Do You Believe in Halloween?

Is a day when ghosts and goblins roam the streets harmless fun... or something frightening?

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Child in a Halloween pumpkin costume in a field of pumpkins

An interesting discussion popped up in the comments of a Mysterious Ways story we ran a few years ago, prompted by a simple question from a British reader: “How come you celebrate Halloween in America? In England and Europe it's very 'frowned upon' by the Christian community.”

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with dressing up once a year and getting treats (other than the fact that there’s an age limit... I miss grabbing my plastic pumpkin bucket and collecting all those mini candy bars). But the responses to this question from Mysterious Ways readers were wide-ranging:

“This is a celebration of a day for Satan,” one reader wrote. Another saw the holiday as an opportunity for outreach: “Halloween is the one day God brings many lost right up to my doorsteps... I hand out the best candy bag and put a religious tract in it explaining the real meaning of Halloween. This is one of my biggest ministry days.” Of course, others thought everyone should just play nice: “I don't think this is the appropriate place to discuss personal feelings on the celebration of Halloween.”

Mysterious Ways stories may be spooky sometimes, but I wouldn’t call them “ghost stories.” It’s not just that I think the idea of dead people hanging around us—when there are better places to be—is silly. It’s that nothing anyone has ever written or said about ghosts indicates they can hear our innermost thoughts or know what’s in our hearts (except, perhaps, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters). In Mysterious Ways stories, however, that’s what seems to happen. Comfort comes to people in their moments of greatest need. My faith tells me that there’s only one being capable of providing that.

Maybe that’s why I don’t see Halloween as a threat. We’re not celebrating ghosts—we’re acknowledging there are spooky things in this world that have the capacity to surprise and sometimes delight us—and I think that opens our eyes to search for the source.

Is Halloween a celebration of the occult? Or do you agree with the commenter who wrote, “Any day can 'belong' to Satan if you allow it. I choose to let every day belong to God. Trick-or-treating is not evil... Lighten up and let children have fun!”

Have you had a Mysterious Ways experience on a scary Halloween night that reminded you who is in control every day of the year? Share your story with us.

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