Published on October 25th, 2012 | by Fred Betzner0
The True Horror of Halloween: Religious Pamphlets in Your Candy!
Ahhhhh, Halloween — the night when little children dress up as their favorite Disney Princesses and Avengers and collectively fuel the power and domination of Satan, High Lord of the Damned.
What? No, seriously. Wait, you weren’t raised in an Evangelical Christian household where demons, witches, and warlocks were real and present threats and constantly working to corrupt souls for the power of darkness? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Allow me to explain.
There are not an insubstantial number of Christians who believe that by allowing children to participate in Halloween-related activities that parents across this country are unwittingly serving them up to the black abyss of Satanism by normalizing and worshiping the symbols of evil.
I was raised in one of these households. Every year, we would wear normal clothes and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids along with Chick Tracts which–for those of you who never had your innocuous candy-gathering ritual ruined as a child–are religious comic strips conveying the message of how awful and terrible Halloween is and how it will probably make you “die in your sins.”
Chick Publications’ website has this parenting advice: “If you allow your children to participate in Halloween (Trick or Treating, costume parties, etc.) you are allowing them to play on ‘the devil’s turf,’ and Satan will definitely press his home court advantage. You are opening up doorways into their young lives for evil by bringing them into a kind of ‘fellowship’ with these ancient ‘gods.’”
Here is a panel from one tract called “The Devil’s Night,” in which Li’l Eunice tells Li’l Hortense about the origins of Halloween:
I asked Act Classy’s own Robert Isenberg–the closest thing we have to a resident historian–how close this Chick Lit came to actual history:
Nobody really knows where Halloween comes from. [Chick has] subscribed to the common theory that Halloween comes from Samhain [the Gaelic festival marking the end of harvest]. Not surprisingly, he has completely misinterpreted it.
The holiday is more of the Celtic feast, and ancestral souls were usually welcome in their old homes (or at least as welcome as they were before they died). Some of the spirits were nefarious, and some people believe that that’s where the costume idea came from — to scare off the baddies. But yeah, modern Halloween has as much to do with early medieval feast days as St. Patrick’s Day has to do with fifth-century patron saints.
Back on the Chick website, rumors that terrified the nation in the early 1980s are brought into play:
The widespread problem of harmful substances such as razor blades, drugs, poisons, needles, etc. being placed in the Halloween treats here in America is no accident. Testimonies of several ex-Satanists show that these children killed and injured by the “treats” are sacrifices to Satan (or Samhain). Satanists throughout the world continue to perform human sacrifices on Halloween. Is this something you want YOUR child to participate in?
Never-mind that in the few documented cases of sharp-crap-shoved-in-apples no one was killed, and they were traced back to cruel children pulling a dangerous prank, and poisonings of candy are a myth; ex-Satanists swore to it!
An average Chick Tract will present a regular Halloween related situation (trick-or-treating, dressing up in school, etc), show how it is forced upon the unwilling (who can just feel that something is terribly EVIL about the whole thing), then show that this totally innocuous thing is actually being directly manipulated by the Devil, and then how it will inevitably lead to you dying and burning in Hell for all eternity.
Take Timmy and his friends: he succumbs to peer pressure and goes into a Haunted House, even though his mother told him he was not allowed to do so. Terrified beyond belief at the horrors he encounters, Timmy flees into the street and is instantly killed by a car and sent to hell for all eternity.
I can’t help but wonder that if his parents had told him that the scary people in “Haunted Houses” are just otherwise unemployed actors straining their vocal chords by screaming for a minimum wage and not actual witches communing with the spirit realm in order to harvest your blood, maybe he wouldn’t have overreacted.
Following these harrowing tales is information about Jesus Christ and how he and Satan don’t get along and information on how to ask for Jesus’ help in saving yourself from all these Halloween shenanigans.
Look, I realize I’m taking a pretty sarcastic tone here, but I’m really not trying to knock anyone’s heartfelt religious beliefs. I do think, however, that these pamphlets are a bit much. Sure, there is such a thing as The Church of Satan (which doesn’t believe in either God or the Devil), and there are people who consider themselves practicing witches (who are probably just hippies). If you want to believe that they are evil, if that’s your religion, FINE! But they’re not sacrificing children on Halloween to summon demons into this world. Do you honestly think that shit wouldn’t make it to YouTube or Fox News or Nancy Grace if they were?
Satan (if you choose to believe in him too) isn’t going to possess the souls of your children because your neighbors gave them some M&Ms, he’s going to do it if they say “penis” or “vagina.” So please, I implore you: let your kids have fun on Halloween. Or at the very least don’t ruin someone else’s Halloween by telling them how awful they are for having a costumed sugar party.