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Readers Respond: How Do You Celebrate Halloween?

Responses: 30


Every year, a debate rages among Christians: Is Halloween a satanic holiday or merely a secular one? Should Christian children dress up like ghosts and goblins? Is it good for children to be scared? I've discussed the Christian origins of Halloween, and the anti-Catholic origins of the attack on the holiday, in Should Catholics Celebrate Halloween?

Do you and your family celebrate Halloween? Why, or why not? And if you do, how do you celebrate it? Share your stories below!

Share Your Stories!


Thank you for posting the link to "The Nightmare World of Jack Chick" It really helped me to understand how Mary was present at the dawn of the "end time".
—Guest Theology student Patti

Marketing Mockery

I'm waiting for someone to market a Halloween tree. Halloween is so overblown, it's ridiculous. I don't celebrate it any more as I don't need these big kids coming for candy that don't need to be trick or treating. I can't believe how all these people are like sheep buying everything for Halloween that comes out in the stores & these horrible blow up things are really tacky when put out on the lawn in front of the house. I prefer something more on the simple side instead of all the stuff that is out there now.
—Guest pat

Halloween Memory

When I was a little girl in the 60s, also in West Michigan, we Catholic school kids got All Saints Day off. My friend and I thought it was pretty cool that we could stay home and eat candy the day after Halloween . . . And of course, we all went to evening Mass when our dads got home from work. We understood the true importance of the day off, but had a costume parade at school too.
—Guest Barb S

Traditions Combined

I live in Mexico. Here, the popular tradition is to place a special table called "Altar de Muertos" with photos of deceased relatives, flowers, candles and bakery goods. Nowadays, my children prefer to ask for candy. I really do not mind these two traditions being combined; what I do not know is why children dress up as monsters.
—Guest Maripaz

Still Being Fooled

Why stir up evil in any form? If you all want to taunt evil, that is your choice. For me and my house, we will serve our Lord. This is not.
—Guest Bob

Halloween Night is Halleulia Night

On Halloween at our church (Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dedeaux Community, Pass Christian, MS) we host "Halleulia Night." We have games, jumps and the Knights of Columbus feed the children hot dogs, chips and drinks free. Donations are accepted. The Ladies Auxiliary gives out baked goods also free. The parishioners have trick or trunk; we park our vehicles around the ball field and we give out candy/treats. We decorate our vehicle and we encourage dressing up as Catholic saints, etc. We have had the Pope on his Pope Mobile. Our youth director dressed up as the Pope. He rode in a white golf cart with his driver. Also present was a Nun, Sister Cecilia, St. Francis, and Mother Theresa. Of course kids came in all sorts of other costumes. The kids have fun and leave with full tummies and a bag full of candy. A clean fun night!
—Guest Charlotte Saucier

Reclaiming Halloween

We let our kids dress up and trick or treat. Halloween is as dark or fun as you make it. To me it is just dress up and eat candy. Last year we did an All Saints party. Again, dress up and eat candy except this time there was a little more saint education going on. So what I am trying to do is to bring in more on All Saints and All Souls. Last year we visited a cemetery and prayed and did a few activities at home. (My kids are 7, 5, 3 and 10 months.) This year we have been doing a spiritual trick or treat of sorts by praying for the deceased we know. We will of course attend Mass and visit a cemetery again. I guess what I am saying is that it is like any other Americanized holiday that has been turned into $$ and stuff, and we do our best to remember what the season is all about (in this case, the communion of saints and those who have died before us).
—Guest Nicole

Celebrate the Harvest

I celebrate the Harvest, and give treats to children. I have Happy Harvest on my door, saying Welcome. No gore, and for children only.

From a Neutral Standpoint...

I've noticed that a lot of the posts responding to this post are from religious people agreeing on Halloween alternatives. I have a lot of respect for people of all religions as I was raised in a Baptist household. However, as a present-day Agnostic, I'd like to say that I feel like kids from all beliefs should be able to dress up almost however they want and go Trick-or-Treating like most other kids in America (I don't how it's typically done in other countries). If a kid wants to be a cop or the Hulk or a zombie, so be it. They aren't going to put the mask on and become corrupted youth or anything. It's all just for fun. On November 1st, it's still the same kid with the same beliefs and a bucket of candy. I hope people respect my views as I have theirs. Happy Halloween Season! :)
—Guest P_Bryant

Samhain - Irish

Halloween is Irish; its correct name is the Gaelic (Irish) New Year or Harvest Festival. The Irish introduced it to Scotland and the Isle of Man, then the Irish, Scottish and Manx brought it around the world. In typically American fashion, Americans presumed it was their invention. Long before pumpkins were carved out as Jack O'Lanterns turnips had been used by the Irish (turnips being introduced to Ireland by the Norse/Vikings) long before a Gael (Irish, Highland Scot or Manx) ever settled in modern day USA. Pumpkins not being native to Europe. When I was growing up in Ireland in the 1980's we used turnips as Jack O'Lanterns; globalisation has resulted in pumpkins being used instead in modern Ireland. The Irish are as proud of this day as we are of St. Patrick's Day, which is technically not just Irish (Nigeria & Monseratte for example). It does get on our nerves that Americans try and convince the world it is American. I have friends from Germany who feel the same about Christmas Trees.
—Guest Irish Born and Bred

Great Article, and I Agree With Advice

This article is a great resource for the origins of Halloween. I do agree with the author about expanding beyond dressing as saints. If you want to dress as a saint, that is great—it is a celebration of All Saints Day, after all! But the Church is rich with symbolism. We don't have to be so literal. A skeleton fits the theme of death and saints (who are in Heaven). We even have bone relics of saints, so this goes right with the theme. An animal can symbolize St. Francis, a dove the Holy Spirit. Ghosts represent the souls in Purgatory who will be saints. Even Snow White is a literary symbol of sainthood. Read the story with your child, point out the truth of good and evil in the fairy tale and the symbolism of sainthood in the main character. This can't be done with every single cartoon character, but you would be surprised at the numerous characters that have very applicable literary symbolism. Celebrate the depth of the Church and sainthood. Discuss the reality of evil.
—Guest LT

Celebration of Halloween

For the last 15 years we've been involved almost every year with Christian ministries those nights. This year though, we'll be able to participate in Trick-or-Treat. I'll be including tracts both on the Holy Evening and on Thanksgiving along with candy. I might dress up as the IRS and make the children or their parents fill out fake 1099 forms in triplicate just for the scary part. :D


I attend my Uncle's (also my Godfather) annual Halloween party. We carve pumpkins, bob for apples, make carmel apples and have pizza for dinner! It is a nice family event.
—Guest Stephanie

Native Eskimo Halloween Trick or Treat

In the early 70's, I was working in a remote Alaskan village. My children were but 5 and 4 years old. We took them out for the Trick or Treat that evening. They came home with a little candy, but what was really great was the amount of frozen fish, two frozen rabbits (still in the fur) and two Ptarmigan still feathered. Over the next month I thawed them, I skinned them, cooked them, and we ate them. Quite an experience for my girls.
—Guest John Sullivan

Conflicting History

Everywhere you look on the web there is a Christian telling us that Halloween is evil, totally contradicting the information that you've given. I wish there was a way to get your article to come up when people do a search.
—Guest Marilyn

Share Your Stories!

How Do You Celebrate Halloween?

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