Should Christians Really Celebrate Halloween?

Do the people around you know that Jesus’ life-giving sacrifice on the cross completely crushed death, along with the terror celebrated every year on October 31? Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Yes, Christians can, because the blood of Christ has redeemed Halloween. Contributing Writer
Updated Oct 30, 2023
Should Christians Really Celebrate Halloween?

Traditionally, October 31, which is named Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve, has been considered a pagan holiday. On All Hallows’ Eve, it is said that the souls and spirits of the dead are given the ability to roam the Earth. All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day, was a religious feast day celebrated on November 1. The feasting was to honor the Saints. Although there are differing beliefs as to its origin, everyone seems to agree on a connection to the ancient Celts over 2,000 years ago. Yet, many Christians have always been left wondering if they should celebrate Halloween.  Some Christians reject halloween, some find alternatives, and some celebrate Halloween, other Christians believe in ignoring the day altogether — they turn off their porch light to avoid Trick-or-Treaters and go about business as usual.

Clearly, Halloween is a controversial topic for Christian communities. Can a Christian celebrate Halloween in good conscience?

The question of whether Christians should celebrate Halloween is a matter of personal belief and interpretation, and opinions on this topic can vary among individuals and Christian denominations. Here are some perspectives that Christians may consider when deciding whether or not to participate in Halloween:

1. Religious and Historical Origins: Halloween has historical and religious roots in various traditions, including Celtic, Roman Catholic, and Christian practices. Some Christians may feel uncomfortable participating in a holiday with pagan origins or a connection to the occult. Those who practice witchcraft, Satan worship, or who consider themselves Pagan or Wiccan may still celebrate All Hallows’ Eve in a more traditional way, which includes many rituals to connect with the dead.

2. Secular or Cultural Celebration: For many people today, Halloween is primarily a secular and cultural holiday focused on costumes, trick-or-treating, and fun activities. Some Christians choose to participate in these aspects of Halloween while distancing themselves from any religious or dark associations.

3. Alternative Celebrations: Some Christian communities offer alternative events on Halloween, such as "Harvest Festivals" or "Trunk-or-Treat" gatherings, which provide a safe and family-friendly environment for children while avoiding traditional Halloween customs.

4. Personal Convictions: Ultimately, the decision to celebrate or not to celebrate Halloween should be based on an individual's personal convictions and beliefs. Some Christians may choose to participate in Halloween in a manner that aligns with their faith, while others may opt to abstain entirely.

5. Teaching Moments: Some Christian parents may use Halloween as an opportunity to teach their children about discernment, explaining the historical and cultural aspects of the holiday and emphasizing values such as kindness and community.

6. Engagement with Neighbors: Participating in Halloween can also be seen as a way for Christians to engage with their neighbors, build relationships, and be a positive presence in their communities.

Whether Christians should celebrate Halloween is a matter of personal choice and interpretation. It's important for individuals to examine their own beliefs, values, and convictions and to make informed decisions that align with their faith and conscience. Some Christians may find ways to participate in Halloween in a manner consistent with their beliefs, while others may choose not to celebrate it at all. Ultimately, the decision should be made with respect for individual beliefs and a desire to maintain a strong relationship with one's faith and community.

Is Halloween Evil?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).

As a girl growing up, Halloween was generally viewed as a bad holiday. I still remember listening to the Adventures in Odyssey episode, “What Are We Going To Do About Halloween?” where they warned about the evils of Halloween as well as hearing similar teachings at church too.

We were taught to be afraid of evil things. Spirits, skeletons, and all manner of scary things were Satanic and to be avoided at all costs. Fun fact: The term Holy Spirit is mentioned at least 90 times in the Bible.

Typically, on Halloween night we would have something fun to eat and gather around the TV to watch an old scary movie. Although once, I did attend a “haunted church” hosted for the youth group by our church staff. Some years, my family would hand out candy to anyone who knocked on the door, and often a gospel tract would accompany the candy. We were pretty much like all the other Christians within our circles.

Now, in my own home, we do participate in Halloween festivities. For us, Halloween is not a celebration of fear or death — God kicked those to the curb through Jesus. We celebrate family being silly together. We celebrate the community around us. We celebrate dress-up. We celebrate sweetness. We celebrate life in all its abundance!

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

We believe that Jesus can take what was intended for evil and flip it right around for good.  History tells us that Halloween started out full of evil and fear, death, and torment. Those are things that my Lord has defeated. They no longer have a grip on me or little superheroes and princesses.

Sin breaks and kills — Jesus brings back to life. Fear lies to us — Jesus is the Truth.

But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10).

Halloween Alternatives for Christians

Many Christians now celebrate Reformation Day on November 1, in place of Halloween, because it is the day Martin Luther chose to nail his 95 theses to the church doors. Some church communities choose to host a Trunk-or-Treat, which is considered an acceptable alternative to door-to-door Trick-or-Treating.

Members of the church decorate the trunks of their cars and hand out candy to children, it is expected that scary costumes and décor not attend. Other churches hold a Fall Festival on the evening of October 31. A fall-themed atmosphere and carnival-style booths help to mask the fact it is actually Halloween, except for all the people dressed in costume with children getting candy.

Redeeming Halloween for Christians

He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).

If your background includes witchcraft or a world revolving around the dark side to Halloween, I promise, I get it. I am not saying Halloween cannot be used for the unspeakable. Halloween might well be traumatizing for you, and with good reason.

I am terribly sorry for what you have experienced — but, I do challenge you to see how our God is bigger than evil and bigger than sin. Do not let fear continue to keep you captive.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).

How and why we “do” Halloween has been actively taught in my home, in fact, I have heard it repeated straight out of the mouths of babes — while in the checkout line, with Halloween décor everywhere, with a line of people around — the week before Halloween, “Why do people have to have blood and scary stuff at Halloween? Jesus brings life and beat death; don’t they know that?” 

Well, do they? That’s the point! The cross was not pretty. There was pain and suffering, blood, and violence. Do the people around you know that Jesus’ life-giving sacrifice on the cross completely crushed death? That the agony and misery and terror celebrated every year on October 31 was already lived out by Jesus and it is finished?

Should Christians really celebrate Halloween? Yes, you can because the blood of Jesus has redeemed Halloween.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One Who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Rawpixel 

AuthorRebekah Drumsta’s work has been globally reaching by serving with various nonprofits and organizations. Her background is diverse including educational and online content development, event coordinating, international relations, and public speaking. Currently, Rebekah delights in being a homeschool mom and Life Coach. She serves as Director of PR for an international non-profit while also hosting her personal blog, which focuses on recovery after religious trauma and spiritual abuse. Rebekah holds a BA in Urban Ministry and Family Crisis with a Christian Counseling Minor, an MA in Religious Education, and is a Certified Professional Life Coach. She has made appearances on and consulted with sources including BBC, NBC, ABC, The Daily Telegraph, and a variety of other platforms.


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