That time of year again…
The belief that Halloween is pagan in origin is a myth. Many neo-pagan websites claim that it was an attempt by early Christians to “baptize” the Gaelic harvest festival of Samhain. Because of this persistent myth, some Christians are hesitant to participate in anything associated with Halloween. Brad Winsted of the Christian Broadcasting Network explains:
[quote]Even a cursory look at the origins of Halloween will reveal satanic rituals played out in trick and treating, jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts, the dead, and on and on. If you’ve ever taken time to research any of these Halloween practices you’ll see the satanic background from the Celtic tribes of Scotland and Ireland.
Like other claims that Catholicism adopted pagan practices and beliefs, this myth is also based on bad research and propaganda that developed after the Protestant Reformation. Given the contempt of the reformers for the Catholic doctrine of purgatory and prayers for the dead, this development is not surprising.