Halloween, Now and Then

It’s Halloween (I love to start by stating the obvious). Halloween has always been an odd day for me, and now it’s an odd day for my kids.

I don’t remember Halloween as a younger child. Memories start to kick in when I was ten or eleven, probably because that’s when it started to be a big deal. The jargon gets pretty thick – comment if you need a translation of anything

My family were very Christian, and Halloween might as well have been a dirty word. Every year (until I was about 14) we got the same lecture about how Halloween was Satanic, and that it really was possible to summon spirits. By participating in trick-or-treating kids were allowing demonic spirits into themselves and the spirits would infect the family, because the children had invited them into the house. I always thought that it was vampires that couldn’t come in unless they were invited. Anyway, Halloween was the biggest night of the year for Satan and his minions, and we must spend the evening praying and fasting to stand against the legions of evil.

Church ‘Saints and Angels’ parties were also banned, because they were just rebranding the works of Satan, and the demonic spirits would still enter into whoever participated. Churches that held these parties were not real Churches, because they did not have the Spirit of the Lamb in them. These fake churches were dead in the Spirit and so it was understandable that they would unknowingly served Satan.

I always felt sorry for the kids that came trick-or-treating to our door. If my father answered the door (which was rare) they would be gently told that we didn’t believe in Halloween and send them on their way (how can you ‘not believe in it’? It’s a thing that obviously exists! Maybe not believing in the principles you perceive to be behind it, but you cannot not believe in something that is blatantly in existence unless you’re delusional). If my stepmother answered? Well. She would scream at them about how Halloween was evil and they were opening themselves up to the devil, punctuated by periods of yelling in tongues. Those poor kids, set upon by a madwoman, were probably lucky that their adult supervisors pulled them away quickly, but I’m sure that some of them had some hard questions that needed answers.

I felt sorry for those kids for being on the receiving end of such bizarre behaviour, but I also felt sorry for them because they were going to hell. After all, no-one who was saved by the blood of Jesus would ever do a thing that would allow a demonic spirit to enter into their household. So every single one of these kids, and all of my friends that went out trick-or-treating or went to a Halloween party were all going to hell. It was a distressing thought. and if something that appeared so innocent could condemn you to hell, what if I was making some innocent mistake? The mental space it all put me in was not a good place.

Today, Halloween is more complicated but less stressful. I have chocolates on hand for anyone who comes around, and I’ll hand it out with a smile. I’m too apathetic to take my youngest out, especially on a night as nasty as it is tonight. But my elder daughter is another story. She wants to be out, probably with her friends, wearing crazy outfits and knocking on doors. But she’s with her father tonight, and I met him while I was in my crazy Christian days. He still clings to the faith that I’ve fully abandoned, and so she is not going anywhere tonight. She was really upset about it. Should I have tried to talk to her father about it? It would probably not get either of us anywhere, and tonight is his agreed night with her so he can do as he wishes. The best I could offer her is the leftover candy from what we bought to give away, which looks to be a hell of a lot. It’s a poor substitute.

I don’t have a particular position on trick-or-treating. I simply don’t care. As long as the kids doing it are safe, then they can go for it, but I won’t go out of my way to get the kids dressed up unless they really want to. I don’t believe it’s dangerous – for goodness’ sake, the kids have an adult with them, and the lovely little old ladies aren’t handing out poison candy.

This is all a roundabout way of saying that my youthful Halloweens were rubbish, and I’m improving on them for my kids by not being a fruit loop. Dressing up and doing things? Meh.

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