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Did you use to believe that Halloween was satanic?


finleeport

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Since its Halloween tomorrow, I like to know if any ex-fundie and fundie-lites once believed that Halloween was the stereotypical 'Witch's Sabbath' or the Devil's Holiday.

In my parents native country in Greece, Halloween has no roots there and so unfamiliar with the holiday over there. Even my mom and some (very little) of my churchgoers think Halloween and Wicca are demonic religions, and that our Christian faith is the only true faith. In a rage of stupidity, I would try to argue with them how wrong they are.

I used to think that Halloween was devilish, but growing up and doing my own research, Halloween was originally a day to venerate the dead, bid farewell to summer and welcome autumn, make masks to scare away vengeful spirits or pacify them with offered treats and sweets.

Did you ever had the same belief?

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We were allowed to go trick or treating and dress up, but we weren't allowed to dress up as anything considered "demonic", i.e. witches, devils, etc. I was raised what I would call mainstream Christian (Fundie Ultra-Light?). Mom didn't always think that way--there's a picture of me dressed as a witch a la "Wizard of Oz", with the green face and the black outfit when I was about 3. I think it was more because the bulk of my trick-or-treating was done during the height of the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980's, which my mom fully bought into. Because of that, there was no ebil Heavy Metal or MTV, no Ouija boards, and no dressing up in demonic Halloween costumes. She seems to be past that now, since at one time or another, she's purchased all of her granddaughters either witch or vampire costumes.

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My parents also forbid Ouija boards, which was odd. It lead me to conclude that the boards actually DID let you contact demonic spirits (why else would you forbid it)? Finally I found a board and my brother and I did a few science experiments with it to figure out how it works. We were soooooo disappointed. If my parents had just told me it didn't work from the get-go it wouldn't have been nearly so exciting.

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Guest Anonymous

I was not brought up in a religious home, but I started Sunday School with friends age 10 and Halloween was frowned upon from then on. We had an All Saints Party at church instead and there was no shortage of sweets and games, but we were taught that Halloween was serious and that it was dangerous to make light of evil spirits. The UK evenings are dark and cold in October and we were also told that it was dangerous and foolish for children to be allowed out trick or treating at night. (though somehow it was considered 'godly' to go door to door singing carols in darkest December....)

I am 39 now and I carved my first ever pumpkin tonight. :lol: My 16 year old niece announced that she wanted to have her second childhood early, because being a teenager sucks, and so we decided we needed a pumpkin. :D :lol: We drove round 4 supermarkets before we found one that hadn't sold out, and we then examined 4 large metal bins of pumpkins before finding 'the one'. I wish I had a photo but her facebook page is locked down so I need to wait to download them from her phone.

(Before I got sucked into church I went trick or treating with family but in the UK in the 70s we did not have access to pumpkins. We used to hollow out swedes (rutabaga?) instead, which took all day and night to do and left us with little energy left to worry about demonic influence.... :P )

turnip.jpg?w=142&h=221

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What was the 'Satanic' Panic?

I don't know how old you are, but in the early to mid 80's, there was this mass hysteria over Satanism and in particular Satanic Ritual Abuse invading the country. There was never really any proof that it was actually going on, but that didn't stop people from losing their minds over it. There was also the issue of Satanic metal. Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, and others were dragged into court over kids comitting suicide and were accuse of putting subliminal Satanic messages in their music. Of course, all the major fundie players (700 Club, Focus on the Family) bought into it and worked their followers into quite a lather. Even as a kid, I remember thinking that all of it just didn't sound believable.

Here's a Wiki article on the whole ordeal (I know, I know, it's a Wiki article, but it's a decent start):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse

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Guest Anonymous

In the late 80s there was a book called Pop Goes The Gospel, which was all about the dangers of satanic backtracking.

(As well as sex of course. I distinctly remember the warning about "Shakin' Stevens - even his name has sexual connotations".... :lol: )

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Grew up Catholic and Irish, Halloween was not satanic, it was rooted in our cultural history. The tradition of trick or treating was brought to the U.S. by the Irish. In the 1950's there was no fear of tainted treats. We used pillow cases to hold our candy, none of the skimpy sized plastic pumpkins kids use today.

I would like to go to Mexico some year, specifically to the town of Pátzcuaro in the state of Michoacan for the night of the dead celebration. I've been there in the summer but never for the night of the dead. Has anyone else been there for the celebration?

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I definitely remember the Satanic ritual abuse prosecutions of day care operators (McMartin pre-school case) and I remember '80s hysteria over heavy metal and Dungeons & Dragons -- followed by '90s hysteria over ZOMG!!! Marilyn Manson!!!!! But I have the impression that the anti-Halloween hysteria is more recent, more within the 2000s. Maybe it's just that I hadn't heard of anti-Halloween until then.

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I did not think it was, but my fundie-lite/evangelical parents thought it was bad and un-Christian, so they never let me trick or treat. :( Sometimes I got to go to a church fall festival, though.

Now I love Halloween! I'm dressing up as a pirate tomorrow and putting decorations on my door. :)

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I grew up celebrating Halloween, although my parents were definitely protective and worried about poisoned candy/razor blades/etc.

In my current area, the Day of the Dead is huge, celebrated in schools and such. I can only imagine what the fundies would think!

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My parents also forbid Ouija boards, which was odd. It lead me to conclude that the boards actually DID let you contact demonic spirits (why else would you forbid it)? Finally I found a board and my brother and I did a few science experiments with it to figure out how it works. We were soooooo disappointed. If my parents had just told me it didn't work from the get-go it wouldn't have been nearly so exciting.

Well, ya know, that's what got Reagan in trouble on The Exorcist. . .

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I went trick-or-treating once when I was 3, but after that my parents decided not to do Halloween any more. Tomorrow my sis and I might celebrate it a little, for like the first time.

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The Satanic Panic began when I was old enough to trick or treat so that didn't happen. By the time it calmed down we were full fledged fundy and it was evil. We watched movie biographies about Martin Luther instead. It sounds like fun now but our neighbors don't hand out candy.

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Well, at least you guys went trick or treating, I never had a chance during the 90s, wore costume though when I was in elementary, I was a hobo. But now, I get to trick people when I was handing out treats, last year I pretended to be blind.

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Heck no. Halloween was and still is a time of fun. A time to dress up and eats lots of candy [but not that nasty candy corn - yuck]. My Mom was cautious back then (I'm 52 now) and only allowed by brothers and me to treat or treat at relatives homes and three neighbors homes. BUT she bought tons of the good candy for us and divided it between the three kids. We wore our costumes and had great fun. Later with my younger sisters, we were able to bring them around the neighborhood to collect candy and my brothers were known for their scary "displays" that sent the neighborhood kids and some adults screaming and leaving behind some nice candy! I only heard about people dissing this holiday maybe fifteen years ago. I thought they were crazy then and I think they're crazy now.

It's fine if you wish to do something as an alternative, I don't think that's crazy, but to say it's satanic...please! [btw, that's an equal opportunity insult - I know sadly some Catholics who are just as vehement in their beliefs that anyone who celebrates this holiday is not truly a Christian...pfftt]. I just remind those same people of the "original" origins of our celebration of Christmas day. Of course since I'm Catholic, they don't believe anything I say anyway! :lol:

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I went through a period where I wished I could convince myself that Halloween was satanic because I just hated it and wanted an excuse not to celebrate. I am generally not a big fan of holidays that don't involve a big meal, a school break, and/or a concert/special church service. However, the FJ discussion of Halloween and FJer's descriptions of their awesome Halloween celebrations have made me feel a little Halloweenish, so I am actually "celebrating" a little this year, by which I mean I have a pumpkin, a dish of candy (for me, I live in a campus apartment where there are no trick-or-treaters), and a bottle of my favorite wine. :dance:

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I was told this growing up, but I don't remember ever really believing. I was just jealous of friends who got to dress up and go out and I hated sitting in our house with all the lights off every year. I was allowed to go out for Halloween starting in junior high, a couple years after I started public school.

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Nope, I wasn't raised around fundies or evangelicals, so I had no idea that anyone thought Halloween was satanic. When I was little, it was just a fun time to dress up in costumes and get candy. I never even heard about the "controversy" until I was in college.

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Heck no. Trick or treating is called "guising" in Scotland. You dress up in funny (or scary) costumes, tell your hosts a joke or sing them a song, you get sweets. Nowt evil about that.

However as someone mentioned Ouija boards, those are regarded badly. One of my parents is atheist, one agnostic. But you could buy mini Ouija boards when I was in my early 20s and I remember shopping with parents, saying "Oh cute!" and getting the response "We'll NOT have that thing in the house."

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My parents, or at least my mother, bought into the Satanic Panic lock, stock and barrel, so yes, I was taught that Halloween was satanic. I believed it until I was an adult, but I started to relax about it even before I quit Christianity. My kids don't trick or treat in the traditional sense, but we do dress up, they get candy, go to a party/event, and we spend Halloween night handing out candy on our front porch and ooing and ahhing over all of the cute little kids.

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The Satanic Panic began when I was old enough to trick or treat so that didn't happen. By the time it calmed down we were full fledged fundy and it was evil. We watched movie biographies about Martin Luther instead. It sounds like fun now but our neighbors don't hand out candy.

This was my experience, basically (except I am slightly younger and we never went full-fundie). My parents had tons of books about Satanism around the house that used to scare the crap out of me :twisted:

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the Satanic Panic subsided in the late 90s, so I have no memory of it. I didn't even hear of satanism or Black Mass or any of that shit until I'd moved back to the US at 6, actually some time after that.

So no, my family never believed Halloween was Satanic. They would dress my sister and I up and take us out trick-or-treating. As we got older, it was scary movie time.

We did for some reason go to churches where while I don't think anyone outright said Halloween was satanic, were too bothered by scary movies and the various other rumors surrounding Halloween. So those churches would have "fall festivals" and at AWANA, let the kids dress up but not as witches or devils. But nearly everyone went trick-or-treating anyway, and I know for sure everybody watched scary movies.

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Nope. Halloween celebration is relatively new in Finland and a lot of people still think it is American humbug and have no place in local celebration calendar. Toys'R'Us and other foreign companies have their own Halloween campaigns and it is one of the reasons why kids want to celebrate Halloween. It is still mainly costume parties at schools, no trick-or-treating.

We have our own tradition in Easter time where kids go door to door offering the blessings of good health and prosperity for the coming year and they ask for a little treat back. Usually it is chocolate eggs or other candy, sometimes money. When kids bless you, they will whisk you with silk paper and feather decorated willow twigs and recite a little poem and after that they will give you those branches to have. Nowadays two different kind of Easter traditions have mixed. This blessing and whisking part comes from Orthodox tradition and dressing up as a witch comes from Western Finland where it was believed that trolls and witches were doing bad things to domestic animals (like cutting part of their skin off) on Easter nights, especially on Good Friday night. It was thought that nights from Good Friday to Easter Sunday were especially evil time and witches were free to do whatever they want (because Jesus was still in his grave and not keeping evil away). Bonfires were and still are burned on Easter Saturday to drive evil away.

When Orthodox people from Karelia were inhabitated during and after WWII to other parts in Finland, these two opposite type of traditions were slowly mixed. Nowadays kids dress up as withces and go to bless people with willow twigs.

Of course we have those who think Halloween is satanic thing like yoga ;)

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No, although I've had people try to convince me otherwise. Probably the only thing that kept me from falling into that belief is I've always been a big history buff and tend to research the hell out of anything I'm interested in or involved with (although sometimes with major blind spots). Anyway, I dabbled in Wicca for a couple years in my early teens, and was involved in Satanism (the atheistic Anton LeVay type, not devil worship) in my early 20s, so once I started hearing the horror stories I already knew the history of Halloween, how it was viewed by both, and that the fundie scare stories and urban legends were bullshit.

One of the first things that really made me question my former fundie church/pastor was a sermon against Halloween. He just got so much of his information wrong, both on history and current stuff, and it was so obvious he was repeating something he'd heard from another fundie instead of having done any research himself. I wonder if fundies realize how ignorant they sound with some of the stuff they repeat, and that it turns people away from their beliefs much more than it turns them away from celebrating Halloween.

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