Redeemer University - Christian university changes everything. Starting with you.            Shure-wireless-excellence  Shure-wireless-excellence
Skip Navigation Links
Seeking God?

Visit this room to gather, learn and share with the Body of Christ

Halloween or Hallelujah!

Since Halloween is more than a harmless childhood celebration with costumes, candy and fun, how should we as Christians approach this event?

"Trick or treat? October 31st is a night for the kids (and their dentists!) when adults put their hands in their pockets to fill the sacks of little gremlins, ghosts and witches doing their rounds on Halloween."

It was thought to be the night when … the spirits of the dead sought the warmth and affection of the homes they once inhabited.

So started a light-hearted article in a local newspaper describing the origin and customs of this very ancient festival. To many Halloween is just harmless childish fun, especially as the Harry Potter books have recently made witchcraft and the occult user-friendly. But what is the real reason for this season of horror and fear, and how should Christians respond?

A witch in BC was quoted as saying, "This is probably our most holy night. All witches will celebrate, and sing and chant to bring the god forth to thank him and to feast with our ancestors." So beyond the superstition there is also an adult dedication to the spiritual world to restore the powers of darkness, the same powers that Jesus made a public humiliation of when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. Christians have had their minds opened to turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (see Acts 26:17). Why then should we want to have anything to do with a festival with a bad spirit behind it?

History is very clear—Halloween goes back thousands of years to the days of the ancient Celts in Europe. For them October 31st was the start of winter and also the start of their New Year. It was thought to be the night when the Lord of the Dead, Samhain, called forth the spirits of the dead to seek the warmth and affection of the homes they once inhabited. They were attended by other darker, hideous creatures: witches on broomsticks, demons, fairies and hobgoblins. This gave the villagers two problems:

What if the spirits were bad tempered when they arrived? And what if they liked it in the village and wanted to stay? They resorted to appeasing and soothing the spirits with offerings and gifts to stop them making mischief and making life miserable—hence the origin of trick or treat—a sort of protection money to ghostly blackmailers! And to discourage the spirits from staying they would dress up in disguise as creatures and in a magical way take on their powers and drive them away. Even the turnip (or pumpkin today) carved with a fearful demonic face, was designed to discourage the spirits from feeling comfortable. As a centre piece a huge bonfire was lit to attract the evil spirits away from the fires of home. Now should we really be involved in this, even if it is popular? I think not.

To sum up, Halloween, the cult of death, is a blatant demonstration of the occult and the ongoing spiritual battle we all face. So what do we do?


Let us separate ourselves from the defilement of this season. We are being transformed by the renewing of our minds and we will not be conformed to the world. We will separate ourselves to pleasing God and walking in holiness, filled with the Spirit and ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about spiritual issues (see Galatians 5:16—25).Let us be careful what we watch on TV. The build-up in October intentionally fosters fear and horror.


Use this opportunity to explain to others, especially our children, the dangers of occult involvement. Show them what the Bible teaches about such practices and assure them that God has triumphed over evil through Jesus Christ. Parents may want to visit their children's school principal and in a non-confrontational way ask that the occult not be given an emphasis in the classroom. And pastors, we should preach on these things clearly as we have the opportunity from the pulpit (see 1 John 3:8).

… pray with confidence for protection over our families and property …


Halloween is on a Sunday this year, so what better time to worship Jesus! Churches could have a supper prior to an evening service, or you could take a group to a larger church that may have a worship celebration in the evening. One thing we are planning this year is a "Hallelujah Party" for the children and parents. The church hall will be a place for food, fun, games and a good video, giving thanks to God for His goodness to us. There will be treats without the tricks (see Hebrews 10:19-25).


Why not look for a tract or booklet that explains the Gospel. If we happened to be in during the early evening we would give the trick-or-treaters a colourful Gospel booklet that would give them something to think about later. In past years we have also written our own little leaflet about Halloween. We have also written to local newspapers and explained the situation to local storekeepers. It can be an opportunity to witness clearly (see Ephesians 5:11).


We can pray with confidence for protection over our families and property, but there needs to be great caution when deciding to pray against high places or principalities over our cities. We have to be clear on the level of our authority in aggressive prayer to avoid a damaging backlash from the enemy. Please take counsel with established leadership before taking on the "strong man." You may want to develop a regular prayer walking strategy for your neighbourhood that would weaken the occult and enhance the power of the Gospel (see Ephesians 5:13-18).

Now, with all the armour of God in place, and in an atmosphere of praise and worship, pray:

  • With confession and repentance from sin

  • Proclaim the power of the Cross and the shed blood

  • Pray for a mighty move of God in the City

  • Pray against the activity of Satan on Halloween

  • Pray for the powers of darkness to be broken and confused

  • Pray that many involved in the occult would come to know Christ

  • Mention by name people that you know are in bondage

Start to plan and believe God that by this time next year it will not be so much a case of "Halloween," but instead, "Hallelujah" to the Lord Jesus Christ in our communities!

David Carson is a Vancouver pastor and director of the prayer ministry, Intercessors For Canada.

Used with permission of the author. Copyright © 2004




  • Redeemer University - Christian university changes everything. Starting with you.

Visit our Marketplace

Support the EFC ministry by using our Amazon links