"God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

St Mary's Anglican Church, Appledore  

                     A warm welcome to our website!  We hope you find it interesting and informative.

 
History of St Mary's Anglican Church, Appledore
Services at St Mary's Anglican Church, Appledore
Who's Who at St Mary's Anglican Church, Appledore
How to contact St Mary's Anglican Church, Appledore
About St Mary, Mother of Jesus
Calendar of forthcoming events
Page for jokes and lightheartedness

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The Truth About Halloween  

Who Started Halloween?

 

History of Halloween

Many people think Halloween originated with the Christian holiday of All Hallows Eve which was to honour all the Saints that had died in the past year. 

This is not true, however. 

All Hallows Eve was celebrated in May when it was originated by the Catholic church, but in 834 AD it was moved from May to October in order to combine it with an ancient Druid festival in October. 

So what was the original pagan holiday which began what is celebrated as Halloween today? 

Halloween began some 2,000 years ago among the Celts. Ancient Druids who lived in what is now England, France, Scotland and Wales celebrated the Vigil of Samhain honouring their god, Samhain, lord of the dead. This holiday was celebrated on the Celtic New Year's Eve which falls on our October 31st. These people believed that on this day the wicked spirits of the dead came back to wreak havoc and mayhem on the living. The holiday and all that took place was designed to appease Samhain as well as the spirits of these wicked dead.

Why October 31st?
Now that some of the history of Halloween has been documented and it has been noted that a celebration on October 31st originated not with the Church but with the Vigil of Samhain, it may still be difficult to understand why October 31st is so significant. There are certain unholy days, times or seasons that witches, Satanists, Pagans and others celebrate, and the highest unholy day of the occult calendar is October 31st!

So, in occult and witchcraft circles, October 31 represents a day of worship called Samhain (pronounced sow-en). This is the Celtic New Year. History tells us that the Celtic people were worshippers of earth gods, woodland spirits, and sun deities. One legend explains that on Samhain the spirits of all those who had died throughout the year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for entering the afterlife. It was also the day that the living were to communicate with the dead (with magnified effectiveness). This practice is called necromancy.

 

Time and again we read (from occult sources) that Halloween is focused at the worship and contact of dead ancestors and communication with the spirit realm.

Deuteronomy 18:11 tells us that God considers this practice evil. We see examples of necromancy portrayed in movies like The Sixth Sense, Lion King, and Ghost, to name a few.

 

Regardless of where or how the ritual practice started, one thing is certain—God forbids contacting any spirit unless it's the Holy Spirit!

Symbols of Halloween

Trick or Treat. Here are three of the possible origins of present day "trick or treating":

 a. In the early practice of Halloween, people were afraid of spirits doing harm to their home, so they would leave treats out side their homes to keep them happy.

 b. The Europeans tried to "Christianize" this pagan ritual by calling it "souling." They would go out and collect soul cakes. The more cakes you would receive, the more prayers you would send up for your dead relatives.

 c. In celebration of the recently completed harvest, Celts would give offerings of food to the gods. They often went from door to door to collect food to donate to their deities. History tells us that on Halloween the Celts would terrorize the countryside and populace, butcher cattle, and take it as spoil to please their gods.

Today’s trick-or-treating consists of going from house to house and receiving candy from all the neighbors. Even if Halloween were totally harmless and free from pagan tradition, I would still be concerned about taking my children door-to-door and taking candy from people that I may not know. Throughout the rest of the year, we teach our children not to take anything from a stranger. But on Halloween we break our own rules!!!

The Jack o’Lantern. The Celts that lived in what is now Great Britain and northern France would carry a lantern when they walked on the eve of October 31. These lanterns were carved out of big turnips and the lights were believed to keep the evil spirits away. Children carved faces in the turnips calling them "jack o’lanterns." People later started to use the pumpkin in order to carry a bigger light.

The myth behind the jack o’lantern was that a man named Jack made a pact with the Devil and had to wander aimlessly through the darkness with only a piece of coal from hell in a turnip to guide him.

There are many people who believe that a person can never become a Christian because they have made a pact with the Devil. This is not true. Before a person accepts Christ they already belong to the Devil. In John 8:44a Jesus tells us, "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."

But inviting Jesus into their hearts sets men free! So, why would the Devil make a deal with someone when they are already his? If you call on God to forgive you—no matter what your past was like—He will hear you today.

Witches. When David and Eric were growing up, they were always told that witches were make-believe. But, witches are real. The Bible talks about them in several passages. Today witchcraft is a very popular religion among our youth in America. Who would have ever thought that a seventeen-year-old honor student in Detroit, Michigan, could sue her school for the right to wear her pentagram, which is a symbol of her Wiccan religion. This is exactly what Crystal Seifferly did, according to the Chicago Tribune, February 10, 1999.

The Wiccan religion does not believe in the Devil or Satan. They believe in five elementals, which are the false gods of forces. The five elementals are earth, wind, fire, water, and spirits. Witches do not claim to be Devil worshippers. Witches do not believe the Bible is true so they will not accept a character from the Bible to worship. Many witches will hide behind environmentalism as a cover-up for the worship of Gaia, the goddess called "Mother Earth."

The Black Cat. The black cat has long been associated with witchcraft. Many superstitions have evolved about cats. It was believed that witches could change into cats. Some people also believed that cats were the spirits of the dead. Friends and relatives who had died would often return, with their souls inhabiting an animal—often a black cat. Black cats have remained a symbol of Halloween to the present. On the eve before their New Year (October 31), it was believed that Samhain called together all of the deceased. The dead would take different forms, with the evil spirits taking the form of animals—the most wicked taking the form of cats.

The belief in people coming back from the dead is not a Christian belief. That belief is called reincarnation. The Bible teaches that man dies only once. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).

Dressing in Costumes. During the festival of Samhain, there was a fire festival to honor the god of death. Sacred bonfires were lit on the tops of hills in honor of the false gods. History tells us that after the bonfire to Samhain, people were afraid to walk home in the dark. They were in fear of being possessed by spirits. So they dressed up in costumes and carved scary faces in their fire holders. They hoped that the spirits would be frightened and not bother them.

Without even knowing it, children in our society today continue this pagan practice by dressing up in various costumes. Pumpkins are now the objects of choice to carve faces into. The wearing of death masks is still used around the world in demon worship.

1999, 2001, 2003 Eric Barger & David Benoit