by Diana Wallis Taylor
Stories are what I love. I’m a fiction writer. So why did I take on a project that is not fiction, and tackle a book on Halloween? What were my motives? Due to my background in the occult as a child, and my mother and grandmother’s involvement, the dark side isn’t unfamiliar territory. My publisher knows this and requested the book. I could have turned it down, but in my spirit I realized it was an opportunity to share about areas that most Christians either don’t know about or don’t feel is any threat to them. After all, what’s wrong with giving candy to cute little kids (and more often bigger kids) that come to your door dressed in costume saying “trick or treat?” We don’t worship the costumes or the candy, it’s the holiday itself that is the problem. Where did it come from and what does it really represent for the Christian?
Halloween begins with Samhain, the Lord of the Dead, and the Celts, hundreds of years ago. The Druids, who were the Celtic priests, celebrated Samhain on the cusp of their New Year, November 1. The night before called for all kinds of ceremonies including human sacrifice.
When the Catholic Church came into prominence in the land, they struggled valiantly to turn this pagan worship into a better direction. Instead of praying to pagan gods, their new converts would pray to the Saints instead. November 1 was called All Souls Day, and October 31 was now called All Hallows Eve. Eventually the All was dropped and Hallows Eve was shortened to Halloween. So where did witches, black cats, jack-o-Lanterns, ghosts, ghouls, zombies and devils get involved in a holiday supposedly set aside to worship the saints? The subject is fascinating.
The customs we celebrate so blithely have their roots in Satanic worship, superstitions, and customs brought over to our country by early settlers. In Europe they gave out “soul cakes” to those begging at the door, in exchange for prayers for the dead; the Jack-o-lantern began as an Irish folk tale; even bobbing for apples was a form of divination!
Halloween is fast approaching Christmas in money spent on the holiday, over 3 billion for candy alone. Then there are costumes, decorations, special foods, etc. We have marshmallow Peeps at Easter, and marshmallow ghosts at Halloween.
All that business about Samhain and Lord of the Dead and the Druids was long ago, right? Does a Christian have a problem celebrating Halloween as just a fun holiday today? I hope my book will give you food for thought and prayer, and you will be able to decide for yourself.
Diana Wallis Taylor, an award winning author, has completed her fifth book of Biblical Fiction. She has written three other books of fiction and a book of poetry. Along with her books, her writing has appeared in various compilation books and magazines. Diana recently completed an Easter cantata, “Glorious”, with her fellow collaborator, Carolyn Prentice, who did the music. Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California. where she serves on the Board of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild. She enjoys speaking and sharing her heart with women of all ages.