The name Halloween is short for “hallowed eve.” This harkens back to when the Catholic church declared November 1 to be All Saints Day, in 835 A.D. Thus, the hallowed evening, the night before was contracted to the more simple form, Halloween. What images come to mind with Halloween? Death, darkness, gloom, doom. Zombies, the undead, witches, ghosts, spiders, skeletons. I issue a challenge. Name one redeeming aspect of Halloween. It’s a day all about evil. Halloween is the Devil’s Day.
Halloween is also the second most important day for classical Satanists, second only to one’s birthday. (The birthday comes first because Satanists are all about being self-centered.) It’s the high unholy day of witchcraft, dating back to the third century B. C. and the ancient Druids of Ireland and Celtic Gaul. It’s choice of date was rooted in agrarian cultures for whom this time of year was a season of cold and increasing darkness. It was believed to be the time when the veil between the living and the dead was most thin. It was a season when dead ancestors could come back to haunt the living, to trick them unless they were treated.
If Halloween is indeed the devil’s day, why did Satan need a particular day to focus on evil? The answer is simple. Satan abides by what I call the Law of Conservation of Evil Energy. You see, the devil isn’t omnipotent. God alone is all powerful, all the time. Not a single day since creation has the Almighty been bereft of his total power over creation. He has always had on every day unlimited power and authority. (Authority is the right to act and power is the ability to enforce an action. For example, a policeman may pull you over for speeding because he has the authority to do so. His badge and gun means he also has the power to make you stop.)
Omnipotent comes from the Latin omnis” meaning “all” and potens meaning “powerful.” Though the word omnipotent isn’t in the Bible, the word “Almighty” is. It appears in virtually every book of the Old Testament and a total of 345 times in the Bible. El Shaddai means “God most powerful” or “God Almighty.” Being omnipotent means God can do what He wants when HE wants to do it, except that he cannot do what is logically inconsistent with His nature. He can’t make the Earth flat or a round circle square. Most important, he can’t forgive sin without a sacrifice as it says in Hebrew 9:22: “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. (Remission in a biblical sense means forgiveness.)
At some point in antiquity, Satan selected the autumnal season which we know as Halloween as the time to marshal his forces. We don’t really know what the demonic logic was, but we do see the consequences of this choice. Horror movies of fear and fright are everywhere. Symbols of witchcraft and divination abound. Death and terror are on everyone’s mind. The devil must conserve his evil energy. He can’t do this at the same intensity every day. People would tire of it. It wouldn’t be “special” anymore to dress your child as a witch and mimic haunting spirts of the netherworld. But one day each year, and in fact the space between September 1 and October 31, is the time when fearfulness and dread, vampires and ghosts are most prevalent.
I may sound like a curmudgeon, but I don’t even like churches trying to co-opt the day with a “fall festival” of fun and games. Why acknowledge the night at all? However, even Protestants can honor the saints of old. That isn’t exclusively a Catholic thing. How about spending the evening readiing the Epistles of Paul? There’s a saint we can all honor. As for the rest of you, keep your conical hats and witches’ brooms. I won’t want your bats and “boos,” your tall tales and haunted houses, apparitions, and spooky owls. We declare with Joshua (24:15), “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” On Halloween and every day.