No, they shouldn’t
Let me explain why I am negative about Halloween. First, Halloween deceives us about evil. It creates a cartoon version of evil as trivial, harmless fun that no one could possibly see as a threat.
Yet all evil is serious and any messing with supernatural evil is particularly so. To fool around with evil is a fool’s game.
Second, Halloween distracts us about evil. It presents evil in terms of the obvious and the spectacular; things that proclaim their identity with fangs and claws, cackles and cloaks.
Yet evil is at its most seductive when it is silent and subtle. The most dangerous evils are not clumsy figures in five-quid skeleton outfits knocking on your door; they are infinitely better disguised.
In the real world the deadliest evil doesn’t turn up with nocturnal cries of ‘Trick or treat!’ Instead, it tiptoes around unannounced in broad daylight. It is there in the sudden opportunity to cheat in an exam, the gentle request to submit an inflated expense claim or the quiet invitation to vote in favour of something illegal.
The problem with the road to hell is that it never states its destination. By focusing on the recognisable and grotesque, Halloween obscures the fact that most evil wears a charming face.
Finally, Halloween deniesthe defeat of evil. In Halloween, supernatural evil is presented as unchallenged and victorious.
Yet as a Christian I believe that’s only half of the story, and the darkest half at that. The reality is that evil was defeated on the cross and that one day the crucified King will return and abolish even the memory of it forever.
That, not Halloween, is the story I want to celebrate.
Rev Canon J. John
is an evangelist, minister, speaker, broadcaster and writer. He has written several books across a range of subjects including the Theology for Little People series to help children understand biblical truth.