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When I was nine years old, my friend asked if I wor­shipped Satan.

It was the day before Hal­loween and I was telling her about the costume my mom had made me. It wasn’t any­thing exciting. In fact, I’m pretty sure I dressed up as a lamp that year, but her reaction was enough to make me believe my soul was in danger.

As the daughter of a pastor, I was no stranger to this reaction from fam­ilies who opposed Hal­loween. I had several friends whose parents believed Hal­loween truly was Satan’s holiday. They forbade cos­tumes and trick-or-treating and refused to even think about setting Jack-O-Lanterns on their porches.

And I mean, come on, Hal­loween is obvi­ously satanic. It has to be — why else would thou­sands of girls wearing abnor­mally large, blonde braids run around screaming the words to “Let it Go” over and over again? That dev­ilish scene has fre­quented neigh­borhood streets since Frozen was released in 2013 — and will probably con­tinue to do so until the Lord has deemed fit to end this trial.

The neg­ative con­no­ta­tions sur­rounding Hal­loween, however, are not rooted in PTSD flash­backs to hor­rific Disney cinema. They stem from myths about the holiday’s origin. The false belief that it must have begun with witches dancing around a boiling pot, singing praises to Lucifer is just not true.

Some­where in the halls of history, Hal­loween, orig­i­nally known as All Hallows Eve, was reimagined. Hal­loween began as a day to prepare for All Saints’ Day — a fes­tival hon­oring all the saints who died — and had nothing to do with pagan beliefs, candy bags, or cos­tumes. It had a reli­gious focus — its name is even rooted in the term “hal­lowed,” defined as “sacred” or “holy.”

This Christian cel­e­bration became con­fused with Samhain, a pagan fes­tival in which the Celtic druids believed a lord of death attacked humans by assuming dis­guises. These pagan con­nec­tions cause many Chris­tians to opt out of the holiday, despite its Christian her­itage. This seems a bit dra­matic, con­sid­ering both Christmas and Easter are also Christian hol­idays with pagan con­nec­tions. The Christmas tree and the timing of Easter, which falls after the spring sol­stice, both have pagan roots.

Chris­tians wary of Hal­loween also argue that its pagan con­nec­tions open the door to the occult. In their book “Hal­loween and Satanism,” evan­ge­lists Phil Phillips and Joan Hake Robie write that many Chris­tians believe if children are scared by a haunted house or witch costume, their “natural curiosity will soon lead them to read books and watch movies about the things that scared them.” This, according to Phillips and Robic, sets children on the path to Satanism.

This claim is more out­landish than the fam­ilies handing out carrots during trick-or-treating. Just because children are spooked by a pointy-nosed, green-skinned witch costume doesn’t mean they will be drawn toward witch­craft, much less become a witch.

Unlike adults, children tend to take things at face value. They are more con­cerned with stuffing their pil­low­cases with candy than thinking about whether the spider webs on the bushes are an invi­tation to Satan.

Of course, there is an unques­tionable con­nection between Hal­loween and horror. Many people love to scare and be scared, and Hal­loween presents the perfect oppor­tunity to do both. Although the desire to get your wits scared out of you is admit­tedly strange, it’s a stretch to claim it’s con­nected with sorcery or Satanism.

By con­demning Hal­loween, Chris­tians are missing out on an oppor­tunity to cel­e­brate imag­i­nation. Children are able to dress up as any­thing they want — future pro­fes­sions, fic­tional and bib­lical char­acters, ter­ri­fying crea­tures, even a lamp — and are then rewarded for their cre­ativity. The cos­tumes put all children, dreams and night­mares alike, on equal footing as they run from door to door in search of the largest candy bar.

Instead of reading sin­ister and evil meanings into Hal­loween, Chris­tians should take full advantage of it. As a com­munity, let’s encourage inge­nuity, orig­i­nality, and the once-a-year glo­ri­fi­cation of gluttony instead of seeing Satan behind every set of cat ears and Elsa braid. After all, everyone should take full advantage of free candy while they can.

Kaylee McGhee is a senior studying Pol­itics and Jour­nalism.

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Kaylee McGhee
Kaylee McGhee is a senior at Hillsdale College, majoring in Politics with a minor in Journalism. This is her fourth year writing for the Collegian and she serves as the paper's Opinions Editor. Kaylee worked in Washington D.C. last year and wrote for the Weekly Standard. Her work has also appeared in the Detroit News and the Orange County Register. Follow her on Twitter: @KayleeDMcGhee email: kmcghee@hillsdale.edu
  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    Plus, there are many stu­dents and alumni who aren’t chris­tians or satanists. Thank you for the rea­sonable approach.