Halloween, as we know it, is so far detached from its Catholic and Celtic roots that opponents of the holiday can not seem to agree on what makes it so evil. Primarily, the themes of death and spirits, even as glorified and cartoonish as they appear today, are frequently used to justify claims of Halloween having a more sinister and demonic nature than perceived by the general public. Most of these anti-Halloween ideas are pushed as the “true meaning” behind the holiday’s traditional practices, despite the fact that the holiday itself dates back far before this paranoia.
That’s exactly what it is: paranoia. Parallels to the fear of devil-worshipping and satanic practices surrounding Halloween can be drawn to the older generation’s aversion to rock music in the late 1970s, with the shared factor being that both Halloween and the rock movement during the time had the tendency to romanticize and aestheticize evil.
But aestheticizing evil is not equal to worshipping Satan by any means, nor would it be reasonable to make the assumption that one could easily lead to the other. However, this notion is further reinforced by Satanists themselves- oftentimes prominent Satanists will make comments likening common Halloween practices, such as dressing up in costumes and hanging decorations, to satanic activity. Anton LaVey, founder of the church of Satan, has gone on record saying that dressing up for Halloween night, rather it be body paint, clothing, or accessories, is comparable to worshipping the devil. Another former Satanist by the name of John Ramirez elaborated on this stance, adding that “you give the devil the legal rights to change your identity.”
The classic Halloween traditions are as innocent as could be. Simply put, they aren’t the problem. The scariest part of Halloween is what goes on under the radar, specifically among adolescents. As teens grow older and shed their masks, costumes, and trick-or-treating buckets, Halloween becomes a time to host parties, often involving illegal or unsafe activities, masquerading under the guise of festive decorations and playful costumes.
It is possible that certain religious parents could have developed this aversion to Halloween from a lack of trust in their teenage children to act responsibly on Halloween night. Either that, or they truly believe that the horror themes surrounding the holiday could, in some way, be acts of defiance towards God.