For many children it is simply the time of the year to don fancy dress in the home or charming the neighbours out of a few sweets. But a church magazine has shocked parents by warning their children would be ‘siding with the devil’ if they go trick or treating this Halloween. The article, called Halloween Isn’t a Treat - Don’t Be Tricked, warns parents trick or treating was amounted to ‘extortion and blackmail’ and ‘condemned as criminal the rest of the year’.
Residents in the picturesque Vale of Belvoir, which straddles the Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire border, were told in the article that the evening of October 31 was simply a ‘concentration on evil’ which made ‘fun of potentially dangerous situations’. The article appeared in the Belvoir Angel magazine, which is distributed by the Vale of Belvoir benefice, a group of nine parish churches in the area. But it’s sparked anger in local villages, where residents described it as offensive and upsetting.
Mariel Heald, a mother-of-four who lives in Stathern, Leicestershire, said: 'The article is so intense, saying that anyone trick or treating is Devil-worshipping. We don’t think of it that way, it’s just a bit of fun. ‘I volunteer at my local church and take my children to my friends’ homes. ‘The churches have gone over the top and I find it quite offensive and upsetting. I’ve spoken to other people who have also been shocked.’ Around 500 copies of the monthly magazine are either sent to residents of the area who request it, or left in churches for people to collect.