Pagan Origins of Halloween – Should Christians Take Part? :: by Geri Ungurean

So, here we are again; that dreaded holiday to born again believers – Halloween. Should we, or should we not participate?

First, let’s look at the origins of Halloween:

Wiccans love Halloween. So, I thought I would go to a Wiccan website to get the real scoop on Halloween, or as the Wiccans call it – Samhain.


Paganism/Wicca Expert

What is Samhain?:

Samhain is known by most folks as Halloween, but for many modern Pagans it’s considered a Sabbat to honor the ancestors who came before us, marking the dark time of the year. It’s a good time to contact the spirit world with a seance, because it’s the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.

So, the veil is thinnest between our world and the next? I guess that means that demonic activity is at its highest.

Pagan Wheel of the Year
Religious scholars agree that the word Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” but they’re divided on whether it means the end or beginning of summer. After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld. Samhain actually refers to the daylight portion of the holiday, on November 1st.

“After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld.” That sounds demonic, doesn’t it?

Around the eighth century or so, the Catholic Church decided to use November 1st as All Saints Day. This was actually a pretty smart move on their part – the local pagans were already celebrating that day anyway, so it made sense to use it as a church holiday.

Oh, did it make sense for the Catholic Church to adopt this pagan holiday? I suppose so, if the Catholic Church leaders are pagans.

All Saints’ became the festival to honor any saint who didn’t already have a day of his or her own. The mass which was said on All Saints’ was called Allhallowmas – the mass of all those who are hallowed. The night before naturally became known as All Hallows Eve, and eventually morphed into what we call Halloween.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if the Catholic leaders actually picked up a BIBLE and read it?

Honoring the Ancestors:

For some of us, Samhain is when we honor our ancestors who came before us. If you’ve ever done genealogy research, or if you’ve had a loved one die in the past year, this is the perfect night to celebrate their memory.

If we’re fortunate, they will return to communicate with us from beyond the veil, and offer advice, protection and guidance for the upcoming year.

“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:31)

Samhain Rituals:

Try one — or all — of these rituals to celebrate Samhain and welcome the new year.

Celebrating the End of the Harvest
Samhain Ritual for Animals
Honoring the Ancestors
Hold a Seance at Samhain
Host a Dumb Supper
Honor the God and Goddess at Samhain
Celebrating the Cycle of Life and Death
Ancestor Meditation [1]

Oh, by the way, Halloween is the witches’ “New Year.” And a Dumb Supper is one where they invite the dead to dine with them.

I think that most of us know that the little children going door to door, trick-or-treating, have absolutely no idea about the origins of this holiday. I would say that most of their parents probably do not know about the evils they are actually celebrating.

But those of us who are born again believers in Jesus Christ, and read our Bibles DO know that Halloween is the most evil day of the year. But the Lord knows the intent of our hearts. I must say that this is a very confusing time for many Christian parents and grandparents.

This is from This Christian man brings up very good points from Scripture; although he is a bit more tolerant of Halloween then I tend to be:

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

Since I did not become a Christian until my late teens, I do not recall ever having any spiritual issues with Halloween. For me, it was simply a day to dress in a costume, go out with friends, and get free candy. The worst things I ever did on a Halloween night were smash someone’s pumpkin and take a bunch of candy from someone who foolishly left the entire candy bowl on the doorstep with a note “Please only take one.”

My wife and I do not yet have any kids, so we have not had to deal with this question personally as parents. But, every year, I think a lot about what I would do if I had kids. Would I let my children celebrate Halloween? The bigger question: should Christians celebrate Halloween?

It is tempting to avoid this question entirely, as there are very strongly held viewpoints on both sides, and especially on the anti-Halloween side. As with many topics on, we will be attacked no matter what stand we take. If we go with the anti-Halloween crowd, we are attacked as legalistic fuddy-duddies who are failing to engage the culture. If we go with the pro-Halloween crowd, we are compromising with the world, or possibly even worshipping the devil. If we try to take a balanced approach, we are spineless, wishy-washy fence-straddlers. But, we can’t just avoid the topic entirely. Halloween occurs on October 31 every year, and as far as I know, there are no plans to cancel it.

The origin of Halloween is interesting. The modern day American celebration of Halloween is essentially a mixture of Samhain, All Saints Day (All Hallows Eve), All Souls Day, and numerous customs/traditions/myths from European and African immigrants. Throw in the commercialization that goes with every modern American holiday, and you have Halloween. Some reject Halloween based on its predominately pagan origins. While we should definitely take a holiday’s origins into account, I do not believe a holiday’s origin can alone be the deciding factor as to whether a Christian can/should observe it.

If the people who first put four wheels together, thus inventing the cart, bowed down to it in worship and used it to carry human sacrifices to the god of the dead, does that mean we should not drive cars? If an ancient culture poured out blood offerings in worship of sundials, should we not look at clocks or wear watches? If the days of the week were named after pagan gods…

There are many, many things in our modern culture that have very pagan and/or evil origins. There is no way to avoid them all. Ultimately, we can’t base our convictions on what some other culture did or believed about a certain event hundreds of years ago.

For me, the question is this: Is there anything about children dressing up in costumes, going to neighbors’ homes, and asking for candy that contradicts the Bible? Can Halloween be observed as merely those things or does it necessarily imply more?

However you answer those questions, you should follow your conviction. If you are not fully convinced that Halloween can be observed in an innocent way, you should not observe it.

“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)

“Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5)

Whether your family participates in the full trick-or-treat experience, or attends a local harvest festival, or goes to a prayer meeting, or stays at home with the doors locked and the lights out – make sure you are following the convictions you have based on your study of God’s Word (Hebrews 4:12). And, make sure you allow others to develop, grow, and mature in their convictions as well.

For my wife and I, I imagine we will be at home, with one of us dressed in a giant macaroni and cheese box, handing out candy, gospel tracts, and invitations to our church’s children’s program.” [2]

We should not be afraid of Halloween, nor fear the evil spirits which are most likely roaming about in droves upon the earth. But should we give into our secular culture and actually celebrate it? What does that say to our children about our beliefs? What does it say to our neighbors who know that we are Christians?

“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14-16).

What then should we do on Halloween? I can only tell you what my husband and I do. We carve a large Cross into a pumpkin with a candle inside. When the children approach our door step, they immediately see the Cross. We have candy for them, but we also have Christian tracts for children. The kids have come to expect them!

Here is a great source for the children’s tracts:

Living Waters store

For the older children (teenagers) we hand out Kristin Tracts. See them here:


Last year, a younger sibling of a teenager got hold of a Kristin tract. He came back to us (we sit outside). First he said that he liked our Cross in our pumpkin. Then he showed me the Kristin tract that his sister had given to him. He said to me “She died.” I was able to tell this little guy that Kristin did die, but that she loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all of her heart – and that when she died, Jesus took her right to heaven to be with Him forever. A HUGE smile came over the little boy’s face.

We are in this world, but certainly we are not of it. We are here to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What an opportunity to share with people who come right up to your door!

So, when you hear “Trick-or-Treat” this year make it a “Tract-and-Treat.”

Blessings in Jesus