I have so many great memories of Halloween with my family and getting dressed up, going to our church’s Harvestfest and then door to door in my neighborhood to show off my costume for the year and to get massive hauls of candy. My memory of Halloween was a time to be creative with a costume, get a supply of candy to last into the new year and have fun with friends.
So what is an appropriate level of Christians celebrating this time of year? I have a few general thoughts for you to consider. For me, it is not so much about the dressing up or going to parties and having fun with family and friends. Marketing people say that Halloween has outgrown all other holidays in the US for the amount of money spent during this time of year. The key is to think about what you let slide into your life in the name of entertainment or partying.
For example, why are you going to a movie that has paranormal elements and is trying to scare you? There are great apps like Movieguide and PluggedIn that give content reviews so you know what is in movies to help you make an educated decision about what you decide to put in your mind/heart. I remember not checking Dr. Strange for example and seeing that they were talking about “demons” and even used the word “occult” in the process of the movie. It was VERY disappointing as I LOVE Marvel movies. This was not even an overt “demonic” movie but had elements that were not healthy to put in my mind/heart. The kind of movies that come out around Halloween can be even greater gentle doorways for allowing demonic activity to sneak into your life in the name of entertainment. It is not our place to tell you what movies to go to or stay away from but just to think about how a movie may help or harm your relationship with Jesus. I am not trying to sound religious, just to help you understand that EVERYTHING you put in your mind will either help or harm your relationship with God.
The other thing is going to haunted houses. It is important to ask yourself not if you CAN go but if you SHOULD go. Haunted houses, as their definition, are roleplaying spiritual/paranormal actions that are purely focused on scaring you. Maybe the bigger issue is why do you like to be scared? This is only something that you can answer for yourself and to maybe pray about why you need that adrenaline rush in your life.
There is really nothing wrong with finding a reason to celebrate with friends and family while dressing up as your favorite make-believe character. But it is VERY important to never forget the verse in 1 Peter 5:8 when considering Halloween activities – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Being “alert and sober” is simply making sure you are intentional with everything in your life, including entertainment and times of year like Halloween.