What is the Church's general view towards Halloween?

Just trying to get some opinions. This question popped into my head when one of the parishoners who is also I believe an adviser to the priest began jumping up and down on the pulpit at the end of mass yeling “THE PUMPKINS ARE COMING!!!”. Indeed his action was innapropriate considering the fact he was in a CHURCH! Also my parish has costume parties in the hall next door to the church. As a young Catholic I have taken a vow to stop celebrating Halloween, and the scary movies (even though I never liked or watched them to begin with). Isnt my parish contradicting the fact that Halloween is a pagan holiday by doing this? What is your opinion, so I can better understand this issue?

I’m so glad someone is asking that question. I don’t know the church’s official position on Halloween…but I decided many years ago as a young Christian that I didn’t want anything to do with it. I had come into the Lord’s light and I just didn’t want anything to do with identifying myself or my children with the dark history of it.

I can’t tell you how much flack I took for that parental decision …not to go “trick or treating” …We didn’t judge anyone else’s choices…and I taught my children to accept the different decisions other families made…But that’s not the response I got…:shrug:

You’d have thought it was on par with child abuse …like I was some "church lady " keeping my kids from having fun. I never regretted it. It gave me great opportunities to witness to others; to tell them how much better the Light of Christ is.

Eventually, I met other equally " wicked parents " and we came up with all kinds of fun for our children to have together instead .

So, I admire you for your stand…especially as a young person.

Bring others to the Light of Christ…


Thank you for this heartwarming post. I am humbled. I will do my best to share the Light of Christ and the Light of the Gosple. God be with you always!

That it is the day preceding the Solemnity of All Saints.


Halloween is actually a catholic holiday, but it’s not meant to be about “goblins and ghouls” and other scary stuff,
instead it is supposed to be the “Vigil of All Saints” which is all hallows eve, the eve of all saints day, which is a holy day of obligation,
and after all saints day it is “all souls day”,
so it’s, Oct 31st all hallows eve, Nov 1st all saints day, and Nov 2nd all souls day.
November is the month dedicated to praying for the dead, and especially the souls in purgatory, which you can read about here - thepracticingcatholic.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/1-8-november-plenary-indulgences-aplenty/

Halloween doesn’t have to be an evil holiday, you can celebrate it the way you’re supposed to, pray for the dead, and if you have a traditional mass anywhere near you, they tend to have all saints day parties, where you get to dress up as one of the saints :3

ok, hope this helps, take care

I celebrate “all hallows eve”, all Saints day, and all Souls day… but I don’t really celebrate Halloween (in the way the rest of our society does). I think it’s alright for kids to dress up in an innocent costume like an angel, a historical figure, etc… but I don’t really like the history of the holiday or how its centered around witches, goblins, and such. Also with people in my age group, it’s more of an excuse to dress up in really revealing costumes, go clubbing, and get drunk.


The Catholic Church does not condemn Halloween. When I went to Catholic grade school and high school in the 60s/70s, we had Halloween parties with costumes. I was lucky that I went to Catholic schools that still had nuns and priests. I think young Catholics today just do not get good information about Church teaching.

Here is a link with a good article about Catholics and Halloween.


I hope this gives Catholics who do not partake of Halloween another perspective.


Wearing costumes and having fun dressing up on halloween is not a mortal sin people. As long as the costume is not immodest there’s nothing wrong here. :rolleyes:

Thanks so much for all of your views. This really helped me out with my decision. I teach a sixth grade CCD class for my church and I was wondering if I should bring treat bags for them. After reading all of your view I have decided to bring them. Now only do I have the lesson that I am suppose to teach form the books but I have also prepared a lesson about Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day and even made copies of the Prayer to St. Michael. I just hope I have enough time to do all of this.

Again Thanks to all of you!!!

I know the Question is … Re: What is the Church’s general view towards Halloween?

Being British and having lived in Canada for 20 years my 2 penneth worth … or … 2 cents worth is…

Halloween is teaching children about ‘Extortion’ at an early age… H’mmm isn’t extortion a sin ?
Lets face it, you are basically calling on strangers homes and asking for a treat,with a threat of a ‘trick’ to those that don’t comply… if you don’t give me one I’ll glue up your windows or throw an egg at it… Yeah Yeah, I know many here will say that doesn’t happen so much now…

But even a little is too much and with the advent of WalMart opening in the UK this horrible (lets get some mega sweetie sales) holiday tradition has hit their shores… For 50 years my sister lived ‘Eggless’ since they’ve started selling Halloween candy and costumes it’s a excuse for the teenagers to run around and brake lots of commandments!

With a little soul searching, is it really the RIGHT thing to do, or is it intimidation and bully boy tactics that are being taught?

As a new ‘Canadian’ I can say that I sure felt VERY intimidated by a few groups of teenagers knocking at my door !! And yes the children looked cute… BUT sorry imo you are teaching Extortion through threats, Coercion and bullying!

Or put another way … IF a stranger showed up at your door on any other night and said 'Give me something nice or i’ll do some nasty ‘trick’… Is that not Extortion? Coercion? Bullying? Yet at Halloween this is suddenly acceptable behaviour ??

Ok. After thinking about it for a while I have decided to celebrate ‘All Hallows eve’ with the All Saints and All Souls eves and vigils. None of that ghost and monsters mumbo jumbo. Thank you so much:) This thread was very helpful for me. God bless you all

A couple of Sundays ago, my church had leaflets shining negativity on Halloween, explaining how Halloween comes from a festival for worshipping satan and demons.

Party invitations were given out for children so that they may attend a party called ‘The God Party’, which concentrates on Christianity. Children may go dressed up in bright colours of super heroes instead of ghosts and witches.

I’m assuming that most posters are from America, but America celebrates Halloween differently to the English.

Im probably bringing up a long dead thread but here’s how I see it, I feel like this is the best way to explain the whole thing:

This is Fiona Frightening, the main playable character in a upcoming indie game called Fiona Frightening and The Wicked Wardrobe

Now, she is a little girl fascinated with all kinds of fairy tales, notably spooky cute ones, she is a brave, shy, kind little girl who has magic dresses to fight evil demonic monsters with her monster friends

Now the monsters in this game are no more in-contex demon than Casper The Friendly Ghost, and the bad guy the Boogieman is a devil-like figure which she confronts, basically the silly Witch here is the knight and the nasty devil-like Boogieman is the villain here, also this is just an assumption, but she and the other heroes are portrayed in the moonlight while the Boogieman is in the darkness

So is this in context any way satanic? Any sane parent would say, no of course not.

So its the context of how we look at halloween

Are there any people who take Halloween with a far too serious Satanic attitude? Yes.

But there are some who take it and make it more positive in other ways besides the “Dress Up as Saints” schtick

Its our attitude, not the creatures or characters in of themselves. Like those who designed a game called “Undertale” couldn’t say ‘Darn we can’t use silly skeletons because Satantists use them’ thats as silly as saying WB can’t have Daffy Duck because Disney has Donald Duck

Its Attitude and Context

It is linked to the Christian Celebration of “All Hallows” (“All Saints”) (“All Hallow’s Eve”= ‘Halloween’). An ancient Celtic tradition was that the souls in purgatory and hell got one ‘day off’ each year, from their sufferings. It seems like a quite nice thought to me…It’s somewhat parallel to ‘All Souls’ day- when the departed who are not in heaven are remembered.

Personally, I think whatever keeps Christianity as part of our culture (Christmas, St. Valentine’s Day, Halloween) should be retained- even if the link becomes tenuous. But not Mardi Gras- especially in its homosexual versions. But Halloween is harmless. A sense of fear of the supernatural is a good thing to install in children.

The Church Fathers understood that many pagan festivals actually foreshadow the coming of Christ, and for these reason, often replaced former pagan festivals with Christian ones (such as the “May Queen”, which foreshadows the Virgin Mary). Halloween is an example of this.

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