Ghost stories and urban legends combine to create an atmosphere of fear on what's supposed to be a day of rejoicing.
Halloween has become associated almost exclusively with spooky stories and haunted houses. This has created an atmosphere of fear around the holiday, which is heightened with rumors about the devil’s activity around this day.
According to some traditions, the veil between earth and the afterlife is incredibly thin, allowing for nefarious spirits to roam around, looking for souls to frighten. Ghost stories take advantage of these legends and the days surrounding Halloween seem to be filled with the expectation that something unsettling will happen. There are also certain Satanic groups that perform “Black Masses” on Halloween, intentionally calling-upon evil spirits to “bless” their activities.
For some people it can create increased anxiety around Halloween, as they suddenly become afraid of going out of their house at night and even leave their lights on when they go to sleep. Their wandering imaginations only heighten their fear and only after November begins do they begin to relax.
Should we be afraid of Halloween? Is there any truth in the spiritual activity that happens on this day?
The surprisingly Catholic origins of Halloween
Oddly enough, “All Hallows’ Eve” is meant to be a “holy day,” one filled with the light and grace of God. It is the Eve of All Saints, a day where Catholics celebrate the beauty and glory of Heaven. All Saints Day is one of the holiest days of the year and reminds us of the ultimate destination we all desire to attain.
Instead of giving in to fear and anxiety, we should pray and take to heart the words of Jesus to his apostles.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
St. Paul said similar words when writing to the Romans.
If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31)
Even if evil spirits were to roam around the earth on Halloween, we have nothing to fear if we cling closely to God. He is more powerful than Satan and his minions and can protect us from every evil.
If you find yourself anxious around Halloween, pray Psalm 91 and rest in the protecting arms of God, inviting the host of heavenly saints to be with you in that moment.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,who abide in the shade of the Almighty,Say to the Lord, “My refuge and fortress,my God in whom I trust.”He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare,from the destroying plague,He will shelter you with his pinions,and under his wings you may take refuge;his faithfulness is a protecting shield.You shall not fear the terror of the nightnor the arrow that flies by day,Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness,nor the plague that ravages at noon.Because you have the Lord for your refugeand have made the Most High your stronghold,No evil shall befall you,no affliction come near your tent.For he commands his angels with regard to you,to guard you wherever you go.
Should Catholics celebrate Halloween?