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The Controversy Of Halloween

There is a controversy over Halloween.

Some people on the ‘religious right’ label it as a day for the devil. I have heard stories of gangs who use the day for initiations and such. Whether that is accurate or urban legend I am not sure. Quite honestly I think it is a little bit of both.

To me the whole concept of Halloween seems benign. Little kids dress up in costumes and they go to their neighbor’s houses. After ringing the doorbell they yell out ‘Trick or Treat’ and in return they are given a piece of candy. That’s how it worked all of my life up here in New Jersey.

I remember as a child Halloween being a very special day for me. I would get dressed up in a costume. I can still recall my spider man outfit complete with mask. A hobo was another easy costume, all one needed was an old jacket, a burnt cork to make dark markings on the face and a pillow to imitate a big belly. I recall going out at night with my brother and collecting a lot of candy. The supply of chocolate would last us a good month. Also we had a day full of fun together.

Also I remember how my dad would so much enjoy answering the door as he got up in his years. He’d have the candy all prepared by the door. He’d ask the little children what they were dressed up as. Then he’d take great pleasure in giving out the candy. Nothing nefarious going on there, just an old man delighting in a special day.

I understand about the devil and Satanism, perhaps more than the average person. Such a discussion is very complex, elaborate and voluminous. Let me be succinct in saying that anybody who wished to advocate evil doesn’t need a special day to do so. A rotten, wicked man pretty much has a constant disposition through out the whole year. Not saying that represents all ‘satanists’ at all.

So allow me to address the ‘religious right’. I suggest that they take a deep self examination before they begin to condemn others. A large portion of the ‘religious right’ has a filthy history. In this country their forefathers practiced both chattel slavery to African Americans and genocide to the indigenous peoples of this land. So before you throw a fit over a little kid getting dressed up as a clown I’d suggest you address the ramifications of the evil your ancestors perpetrated. Because at one time your forefathers were raping woman, and breaking up families by selling them on the auction block, and all was well and good with God.

Also a good amount of the ‘religious right’ tend to be strong advocates for war. Once again before condemning somebody for handing out candy, perhaps they should stop dropping bombs on innocent people’s heads and indiscriminately killing them.

My friend has two children and he is a Christian. He took his kids out to a relatively new thing. Instead of the children going from house to house they go from car to car. It cuts down the time a lot and more importantly increases the safety involved for all.

Another thing I recall about Halloween when I was a teenager was going to the theater to see the scary movies. The biggest thing about that was getting into the ‘R’ rated movies before we were all seventeen.

As a writer the concept of evil is of course a fascinating thing. Evil is as much a part of humanity as is good. I believe that there is a clear line between the two. Allow me to quote the Bible here from Romans 13:10 “Love does no harm to a neighbor.” Does what you do on Halloween harm your neighbor? Let us make that the litmus test.

On this night to be scared I invite you to check out my horror book “Scarecrow, Scarecrow”.

The Controversy Of Halloween

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2017). The Controversy Of Halloween. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 13, 2018, from


Last updated: 31 Oct 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Oct 2017
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