Halloween is rooted in the ancient Celtic feast of Samhain (pronounced sah-ween). The Druids believed that on the last day of the harvest season (October 31), the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world was pierced, allowing hoards of dead souls, demons, witches, and hobgoblins to flood into the physical realm to harass and torment the living. In order to make themselves immune from this attack they did three things: 1) They dressed up as witches, devils, and ghouls to avoid being recognized as humans. 2) At their homes they would attempt to ward off evil spirits by carving grotesque faces on gourds illuminated with candles. 3) They would leave a variety of treats and dead sacrifices at their doorsteps to calm and appease the spirits.
The Catholic church had the costume of praying to dead saints (necromancy) and remembering the martyrs of the faith. They were so many of them that coming up with one day to honor all of them at the same time was practical. The leaders of the Catholic church in alliance with the Roman government agreed to use the Samhain festival, to help drown the tradition of witches and ghouls and shift the attention of the people to remembering dead saints and praying for dead souls to be liberated from purgatory (a practice that contradicts the teachings of the Bible). This day was called All Saints Day or All Hallows Eve or Holy Evening (which morphed into today's word Halloween), and was celebrated on November 1st (one day after October 31). Unfortunately, today's culture celebrates Holy Evening (or Halloween) in the same way the Celtics did back then. Halloween intended to replace Samhaim, but both traditions were sprinkled with heresy and occult practices that the Bible condemns and prohibits.
STORY LINE OF HOW HALLOWEEN CAME ABOUT
– Romans conquered the Irish and the Celts in the first century, and their traditions got mixed: So Sahmain got mixed with two other Roman feasts for the dead: Feralia (celebrated on February 21) and Pomona the goddess of fertility (celebrated on Nov. 1). These Roman festivities were filled with debauchery, drunkenness, and orgies.
– The Catholic church, through political agreement with the Roman government decided to take over the Roman day of the dead and replace it with a day where all dead saints and martyrs of the Christian faith could be honored and remembered. They called it All Saints Day. The date of this celebration was changed several times in history and in 741 AD, Pope Gregory III decided to move All Saints Day to November 1st to highjack the pagan Celtic festivity of Samhain. Unfortunately, by 988, the Catholic church believers began celebrating this day with huge bonfires, parades and costumes, masquerading as dead spirits, saints, angels, and demons, in much resemblance to the Celtic pagan celebration.
– During the Irish potato famine in 1846, many Irish and Celt people migrated into America, and they brought with them the Samhain festival, which more profoundly influenced Halloween with occult practices. Today, Halloween is considered the high holy day of Satanists, where many evil and godless acts are performed.
– If an ancient Celt would participate in today's Halloween celebrations, he would feel right at home. The name Halloween means holy evening, but the current celebration of Halloween today can't be referred to as a holy evening. On the contrary, it has become the darkest day of the year and the prime day for the glorification of evil.
Christians should use October 31 and the days leading to it as an opportunity for instruction, intercession, communion, and adoration. We should dress up with love and the armor of God to pray for the deliverance of living souls from the power and consequences of sin. The trick is to treat Halloween as a strategic opportunity for redemption and not demonic glorification.