What does the Bible teach about the holiday of Halloween?

“And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest.”(Ephesians 2: 1-3 NASB)


Lately, the Halloween holiday, which was not known before and was not celebrated here, is starting to become more and more popular among Romanians. What is the origin and significance of this holiday? How should we Christians relate to it?

In order to understand the essence of this holiday and how it relates to the teaching left by God on the pages of the Holy Scriptures, it is important to first understand…

What is Halloween?

The Wikipedia encyclopedia tells us the following:

Halloween is a holiday of Celtic origin, taken today by many peoples of the Western world, it spread in the nineteenth century through Irish immigrants from the United States. It is celebrated on the night of October 31, although in some countries the date of the holiday varies, for example in Sweden it is celebrated on the first Saturday in November. The name comes from the English word, from the expression All Hallows’ Even, the name of the Christian holiday of all saints, a holiday with which Halloween became associated in countries where Western Christianity predominates – Catholic and Protestant, because in these Christian cults the day of all saints is celebrated on November 1st. Specific for Halloween is the carved pumpkin, which represents Jack’s Lantern. On this holiday, children disguise themselves as wizards, mummies or other characters and carol around the houses asking: “Trick or Treat?” as a threat that if they are not given sweets, the caroled person will be pranked. In other countries, Halloween is celebrated through parades and carnivals.


The history of Halloween

The same Wikipedia article tells us the following:

Historian Nicholas Rogers, who explored the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, the holiday is most often associated with the Celtic festival Samhain, originally written Samuin. The name comes from Old Irish and means “end of summer”. The Samhain Festival celebrates the end of the “light half” of the year and the beginning of the “dark half” and is sometimes considered the “Celtic New Year”. The ancient Celts believed that the boundary between this world and the afterlife weakened on the day of Samhain, allowing spirits, good or bad, to cross it. The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home, while evil spirits were driven away. It is believed that the need to ward off evil spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. They drove away evil spirits, disguising themselves as evil spirits to avoid them. In Scotland, the role of spirits was played by young people dressed in white with masked or blackened faces. Samhain was a time when winter supplies were made and animals were slaughtered to keep meat over the winter. Campfires also played a role in festivities. All other fires were lit from the great fire. The bones of the slaughtered animals were also thrown into the fire. Sometimes two fires were lit side by side, and people and animals passed among them as a ritual of purification.

The reader will then wonder if the holiday was originally called Samhain…

What is the origin of the name “Halloween”?

In 835 Pope Gregory IV changed the day of celebration of all martyrs from May 13 to November 1. Later, this holiday was called “All Saints Day.” The night before this holiday, the evening of October 31, it was called All Hallow’s Even or “Holy Evening” which in translation means the evening or night of all the saints. Then the name was shortened to the way we know it today – Halloween.

What do people celebrate on Halloween?

It is obvious that in our world today no one remembers the saints and this evening has been transformed into one when people imitate evil spirits, skeletons, black cats, all kinds of horrors and seem to imitate unclean spirits through all their actions. History shows us that the Catholic Church in the person of Pope Gregory IV tried to replace a pagan holiday with a Christian one, but as a result the pagan and devilish holiday completely absorbed in itself any Christian aspect of the holiday.

What does God say about Halloween practices?

On Halloween, adults and children dress up as wizards, and adults use occult practices and call the dead, being also masked in all that is evil. In the book of Deuteronomy God commanded:

“When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, a soothsayer, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who consults the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God is going to drive them out before you. You are to be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations, which you are going to dispossess, listen to soothsayers and diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14 NASB)

Then in the book of Leviticus this commandment is repeated:

‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.’ (Leviticus 19:31 NASB)

It is absolutely clear that all these practices celebrated on Halloween, even in the form of jokes, are an abomination before God and defile people. We Christians must keep as far away from them as possible.

The early Christians abandoned evil practices and condemned them

The Bible teaches that there is a spiritual, invisible world that is waging a great struggle against Christians. There was a lot of magic and spiritism in the city of Ephesus. Here is what the Scriptures tell us about the context of the city of Ephesus and how these evil, devilish spirits were confronted when Paul came and preached the gospel:

“And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, having discussions and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took the disciples away with him, and had discussions daily in the school of Tyrannus. This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had the evil spirits, saying, “I order you in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches!” Now there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, doing this. But the evil spirit responded and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know of Paul, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit, pounced on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. Also many of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they added up the prices of the books and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing and prevailing mightily.”(Acts 19: 8-20 NASB)

Precisely because many wicked and devilish things were done in the city of Ephesus through the spiritism and magic that were there, the apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Christians in Ephesus and taught them and us…

To be aware of the presence and strategies of unclean spirits

Chapter 2 of the Epistle to the Ephesians begins:

“And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest.” (Ephesians 2:1-3 NASB)

According to these verses, everyone who does not know Him and has not received the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior personally now follows the course given by the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, that is, in those who have refused and refuse to live according to the teaching of God and who live according to the lusts of their earthly nature. People believe that they are free and declare themselves free, but in reality they are dead in their mistakes and sins and are slaves of the devil. Aren’t they like ignorant slaves, like zombies on Halloween celebrating their bondage and the tragedy they are in? Christians have been delivered from this ignorance, and God teaches us this:

“So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.” (Ephesians 4:17-19)

We are to preach the gospel to the heathens, that is, to those who do not know the Lord Jesus and who have a dark mind, being strangers to God because of the ignorance in which their heart is hardened. On Halloween, they indulge in abominations, fornication and greedily commit any kind of uncleanness. Let us tell them about this, but let us do it with love and show them the love of God that was poured out in the Lord Jesus Christ. We Christians must also…

Be aware and lead the spiritual struggle to which we have been called

In the same Epistle to the Ephesians, towards the end, the apostle Paul says to the believers in Ephesus words that are of great importance to all Christians of all times and, therefore, to us:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18 NASB)

Halloween is a direct confrontation between the forces of darkness and God’s children. Therefore, let us put on the whole armor of God and proclaim to men the truth of God’s Word so that they may be saved.

Translated by Olya Trikolich