Halloween's Pagan Roots

Most of us know Halloween to be an American celebration. This is not entirely true. It's roots are in fact pagan and originate from the Celts. Today Halloween festivities have seeped into most first world countries as a fun time to dress up and go trick or treating. I used to think it something fun to do with my kids when they were younger, however, I have since learned the dirty truth about this seemingly innocent and fun activity and have spoken out about it ever since.

Since becoming a believer in Jesus Christ of Nazareth I speak out about it even more. It is essential we recognize how Satan so easily deceives people, especially Christians in the name of innocent fun. There's nothing innocent about it and it's certainly not fun for those who are impacted by the severe increase in demonic activity on this date.

It is essential as believers in Jesus Christ of Nazareth that we know what God rebukes and considers evil. Halloween is definitely one of these things. It celebrates death and there is nothing fun and festive about it. 3 John 1:11 says, "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." Halloween is a pagan traditional ritual, and therefore, evil. Below, I have included a great article written by the late esteemed Dr. Chuck Missler, one of my favourite teachers on Bible Study for you to read. It says it all and vital for every believer in Jesus Christ to seriously consider.

"This is always a difficult time for Christians, especially those with children. It has been suggested that for a Christian to be asked to celebrate Halloween is like asking a Holocaust survivor to celebrate Hitler's birthday!

It is also a dangerous time for some, since many of the seemingly "harmless" involvements associated with Halloween can also be "entries" for the occult, and can prove very tragic for the unwary.

Pagan Background

In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, the end of summer. November 1 was the new year for both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon calendars and was one of the most important and yet sinister calendar festivals of the Celtic Year.

Settling in northern France and the British Isles, the Celtic people engaged in occultic arts and worshiped nature, giving it supernatural, animistic qualities. (Much like our Federal government is attempting to enforce today.)

The ancient Druids were the learned priestly class of the Celtic religion. Many of their beliefs and practices were similar to those of Hinduism, such as reincarnation and the transmigration of the soul, which teaches that people may be reborn as animals. The Druids believed that on October 31, the night before their New Year and the last day of the old year, Samhain, the Lord of Death, gathered the souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals.

The Druids also believed that the punishment of the evil dead would be lightened by sacrifices, prayers and gifts to the Lord of Death. (This begins to reveal the strange link between this holiday and the non-Biblical concept of purgatory.)

The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired a sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature.

And, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther drove a stake into the heart of many of the prevailing non-Biblical concepts by nailing his famous 95 theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, which started the movement known today as the Reformation - the single most important event in modern history. Appropriately, he did this on Halloween.

Modern Halloween Traditions

In early American history, Halloween was not widely practiced until the 20th century, when it was introduced by the Irish Catholic settlements. Gradually, Halloween became a secular observance, and many customs and practices developed. The carved pumpkin may have originated with the witches' use of a skull with a candle inside to light the way to coven meetings.

Since 1965 UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations, has attempted to incorporate into the Halloween observance the collection of money for the United Nations Children's Fund. This exploitation by the ungodly United Nations of this pagan holiday seems strangely appropriate.

The Occult is Increasingly Popular

Halloween is, for many, a "crossover" involvement in which innocent games can lead to serious entanglement with real witches, neo-pagans, New Agers, and other occultists. A common pastime is the use of a Ouija board to attempt to contact ghosts or spirits that are believed to be roaming about. This can lead to serious consequences including demon possession. Demons have a vested interest in Halloween because it supports the occult, and it also offers novel and unexpected opportunities to control and influence people.

Forms of the occult can include mediums, channelers, clairvoyants, psychics, spiritists, diviners, mystics, gurus, shamans, psychical researchers, Yogis, psychic and holistic healers, astral travel, astrology, mysticism, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, contact with the dead, UFOs, and thousands of other practices which almost defy cataloging.

Occultism includes Satanism, astrology, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, theosophy, witchcraft and many forms of serious magic. It includes activities seeking the acquisition of "hidden" things - which are expressly forbidden by God in the Bible.

The Biblical View

Halloween practices can open the door to the occult and can introduce forces into people's lives that they are not equipped to combat. There is genuine power in the occult, but it is demonic power.

Any serious study of Biblical demonology will reveal Satan as the power behind false religion, witchcraft, idolatry and the occult. The Word of God makes it clear that these are all to be shunned as dangerous. There were many superstitions and false concepts in ancient Israel about which the Bible is silent. However, occultism, in any form, was punishable by death! Why?

The spiritual power and reality behind idols involves demons. The Bible commands us to shun occult practices. Mediums and spiritists are expressly prohibited. Nowhere are such practices acceptable.

A Halloween Project?

Every year, many people are perplexed as to how to deal with the children's celebrations surrounding Halloween. On the one hand, participating in the perpetuation of the usual pagan (and occultic) rituals are hardly the enterprise of a Biblical Christian. On the other hand, creating constructive alternatives can be challenging.

Many churches and families organize a "Harvest" festival with games, prizes, etc., as an alternative party opportunity. These are gaining widespread interest and are to be encouraged. Organizing a drama event to involve the older children is an alternative candidate; such an effort could include Saul and the Witch of Endor, from 1 Samuel 28, as a play. [The winning scripts resulting from a play-writing contest held a few years ago are available through K-House.]

Your Protection

Intellect alone is insufficient. "If it were possible, it would deceive the very elect." This is another example of the necessity to truly understand the Armor of God as outlined in Ephesians 6. This brief review was excerpted from our featured briefing package, Halloween: Invitation to the Occult?

* * *


Missler, Chuck, Signs in the Heavens, The Mysteries of the Planet Mars Halloween: Invitation to the Occult? (briefing packages), Koinonia House, 1991-6.

Ankerberg, John, and Weldon, John, The Facts on Halloween, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996. A key reference for this article.

Sykes, Egerton, Who's Who in Non-Classical Mythology, J.M. Dent, London, 1993.

Patten, Donald Wesley, Catastrophism and the Old Testament, Pacific Meridian Publishing Co., Seattle WA, 1995.

Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996.

Also the video, Halloween: Trick or Treat, Jeremiah Films, Hemet CA

So we see Halloween’s roots can be traced back to a pagan origin. The pre-Christian Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all celebrated a festival for the dead. These ancients believed that on these occasions the spirits of the dead returned; therefore, food was left for them and lamps were kept burning so they would not lose their way. The Celtic order of Druids worshiped Samhain, lord of the dead, as well as a sun-god to whom the horse was sacred. On November 1st, which was also their New Year, they held a joint festival in honor of these gods.

On the eve of the feast of Samhain the pagan Celts used to keep bonfires burning, believing that this would protect them from evil spirits. The many features of today’s Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations can be traced directly back to paganism. The ancients associated this time of the year with the supernatural and with the thronging of dead spirits, so it was right in line with Catholic Church policy to adopt this date for their All Saint and All Souls Day. The people were thus able to keep their pagan customs and beliefs and still celebrate what are called Christian festivals of the highest rank. There is no questioning of the fact that Halloween is rooted in paganism.

It is essential that people digest the truth blaring at us from the Word of God emphasizing how dangerous the occult is. Many have rebuked God for His extreme actions when it came to dealing with pagan societies. This is not because He's a bloodthirsty narcissist. It's because HE KNOWS THE TRUTH! He knows who is at the root of the occult. SATAN. No matter what anyone argues regarding any form of occult practice being harmless the fact remains that the Word of God is truth and He forbids any form of participation. Having lived the New Age lie for 25 years of my adult life I have experienced the dangers first hand. There is NOTHING harmless about it.

What baffles my mind the most is why one would want to worship creation when the CREATOR of creation wants us to come directly to HIM! The One who gives everything that His creation cannot! I was one of these people who worshiped nature, crystals, angels, gods, goddesses, star being and other ridiculous "benevolent" alien beings etc. I hung my head in deep shame the first time I truly realized that God was there for me and how incredibly stupid I was for going to His creation rather than straight to Him - an open invitation He extends to all of us! How did I not see this?! How deceived was I to think that creation was more powerful than the Creator? I was super deceived because I did not understand the Word of God. I did not know any better. BUT, I had not made the effort to ask HIM to help me understand it because I didn't know I could. Ignorance, however, is not an excuse. The lack of knowledge regarding God's Word will cost us eternal separation from eternal life from Him and permanent spiritual death.

Seek the truth and you will find it. Do NOT get involved in this pagan tradition!

Shalom and may the Lord keep you and your family safe,

Michelle Manders

120 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All