Halloween and Witchcraft

By Russ Wise

Most people think of Halloween as a holiday, ushering in the fall and providing children with a legitimate reason for collecting large caches of candy or playing a trick on someone.            

However, Halloween is a serious event in the lives of those who practice witchcraft.  When asked about the origin of Halloween, many in the church would say something about All Saints’ Day, but they could not offer an explanation for the traditions associated with the October 31st date.             Halloween has long been known as “The Festival of the Dead” among the adherents of witchcraft.  October 31st had a great deal of significance among the ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids.  This festival marked the change from life to death – a changing of the guard from the warmth of the sun in the spring and summer to the cold of the moon in the fall and winter.            

Arnold and Patricia Crowther, modern day witches, state in their book, The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft, “Halloween was the end of the year, the time when the Goddess returned to the underworld; when Mother Nature took her winter sleep beneath her blanket of snow.  There she rested until the vegetation began to grow again.  On this night the Horned God began his reign.”            

The Druids celebrated several holy days, but the “Feast of Samhain” was of particular importance.  This was the observance of Samana, the Lord of Death, a dark Aryan god who was known as the Grim Reaper.

Morwyn, another witch, tells us in his book, Secrets of a Witch’s Coven, that “Samhain is a solemn rite for the dead; the reaffirmation of life at the end of the ceremony is a most important aspect of this ritual.”            

The “reaffirmation of life” can be an actual act or it can be symbolic.  To affirm life, some covens ritually eat an apple; in others, the act of sexual intercourse consummates the ceremony.  The Crowthers add that, “After the craft had become a mixed cult, this feast would have been the time when any sexual intercourse took place. . .”            

It was believed that at this time the veil between life and death was thin and that one could learn secrets of life and wisdom beyond death by lying on a grave and listening for messages from the departed.  It was also believed that these spirits or ghosts left the grave at this time and sought the warmth of a familiar place – usually the home in which they resided while they were yet among the living.            

The villagers were greatly concerned that these spirits not remain in their immediate area, so they would dress in an appropriate costume to scare the spirits on their way.  It was likewise believed that if these spirits were not appeased by the offering of food and treats then they might bring destruction upon the village by destroying crops, homes, or animals.            

Hallomas or Halloween, this most unholy night, became a time for gaining knowledge through divination.  In addition to lying on a grave seeking a message from beyond, men employed Ouija boards, crystal ball gazing and a host of other practices to divine information.  Within witchcraft, Halloween is an established time for communing with the dead.  Halloween has become the great day of abomination.            

The “Lord of the Dead” is known by a number of names.  Witches acknowledge that their “Horned God” is the “Lord of the Dead.”  The true identity of this “Lord of Death” is the devil himself according to Hebrews 2:14:             “. . . that through death He (Jesus) might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. . .” 

The horned god Pan, with cloven hoofs, was often represented by a goat.  The personification of Pan was the head of a goat or a bull.  From Matthew 25:33, 41 we glean the significance of the symbolism of the goat.

 “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” v. 33            

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels . . .” vs. 41 

Festivals and Sabbats            

Practitioners of Witchcraft celebrate four ceremonies to honor the “Green Goddess,” who brings life, and the “Horned God,” who brings death.  In witchcraft the spiritual year begins with Halloween on October 31st as described previously.            

On February 2nd, Candlemas is celebrated to honor the “God of Death” and to give thanks to him for keeping the people from harm and sickness and wish him well on his journey back to the underworld.            

May Eve, April 30, brings Beltane.  This celebration welcomes new life and the ritual of fertility is the main emphasis.            

Lammas is the time for giving thanks to the Great Mother for causing the crops to grow and is dedicated to grain and the harvest.  The celebration is observed on August 1 and, according to Morwyn (Secrets of a Witch’s Coven), it is a time to feast and “emphasize the fertility aspect of the union of the god and goddess.”            

The two solstices and equinoxes are also celebrated in witchcraft and represent lesser festivals.  My intention is to acquaint the reader with the festivals of greater importance. 

Halloween and Human Sacrifice            

When the world was Pagan, “great bonfires were lighted to signify summer’s end and to symbolize the death of god.”  Morwyn, in Secrets of a Witch’s Coven, goes on to say,             “All frustrations and failures of the year were burned symbolically so that life could begin anew on the Winter Solstice.  It was not unknown to incinerate a man alive in the blaze as a symbol of the death of the god.”            

Modern day witches declare that they no longer offer animal or human sacrifices, and in fact find sacrifices distasteful.  However, Satanism is a different matter altogether.             Satanists see the “Festival of the Dead” as honoring the “horned god” – the “sabbatical goat.”  Whereas the witch may symbolically sacrifice a human, the Satanist looks at the sacrifice in the literal sense.            

It should be noted that Satanists vary greatly regarding this issue. Those Satanists who follow mainline traditions would abhor human sacrifice.             

However, it is important to note that self-styled Satanists like Richard Ramirez, among others, would employ such activity. Self-styled Satanists tend to do their own thing without compliance to any moral standard. Their allegiance is to themselves, not to any one world view – whether it be Satanic or another.            

It is necessary for Christians to realize that Halloween is not the innocent holiday that many, even Christians, believe it to be . . . This author’s admonition is that we, as Christians, must properly discern the spirit of Halloween and respond in a way that would honor our God – the God of the Bible.            

Satan’s goal is to blind our minds, that we cannot adequately recognize his strategy, and to deceive us, that we might worship him (Satan) rather than our creator. (Matthew 4:9, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Revelations 12:9) 

Creative Alternatives for the Christian            

In light of what has been said regarding Halloween, the Christian parent might understandably not desire their child to participate in this “Festival of the Dead.”  However, many parents feel the tension between allowing their child’s participation, in this most unholy day, and causing the child some distress by restricting their involvement altogether.             There are a number of creative alternatives that can be drawn upon.  Many churches have met the social need of young people by holding fall carnivals and having the children come in biblical costume.            

Church youth groups sponsor bowling or skating parties and other fun activities to offer alternatives for older youth.  The planned program, varied as it may be, should honor God and make an intentional effort not to honor Satan.            

As Christian parents and workers with children’s ministries we must make knowledgeable decisions regarding the activities we plan for children.  Satan and his workers are subtle in their strategy to destroy the minds and spirits of young people.  Halloween is one such opportunity.

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Published in: on October 25, 2007 at 7:35 pm  Comments (18)  
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  1. Just like the date for Halloween, the dates for Christmas and Easter were intentionally chosen to replace pagan holidays – does that mean that they’re “unholy day”s as well?

  2. Basically, I think this scripture sums it up:
    “One man esteems one day better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let everyone be persuaded in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord.” Romans 14: 5-6
    If you observe Christmas and Easter in dedication and praise to the Lord then I don’t see anything wrong with it. God looks at your heart! I think it would be a BIG stretch to be able to say you celebrate Halloween with dedication and praise to the Lord since it is satanic in nature. Here is a link to an article that is much more descriptive about how I view Christmas and Easter:

    Should Christians Celebrate Easter and Christmas?

  3. Halloween is hardly satanic in nature. The mainstream Christian belief, that anything outside of their sect’s teachings is satanic, is ridiculous, especially considering the nature of Satan. Until the Jews were exposed to Zoroastrianism during their captivity in Babylon, they had no concept of a personal spiritual enemy. They assimilated the belief in the Zoroastrian spirit of evil, Angra Mainyu, and gave his role to their angel ha-Satan (The Accuser), who until then was seen as a servant of God whose job it was to question the worthiness of Man. Satan was vilified, and now modern day Christians are similarly vilifying everyone who doesn’t seem to fit with their narrow understanding of God.

    Also, the fact that you accuse the Druids of using ouija boards is a dead giveaway of the fact that you know next to nothing about this subject.

  4. First I did not accuse anyone of anything. If you would have paid attention you would have noticed it is an ariticle someone else wrote that I posted. Second, the fact of whether or not Druids used ouija boards is insignificant to the point I was making by posting the article. The point is that Halloween is based on and filled with pagan traditions that honor the things of satan and not God. Therefore as Christians I feel we should not be encouraging our kids to observe it or to support it. There are other options such as Fall Festivals held at churches etc. that are good alternatives for our children. As Christians we are supposed to be the light in the world for Christ, and as scripture says:

    Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

    1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

    Anything that is not of God is of satan…period! There are only two forces at work in this world the forces of good (God) and the forces of evil (satan). You can put whatever label/title you want on the god/spirit/or whatever you want to call it but it’s the same satan behind it. Before you accuse someone of being uniformed you should examine yourself. You stated the Jews had no concept of satan until they were exposed to Zoroastrianism during their captivity in Babylon, when in fact satan was introduced in the book of Genesis the first book in the Bible. Adam and Eve were responsible for the fall of man and they were very aware it was satan who had tricked them. Then of course there is Job (the oldest book in the Bible) who was tormented by satan. He certainly knew God would not do such a thing to the creation he loves so much that he gave his life for us! If you choose to ignore God and the teachings of the Bible and give glory to satan instead, then of course that is your choice. I will pray for you and all the lost, because one day the truth will be revealed. I just pray it is not too late for you when you come to the realization that God is real and you were wrong! Also, in the future don’t group all Christians into one mainstream basket. Of course there are some who are misguided, but the whole of Christianity who truly believe and study the word of God love Jesus and our fellow man whether they beleive in God or not. We reach out in love to try and save those who are lost not to condemn them. Our will is aligned with the Lords and his is:

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

    Eternity is a long time and we will all live it. The only question is where will YOU spend it?

    1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  5. “I think it would be a BIG stretch to be able to say you celebrate Halloween with dedication and praise to the Lord since it is satanic in nature.”

    Why? Your argument for why Halloween is satanic applies equally well to Christmas and Easter. Halloween, like Christmas and Easter, is a Christian holiday (it’s All Hallow’s Eve = the evening before All Saints Day, celebrating all of the people who have already died and gone to heaven) that is on the same day as a pagan holiday. Yes, pagans celebrate Samhain on October 31st. Tell me, if pagans started celebrating some new holiday called “Evilday” on December 25th, would that mean that we couldn’t celebrate Christmas any more?

  6. Halloween is not a Christian holiday. As the article states its origin is based in practices of the occult. In all my years I have never had anyone come to my door saying they are celebrating All Saints Day….”Please give me some Candy”. Nor have I heard of any All Saints Day parties. Instead I have seen many people dressed as ghouls, ghost, witches, devils, etc. going through the neighborhoods saying “Trick or Treat”. All of the aforementioned does go back to the roots of the holiday as mentioned in the article. Even if you try to justify this holiday by saying it’s All Saints day celebrating people who have gone to Heaven, you still have to ask yourself does it fit scripture and the commands God gave us…let’s see:

    “One man esteems one day better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let everyone be persuaded in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord.” Romans 14: 5-6

    Doesn’t seem like it fits to me. All Saints day is a celebration of people according to your description…not God. I’m not saying that days that honor people or wrong, but I am saying that is not the motive of the majority of people who celebrate Halloween. The difference between Halloween, Chistmas, & Easter is that with Christmas and Easter Jesus is the focus and the heart of the holiday! Halloween cannot make that claim. If there was an “Evilday” could it make that claim? No! So Christians wouldn’t celebrate it either, but would continue to give glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his birth & death for through him all life is given! I appreciate your enthusiasm on this subject, but this will be my last comment on this subject here. If you would have paid attention to my blog header you would have noticed this blog is a blog for “Christians who are watching for the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!” and any others seeking to know more about Jesus. I did not create it to be a forum for theological debate. If you would like to continue such debate then I urge you to register in the forum section of my website http://www.rapturewatch.us I have an apologetics forum there for just such things. May God bless you and guide you!

  7. Interesting information about Halloween! Thanks for this great post – the traditions of witchcraft echo some of the details of the Days of the Dead celebrated in Mexican culture. My silly ideas made me think that there was no worship in Halloween whatsoever, I thought it was a time to honor the dead and invite them to visit us in the living world.

  8. Praise God for this article. Many people unwittingly take part in social, fun events which are actually satanic in nature. Thanks for this post.

  9. Halloween flies in the face of Christianity.

    “Treat your neighbour as you would like to be treated.

    If this is what Jesus commanded what do you think Satan might say in response?

    “Trick or treat”

    the exact opposite!

    On halloween who is it that is really being tricked?

  10. Good job for lighting up the world. Thank you…
    I’m here because I’m a little confused as to what I should do when kids come over my house for candy. It’s really not right to demand (candy) and offend by playing a trick on you if you don’t submit. I don’t want to be a part of this. Should I just take a submissive part and do what they ask of me? I mean, it’s innocent, but there is a spiritual underlying there. Someone not in his right mind, does not know what he is doing, and I, a Christian, is supposed to accept the offense? We are the ones to take the planet out of satan’s claws…..So what should I do? Buy more candy? (They must be rofl-ing right now)

  11. wanna add some more…tricks are being played on Christians all the time, whether we give them “candy” or not. I think this tradition is determined to laugh at and mock Christians. I mean, who of all people will not participate in this? Of course, it’s Christians. Very strategic plan, I have to say, to wipe Christianity off the earth….So so so, shall I buy more candy? 🙂

  12. Natasha,
    What I do is use it for a tremendous wittnesing opportunity. It’s too late for you to do it this halloween, but you can go to http://www.wayofthemaster.com and order some tracts for kids. When they come to my house they get some candy, but they also get the word of God! You may check any Christian book stores if there are any in your area. They may carry something like that. Then of course you can always just turn off you porch light.

  13. I have always hated Halloween (I think the last time I went trick-or-treating was second grade), so anything condemning it seems good to me. It is silly and pointless.

    http://bosoxfriends.wordpress.com

  14. Why do you keep deleting my comments? I make a valid point, do I not?

  15. turtlebutt,
    No you do not. If you put up a Christmas tree and your doing it in reverence of santa cluase or any other peagan symbol, then yes it is wrong. As Christians we are fully aware it is a time we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As I have already pointed out in several of the above post if you would have read them:

    “One man esteems one day better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let everyone be persuaded in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord.” Romans 14: 5-6

    Christians observe Christmas for the Lord! As I also stated above…this blog is a blog for “Christians who are watching for the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!” and any others seeking to know more about Jesus. I did not create it to be a forum for theological debate. If you would like to continue such debate then I urge you to register in the forum section of my website http://www.rapturewatch.us I have an apologetics forum there for just such things.

  16. I don’t put a Christmas tree in my house.

    My decision is based on a Hebrew Scripture:

    Jeremiah 10
    1 Hear what the LORD says to you, O house of Israel. 2 This is what the LORD says:
    “Do not learn the ways of the nations
    or be terrified by signs in the sky,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
    3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.

    4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.

    Here’s a link to the scripture:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2010;&version=31;

    You should look it up in your own bible and let your own conscience decide.

  17. It’s great that you’re informing people of the dangers of halloween! Not many people have the courage to argue God’s case, especially when it comes to a subject with so much controversy among believers such as halloween.

    I’m currently doing an English report for school on why Christians should deem halloween as unsound and have found your information really helpful and encouraging.

    Thanks :]

  18. Your very welcome Jessica! 🙂


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