The Real Horror in Halloween
by Rev. Teresita Matos-Post
There was a time when Christian brothers and sisters in the faith in Jesus Christ had the respect of their communities.  When they called out the evils of the world, people would listen and follow suit.  Their word had authority.  In part, people could see in them the kind of authority that came from their transparency, compassion, mercy, and love.  When you encountered one of them healing would take place.  People’s lives were transformed.

Communities started to change with the development of commerce and technology.  Other voices started to exert authority and lure the hearts of the people, including the hearts of those who proclaimed Christ as their Savior.  The new culture embraced celebrations of other cultures, including some festivities that were said to have been off limits to the Christian community for so long.  All Hallows Eve, also known as Halloween, became just as popular as Christmas.  People loved dressing up in costumes and handing out candy to kids in their neighborhood.  A practice that seemed harmless, innocent, and at times beneficial, as it provided an opportunity to finally meet their neighbors. 

However, there were Christian groups who vehemently refused in participating in this evil celebration.  To them it was clear that to participate in this festivity, it was equal to worshipping the devil and its demons.  Because of their faith and fear of offending God they would abstain from celebrating Halloween.  Intellectually it made sense. At a biblical level, it was clear, because Halloween could be categorized under the ancient definition of “pagan celebrations” that scripture points as something God despises. Spiritually it was wise counsel.

Some God-fearing Christians would use technology to warn other Christians of the fatal mistake they were making in allowing their children to dress up for Halloween.  Out of love they would call out this evil, because their brothers’ and sisters’ salvation was at risk.  If they were to look the other way, there would be a judgement day, when Jesus himself, would hold them accountable for not saying something.  And that is a scary thing!

But not many seemed to listen or to care.  What was happening?

The God-fearing Christians decided they could not bear to see so many souls at the expense of the evil one.  Something had to be done. They gathered and decided to recruit a team of five spies, strong in the faith, gifted in the Spirit to infiltrate in the pagan activities that would take place that one night of the year.  They were to have conversations with the people to find out why they no longer took heed to their warnings.

Here are their findings:

LOCATION:  Urban Setting, Poorest City in New Jersey
OBJECTIVE: Gather information about the satanic practices taking place Halloween night.
INFORMANT:  Single mother of two girls.
FINDINGS:  The informant’s female children were dressed up as the popular princesses.  The mother reported how this activity would lift up the morale of the children.  Once a night they were princesses. For once they would benefit from the generosity of their neighbors.  They would be able to eat the brand of candy they could not afford.  The mother would save the surplus of candy to put a treat in their lunch boxes the rest of the year.  About the message of our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, the informant reported: “When we have been in dire need of food no one from that group have retuned our calls. In fact, we once visited their worship, and the preacher said the poor were poor because we did not work hard enough.  “Pull yourself by your bootstraps”, he said.  I work two jobs and still struggle to put food on the table.   I thought Jesus said to feed the hungry.  I know for a fact they feed themselves after worship.”

LOCATION:  Downtown Park
OBJECTIVE:  Why adults engage in Halloween?
INFORMANT:  Adult male dressed up with ragged clothes
FINDINGS:  Informant proceeded to clarify this is what he wears every day.  “I’ve been in this park for the last 6 months; What took you so long to speak to me?”

LOCATION:  Gas Station, Hipster Town USA.
OBJECTIVE:  Teenagers dressed up as zombies, why?
INFORMANT:  14-year-old male.
FINDINGS:  The informant was apprehensive to engage in conversation.  He reported most adults do not acknowledge him, let alone talk to him.  He reported that dressing up as a zombie allows him to fantasize about the possibility of immortality.  “No one can touch you.”  About the warning from his youth pastors about the danger in celebrating this night, he responded:  “I see evil every day, and I do not hear them talking about that.  I was supposed to be strong when my best friend died of an overdose; I was supposed to pray away my inclinations to kiss they boy I liked but nothing happened.  They told me God would heal my heart and help me get over my parent’s divorce.  When I said I was contemplating suicide, they shut down the conversation.  It seems that if I were to be okay with God I had to do all the work by myself.  They left me alone when I needed a family the most.”

LOCATION:  Emergency Room
OBJECTIVE:  How many are affected by the evils of this night.
FINDINGS:  The informant was attending a young African American man with a gunshot wound.  He was found wearing a dark hoodie and a Jason mask. When asked about the relationship between Halloween and the horror this young man was enduring the informant responded: “This happens here every day, no one seems to care.  That is the horror.”

OBJECTIVE:  What older generations think about the evil of this festivity?
INFORMANT:  86-year-old female; widow
FINDINGS:  The informant responded: “It is the only night someone knocks at my door.”

When all the findings were gathered, the spies did not know what to report back to the God-fearing Christians.  They were still convinced that celebrating Halloween was evil.  But they certainly heard their neighbors’ stories and could not find evil in them.  What they did find was a deep void in their own hearts, and how profound the need was in their community.  Needs they were unaware of.  How did they become so disconnected?  They decided it was important to share their findings with their leaders.  Something must be done.

One night all the elders, pastors, deacons, lay members, teachers, and evangelists gathered to hear the spies’ report.  The God-fearing group listened intently.  Some gasped, others nodded.  In the end, one of the spies asked, “So, what do we do now?”

To his disappointment, the eldest and “wisest” of them all patted the one spy on the shoulder and in a deep sigh he responded: “Love the sinner, hate the sin. We will keep denouncing this evil festivity year after year.”  

Have a blessed All Hallows Eve and let us remember all the saints who gave their lives to be in mission with the disenfranchised, by becoming one with them.