Preparing for Halloween
By Tillie Carson
Well, it’s that time of year again: the time when you can’t drive down the street without seeing inflatable witches and ghosts everywhere. Over the years there has been a lot of controversy over Halloween. Should Christians celebrate this holiday or not? For many, the answer is yes. Halloween is just a harmless time when the kids can dress up in fun costumes and go door to door asking for candy. But for others, it goes much deeper. Many Christians I have met simply do not know the history of Halloween. Personally, I feel that it’s an important thing to know, so I would like to take you with me back in time to find the origin of the second most popular holiday in the world.
For several hundred years before Christ, the Celts inhabited what is now France, Germany, England, Scotland and Ireland. Celtic priests were called Druids. It is not possible to separate Halloween from the Druids because they originated it. These Celts were eventually conquered by the Romans. Information about the Celts and Druids comes from Caesar and the Roman historians, Greek writings from about 200 B.C., and very early records found in Ireland. Greek and Roman writings about the Druids dwell heavily on their frequent and barbaric human sacrifices. The ancient Irish texts say little about human sacrifices, but detail the Druids’ use of magic to raise storms, lay curses on places, kill by the use of spells, and create magical obstacles. By 47 A.D., Rome finally defeated the Druids in Britain and outlawed human sacrifices. The few remaining Druids went underground.
Many people today think that Halloween was just the Celtic New Year, but November 1st was the Celtic New Year. October 31st was celebrated by the Druids with many human sacrifices and a festival honoring their sun god and Samhain, the lord of the dead. They believed that the sinful souls of those who died during the year were in a place of torment, and would be released to roam earth only if Samhain was pleased with their sacrifices. During their rituals they would dress in animal skins, or tree bark, hence the custom of the costumes and masks in an attempt to copy the evil spirits or placate them.
(Much of this information came from Davies*.)
The Druids believed that during the time of Samhain the division between the 2 worlds (our world) and the spirit world became very thin. This time enabled hostile supernatural forces to wander around our world as they wished. Because some animals and plants were dying (the start of winter), it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living.
“During this interval the normal order of the universe is suspended, the barriers between the natural and the supernatural are temporarily removed, the sidh lies open and all divine beings and the spirits of the dead move freely among men and interfere sometimes violently, in their affairs” –Celtic Mythology” p. 127
Today neo-pagans honour the death of a god, who is then reborn (Sun god). Samhain is one of the eight annual festivals, often referred to as ‘Sabbats’, observed by Wiccans. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and in some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities.
The tradition of trick-or-treat started when the Druids went door to door, dragging behind them on a rope the dead body of a male slave that they had bought and killed for this purpose. At each door they demanded the same thing: food for their feast. But many of the people were poor farmers who didn’t even have enough food for their own families, let alone a feast for Samhain. In those cases, the Druids took the eldest daughter or child for the sacrifice. After getting an offering, they would carve demonic faces into pumpkins, or large turnips, and place a candle inside them. (Today we call them Jack-o-Lanterns.) These were left at the door as a signal to the evil spirits that this family did their share and to stay away from them. If the farmers didn’t have anything for the sacrifice (no children) or just refused, then the priests would use the dead slave’s blood to paint a hexagram on the door. This signal told the evil spirits to kill one member in this house as punishment for not doing their share. Trick or Treat. The treat: either precious food, or more often, a precious child. The trick: One person in the household died that night, although most of the time it was out of pure terror!
“As darkness set in on October 31st, the clan of Druids would put on their white robes and hoods. They would carry sickles and Celtic crosses as they began a torchlight procession. At the beginning of the procession, a male slave was killed and dragged by a rope fastened to his left ankle. The Druids would walk until they came to a house or a village where they shouted the equivalent of ‘trick or treat.’ The treat was a slave girl or any female to be given to the Druids. If the people refused to a girl as a ‘treat’, blood was taken from the dead slave and used to draw a hexagram or six-pointed star on the door or wall of the village. Spirits of the ‘horned hunter of the night’ were invoked by the Druids to kill someone in that house or village by fear that night.” –-Meyer: Halloween and the Forces of Darkness
I find it very interesting to think about how the Israelites had to put lamb’s blood on their doorposts as a signal to the Angel of Death to pass over, and here the Satanists are painting with human’s blood on the door to tell demons to enter.
The tradition of bobbing for apples and giving out nuts came from a Roman addiction to the Druidic New Year’s eve. The Romans worshiped Pomona who was the goddess of the harvest. They combined their harvest festival to Pomona with Halloween.
Irish records tell of the fascination the Catholic monks had with the powerful Druids, and Druids soon became important members of their monasteries. Pope Gregory the Great decided to incorporate the Druids’ holiday into the church. He made the proclamation:
“They are no longer to sacrifice beasts to the devil, but they may kill them for food to the praise of God, and give thanks to the giver of all gifts for His bounty.”
Pope Gregory III moved the church festival of October 31st to November 1st and called it All Hallows, or All Saints’ Day. Pope Gregory IV decreed that the day was to be a universal church observance. The term Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve.
The founding fathers of America refused to permit the holiday to be observed because they knew it was a pagan holiday. Halloween was not widely celebrated in the U.S. until about 1900. In the 1840’s there was a terrible potato famine in Ireland which sent thousands of Catholic Irish to America. They brought Halloween with them.
Very little archeological evidence of the Druids has been found, but there is excellent agreement between the Roman and Irish documents. Both clearly state that the knowledge of the Druids was never committed to writing but passed from generation to generation by oral teaching. This was to protect their secrets. The same is true today. Nothing is put into writing. The druids continue on secretly with much the same traditions.
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. Every year the number of children hurt, killed, or just missing, rises. Testimonies of several ex-Satanists show that these children killed and injured by the “treats”, and sometimes worse, are sacrifices to Satan. Satanists throughout the world continue to perform human sacrifices on Halloween. Today, people think it’s fun to try to scare each other or be scared on October 31st, but can you imagine the pure terror if you had lived there so many years ago? It would be the farthest thing from fun!
As more and more youth of the culture are getting pulled into movies like Harry Potter, role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and computer role playing games like
World of WarCraft, they are digging into witchcraft. More and more of the youth today are becoming full witches, a little at a time, and they all know that Halloween is the best time to celebrate Satan.
I believe that many of the Christians who celebrate this “helliday” do so in ignorance. What am I suggesting? Should we be afraid of October 31st? Absolutely not! As Christians, we don’t need to fear the darkness of the devil, for we are protected by God Almighty! But I think that, perhaps, if more Christians knew the background of Halloween, they would not celebrate it. Let’s do what we can to show it to them! Let’s put it in pamphlets, hand them out at churches, and give them to trick-or-treaters that knock on your door. This year, let’s tell as many people as we can what they are celebrating. Let’s get this out!
* Davies was a 16th century writer who traced his family lineage directly back to Druid priests who fought against Caesar. He clearly describes the human sacrifices of his ancestors and the secret sacrifices still performed regularly by the Druids of his time. In his writings, Davies indicated that he came under much persecution for putting in writing his information about Druids.
In addition, I found the following resources helpful as well.
- Celebrations – The Complete Book of American Holidays, Robert. J. Myers, (Doubleday & Co., 1972).
- The Famous Druids, A. L. Owen, (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1962)
- The American Book of Days, George William Douglas, (H.W. Wilson Co., 1948).
- The Two Babylons, Rev. Alexander Hislop, (Chick Publications, 1998).
- The Force, Dr. Alberto Rivera, (Chick Publications.1984)
* Complete Book:
Hosea 4:6 (a)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Druids are recognised as a religion in Britain: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/10/03/britain-recognises-druidry-as-a-religion/
—————————Notes: 1) Images: Pumpkin 2) Images: Snap-Apple Night by Daniel Maclise