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Halloween's Bloody Legacy


By: Larry R. Lasiter 1996

POINTS OF TRUTH Christian Ministries

HALLOWEEN: "Most holidays honor a famous person or celebrate an important event. But what started this rather strange holiday that seems to honor witches and ghosts?

Halloween wasn't always a children's "fun" holiday. At one time, it was a very serious and rather frightening event!

Thousands of years ago, in England, Scotland, Ireland, and some other places, the day that's now November 1 was the beginning of the new year. People also thought of this day as the start of winter. They called it "Summer's End."

People believed there was a sort of war between winter, with its cold and darkness, and summer, with its bright long days and pleasant greenery. And they felt that at Summer's End, October 31, was a frightening time! People were sure that all the wicked creatures would be out celebrating, and might attack them!

To protect themselves, people held special ceremonies. They built big bonfires on hilltops to light up the night. They put on masks and animal skins so that they looked frightening. They hoped that their costumes would keep the evil creatures from knowing who they were.

Hundreds of years later, the "Christian Religion" (Roman Catholic Church) came to these countries. November 1 "became" a "Christian" (Catholic) holiday known as " All Saints Day" or "All Hallows Day." "Hallow" means "holy". And this was the day to honor all the holy ones, or saints, especially those who had no day of their own. The night before All Hallows Day, October 31, became known as "All Hallows E'en." (E'en, is an old way of saying evening) After a time , this was shortened to HALLOWEEN.

But many people, especially in England, kept up some of the old Summer's End CUSTOMS. So, even after thousands of years had passed, people remembered that ghosts, goblins and witches were supposed to be most powerful on Halloween. And they remembered that this was a night on which people had once put on special costumes.

That is why people in America and the British Isles think of Halloween as a time of ghosts and monsters. And it is why American children wear costumes on Halloween. But, while October 31 was once a time of terror, it's now just a night for spooky fun!" (World Book, Childcraft International, Vol. 9, pages 286-287)

COMMENTARY: As Christian believers, followers of the true God, one must determine by the Holy Scriptures whether it is lawful in the eyes of our Heavenly Father to participate in such a festival.

Can simply changing the name purify its observance? Though it may "hide" its sinister past, can it change what it really is? And just WHO does it really honor?

Consider,- as Halloween was a frightening time in the British Isles, World War II was a frightening time for Jews living in Europe. Families were separated and dispersed to concentration camps. History reveals that once there, six million were systematically exterminated! Today this HOLOCAUST is remembered as a SOLEMN MEMORIAL of the millions who were sacrificed at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis. Each year we remember tragic events that led to these massive deaths. We remember the REALITY of the observance.

But what if with the passing of time and as the memory fades, we begin to forget the true meaning and make it a holiday of "fun?" This may sound far-fetched to the 20th Century person, but it has happened repeatedly throughout history. Remember the famous quote, "Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it."

But if this were to happen to the HOLOCAUST (and there are those who work toward that end) it would not honor those whose lives were taken, would it?

Can simply changing the name of an observance change what it really is? WHO it really honors? Can we "Christianize" and make pure what is defiled before God? Notice Jeremiah 10:1-2,- "Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O House of Israel. Thus says the Lord, "Do not learn the way of the nations (heathen); and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens, although the nations (pagans) are terrified by them."

This Scripture opens with God's command to HEAR HIS RULING concerning the observances of the pagan nations. And He commands His followers to "NOT LEARN" the way they worship their false gods. The "terrifying signs in the heavens" were the days getting shorter and colder. They feared that the life-sustaining sun was dying. Remember, the observance of Halloween and its ancient name, "SAMAIN" meant "Summer's End." They feared that the forces of darkness were prevailing over the Sun-god and his forces of light. (End of Commentary)

One of the ancient gods of Babyonia was "Samas." Notice this from the Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol 5, page 1020),- "Before going out to battle with the Babylonian King Kastilias, the Assyrian King accuses the latter of betrayal and violation of the treaty between them, and as proof he read the treaty in a loud voice before the god SAMAS."

Jewish legend says SAMAEL is the ANGEL OF DEATH and the HEAD OF DEVILS! The Greek renders the name SAMMANE.

SAMAIN: (Standard Encyclopedia of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, pages 968-969),- "The festival of the BEGINNING OF WINTER (Jer.10 "heavenly signs") celebrated on or about November 1 in Ireland and Gaelic Scotland and of very great antiquity. The word means "END OF SUMMER." One of the oldest Irish sagas states that the barrows where the fairies dwelt were open about SAMAIN, and in Scotland a DEMON WHO STOLE BABIES (may be the same spirit causing the yearly kidnapings associated with Halloween) at this time was called a "SAMhanach."

Another old saga relates that for three days before and three days after November 1 the warriors of Ulster assembled for eating, drinking, and boasting of the men they had killed, producing the tips of their tongues as evidence. According to Keating, in heathen times, the DRUIDS (priests) of Ireland assembled to SACRIFICE to the gods and BURN THEIR VICTIMS on SAMAIN EVE. (Halloween)

All other fires were to be extinguished, to be rekindled only from that fire. (fire from burning human sacrifices) THIS CUSTOM still LINGERS ON, without the sacrifices, in parts of Ireland and Scotland. The peat fires are extinguished in the cottages on HALLOWEEN and are relighted from the BONFIRES which burn on the hilltops. (these fires represent humans burning)

In the Highlands, families used to circumambulate the fields SUN-WISE, holding fire torches. At Waterford, groups of country lads, headed by horn-blowers, visited the farmers' houses and collected pence and provisions for the ensuing celebration. (Trick or treat today)

In parts of County Cork, the procession was led by a man called the "White Mare" wearing a white robe and the semblance of a horse's head, while in other parts the lads dressed as mummers (dressed in costume and mask) and professed to be the messengers of 'MUCK OLLA", a boar slain by one of the Geraldines.

Until about 1850 the inhabitants of the Isle of Lewis used to assemble on the SAME NIGHT, bringing ale and provisions, repeat a paternoster (Catholic prayer), and walk down to the sea. One of them waded into the water, poured out a cup of ale, and cried out,- "Shoney, I give this cup of ale to you, hoping that you'll be so kind as to send us plenty of sea-ware to enrich our ground for the coming year." The group then went to the church, stood silent for a while, and then adjourned to the fields for drinking, dancing, and singing.

MacCulloch, in 1911 mentioned the license permitted to youths on SAMAIN EVE (Halloween) in the quietest townships of the West Highlands. Vallancey in the 18th Century recorded that Irish maidens observed the festival by sowing hemp seed and believed that if they looked back they would see the apparition of their future spouse, or they would hang a smock before the cottage fire, convinced that his apparition would come down the chimney and turn the smock."

COMMENTARY: Notice that even from ancient times the disappearance of babies and small children has been directly associated with Halloween observance. The Scots believed the DEMON SAMhanach was responsible for their missing children.

Notice also, the Druid Priests BURNED HUMAN SACRIFICES on Halloween. And all the people were instructed to extinguish their fires and rekindle them with the fire from the burning victims! This was probably done to ADD LIFE, the life of the burning sacrifice, to their own fires in hopes of rekindling the strength of the WANING SUN-GOD.(End of Commentary)

The Apostle Paul says that these PAGAN GODS were really DEMONS "masquerading" as God. Since Lucifer (Satan) was cast down after attempting to take the throne of the true God, he and his demons have continually deceived mankind into worshiping them as God. 1 Corinthians 11:14-15 SAYS THAT Satan DISGUISES himself as an ANGEL OF LIGHT in order to deceive the unsuspecting. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan is presently the god of this world.

Now notice 1 Corinthians 10:19-22,- "What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to IDOLS is anything, or that an IDOL is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles (heathen/pagans) sacrifice, they SACRIFICE TO DEMONS, and NOT TO GOD; and I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BECOME SHARERS IN DEMONS. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we PROVOKE THE LORD to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?"

The Apostle John tells us that by the return of Jesus Christ the WHOLE WORLD will be DECEIVED BY SATAN,- "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the DEVIL and SATAN, WHO DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD." (Revelation 12:9)

Satan wants our allegiance and our worship, even if he has to disguise himself to get it! If he has to disguise the true meaning of an observance to get people to honor him, he will. (1 Cor.11:14-15) Remember, the heathen DID NOT KNOW they were SACRIFICING TO DEMONS!

One of the ancient gods Satan used to instill FEAR and TERROR was called "CROMM CRUAC." (Meaning "Bloody, Bent One")

CROMM CRUAC: (Standard encyclopedia of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Vol A-1, page 263) "A HUGE IDOL which stood on the plain of Mag Sleact (the plain of adoration or prostrations) in county Cavan, in Ulster, near the present village of Ballymagauran; also called Rigiodal h-Eireann, the KING IDOL of IRELAND. Around him were twelve idols made of stone but he was gold and to him the early Irish SACRIFICED ONE THIRD OF THEIR CHILDREN on SAMAIN (Halloween) in return for milk and corn and the good weather which insured the fertility of cattle and crops. The IDOL and the SACRIFICES are mentioned in the 6th Century Dinnsenchus in the Book of Leinster.

CROMM CRUAC was held in HORROR for his TERRIBLE EXACTIONS; it was even DANGEROUS TO WORSHIP HIM, for worshipers themselves often PERISHED IN THE ACT OF WORSHIP. A pre-Christian king named Tigernmus is said to have introduced the worship of Cromm Cruac to Ireland and said to have been DESTROYED HIMSELF with THREE-FOURTHS OF HIS PEOPLE on SAMAIN night (Halloween), during prostrations. (Bowing in worship)

The twelve lesser IDOLS encircling the GOLDEN IMAGE have led to the assumption that Cromm Cruac was a SOLAR DEITY (Sun-god); certainly he was a FERTILITY GOD. But he has not been identified with any ancient Irish god. "DAGDA", in his agricultural aspect, has been suggested for this role, but no identity can be substantiated.

The Dinnsenchus names the idol Cromm Cruac; it is referred to as "CENN CRUAIC" (meaning "bloody head") in the "Tripartite Life of Patrick." Legend says that Patrick cursed and destroyed it. The Dinnsenchus story tells how Patrick preached to the people on Mag Sleact against the BURNING of milk-cows and THEIR FIRST-BORN PROGENY."

CROMM DUB'S SUNDAY: "In Irish folklore, the first Sunday in August: anniversary of the destruction of the famous idol known as Cromm Dub. On this date flowers were still offered at his place on Mt. Callan in County Clare, as late as the mid 19th Century. For this reason the day is also called Garland Sunday. The flower offerings were reminiscent of a time when more BLOODY SACRIFICES WERE PREPARED."

COMMENTARY: Notice, Satan masquerading as god, calling himself CROMM CRUAC and encircled by twelve demons. He terrified the people into worshiping him. Through his priests, he demanded ONE OF EVERY THREE CHILDREN BE SACRIFICED TO APPEASE HIM! The people feared the consequences of not obeying their priests, the Druids. And notice the story of king Tigernmus who was slaughtered along with three-fourths of his people by the evil spirit of Cromm Cruac while they bowed before his image! They were afraid to worship him and terrified not to! (End Commentary)

SAMHAIN, SAMUIN: (Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions, by Geoffrey Parrinder, page 242) "Ancient Celtic FEAST, held at the END OF OCTOBER and beginning of November. In Ireland it was celebrated on the shores of lakes. SAMHAIN marked the beginning of winter, BELTANE marked the onset of summer. Samhain meant "Summer's End", and bonfires were lit to strengthen the powers of the waning sun. These are perpetuated in the bonfires of November still popular in Britain. In the Christian calendar, Samhain was MERGED into All Saint's Day on November 1."

COMMENTARY: Notice that it was Mr. Parrinder's assessment that the bonfires were lit to "STRENGTHEN THE WANING SUN." People believed the SUN was the chief god of all gods. At this time of year it appeared he (Sun) was dying, as the days began to shorten. This author did not mention the source of these fires, but as we read earlier, they were fueled by HUMAN SACRIFICE! Most of which were little children of the British Isles.

Notice also, that SAMHAIN (HALLOWEEN) was MERGED into the Catholic observance of All Saints Day. In this way they could allow its CUSTOMS and OBSERVANCE by calling it a "Christian' Holiday. But God alone is the author of Holiness. To be holy is to be made clean and pure, and to be set apart; and only God can make anything holy. Remember, God commanded His followers to not even learn the ways the pagan nations worshiped their gods.

Throughout history, the people of God have continually turned from this command and worshiped foreign gods, or sought to worship Him in a manner in which the pagans worshiped their gods. God tore the nation of Israel apart because of the idolatry of King Solomon in his old age. God split the kingdom into two separate nations after Solomon's death. Of the twelve tribes, God left only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin for Rehoboam to govern.

Notice God's warning to the WISEST MAN OF HIS TIME,- "Now King Solomon loved many FOREIGN women along with the daughter of Pharoah; Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, - "YOU SHALL NOT ASSOCIATE WITH THEM, NEITHER SHALL THEY ASSOCIATE WITH YOU, for they will surely TURN YOUR HEART AWAY AFTER THEIR GODS." (1 Kings 11:1-2)

Now Notice Verse 4,- "For it came about when Solomon was old, HIS WIVES turned his heart away after OTHER GODS; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been."

Solomon STILL WORSHIPED THE LORD as he always had, but now HIS DEVOTION was DIVIDED. God wants His worshipers to be WHOLEHEARTED in their devotion to Him. As the Apostle Paul said, "You cannot drink of the cup of demons and also the cup of the Lord." Sadly, Solomon's IDOLATRY was the worship of DEMONS!

Verse 11,- "So the Lord said to Solomon, "BECAUSE YOU HAVE DONE THIS, and you have not kept My covenant and My Statutes, which I commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant."

Verse 13 explains that God would not tear all the kingdom from him, but would leave his son Rehoboam with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. This happened as a direct result from learning the ways the heathen worshiped their gods.

This split took place in about 900 BC. Only about two hundred years later in 721 BC the Northern Kingdom consisting of Ten Tribes had become so corrupt that God allowed them to be conquered by the mighty Assyrians and carried away as slaves. The reason? Idolatry. They were even SACRIFICING THEIR CHILDREN TO THESE DEMON-GODS!

Notice Ezekiel 16:20-21,- Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne Me, and you sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? You SLAUGHTER MY CHILDREN, and OFFERED THEM UP TO IDOLS by causing them to pass through the FIRE."

Take note that the Almighty Supreme Creator calls these "HIS CHILDREN!" We must be very careful in what we allow HIS CHILDREN to be involved in. Do you honestly believe that God would want HIS CHILDREN to have anything to do with the observance of so wicked a festival as Halloween?

After the defeat of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, only two tribes remained, Judah and Benjamin. They were called the House of Judah, or simply the Jews. But soon they turned to Idolatry also. So, in 586 BC God allowed them to be conquered by Babylon. Clearly, God does not want any of His people to partake of any cup of demons, including the cup of Halloween. (End Commentary)

SAMHAIN (SAMAIN, SAMAN, SAMHAN): (Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore and Symbols, Part 2, page 1393) "Literally, "Summer's End." Celtic winter solstice festival celebrated about November 1. The entrance to burial caves were left open to allow the spirits to come out for an airing. On Oidhche Shamhna Omen for the future were extracted from the fairies. The Fomors first oppressed the people of Nemed with their terrible tax on this day, and on it the Mag-Tured battles were fought, thus the day on which WINTER GIANTS expelled the FERTILITY GODS. On the Isle of Man called Sauin, in Wales called Nos Galn-gaeof (night of winter calends), corresponds to HALLOWEEN."

SAMHANACH: "Goblins which come out on Samhain (Halloween) in Scotland."

COMMENTARY: Samhanach was believed to be the demon that stole babies and young children on Halloween. (End Commentary)

ALL HALLOWS' EVE: (The Yearbook of English Festivals, by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, pages 153-157) HOBGOBLINS AND SPIRITS, its games and incantations, still is a gay time for pranks and parties in many North Country homes. Fun-loving Americans have BORROWED from their British ancestors play Hallow Eve games, such as apple-bobbing, nut roasting and tossing of apple parings. Translated to new world soil, the OLD PRACTICES HAVE BECOME REVITALIZED and currently are OBSERVED with more enthusiasm than in the country of their birth. "All Hallows' Eve or All Hallows' E'en, its TRADITION OF WITCHES, GHOSTS,

To ancient Druids the end of October COMMEMORATED THE FESTIVAL OF THE WANING YEAR (SUN), when the Sun began his HIS downward course and ripened grain was garnered from the fields. Samhain, or Summer's End, as this FEAST TO THE DYING SUN was called, was celebrated with HUMAN SACRIFICE, augury (divination) and prayer; for this season spirits walked and evil had power over souls of men.

Not until the fourth century did the pagan vigil for the GOD OF LIGHT (Lucifer) give way to All Hallows, the mass of Christian saints; and not until the tenth, did the Druids' DEATH FEAST become All Souls', the day of prayer for souls that had entered rest. Cakes for the dead were SUBSTITUTED for HUMAN SACRIFICE, fortune telling for heathen augury, lighted candles for the old BAAL FIRES."

HALLOWEEN: (The Book of Holidays, by J. Walker McSpadden, pages 149-153) "In spite of the fact that it takes its name from a Christian festival (All Hallows), it comes from PAGAN TIMES and has NEVER TAKEN ON A CHRISTIAN SIGNIFICANCE.

On that night between October and November, the Druids kindled great fires on the hills as a barrier against the evil to come. (These Halloween fires still burn every year in many places, but especially in Scotland and Wales) By waving burning wisps of plaited straw aloft on pitchforks, people tried to FRIGHTEN OFF DEMONS AND WITCHES, but just in case this didn't work, they also PUT ON GROTESQUE and TERRIFYING COSTUMES. For if you dressed in a HORRIBLE ENOUGH FASHION and went TROOPING AROUND WITH THE SPIRITS ALL NIGHT, THEY WOULD THINK YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, AND DO YOU NO HARM. This is where the persistent Halloween custom of dressing up and wearing masks originated; and among the children who come to the door on Halloween, calling "Trick or Treat", the most Alarming costumes are considered the best."

In 1980, the Readers Digest Association released a book entitled "Strange Stories, Amazing Facts." Notice this from a segment on CUSTOMS of the "CHRISTIAN" Religion,- "Although Christianity has swept the world in a relatively short time, as the histories of great religions go, the early missionaries faced an uphill task. The PAGANS were RELUCTANT TO GIVE UP THEIR FALSE GODS AND ANCIENT PRACTICES.

So. The missionaries, UNABLE TO CONVERT THEM EASILY, to an entirely new code of WORSHIP, did the next "best thing", they took the PAGAN FESTIVALS as they were and gradually grafted the OBSERVANCES of the new faith ONTO THESE FESTIVALS and the RITES AND CUSTOMS surrounding them.

December 25 WAS NOT CALLED CHRISTMAS until the NINTH CENTURY (over 900 years after Christ). Until then it had been the Midwinter Feast, as combination of the NORSE YULE FESTIVAL and the ROMAN SATURNALIA, both of which took place in late December.

Like Christmas and Easter, the FESTIVAL OF HALLOWEEN ORIGINATED IN A PAGAN CELEBRATION, even though its name derives from the Christian Festival of All Hallows' or All Saints' Eve."

Notice Deuteronomy 12:1-4,- THESE are the STATUTES and the judgments which you SHALL CAREFULLY OBSERVE in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. YOU SHALL UTTERLY DESTROY ALL THE PLACES WHERE THE NATIONS (heathen) whom you shall dispossess SERVE THEIR GODS, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every GREEN TREE. (Christmas tree, see Jer.10) And you shall TEAR DOWN the engraved images of their gods, and you shall OBLITERATE THEIR NAME from that place. YOU SHALL NOT ACT LIKE THIS TOWARD THE LORD YOUR GOD."

God does not want, nor will He accept the worship of Him using the customs of the pagans.

Shamefully, in America today, the worship of these demon-gods is thriving. And the people of our land even MAKE PLACES for them in THEIR OWN HOMES. "Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it!"

God's Word says nothing good about any of these ancient festivals, but plainly condemns their observance. Yet the True God has given us ANNUAL FESTIVALS with wonderful meanings. They are the PASSOVER, the seven DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, PENTECOST, FEAST OF TRUMPETS, DAY OF ATONEMENT, FEAST OF TABERNACLES and the LAST GREAT DAY.

Surprisingly, few know much about these festivals, but they are given to us by God in His written Word, the Bible. (Leviticus 23) These are not "Jewish" festivals, they are God's festivals given to His chosen people, Israel. Christians are God's chosen today, we are His Holy Nation born of the Holy Seed,- Jesus. These festivals are the Lord's APPOINTED TIMES. They are our appointments to appear before the Lord in assembly.

A PERSONAL TESTIMONY: Concerning the legend of Samhanach, the baby-snatching spirit, it may be the driving force behind the child abductions occurring around the time of Halloween.

Although, demon-possession may be rare in America, evil spirits do oppress and influence many people. Some perpetrators of violent crimes profess to not know "what got into them." It is obvious to the Bible believer that many criminal acts would have never happened had there not been demonic influence.

The Bible says that many demonic spirits have been sent out into the world to deceive and influence. Thankfully, Christians have power over these fallen angels, in the name of Jesus Christ.

A minister whom I am acquainted with actually had an encounter with a baby stealing demon! He and his daughter with her new born had a chilling experience the first night in a new home. The first cause for alarm was when they realized the baby was no longer in its bed! They found the baby on the floor.

Later, the Pastor awoke to find an unseen force carrying the infant through the air! He literally had to wrestle the new born from the spirit.

After rebuking the spirit in the name of Jesus, driving it away, he blessed the new home to prevent its return.

When researching the roots of HALLOWEEN and learning of the legend of Samhanach, I wondered if my friend had experienced an encounter of the "third kind" with him that night.

1 John 4:1,- "Beloved, DO NOT BELIEVE EVERY SPIRIT, but TEST the spirits to see whether they are from God."


Related Links: "Halloween, Trick or Treat?"



POINTS OF TRUTH Christian Ministries

Church of God Fellowship

P.O. Box 102, Russellville, AR 72811 USA ph.501-498-4524

Copyright 1996

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