Can Christians Celebrate Halloween?

This is the time of year when many Christian websites post articles and videos proclaiming Halloween a satanic or pagan holiday, filled with all sorts of the occult, demon-inspired dangers for the unwary trick-or-treater. Does the Bible actually have anything to say about Halloween?

The History of Halloween

The Bible is actually completely silent on the holiday since it did not exist during the time the authors of the books of the Bible lived. Anyone attempting to connect the holiday to some practice or observance mentioned in the Old and New Testaments does so only by ignoring or doing an injustice to the facts of history.

Some of the more colorful and inventive websites will tell you that Halloween is a satanic holiday, celebrated by Satanists the world over. The fact of the matter is, Halloween is actually connected to a Christian holiday known as All Hallows’ Eve.

All Hallows’ Eve was a feast day throughout Roman Catholic Europe during which Christians remembered and honored their departed family members and saints who otherwise had no specific day of remembrance. It was also known as “All Saints’ Day.”

People would gather for a large meal prepared throughout the day, musicians would play, games were held, and the day would end with Mass at the local church. There was no connection to pagan practices, no satanic rituals, and no witches conjuring familiar spirits.

Halloween can be traced back to Pope Gregory III (AD 731-741) — and claims that it was established to coincide with Samhain are exaggerated, since Samhain, a more pagan-oriented holiday, was not observed on October 31, but on November 1. 

Rev. Alan Rudnick writes:

“Understand that All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) and the ancient pagan festival of Samhain are not the same. Halloween is often associated with the pagan concept of Samhain, the festival where ancient pagans believed that the worlds of the living and dead would have been thinly divided. But we have seen from the other ancient pagan festivals associated with Christmas and Easter that these pagan connections do not serve as a reason why we cannot celebrate a Christian holiday. Despite claims by modern Wiccans and Druids, no one really knows what happened during Samhain. There is not one shred of evidence of what actually took place. No authentic historical accounts. History has proven that the Christianizing of the calendar has created a rich heritage of faith and spirituality rather than something more evil.” 

The tradition of dressing up in costumes also has a Christian origin. In the Middle Ages, it became a popular practice to dress up as your favorite saint. Even the carving of a pumpkin has a very simple explanation.

People would carve out a turnip and place a candle in it, representing the light of the souls in heaven. Admittedly, none of these practices is found in Scripture, but neither are they expressly forbidden.

It is very important that we not promote disinformation as though it were the truth, since the more discerning person will undoubtedly research the issue for themselves and discover that the claims of satanic rituals, necromancy, and other assorted acts of evil are by and large false.

Is Halloween Satanic?

This is not to say that Satanists and other occultists do not take the opportunity the holiday brings to engage in their various rituals and practices, as it suits their aesthetic.

The infamous founder of the Satanic Church, Anton LaVey, in setting up his novel religion chose Halloween not because the holiday had anything whatsoever to do with satanism, but because it marked the end of autumn, and also provided his church with the spooky backdrop he liked to invoke in order to gain attention.

Keep in mind that he was a former showman after all. And this did not occur until the late 1960s, so it hardly stretches back into biblical history. 

Now, one can take a look at the modern practice with its sometimes-frightening masks and gruesome imagery and decide that as a Christian you cannot participate in such revelry. That is a matter of personal conscience. However, it is my opinion that there is still nothing wrong with dressing up as some silly monster from a movie and going door-to-door getting a bag filled with candy. If you are a Christian family and you would like to allow your children to take part in trick-or-treats, you can always choose a costume that is more in line with what your conscience allows. Such costumes as princesses, characters from the Lord of the Rings or the Narnia Chronicles, or even taking a page from our ancestors and dressing up as a saint are all very viable options you can choose from.

And if you are concerned for the safety of your children, why not host an All-Hollows’ Eve party in your home, and invite all their friends over for games, cake, ice cream, and of course, candy!

The point here is not to allow yourself to be overtaken by the irrational claims put out by well-meaning but erring fellow Christians, while at the same time not violating your conscience. Halloween can be an opportunity to teach your children about the importance of salvation since we all will leave this world and need Christ.

If you are an Anglican Christian, it is also a time when you can pray for the souls of your departed family members as a family. You can also teach your children about the lives of whatever saints you choose whether they be biblical figures or saints of church history.

Can Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Yes! Be creative and allow God to use the day as a way to bring you closer to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. And have fun! Christians are supposed to be joyous, so allow yourself to express joy with your family. And if you would, save some spiced apple cider for me.