I’ve barely begun and already I know that this will be a difficult post.
Growing up, my family never really celebrated Halloween. I think I went trick-or-treating once. It was cold, dark and rainy. Naturally reserved me didn’t find it fun to knock on stranger’s doors, no matter how much candy I had the potential of getting. I recall going to two, maybe three, church Harvest Festivals. My parents explained to me, in age appropriate ways, the origins of Halloween and what witchcraft was really about. I didn’t want anything to do with a night set aside for darkness, no matter how innocent it might’ve seemed.
When I went back to school for a theology degree a couple of years ago, one of the first classes I took involved the study of major world religions and philosophies. Looking over the syllabus, I dreaded the week we would spend on paganism, witchcraft and Satanism. This was all from a Christian perspective, mind you, and I am very much in favor of knowing the opposing team’s playbook, so to speak. I just wanted to get through that week as fast as I possibly could.
I learned that covens and Satanic churches view Halloween as one of their high holy days. I read about more than a few instances of child kidnapping. About ritualistic human sacrifice. The conjuring of demons. Astral projection. Spell casting.
Call me crazy, but that made me want to have even less to do with Halloween.
Unfortunately, I have worked to conceal my inner revulsion, peer pressure being what it is and all that. The last couple of years, I’ve participated in my own church’s “Trunk-or-Treat” event. I understand the idea behind it. Kids can come to a safe place, get a little candy, play some games and maybe get loved on. None of that is bad. I don’t think that dressing in costume is a sin. I don’t think that participating in Harvest Festivals has anything to do with being saved.
What I do think is that I can’t participate anymore. Not after the breakdown I went through a few weeks ago.
You see, I know, beyond doubt, that Satan is real and that his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. When I sat on my couch and made ready to carry out my suicide plan, I felt my heart within his icy grasp. I’m not saying that people who kill themselves automatically wind up in Hell. I believe that I would have gone to be with God, but the way in which I got there would have very much been against His will. So, Satan couldn’t take my eternal destiny away from me, but he could certainly take joy in jumping on my self-torture and adding his own hissing voice to it.
I am alive today only because of the perfect timing of the Lord, who brought my husband walking through the front door before I could leave. If I did not believe that He orchestrates things perfectly before, I do now. I’m telling you that I’d be dead if not for Him. Satan would have loved that.
I’ve read several articles by those who have come out of the occult who won’t have anything to do with Halloween (or horror movies, for that matter). They know the reality of evil. I don’t pretend to compare my experience to theirs, but I know that Satan delights in convincing us that things are “harmless fun.” How many kids will play with Ouija boards tonight? How many will dress up as vampires, ghosts, zombies, serial killers? How many little girls will be Lady Gaga’s or some other hyper-sexualized “role model?”
My husband and I are supposed to go to “Trunk-or-Treat” tonight. We said that we’d be part of a group costume effort. I wish I’d been honest about my discomfort with Halloween before now. There’s a significant chance that we won’t make it anyway, due to his work schedule. I won’t be sad if we miss out on the event. I have no judgments against those who will be there. They’re my friends; my brothers and sisters in Christ. I don’t for a second think that any of them is endorsing evil.
It’s just…well, this night isn’t innocent or fun.
For all the posts in the What Depression Means to Me series, go here.
6 thoughts on “What Depression Means to Me: Halloween”
Halloween is challenging for me as well. I honestly don’t know how much I’ve told you about my college years, but to put this all into a readers digest version I spent probably 10 years of my life as a practicing pagan and admittedly find myself falling back into it on occassion, especially when life gets challenging. Halloween is really the hardest holiday for me because it was so central to my pagan beliefs, and falling just prior to my birthday, it was my favorite holiday growing up.
I understand what you mean about the darkness, and having had a particularly trying past couple weeks I just look forward to it all being over.
I hope this evening turns out to be positive for you and as always thank you for sharing your blog.
Marie, we never did Halloween when the kids were growing up and I was surprised at how easy it was to tell others that we were not participating. We even took the kids out of school if the events were going to be focused on the ghost-and-goblin type Halloween stuff. Some folks were curious why we did not take part in Halloween and we told them, but not one person was bold – or rude – enough to say that we were wrong or depriving our children. (And our kids were fine with it, since we let them in on the fact that all that candy went on sale the next day and we’d buy them a couple bags to have around the house; but please don’t tell my MIL dental hygenist!) You might be surprised as well that no one whose opinion matters to you will have any criticism about not going to the harvest festival.
God is with you as much on Halloween while all that stuff is going on as on any other night of the year. And I’ve seen the end of the story. God won. Us too, in him.
Yay indeed, Tim!
Bless your heart Marie! Love ya lots….
Funny that All Saints Eve is actually the one Christian holiday that was not originally a Christianized pagan holiday. Poor children would go door to door and beg for “soul-cakes” to be fed and to honor the believers that have passed before them. We predate the Celts and have documentation that says it all started in the church. I’m all about redeeming “stuff” including holidays that the enemy may attempt to hijack. I don’t want to give him an inch in my head or heart.
There’s a lot of conflicting reports as to the background of the holiday. All I know is that I won’t be participating in Halloween events anymore. I think it’s one of those things that up to the individual.