Sunday, October 28, 2012


Like most children, when I was young I loved Halloween. My sister and I probably started planning our costumes during summer vacation, and we eagerly went door-to-door collecting candy and enjoying the spooky displays at our neighbors houses on Halloween. When I became a teenager, I liked to go to Knott's Berry Farm for their Halloween Haunt. Although I never liked horror movies, I remember that I really enjoyed being scared at Knott's. Halloween always seemed like so much fun.

However, I perceive Halloween in a different light now.

In the last few years, as I went through the nightmare of Michael's illness and his passing, I grew in my faith and understanding of the Word. One of the outcomes of that was that I began to view Halloween differently than I had before. I honestly have no problem with children dressing up - they love to do that. Or eating candy - a little candy doesn't hurt. And we love our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. It's the the dark and macabre aspects of Halloween that repulse me. Our world has become so violent and dangerous that some of the things associated with Halloween are featured on the nightly news - torture, death, the occult, etc. Think about it. Why would I want to subject my precious daughter to a "holiday" that is about such dark things?

When Michael and I were married, we carved our pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern. And we either passed out candy at home, or went down to Belmont Shore for dinner and to watch the trick-or-treaters. We longed for the day when we'd have a little one so that we could join in the fun.

Now, I'm raising that little one, and I am going to try to take a different approach with Michaela. The Bible says:

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial (a demon)? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you[b] are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”[c]
17 Therefore
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,

And I will receive you.”[d]
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”[e]

I've italicized and bolded the part of this passage from 2 Corinthians 6 that came to mind when I thought about spiritual reasons for avoiding Halloween. Furthermore, followers of Christ are to be in the world, but not of the world (Romans 2:12). We are supposed to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). The way we live our lives should make us a "peculiar people" (1 Peter 2:9). I cannot ignore these verses, and embrace Halloween.

So, we are blessed that Michaela has cousins who are triplets and that they celebrate their birthday this time of year with a big costume party. This gives us an occasion to get dressed up and have lots of fun. However, on Halloween night, we will not participate in the goings-on. She's much too little now to know that she's missing out on anything, and I never really understood adults who carry their infants around just so they can collect candy. Not my thing. I have agreed to wear a costume for the Halloween parade at school this year, but next year I'm going to take a stand and not participate. I will not broadcast my reason why, but I'll just decline to wear a costume. Speaking of school, do you know how many little boys (primary graders) I have seen over the years wearing Scream and Freddie Kruger costumes? Too many! That's just disturbing to me.

Perhaps next year, we will attend a local church's Fall Festival for some fun, but we are going to be a peculiar family in the spirit of honoring our Lord and His word and not participate in Halloween.

In closing, if you and your family love Halloween, please don't take this as a condemnation. My perception about Halloween impacts Michaela and me. Everyone has to do what's best for their own children based on their spiritual values and understanding.


  1. Joannah, we didn't have Halloween in England when I was growing up it is only since I moved here that I learnt it could be such a big deal. We used to say, stay inside the witches are out and little ones never ventured out. END OF STORY.

    I agree it is very disturbing to see tiny kids in costumes from horror movies, movies so disturbing that I as an adult have never seen them.

    My girls dress up, they go to school in costume but have strict guidelines and we go to a gathering at night. I try to stay out of the house because some of the people that knock on the door scare them and it is wrong for them to be scared in their own home.

    Stick to your morals and beliefs.

  2. Thanks, Dawn! If it were only about dressing up and eating candy, right? :)

  3. I love your honesty in this post Joannah, and I found that we share many of the same sentiments. I teach Sunday School at our church, and I just shared with our 5th grade class that Halloween was designed to instill fear--no matter how innocent that fear may seem, the bible is very clear that He does not want us to live in fear...even if for a single night. I am choosing not to participate in Halloween either. The is no harm in dressing up as long as we don't set up to scare others. We will be attending church with our family this year, but in the years ahead, I look forward to spending the holiday at church events or fall festivals.


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