I think it’s safe to say that the people coming to this site every day to read 0ur stuff (and thanks to all of you for doing so) love Halloween. But, uh, not everybody does.
I’m sure several of us have had our run-ins with those who believe that celebrating Halloween is the equivalent of worshiping Satan. I have. I was told once, straight to my face, that I was going to Hell because I said I would let my kids go trick-or-treating. This was in the early ’90s, when I was working at a Church of Christ bookstore (I’m a Methodist myself, but the owner didn’t seem to mind). A co-worker and I were discussing Halloween and our own, personal beliefs that, while the holiday certainly has its darker origins, the Halloween we grew up with was all about candy and costumes and safe scares and fun, and that neither of us would have any problem letting our own kids celebrate it. A woman walked over from where she’d been browsing the shelves, informed me that my soul was bound for Hell, and stormed out. Well, guess what, lady! My family celebrates Halloween, AND I work for the best publisher of horror fiction in the business, AND I’m pretty sure my eternal soul is in great shape, thankyouverymuch.
Ahem…anyway…that memory came flooding back when I stumbled across this dissection of an anti-Halloween video on Dinosaur Dracula. The cover to Halloween: Trick or Treat looks innocuous enough, but viewers soon find out that it’s part of a series called “The Pagan Invasion,” which apparently exists to warn people about all the ways occultism is worming its way into everyday life. The hosts hold forth on the topic of Halloween while sitting in a computer-generated medieval castle, cutting occasionally to video taken at various video stores and costume shops, plus interviews with witches and former Satanists that were conducted elsewhere—the grounds around the castle, perhaps? I don’t know.
Anyway, Matt over at Dinosaur Dracula does a great write-up of the video, complete with some excellent clips for your viewing pleasure, so I’m just going to send you over there to check it out. It’s a nifty little piece of Satanic Panic straight from an era when banning trick-or-treating and putting warning labels on albums were among the top priorities for those in charge.
Blu Gilliand is the managing editor of Cemetery Dance Magazine and Cemetery Dance Online. Growing up, his trick-or-treat costumes included Bugs Bunny and the Six Million Dollar Man…and not once (so far as he knows) did his actions open a gate to Hell.