Halloween lore

To be honest, I’ve always had mixed thoughts about Halloween.

Growing up, my mom had conflicting feelings too.

We lived outside of a small town of around 200 people. My mom was big into walking. So almost every year, we walked into town on Halloween with flashlights if it wasn’t too cold out.

We would always stop at Aunt Grace’s house. Being a banker, she was always practical minded and handed out money to the kids. She would give us a roll of nickels or dimes. I’m not sure if she handed out the whole roll to the other kids.

My grandma always had 3 white sheet ghosts hanging from the big tree in front of her house. She liked to wear funny shirts like the one that said ‘I’ve got bats in my belfry’. She always had tons of candy. Grandma was always happy and smiled greeting the children in costumes. Those are the memories that I am most fond of.

At times, I walked around the neighborhood with older kids. I remember stopping at an old man’s house. He was probably in his 80’s Although in my young mind, he could’ve been 40. He handed us apples as a treat. APPLES!! We walked halfway down the block and smashed them. The bigger kids said that there could be razor blades in them. I still feel bad that the old man might have walked down the road and seen his wrecked apples. It was the 1980’s and in those days we heard stories about the Halloween candy being tampered with in some way.

I also heard stories of black cats being sacrificed and made sure my outdoor cats were locked up somewhere safe for the night. It seemed like a scary night to a worried child. Perhaps it was the one day that evil was allowed to seep into the world because it was invited in.

In the later years, my mom felt conflicted about the holiday after some friends kept their whole family hidden in the basement with their lights off. They thought that partaking in Halloween was akin to devil worship and would land them a prime spot in hell. Halloween has been associated with people doing evil things. I understand how people wouldn’t want their children involved in a holiday that celebrates evil.

When I had children of my own, I felt a little conflicted about the holiday too.

Don’t get me wrong…I love scary movies. I love wearing costumes and pretending to be someone else (alas my love for community theater). As a child I was obsessed with the Salem witch trials and read every book on it the library had. I abhor having lights on in the house. I am a big fan of black cats and the color black in general. I have a healthy fondness for candy.

Over the years we attended various churches…Some were of the opinion that Halloween was of the devil and the only way it should be celebrated is by handing out Christian literature to the children that come to their door…to children dressing up in Halloween costumes for Sunday service…

Who is right? How is a Christian supposed to act?

I can understand every viewpoint. What is wrong with not celebrating? Nothing…less money for the dentists..What is wrong with dressing up as an evil character?? Are you celebrating evil? Are you doing evil? What is your motive?? What is your intent? I personally don’t know anyone that spent the day drinking blood…or sacrificing animals despite the witch lore.

Paul and I decided that we would celebrate Halloween but only allow our young children to dress up in costumes that celebrated goodness. Over the years we had Tinkerbell, an angel, a cow, a mermaid, a cheerleader…I miss those days.




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