The World Book Encyclopedia 
HALLOWEEN Developed from ancient new year festivals and festivals of the dead. In the
A.D. 800's, the church [Roman Catholic] established All Saints' Day on November 1 so that
people could continue a festival they had celebrated before becoming Christians. The Mass
that was said on this day was called Allhallowmas. The evening before became known
as All Hallow e'en, or Halloween. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
The Celtic Festival of Samhain is probably the source of the present-day Halloween
celebration. The Celts lived more than 2,000 years ago in what is now Great Britain,
Ireland, and northern France. Their new year began on November 1. A festival that began
the previous evening honored Samhain, the Celtic lord of death. The celebration marked the
beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay. It naturally became associated with
human death. The Celts believed that Samhain allowed the souls of the dead to return to
their earthly homes for this evening.
On the evening of the festival, the Druids, who were the priests and teachers of the
Celts, ordered the people to put out their hearth fires. The Druids built a huge new
year's bonfire of oak branches, which they considered sacred. They burned animals, crops,
and possibly even human beings as sacrifices. Then each family relit its hearth fire from
the new year's fire. During the celebration, people sometimes wore costumes made of animal
heads and skins. They told fortunes about the coming year by examining the remains of the
animals that had been sacrificed.
The Romans conquered the Celts in A.D. 43 and ruled what is now Great Britain for about
400 years. During this period, two Roman autumn festivals were combined with the Celtic
festival of Samhain. One of them, called Feralia, was held in late October to honor
the dead. The other festival honored Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. . . . .
. . . . . . .
According to an Irish legend, jack-o-lanterns were named for a man called Jack, who
could not enter heaven because he was a miser. He could not enter hell either, because he
had played jokes on the devil. As a result, Jack had to walk the earth with his lantern
until Judgment Day.
All Saints' Day. Many of the customs of the Celts survived even after the people became
Christians. During the 800's, the church [Roman Catholic] established All Saints' Day on
November 1. The people made the old pagan customs part of this Christian holy day. The
church [Roman Catholic] later began to honor the dead on November 2. This day became known
as All Souls' Day.
. . . In England , . . . On All Souls' Day, poor people went a-souling
(begging). They received pastries called soulcakes in exchange for promising to say
prayers for the dead.
In Ireland, "Good luck was promised to generous donors, and threats were made
against those who would not give." [The Truth About Halloween -Robert
Beware lest any man spoil you through
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ. [Colossians 2:8]
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I
will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten
the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. [Hosea 4:6]
. . . that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the
use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy
Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [Ephesians
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but
rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor
covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of
God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the
wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with
them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children
of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful
works of darkness, but rather reprove them. [Ephesians 5:4-11]
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity
with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be
abomination. [Proverbs 28:9]
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And
what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living
God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will
be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
[II Corinthians 6:14-18]
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.
[I Thessalonians 5:21-22]
Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers
of the Lord's table, and the table of devils. [I Corinthians
And, in the next chapter, concerning the Lord's Supper:
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily,
eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this
cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge
ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord,
that we should not be condemned with the world. [I
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will
serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the
flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my
house, we will serve the LORD. [Joshua 24:15]