priests led the people in diabolical worship ceremonies in which horses, cats, black sheep, oxen, human beings and other offerings were rounded up, stuffed into wicker cages and burned to death. This was done to appease Samhain and keep the spirits from harming them.
Who were the DRUIDS? They were occult practitioners, witches of sorts. In the century preceding the birth of Christ, Caesar conquered the Britains and he records very carefully the account of the DRUID PRIESTS (early witches)..."All Gallic nations are much given to superstition...they either offer up men as victims to the gods, or make a vow to sacrifice themselves. The ministers in these offerings are the Druids, and they hold that the wrath of the immortal gods can only be appeased, and man's life redeemed, by offering up human sacrifice, and it is a part of their national institutions to hold fixed solemnities (Ceremonies) for this purpose."
I looked deeper to see if I could find the dates of these "fixed solemnities." In the series edited by Richard Cavendish called, Man, Myth and Magic it says, in volume 6, page 720, "...the pagan Celts in Northern Europe held two great fire festivals each year -- Beltane on the eve of 1 May and Samhain on the eve of 1 November -- to mark the beginning of summer and winter." I also came across an article written by Robert Graves in the Daily Telegraph Magazine, May 21, 1965. Graves said the fixed worship days are the "cross- quarterly days-Candlemas (February 2nd), May Eve (April 30th), Lammas (August 1st) and Halloween (October 31st).
When they got together on these pagan worship days they would meet in a grove of trees (preferably oak trees) or in a Druidic stone circle, the most famous surviving circle being located in Stonehenge, England. It is evident that human sacrifice was common at this ancient Druid Sacrificial Circle because within three miles of this sight there are over 350 funeral mounds that contain the remnants of countless human sacrifices.
Holiday researcher George Douglas adds some interesting information when he says "Many of Halloween's customs are derived from the ancient Baal Festivals. Other customs originate from the taking of omens from the struggles of victims in the fires of druidic sacrifices." (From: The American Book of Days, by George William Douglas revised by Helen Douglas Compton).
Alexander Hislop in his book, The Two Babylons, says, "The god whom the Druids worshipped was Baal, as the blazing Baal-fires show --- We know that they offered human sacrifices to their bloody gods. We have evidence that they made `their children pass through the fire to Molech', and that makes it highly probable that they also offered them in sacrifice; for, from Jeremiah 32:35, compared with Jeremiah 19:5, we find that these two things were parts of one and the same system." Further, it is to be noted that the "priests of Nimrod or Baal were necessarily required to eat of the human sacrifices; and thus it has come to pass that `Cahna-Bal', (Cahna is the emphatic form of Cahn which means `a priest') meaning the priest of Baal, is the established word in our tongue for a devourer of human flesh." (from The Two Babylons, Hislop. See page 232).
Though the name of their gods were changed Hislop believes that the Druids practices were rooted in Baal worship, which is condemned in the Bible.
According to Robert Graves, there are still Druid practitioners around today. In fact, members of one surviving coven in Somersetshire, England still carry small blue tattoos pricked below a particular finger joint made from woad (an Old World plant with leaves that yield a blue dye) as did ancient Druids. You will still find Druids meeting at Stonehenge this Halloween symbolically carrying out their grotesque sacrifices. Although they claim no longer to practice human sacrifices they are one group responsible for keeping the occultic celebration of Halloween before the media. The followers of the Druids pagan religion are common in the USA too. A woman called me and told me a group going around to Milwaukee, Wisconsin area libraries presenting a program to children which dealt with their heritage. She engaged one in a conversation afterwards and found that he claimed to be a druid priest who practiced the "old religion."
It's no wonder that a onetime witch of our day, Tom Sanguinet, former high priest in the Celtic tradition of Wicca (witchcraft) said, "Halloween is purely and absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have or will do that would make it acceptable to the Lord Jesus."
Owen Rachleff amplifies this when he wrote, "Halloween can be, and to many is, a deadly serious affair. [It] originated with pre-Christian Druids or Celts in Northern Europe, who marked the year by four seasonal festivals. The autumn feast took place on November 1st. Early Christians, desiring a part in the traditional festivities, created All Saints' Day to coincide with the pagan rites. Satanists--acting true to form--reversed the Christian procedure. Because November 1st was All Saints' Day (All Souls' Day, November 2nd, memorializes the dead), Satanists established October 31st as and "All Demon's Night." As surely as the Christian martyrs and saints dominated their own holiday, so did the demons permeate the preceding evening. All Hallows' Eve predictably became a time of spells, curses, and horrors for those who did not believe, but for the Satanists, particularly the witches, it was a joyous festival and major sabbat. So it remains in a diluted form, ironically celebrated by Christian society far more vigorously than All Saints' Day." (Quoted from The Occult Conceit - A New Look at Astrology, Witchcraft and Sorcery, by Owen S. Rachleff, from page 189-190.)
Historically, Halloween is obviously and totally a pagan, occultic worship day. There is NOTHING Christian about the day. Pause for a moment. Dig beneath the candy. What is the primary focus of Halloween, even in our day? I see a three fold focus... 1) DEATH 2) FEAR & HORROR 3) EVIL, THE DEVIL & THE OCCULT. There is absolutely NO Christian significance to be found in Halloween.
You need to understand that even today Halloween is STILL an occult worship day. Phil Phillips says in his book, Halloween and Satanism, "...Halloween is a day witches celebrate above all other days."
Is there any support for Phil's statement? Yes! "The Maine State Prison allowed members of a witch coven (the Coven of Dawn) to hold a two-hour service on the feast day they call Samhain [Halloween], after the Druidic festival of year's end. `This is our time to give praise to our lord and lady for the bountiful harvest,' said the founder of the `goddess- oriented' coven. He said that 75 inmates have been initiated into the religion since its start in 1981." (This report is from Observations, 11/87 by way of the "What In The World!" information sheet.
Turn your attention to the October 1989 issue of the Baptist Bulletin magazine. It reported, in the "NEWS" section, "A U.S. Air Force physical therapist who says she has been a practicing witch for four years won permission to take Halloween and seven other days off as `religious holidays.' A spokesman at Lackland Airforce base in San Antonio said regulations require that Patricia Hutchins...be accorded the same freedom to express her religious beliefs as any other religious believer."
Probably the best documentation as to whether modern day witches actually celebrate Halloween comes from their own testimony. When asked "Does anyone today celebrate Samhain (Halloween) as a religious Holiday?" a major witches' organization responded, "Yes, many followers of various pagan religions, such as Druids and Wiccans (witches), observe this day as a religious festival. They view it as a memorial day for their dead friends similar to the national holiday of Memorial Day in May. It is still a night to practice various forms of divination concerning future events. Also, it is a time to...initiate new projects." (from Cult Watch Response, October 1988, Vol. 1, No. 1).
Witches and Satanists love Halloween. They get a lot of media coverage around that time of year. It's good P.R. (public relations) for them. That coverage usually portrays them in a favorable light. In addition, it generates interest in "the craft" and is good for recruitment purposes. As Craig Hawkins put it, "...with increasing vigor, witchcraft is coming `out of the broom closet.' Many witches are actively seeking public understanding and acceptance." (quote from an article in Christian Research Journal; Winter/Spring 90 entitled "The Modern World of Witchcraft" by Craig S. Hawkins.)
Despite the public relations campaign to "sell" the public on the "virtues" of witchcraft, modern day witches and Satanists still worship demon gods & goddesses, practice bizarre & immoral sexual rituals, and certain groups offer animal and human sacrifices.
Noted New Age Researcher Texe Marrs said this about the activities of witches on Halloween. "...our own research confirms that on this unholy night [Halloween], witches' covens meet, drink, dance, spit out curses and spells, conjure up spirits, engage in sexual orgies, induct new members, and offer up animal and human sacrifices. (Witches have become expert at covering up these sacrifices by use of cremation ovens and the use of privately owned land preserves for disposal of bodies in deeply dug graves.)" He goes on to say, "Somewhere in America in the week prior to this coming Halloween, children will be kidnapped by witches and become statistics as `missing children.' ...While chances of your children being snatched may be remote, never the less we believe caution and good judgment is in order."
Jack Roper, occult researcher with C.A.R.I.S. (Christian Apologetics: Research & Information Service) says "...the time of the year where you have the highest rate of Satanic ritual crimes is Halloween."
Jack also said, "Around Halloween, one of the things you see are graveyard desecrations." Self-styled Satanists use human bones in their rituals. Graveyard vandalism is a common Halloween occurrence.
At this point, I want to share with you some more "Halloween crimes" I am acquainted with.
A Milwaukee county park worker contacted me in 1989. He told me of finding numerous remains of small animals that had been sacrificed in area parks around Halloween. It was clear that these sacrifices were occult related because the remains were associated with either an altar, inside a circle, triangle or pyramid structure. That's not all.
While deer hunting in Marinette County, Wisconsin, I came across the remains of a bull that had been sacrificed within a stone circle. It is almost certain that this was part of a Halloween ritual sacrifice performed by a Satanic group.
Dave Benoit tells of a mother finding a strange diary, called "The Book Of Shadows" in her son's room. She with fear and trembling leafed through pages filled with Satanic drawings. Then her eyes fell on these horrifying words, "Last year I stole a car at Halloween and ran over a kid and killed him. This year, at Halloween, I plan to do the same thing!" The words in his satanic diary proved to be true. The teenager is now incarcerated. He murdered a kid as a sacrifice to Satan.
Halloween is an evil day. Halloween honors Satan, idol worship, immorality, demonic rituals and human sacrifice. Halloween is not a day I want to celebrate because of what it has stood for and what it stands for today. Jack Roper put it simply enough, "You would never see Jesus at a Halloween party. Halloween parties in churches are an abomination [to the Lord]."
I no longer promote or participate in Halloween activities because of its association with idolatry, immorality, bizarre rituals and human sacrifice. The Bible warns us, "...the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." (I Corinthians 10:20). That is why I am exposing the day for what it really is, SATAN'S DAY!
Where did the name Halloween come from? Originally this Druid Holiday was called "The Vigil Of Saman." In early Britain it was called Samhain, which is pronounced So-wein. But, here is how we got the name Halloween. It came from an attempt to "Christianize" this pagan worship day. In A.D. 800 the Roman Catholic Church moved "ALL SAINTS DAY" from May to November 1st. The new day was called All HALLOW'S DAY and it soon became the custom to call the evening before ALL HALLOWE'EN. It was shortened and called HALLOWEEN. The important fact to note is that the CHRISTIANIZATION of this Celtic New Year's sacrifice day MISERABLY FAILED. Where is the preeminence of Christ or glory given to the Lord as with Easter and Christmas. It is NOT there but on the contrary, the Devil is dominant!
To summarize this section on "THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN" let me share with you the words of Dr. John MacArthur. "First of all, dressing up like witches, ghosts, or goblins is incompatible with a Christian's testimony. Furthermore, many of the customs of Halloween are associated with the worst kinds of pagan beliefs and ceremonies; they are usually sinister things such as demons, witchcraft and superstition."
He further stated, "If we as Christian parents simply disregard the unchristian aspects of such practices as mere fantasy or superstition and then encourage our children to participate in them, we run the risk of communicating the message that the spiritual battle waged by the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:10) is not to be taken seriously."
Let's move on to the origin of some of Halloween's customs.
How did the practice of wearing costumes at Halloween develop? The early origin of costumes is repulsive. On the evening of October 31st, the Druids, who were the occultic priests and teachers of the Celts, ordered the people to put out their hearth fires. The Druids built a huge new year's bonfire of oak branches, which they considered sacred. They burned animals, crops and human beings as sacrifices to their sun god Muck Olla and Samhain, their god of death. During this diabolical ceremony the PEOPLE WORE COSTUMES made of animal heads and skins. They then practiced divination, looked for omens in the struggle of the victims sacrificed in the fires, jumped over the flames or dashed through them, danced and sang. All of this was done to frighten the evil spirits away.
According to Man, Myth & Magic, volume 1, page 68, "The guisers went from house to house, singing and dancing. Their bloodcurdling masks and grotesque costumes may have been meant to keep evil at bay, or more likely, were visible representations of the ghosts and goblins that lurked in the night..."
In the 11th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 12, page 8578 it states, "It was the Druids belief that on the eve of this festival (November 1st, Celtic New Year) Saman, lord of death, called together the wicked souls (Spirits) that within the past twelve months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals." Saman would then send these evil spirits to attack people on the eve before the November 1st celebration. The only way these people could escape was by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. (See Christianity Today, October 22, 1982, p.32). It seems to me that these "evil spirits" must also have been stupid spirits if they could be fooled by such a masquerade. Sadly, the fools were the superstitious idol worshippers who refused to glorify the true God. As a result they became "vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Romans 1:21).
As you can see, gross looking costumes have their source in demonism and because of this I want to "...cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light." (Romans 13:12).
Now, just by chance if you had forgotten to dress up or could not fool the demons by dressing in animal skins or other disguises, there was a way to exorcise them. You were to set out a TREAT of food and fruit, and provide the wandering spirit with shelter for the night. If the demon was satisfied with your TREAT, it was believed that they would not TRICK you by casting an evil spell on you causing havoc.
I came across a shocking account of Trick or Treat written by a former witch, Irene Park. She says, "...the Druids in Ireland would go through the neighborhoods and countryside on the eve of October 31st to collect offerings to Satan. They would carry lanterns, bags of money, and canes with very sharp points on the ends (currently known as leprechaun staffs, good luck horns, or fairies' wands). At each house, they would demand a specific amount. If the household would not or could not give the offering (penance or treat), the Druid would use the cane to castrate the male human or one of their prize animals." (From; Seven High Pagan Masses and Halloween by Irene A. Park; page 1)
In later years James Napier says, in his book, Holidays of Legend, Irish farmers went house to house begging for food for their ancient gods. Good luck was promised to all who donated but threats were made against those who would not give. There is absolutely nothing in Trick or Treat that honors the Lord that I can see.
Considering the origin of Trick or Treat, I quit giving out candy. I have no desire to reenact Druidic practices. It seems to me that is exactly what you are doing when you give out goodies on Halloween. Participating in occultic worship rituals certainly does not glorify God.
Jack-O-Lanterns, what is their significance? The World Book Encyclopedia, 1977 edition, volume 9, page 24-26 says, "The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face of `Jack-O-Lantern' is an ancient symbol of a damned soul."
According to an article I read by Dr. John MacArthur, Jr. according to folklore "Jack-O-Lanterns were named for a man called Jack, who could not enter heaven or hell. As a result, he was doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until judgment day." With this in mind, people began to hollow out pumpkins and turnips, placing candles inside to scare evil spirits from their houses.
What a tragedy. John 3:16 makes it clear that no one has to be outside of heaven..."For God so loved the world (mankind), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should NOT perish, but have everlasting life." It is also clear that if any individual refuses to trust Christ as Savior he is condemned already (John 3:18 & 36). There is no wandering. It is either Heaven or Hell depending on whether you have trusted Christ as your Savior (John 14:6; Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-9).
There was another purpose for Jack-O-Lanterns according to author Owen Rachleff. "The candlelit pumpkin or skull... served as a beacon for the sabbat and as a signal to mark those farms and homes that were sympathetic to the Satanists and thus deserving of mercy when the terror of the night (Halloween) began." (The Occult Conceit; page 190).
Moving on, we come to cats and their connection with Halloween.
In the 1959 edition of World Book Encyclopedia, under Halloween it was noted that Druid priests believed that cats were once human beings but were reincarnated as punishment for evil deeds. Because of this they held cats sacred and involved them in their idol worship of October 31st and November 1st.
Druids believed "the cat was sacred and...that cats had once been changed (from being human & reincarnated) into that form as punishment for evil deeds." (The American Book of Days, by George Douglas)
"Even after Christianity spread to Europe...oxen were sacrificed on October 31st...and in medieval Europe, black cats [were] chosen as victims in the belief that they were witches in disguise [and] were burned on that day (Halloween)." (The American Book of Day, third edition by Hatch)
It is plain to see that cats, particularly BLACK CATS were thought to represent EVIL. Further, they were a symbol of REINCARNATION. I have an article in my file which says The Humane Society will not release black cats around Halloween for fear that they will be mistreated or sacrificed. Their decision, in my opinion, is a wise one.
In A.D. 43 the Roman Empire was in solid control of the Celtic people. As a result of this control the idol worshipping Romans introduced another ceremony honoring their false gods to the already demoniacal Druid New Year's celebration. It was in honor of their goddess of fruit trees. They would try to grasp fruit, floating in water, without the use of their hands. This is the origin of BOBBING FOR APPLES according to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Associated Press quote, October 16, 1977.
That gives you a brief historical background of Halloween. Is there any doubt that the day is occultic? I do not believe we have lost that influence in our day. It is probably the only day that you allow the devil, witches, ghosts, skeletons and perverts in your house. Why then? Why honor Satan the demon of death at all. Deuteronomy 32:16-17 tells us that God is provoked when demons are honored and not him..."They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up..." The Lord God is THE GOD of The Ages. He is before all else. We would be wise to heed Paul's admonition in I Corinthians 10:20 where he says he does not want us to fellowship with demons or pagan practices in any way. "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils."
What would Halloween be like without WITCHES. Let me share with you some material I found in An Illustrated History of Witchcraft, by Peter Haining. He states, "The witch is, without doubt, one of the most enduring figures in superstition and literature. Whether portrayed as an aged crone astride a broomstick off on some mission of evil, or else a young girl dancing naked with her companions in a wooded grove, she can be found in carvings of antiquity or the columns of today's newspapers...since the Middle Ages, (writings have) shown her as an enemy of humanity, a solitary being able to compact with the Devil to work all manner of supernatural powers."
The oldest known illustration of a witch dates back to the pre-Columbian times and shows the goddess Tlazolteolf naked, wearing a pointed hat riding a broomstick.
The first famous witch in history is the Witch of Endor. I Samuel 28
relates how King Saul went to her in an effort to get in touch with the dead prophet of
God, Samuel. He needed advice on how to defeat the Philistines. He should have known
better because Exodus 22:18 prescribed being a witch as a capital crime, punishable by
death. Again Deuteronomy 18:9-14 warned that God's children were to have nothing to do
with the OCCULT. Even in the New Testament (Revelation 21:8 Galatians 5:20 KJV) lists the
practitioners of witchcraft as being excluded from God's kingdom. Dr. Luke wrote about
what people did about their occultic involvement when they came to know Christ as their
Savior in Acts 19:18-19, "Many that believed (in Christ) came, and confessed (their
former evil practices) and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts
brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price
of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver." (A piece of silver was
a day's wage back in that day. By today's standard that could have been
"Contemporary witchcraft is so diverse and eclectic that it is extremely difficult to accurately identify and define" according to Craig Hawkins (Christian Research Journal, Winter/Spring 1990, page 12). In fact you can't accurately say ALL witches believe such and such. But you can give general guidelines relating to their beliefs.
First, witches would have you believe witchcraft is different from Satanism. In a minor sense they are partially correct. Satanism is the rebellion against and reversal of Christianity. A practicing witch put it this way, "Satanism is basically a reversion and perversion of Christian symbolism."
Witchcraft, on the other hand is not a reaction to Christianity but pagan worship of the Mother Goddess and her consort the Horned God. Witches (Wiccans) claim they don't even acknowledge Satan. But a former Alexanderian Wiccan witch clarified this by stating, "as I got to the higher degrees I learned that the name of the horned god was Lucifer. I learned that the sign of the second degree was an inverted pentagram...symbolizing the horns of Satan." (Quote from Devil Worship: The Rise of Satanism, by Jeremiah films)
Though witches like to make a distinction between themselves and Satanists, there really is NO DISTINCTION biblically speaking. They might play little word games masking the connection between Lucifer and Satan but the power behind Satanism and Witchcraft is the same-Satan, (formerly called Lucifer before his rebellion against God ) and his demonic hords.
When the Bible makes reference to witchcraft it means anyone who is involved in some form of the occult. The word occult comes from the Latin meaning secret, hidden, or esoteric (private; understood only by a few) knowledge or practices.
There are THREE CATEGORIES OF THE OCCULT...
1. DIVINATION -- Seeking to know the past, present or future by astrology; horoscopes; channeling; tarot; etc. This can include animal or human sacrifice.
2. SORCERY or MAGIC(K) -- Seeking to control or manipulate reality for ones own purposes. This can include animal or human sacrifice to accomplish that end.
3. SPIRITISM -- Seeking to communicate with the dead or other entities through a medium.
Generally speaking, it is accurate to say that those who practice witchcraft hold the following four beliefs.
ANIMISM -- The belief that all objects (rocks, trees, wind, plants, mountains etc.) are alive and have a soul.
PANTHEISM -- The belief that everything is divine (god). Divinity is inseparable from and immanent in everything such as nature and humanity. In fact we are divine or gods.
POLYTHEISM -- Belief in many deities (gods). They also believe in multi-levels of reality.
At this point I should tell you that there is great diversity within occult & satanic groups. Witches and occultists disagree among themselves as to what constitutes a witch. But researchers find that there are several distinguishable categories into which occultists fit.
1. DABBLERS -- They are experimenting or playing around with the occult.
2. ECLECTIC or SELF-STYLED OCCULTISTS -- They have moved from the dabbling stage into deeper involvement. They are developing their own individualized occultic religion and developing personalized beliefs and practices.
3. RELIGIOUS OCCULTIST -- These people openly belong to an official occult group. Their group is often tax exempt and is protected by the first amendment. They deny involvement in any criminal activity and seek to present their beliefs as a legitimate religion. Lori Cabot (official witch of Salem, Mass.) heads the Temple of Isis. There is the Church of Circle Wicca; The Witches International Craft Association and numerous others.
4. INTRA-GENERATIONAL OCCULTIST -- These are clandestine (secret), family religions that pass their occultic practices from one generation to another. This category of occultists seems to be well organized, very secretive and are often very dangerous.
For the most part, wherever you find witchcraft you will likely find nudity because many of their rituals are performed "skyclad" (in the nude). Witches practice divination, that is the attempt to obtain information regarding the past, present or future through occultic methods like astrology, channeling (inviting a spirit to possess your body), tarot cards, crystal balls, etc.
Magic is a cornerstone of witchcraft. When I speak of magic I am not talking about "slight-of-hand." I am talking about invoking or attempting to invoke an invisible force (demons) for use in influencing, manipulating, or controlling a given situation to accomplish ones own will in a situation.
Then there is the common practice among witches and occult followers of "drawing down the moon." The high priestess of the coven usually stands "skyclad" with arms outstretched to the sky and calls down the goddess or invites the goddess to possess them. In response, the high priestess will often enter a trance state and become the voice of the goddess. During this time she functions as the goddess incarnate (goddess in the flesh) within the magic circle. Whatever she says is supposedly directly from the goddess.
Witches and coven members practice many immoral and perverted sexual practices as a part of their rituals. These rituals are often accompanied by alcohol and drug use.
It is obvious that God does not want his children to have anything to do with witches or witchcraft. I believe we should "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (I Thessalonians 5:22) Certainly that would include dressing like a witch, wizard or sorcerer.
Another classic Halloween character is COUNT DRACULA. If you watch you
will see a number of these black caped, fanged toothed monsters running around this
Halloween. But if you want to have your socks knocked off read DRACULA, A Biography of
Vlad the Impaler, 1431-1476, by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally. Dracula was a real
person. He was maniac monster, the Hitler of his day. During his six year rule it was
estimated by a reliable source that Dracula massacred 100,000 men, women and children. And
how did he impose death? Let me quote Pope Pius II who tells how he killed 40,000 of his
political foes shortly before 1462. "He killed some of them by breaking them under
the wheels of carts; others, stripped of their clothes, were skinned alive up to their
entrails; others places on stakes, or roasted on red hot coals placed under them; others
punctured with stakes piercing their head, their navel, breast, and what is even unworthy
of relating, their
Would you let your child dress up like mass murderer Jim Jones? Would you dress your child like cult murderer Charles Manson? How about mass child killer, pedophile John Wayne Gacey? Of course not. Then why let them dress up like some pervert of old like Dracula or any other ungodly, demonic or distasteful character.
Paul's admonition in II Corinthians 6:14-17 certainly applies when it says "...What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness...what communion hath light with darkness? And what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?...Come out from among them and be ye separate." I no longer celebrate Halloween because of Halloween's heroes and I have only looked at two. Frankly, I am appalled by stories like the one that appeared in the Milwaukee Sentinel, September 24, 1982. It told of a Waukesha man that decapitated his wife. Yet, we let our children go to Ghosts' Manors on Halloween like the one pictured in the Milwaukee Journal, October 22, 1982 showing a blood spattered victim in a bathtub (staged thankfully). What are we telling our children if we accept that kind of scene on Halloween and yet it makes our blood run cold and our stomachs turn any other day?
What harm could there be in Halloween? Halloween can be a dangerous and harmful day and here are some reasons why.
I well remember how this point was driven home to me. I stopped at a restaurant one afternoon on January 6, 1988 to pick up a bite to eat before my next appointment. I stopped at the paper box outside the restaurant and bought a newspaper on my way in. As I was waiting for my lunch to arrive I came across Ann Landers. The title of her column was "Parents must tackle violence." The parent wrote, "I heard something today that made my hair stand on end. I hope you will deal with it in your column because it is a symptom of a problem that warrants deep concern. Last October, the teacher of a fourth grade class asked her students to write a short essay on what they would like to do most to celebrate Halloween. Eighty percent of her 9 year-olds expressed the wish to `kill somebody.' Where do children get such ideas? I believe it is fair to say that they get them from movies on TV. What are we going to do about this love of violence among the young? Frankly, it scars me to death. I am - Concerned in California."
This letter hit the nail on the head! All parents ought to be concerned. Halloween is desensitizing our children by its glorification of violence, death, mutilation and gore.
Consider for a moment the "Nightmare on Elm Street", "Halloween", and "Friday the 13th" film series. They are popular viewing fare at Halloween parties. Who or what inspires these "actors" (I use the term loosely)? Robert Englund who plays mass murderer Freddy Krueger in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series says he draws his inspiration from the late Ted Bundy, who raped and murdered more than 28 women. Englund told Slaughterhouse magazine, "I just read an article on Ted Bundy, so a lot of my imagery is based on him."
At the least, exposure to sadism, sexual violence, satanism, torture, mutilation and bizarre murders causes our kids to become calloused to these behaviors. But, Harriet Kozkoff, a public TV producer told the press, "Entertainment is a powerful socializing agent in contemporary society. Slasher and horror movies...use violence and sexual arousal to maximize profits and are an inevitable prescription for conditioning sexual sadism into our pre-teen, teenage and young adult film fans."
Psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Radecki said, "Every year film violence and real-life violence continues to get worse. We must protest and stop this growing sadism in our homes, schools, and on our streets."
Obviously, the problem is wider than just on Halloween. But TV programming and video rentals of violent horror films is at its peak at Halloween.
Halloween is harmful because of its emphasis on violence and death.
An article in the Milwaukee Journal, entitled "Haunted House Fun: It could become a nightmare for kids" stated, "It's just for fun, you know that. But to a young child, a trip through a `haunted house' created for Halloween could be a nightmare." Psychologist Marvin Berkowitz of Marquette University said, "Some haunted houses can frighten an adult." He warned that a child must "go in with the right mental set." He said, "Make sure they know it's going to be a fun scare, not a real scare." The article went on to day that even though you do your best to let the child know this he can be traumatized by such an experience."
I don't believe children should be exposed to such manufactured traumas. Exposing a vulnerable child can have harmful consequences that run the spectrum from nightmares to emotional damage. In fact, Dr. Grace Ketterman, M.D. says in her book, You and Your Child's Problems, "A tragic by- product of fear in the lives of children as early as preadolescence is the interest and involvement in supernatural occult phenomena."
Halloween is harmful because of its emphasis on fear and horror.
Halloween is harmful because it lures people into the occult. Many children are introduced to occultic practices at Halloween parties. I first learned about the occult at a Halloween party as a teenager. Many kids get their first exposure to occultic horror movies at Halloween parties. After the initial exposure to the occult some children are attracted to the occult because of the power it offers them. Others see it as the ultimate means of rebelling against there parents.
1. Black & heavy metal music
2. Fantasy Role playing games
3. Slasher/horror movies & sadistic pornography
4. Reading occult & satanic literature
People who would not ever involve themselves with the occult at any other time will experiment at Halloween parties with seances, Ouija boards, levitation, rituals and ritual sex.
Did you know that Devil's Night (the night before Halloween) is the worst night of the year for ARSON FIRES? In Detroit, Michigan in 1983, 450 fires were set by pranksters. To add to the trauma, more personal property is defaced and public buildings damaged at this time than any other time of the year. Law enforcement officials have told me that grave yard desecration are becoming a real problem at Halloween.
What about Trick-or-Treat? In Milwaukee, Wisconsin hospitals x-ray candy received while "begging" to be sure no foreign objects, like pins or razor blades, were in the goodies.
Malicious Halloween pranks even kill people, like the lady who had a pumpkin dropped on her car from an overpass. It went through her window and caused her death.
Let me conclude this section by telling you of a recent video taped interview that we did with a Wisconsin policeman. He told us of a woman who had come to them and reported that her two children had been sacrificed in Satanic Halloween rituals. She was an occult member and wanted out of the group.
Holloween is a sinister day with occultic roots. As we move along in the last days an increasing number of people are realizing that Halloween is a pagan worship day. It is day that honors false gods, demons and Satan. I have no desire to enter into the worship of false gods nor honor the devil. I hope after considering this study you will agree and decide NOT TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN. Put Ephesians 5:11 into practice, "...have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them."
I have come to believe that Christ is not honored by celebrating Halloween. I have shared my conviction with my family. As a result, we have replaced the celebration of Halloween with something completely unassociated to it. We make it a family night and do something special together. You can see that I do believe in the PRINCIPLE OF REPLACEMENT. I believe that Romans 12:21 teaches it. "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
Certainly remove the bad. Explain to your children why you are not celebrating Halloween any more. BUT then replace it with something that will glorify God (I Corinthians 10:31). Be creative. Make what you do more fun, yet honor Christ. Have a harvest party where you focus on Christ the creator and his provisions for you. Have a Christian video party. Have a glory gathering where Christian songs are sung and the word is preached. Get a group together and go from door to door (not dressed up) and pass out Gospel tracts then meet for a time of fellowship afterward.
My closing challenge to you is this. Prayerfully consider what Christ would have you to do. My your desire be that of James, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." (James 4:7-8).
[This report is provided by LOGOS for personal research only. If you want copies for distribution they are available in a tpyeset magazine format with pictures for a donation of $4.00. Inexpensive pamphlets are also available for general distribution. A well documented one hour video that has been distributed nationally by Evangelical Films & Video is also available.]