Is Halloween Essentially Evil?

Halloween is short for All-Hallows-Even. Even or Eve refers to the evening before the day.

halloween saint

Christmas Eve is the night before December 25. Similarly, Hallows Eve is the night before November 1, the Catholic festival of All Saints.

This holy day of obligation was once known as All Hallows since “hallow” is a more ancient form of “holy.” For example, “hallowed by thy name” means “holy is thy name.” All Saints = All Hallows. In fact, November 1 was once called “Hallowmas.” For those linguists out there, hallowed comes from the Old English word haligra which fell out of use before AD 1500. Those who know German will recognize it’s similarity to heiliger.

Is Halloween Essentially Evil?

There are some Christians who have written off Halloween per se as some sort of diabolical black mass.  This interpretation usually includes a legend of how the Catholic Church conspired with druids to corrupt Europe, or some other nonsense.To be clear, it’s the vigil of a Christian holy day: All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints Eve. Has it been corrupted by our culture and consumer market? You bet.

However, Christmas has also been derailed by the culture. Does that mean that we’re going hand over Christmas? No way! Same goes for Halloween. The Church does not surrender what rightfully belongs to her – she wins it back!

Celebrate to celebrate Hallows Eve, but clarify “We don’t celebrate it by glorifying the demonic.” Dress your children as saints and be counter-cultural. Be leaven in the lump. Salt in the world. Be hallowed.

Oh, and don’t forget All Hallows (Nov 1) is a Holy Day of Obligation. It’s a mortal sin not to attend Holy Mass on this day (unless it is lawfully transferred by the bishops).

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  • Jason

    I respect your desire to understand all things in the light of Christ, but this day was originally a day of human sacrifice to Druid god Samhain, the lord of death. In order to confuse the demons that they believed would come an haunt them, they would dress up in costumes of demons and goblins. They prepared sweets as an offering to these demons to keep them away. These rituals are being propagated today. Satanic ritual abuse is still happening in full force today and today is the height of their sacrificial rituals. Again, the historical and spiritual roots of this day are demonic and occult and will only bear bad fruit.

    There was no Catholic conspiracy with Druids, but incorporation of this feast into the Church calender is not in line with God’s plan, I believe. Yahweh told the Israelites to destroy their enemies, the people, livestalk, and all so as not to amalgamate any of their customs into the holy Faith. Neither shall we do so.

    I think, Dr. T, that all of your perspectives that I have read have been really insightful and spiritually well-grounded, but on this issue I set myself apart. If we want to make this a holy vigil, let’s go to Mass, intercede for the victims of satanic ritual abuse and the victims of human sacrifice (usually infants), and make reparation, and go into spiritual warfare with the powerful intercession of the Saints.

    Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

    J

    • leogirl87

      It is tragic that some people are involved in Satanic rituals, as well as wearing pagan costumes, on Halloween, and we definitely need to pray for those people.

      But the whole idea that Halloween is from Satan or a false god is a modern myth. Halloween is a Christian holiday. About Catholicism has an article up right now that explains this in more detail.

      • Cathryn Havel Lang

        Halloween did NOT start out a Christian holiday. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, people called Celtics who lived in Europe were controlled by a secret society of priests and pagans call the Druids. They were satanists who worshipped the demonic god of Lord Samhain at the festival of DEATH. They went door to door begging strange foods, to offer up to their god. They celebrated on Oct. 31. In our present day, we train our children to go door to door begging food, also. And, also, today witches, satanists, and occultists and devil worshipers still celebrate. They say that the power of the devil is the strongest on that night. Our Pope in the 9th century (hundreds of years later) declared a new day to be celebrated by the Church on November 1st; ALL SAINTS DAY.So Halloween then, became “All hallows (holy) Eve.”
        So, then, everyone was to leave the pagan practices, and now, celebrate our deceased. But, some people today are instilling FEAR into the hearts of others, with their haunted houses, instead of worshiping the REAL GOD, JESUS CHRIST.

    • Declan Kennedy

      Jason,

      You have fallen victim to the Anglo-Saxon and Norman propaganda that was used to denigrate Celtic culture and practices in much the same way as European colonialists justified their exploitation by describing Africans, Asians and Native Americans as savages. Samhain was the name of the day and not a Druid God. Literary sources do not give much information about what the Druids actually believed and much of what is written and practiced these days is New Age nonsense and often does have demonic elements. Sorry for being pedantic as I share your fears about some of the current elements that make up contemporary Halloween festivities which was originally a fairly innocent sort of Celtic Harvest festival, with an awareness of the the death that is the fate of all living creatures until the Logos was incarnated.

      • Jason

        Declan,

        Samhain was certainly the name of a festival, but whether or not was the name of a god is perhaps debatable. But this is a moot point because I have not posted my comments to debate, but to be at least one voice to declare the origin of Halloween. I am not aware of Anglo-Saxon/Norman propaganda tactics, but if you have reason to believe this, please enlighten me some more. I for one take the Encyclopedia Britannica (ref. the article I copied in a previous post) to be a serious source of information, but I hope this is not the Anglo-Saxon propaganda that you refer to.

        Here again is another article from EB on Samhain:

        “Samhain, also spelled Samain ,
        (Celtic: “End of Summer”), one of the most important and sinister calendar festivals of the Celtic year. At Samhain, held on November 1, the world of the gods was believed to be made visible to mankind,
        and the gods played many tricks on their mortal worshipers; it was a
        time fraught with danger, charged with fear, and full of supernatural
        episodes. Sacrifices and propitiations of every kind were thought to be
        vital, for without them the Celts believed they could not prevail over
        the perils of the season or counteract the activities of the deities.
        Samhain was an important precursor to Halloween.”

        Again, my point is not to debate, but to point out the spiritual reality that is associated with this day. As I said, this day is the satanic high festival and there is a historical reason for this. There are still human sacrifices and SRA that continue. Do the Catholic thing: Mass, intercession, reparation. That is counter-cultural. We are to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons.” So be a demon-caster-outer, be Catholic.

        Just trying to look out for my brothers and sisters with spiritual and historical truth,

        J

  • isabel

    Thanks for emphasizing that November 1 is a Holy day of obligation. Lots of people nowadays think that this day, along with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), is just an ordinary day.

    • leogirl87

      I think people are confused because the Holy Days of Obligation are often abrogated when they fall on a Saturday or Monday. For example, All Saints Day will be abrogated next year because it will fall on a Saturday. And because so many people are poorly catechised they just think that these days are no longer Holy Days of Obligation. 🙁

  • Jason

    Thanks Don,

    The Catholic Answers article did a decent job
    discussing the Christian practices for this day, but they are wrong when
    say that the roots of Halloween are not pagan.

    From the Encyclopedia Britannica on Halloween:
    Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland.
    “November 1 was considered the end of the summer period, the date on
    which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were
    renewed. It was also a time when the souls of those who had died were
    believed to return to visit their homes. People set bonfires on hilltops
    for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away
    evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid
    being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in these
    ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came
    to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be
    favourable
    for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. When the
    Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st century ad, they added their own
    festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of
    Pomona, the goddess of the harvest.

    In the 7th century ad, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day,
    originally on May 13, and in the following century, perhaps in an
    effort to supplant the pagan holiday with a Christian observance, it was
    moved to November 1. The evening before All Saints’ Day became a holy,
    or hallowed, eve and thus Halloween. By the end of the Middle Ages, the secular and the sacred days had merged.”

    In other words, Halloween was about celebrating Samhain long before the Church incorporated it.

    J

    • Veritas

      Jesus always wins. Paganism doesn’t exist any more because the cultral matrix that supported that belief system doesn’t exist anymore. Today’s “pagans” are just wishful thinkers. Christ conquers all.

      • Jason

        While I 100% agree that Jesus always wins, and paganism as a “cultural matrix” doesn’t exist as it did, today’s witchcraft, etc., is no joke. As Paul said, when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. The perfect has not yet come, so there is still demonic activity.

        But even if you are correct in your assessment, is it fine to participate in the sacrifices of the tables of demons, or does it contradict participating in the Table of Christ, according to you?

        J

  • Justas399 .

    Happy Reformation day everyone. This is the greatest day in history after the resurrection.

    • guest

      “This is the greatest day in history after the resurrection” In what religion?

      • Justas399 .

        Christianity. If the Protestant Reformation had not happened, the church might well have lost the gospel.

        • David Bates

          Celebrating divorce? hmm….

  • MotherintheVale

    While All Hallow’s Eve is decidedly Catholic, the celebration we Americans call Halloween is Protestant. The Protestant Puritans forbid any Catholic celebrations in Colonial America. But when the Irish came in the 1840s and 1850s, they brought their priests and built their churches. When the All Hallow’s Ever processions marched the Catholics down to the cemeteries with candles and rosaries, the Prots were in bloody horror at the display. Soon the Irish soul-cakers found themselves the brunt of malicious tricks. And by 1900, what we know as Trick-or-Treat had become a horrible night for the trouble-makers to attack and make fun of the Catholics. By the 1950s, it was all just fun and games and all about the candy and commercialism. By now though Catholics don’t really even know or care. It’s just more merry making. We don’t participate anymore, especially since for modern Americans it has become a celebration of the macabre. Rather we pray our rosaries and pray for our loved ones souls in purgatory. We decided we’d just be Catholic in our celebrations rather than American.