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Where Did Halloween Come From?

During the Dark Ages, a number of pagan customs were adopted by the dominant Christian church in Europe. One of these was devil night, which was later named, “Halloween”. This special night, celebrated, since antiquity, as the night when the devils come out and walk about the streets, was a satanic festival on October 31 of each year. The next day was called “All Saints’ Day” (or Allhallows Day or All Souls Day), so “Halloween” was the name given to “hallows evening,” or the “evening before hallows day”). Like the night before it, Allhallows Day was dedicated to honoring the dead.


The Druids were an order of priests in Gaul (ancient France) and Britain. They were devil worshipers who told the people they must hold an annual celebration to their two leading gods: the Celtic sun god and their lord of the dead. On this night, the god who brings death —Satan— was worshiped in a variety of peculiar ways. This October 31 festival was named Samhain (or Sowein; both are pronounced “SAH-win”) or “summer’s eud.” The next day, the sun god was worshiped.


On the night of October 31, they believed the dead came out of the graves and walked around; so they offered up sacrifices and had special feasts to honor them. The priests of Druid taught them that if they did not do this, when they themselves died they would be reincarnated as animals instead of people.


But pretended communication with the dead is the basis of spiritualism (also called spiritism), which is one of the most dangerous practices in society; for it invites the control of demons! We should have nothing to do with anything connected with spiritism. And that includes participating in Halloween.


Druidic priests became nominally converted to Christianity when, in the early centuries, it entered their land (A.D. 433-475), and Druidic practices, including the October 31 festival to devils, came into the church (A.D 558) at that time. To pacify the followers of Druid, in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III (A.D. 731-741) declared November 1 to be a special feast day honoring the dead. In the ninth century, Pope Gregory IV (827- 844) said that it must be kept by all Christians. Church discipline would be enforced on those who refused.


It is of interest that November 1 was the first day of the Druidic New Year. This made the evening before very special. As might be expected, because the night of October 31 had for centuries been dedicated to devils, the new church ruling only intensified the celebrations that took place that night. The devils made sure of that. Soon Halloween (Hallowe’en, Allhallows Eve), originally a pagan festival, became the outstanding Christian event held every autumn.


Celebrations of all kinds took place. In Ireland, carvings on pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns (also known as will-o’-the-wisp, fox fire, fairie fire, friar’s lantern, and corpse lantern) were made. The legend was that a man named Jack had played practical jokes on the devil and bothered him, so the devil kept him out of heaven. Jack, therefore, had to live forever on earth carrying about a lit lantern, warning people not to offend the devil. The lesson for little children: Do not offend the devil.


Yet such teachings did not help either the people nor the morals of society. Throughout Europe, on this one night of the year, it soon seemed as if all the devils came out! Indeed, that was the hidden meaning of Halloween, and the wild excitement and orgies of the people on that night seemed to fulfill it.


The Druids believed that, on Halloween, ghosts, spirits, fairies, witches, and elves emerged from the woods and flew in from the skies to harm people. Those evil creatures must be placated with offerings of food. On that night, the Celts went with their children to one another’s house to gather food for the devil gods.


Animals were feared on that night also. Dogs, owls, snakes, and pigs were particularly worshiped on that night; but, among them, the cat was regarded with a special veneration. The Druid priests taught that cats —especially black ones— were sacred. This is why, today, we think of cats, as well as skeletons, pumpkins, skulls, and children with sheets over their heads (imitating ghosts), when we think of Halloween.


Druids were supposed to be able to cast spells and bring demon spirits into cats and similar animals. By believing those lies, the people feared the priests and were in bondage to do whatever they requested.


The Celtic priests also taught that witches ride on brooms through the skies on that night and fling down curses on those who do not honor the dead by taking part in the ritual ceremonies of that night.


As might be expected, Satan had introduced a similar October festival on the mainland of Europe among the Finns and Goths. However, it was the Druidic festival in Britain —and the date of that festival— which was adopted by the Vatican as the official harvest festival in honor of the dead.


After being adopted by nominal Christianity in the Dark Ages, the festival of Halloween spread throughout Europe and to most countries which they later colonized. Yet few today are aware that this holiday originated in paganism, not Christianity, and that it is the most dangerous “holiday” in the year. For long ages, Halloween has been a night especially dedicated to satanic agencies. Every October 31 we see the clearest evidence of that fact.


The Druid priests in North Wales taught that the devils came out of the fire on this night. So bonfires were lit, to bring them out in droves! This is why outdoor night fires are today considered a part of the Halloween experience.


In North Wales, each family was told to build a bonfire and then throw stones into it, to bring out the devils and placate the dead. Prayers were offered. In the Scottish highlands, fortune telling was done by clairvoyants during the bonfire celebrations.


The problem has become so serious in our time, that, a couple years ago in Detroit, Mayor Coleman Young reported that 281 fires occurred on that night, up 20 percent from the 223 fires set on the previous Halloween.


Another ancient Halloween practice was prognostication. Events of the forthcoming year (which began the next day) were predicted. The spirits were thought to give this information to the priests on that special evening. By accepting these speculations as truth, the people came to fear the power of the priests even more. It is well-known, among spiritist mediums, that those people who follow horoscopes and go to fortune-tellers are easier to control. If you want devils to harass your life, then go to the prognosticators, the fortune-tellers.

Our only safety is in fleeing to Christ and pleading for His protection. If we do that, regardless of our past, we will be safe.


Even today, it is at the time of this October devil festival that the psychics (a modern name for spiritist mediums) write down and publish their predictions of the following year’s events. (It is of interest that lists of these predictions made by mystics have been compiled —and then checked out the following year. Only rarely does even one predicted event occur.) Have nothing to do with fortune-telling, astrology, and horoscopes. Remember where they came from and the demon power controlling them.


After the papal edicts were given, adopting and “sanctifying” the October 31 festival into the church, the people were taught that, the next day, special masses must be said for the dead. Children were sent out to the homes on the evening before. The people were told to either give money or some other offering that night or fast the next day, so that departed souls might be released sooner from the suffering of purgatory. Because it was simpler to do, most gave Halloween offerings. In this way, the Druidic practice of begging food from home to home continued. The church of the Dark Ages was expert at absorbing pagan customs and then calling them “Christian.”

There are those today who have tried to “Christianize” Halloween Eve even more. They dress their children in Biblical costumes and celebrate Halloween as a “harvest festival”. But the origin of the night’s celebrations remains the same. We should not ape the world in observing special sacred days originated by Satan. Separation is needed, not compromise.


Vandalism on a major scale now plagues cities on that night. Not long ago, one U.S. city experienced three days of riots, arson, and mass destruction. For three days children and men seemed possessed, and the city seemed out of control.


Should we today celebrate this pagan night, which every witch, clairvoyant, wizard, and spirit medium will tell you is the outstanding occultic night in the year? Far better to keep our children home on that night, pray to God, and read the Bible! Dedicate year life anew to the true God, and shun the amusements and follies of the devil gods. Although very inviting, they will only bring you trouble and misery, confusion of mind, and an empty life without happiness.


To conclude this chapter, here are two significant statements by historians:


Druidic element: Unlike the familiar observance of All Souls, Halloween traditions have never been connected with Christian religious celebrations of any kind. Although the name is taken from a great Christian feast (Allhollows’ Eve), it has nothing in common with the Feast of All Saints and is, instead, a tradition of pre-Christian times that has retained its original character in form and meaning.
“Holloween customs are traced back to the ancient Druids . . Halloween fires are kindled in many places even now, especially in Wales and Scotland.
“Another, and more important, tradition is the Druidic belief that during the night of November 1 demons, witches, and evil spirits roamed the earth in wild and furious gambols of joy to greet the arrival of ‘their sea-son’ —the long nights and early dark of the winter months. They had their fun with the poor mortals that night, frightening, harming them, and playing all kinds of mean tricks.
“The only way, it seemed, for scared humans to escape the persecution of the demons was to offer them things they liked, especially dainty food and sweets. Or, in order to escape the fury of these horrible creatures, a human could disguise himself as one of them and join in their roaming. In this way they would take him for one of their own and he would not be bothered. That is what the people did in ancient times, and it is in this very form the custom has come down to us, practically unaltered, as our familiar Holloween celebration...
Roman element: In those countries that once belonged to the Roman Empire there is the custom of eating or giving away fruit, especially apples, on Holloween. It spread to neighboring countries: to Ireland and Scotland from Britain, and to the Slavic countries from Austria. It is probably based upon a celebration of the Roman goddess Pomona, to whom gardens and orchards were dedicated. Since the annual Feast of Pomona was held on November 1, the relics of that observance became part of our Holloween celebration, for instance the familiar tradition of ‘ducking’ for apples.” Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, 315-316.
“Our pagan forefathers kept several ‘cult of the dead’ rites at various times of the year. One of these periods was the great celebration at the end of the fall and the beginning of the winter (around November 1). Together with the practices of nature and demon lore (fires, masquerades, fertility cults) they also observed the ritual of the dead with many traditional rites. Since All Saints and All Souls happened to be placed within the period of such an ancient festival, some of the pre-Christian traditions become part of our Christian feast and associated with Christian ideas.
“There is, for instance, the pre-Christian practice of putting food at the graves or in the homes at such times of the year when the spirits of the dead were believed to roam their familiar earthly places. The beginning of November was one of these times. By offering a meal or some token of food to the spirits, people hoped to please them and to avert any possible harm they could do. Hence came the custom of baking special breads in honor of the holy souls and bestowing them on the children of the poor. This custom is widespread in Europe. ‘All Souls’ bread’ is made and distributed in Germany, Hungary, and in the Slavic countries.
“In some sections of central Europe boys receive on All Souls’ Day a cake shaped in the form of a hare, and girls are given one in the shape of a hen (an inter- esting combination of ‘spirit bread’ and fertility symbols). These figure cakes are baked of the same dough as the festive cakes that people eat on All Saints’ Day and which are a favorite dish all over central Europe. They are made of braided strains of sweet dough and called ‘All Saints’ cakes” (Heiligenstriezel in German, Strucel Swiateczne in Polish, Mindszenti Kalácska in Hangarian).” —Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, 312-313.
“Nearly all forms of ancient sorcery and witchcraft were founded upon a belief in communion with the dead . . This custom of consulting the dead is referred to in the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? Isaiah 8:19.
“The same belief in communion with the dead formed the cornerstone of heathen idolatry. The gods of the heathen were believed to be the deified spirits of departed heroes. Thus the religion of the heathen was a worship of the dead . .
“The deification of the dead has held a prominent place in nearly every system of heathenism, as has also the supposed communion with the dead. The gods were believed to communicate their will to men, and also, when consulted, to give them counsel. Of this character were the famous oracles of Greece and Rome.
“The belief in communion with the dead is still held, even in professedly Christian lands. Under the name of spiritualism the practice of communicating with beings claiming to be the spirits of the departed has become widespread. It is calculated to take hold of the sympathies of those who have laid their loved ones in the grave. Spiritual beings sometimes appear to persons in the form of their deceased friends, and relate incidents connected with their lives and perform acts which they performed while living. In this way they lead men to believe that their dead friends are angels, hovering over them and communicating with them. Those who thus assume to be the spirits of the departed are regarded with a certain idolatry, and with many their word has greater weight than the Word of God . .
“Modern spiritualism and the forms of ancient witchcraft and idol worship—all having communion with the dead as their vital principle—are founded upon that first lie by which Satan beguiled Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof . . ye shall be as gods.’ Genesis 3:4-5. Alike based upon falsehood and perpetuating the same, they are alike from the father of lies.” —Patriarchs and Prophets, 684-685
“In the name of Christ I would address His professed followers: Abide in the faith which you have received from the beginning. ‘Shun profane and vain babblings.’ 2 Timothy 2:16. Instead of putting your trust in witchcraft, have faith in the living God. Cursed is the path that leads to Endor or to Ekron. The feet will stumble and fall that venture upon this forbidden ground. There is a God in Israel, with whom is deliverance for all who are oppressed. Righteousness is the foundation of His throne.” Counsels on Health, 458


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