28 responses to Halloween Questions Revisited
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    Andrea green
    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 06:48)

    I myself have neither done halloween , and have not allowed my children to take part, this was very hard for us, as there friends dress up and would plead for are children to take part, but as commited christians we felt it was to much of a compromise. In the uk the dress code is been a devil or a witch, we had light partys instead, the kids at church could come as angles or bible carictors, and actualy they really enjoyed this, and us adlults could dress up to, so we felt we had not given in to the world, but i must say each person has a right to do what they would like at the end of the day, but as for me and my house we served the lord through that testing time, but i know its so hard when kids are so excited about the hole thing and yes we had kids knock on are door for sweets, so i gave stickers with Jesus loves you, apples and fruit, and do you know the kidd loved coming every year for there sickers and fruit, truly they did, i even saw one of the small boys all grown up and he said i loved you giving me stickers and fruit and you always said God bless you! I was so touched by this, even are kids loved handing out the fruit and stickers.

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      Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 09:42)

      Andrea it is nice to hear there was that reaction. I think if you gave apples in some places you’d run the risk of them becoming projectiles. I bet those children who thanked you will have good teeth and maybe you made an impression otherwise as well.

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    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 07:48)

    Halloween is totally an American thing, no doubt about it. But as it goes, anything American is getting more popular in Europe these days. And of course commerce is trying to introduce the holiday as it is good business…

    So nowadays we do get some Halloween events in Belgium, but trick or treating isn’t yet one of them. Some kids might do it tonight, but what we get the most is spooky night walks, people carving pumpkins and costume parties. And yes, even adults get involved. Tonight I’ll be at a friend’s and I’m sure she’ll be dressed up and she will have a bunch of Halloween-themed snacks. (Last year: pumpkin soup with tiny meatballs that looked like spiders; and I made a delicious cheesecake with a cobweb and spider on it in chocolate) We’ll all enjoy some horror movies and then go for a scary night walk.

    Can’t say I mind the Halloween thing blowing over to this side of the pond. I’m sure kids just love getting dressed up and getting candy (not just kids).

    Great description in your old post by the way, love the Halloween tax. Good one to remember if I ever have kids and if they go trick or treating. 🙂

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      Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 09:39)

      Thanks Janina, your plans sound quite American 🙂 Looks like you’ve noticed the same thing with business as I mentioned below about Poland. It makes sense that that is where new customs might originate nowadays, since a lot of what people do now is consumption-driven.

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    Debbie H
    Comment on All in how you feel in your heart (October 31st, 2013 at 09:02)

    All in how you feel in your heart

    I always find it interesting that we Christians make a big deal out of Halloween because of its pagan symbolism but continue to celebrate Christmas with all its pagan symbols, even decorating our churches with them. If you do not buy into the commercialized/pagan celebration of Christmas, you do not believe in Jesus. God looks into what we believe in our hearts and what our intentions are. I for one believed Halloween was about having fun and receiving candy when I was a child. I now believe it is a time to see cute little kids in some creative costumes eyes light up with delight at receiving candy and then saying thank you.

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      Ed from NY
      Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 23:04)

      Debbie…very good points. I read that Halloween is the second most commercialized holiday, after Christmas.

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    Bonnie Reece
    Comment on Mexico (October 31st, 2013 at 09:12)


    Mexico has the Dia del Muerto which actually is two days of remembering the people in your family that have passed on. The first day is to remember the children–the second, the adults. It is celebrated by going to the gravesite to clean, put out new flowers to decorate. The family may spend the night there, eating & drinking to be with the spirits of their departed family members.

    However, since the influx of Anglos into Mexico & the influence of television, Halloween is becoming more a part of the culture. Children dress up in costume & go door to door. They sing a short jingle & hold out their bags for candy.

    The people who do want to participate have their lights on & their gates open. I don’t care for Halloween so I just lock my gate & turn out my lights early which isn’t a problem.

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      Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 09:36)

      Bonnie something similar is done in Poland, which is where I am now (just arrived–which was the last phase in the travels I mentioned above) for All Souls/Saint’s Days. The cemeteries will be full of people and candles over the next few days.

      Halloween is creeping in here, though not to the degree you mention with trick or treating, or if so it is very limited. But businesses in the cities are taking advantage, with jack o lanterns and some Halloween theme products/events.

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        Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 09:52)

        Welcome back in Europe!

        Same goes for Belgium. We have All Saint’s and All Souls Day 1 and 2 November. Don’t think with us there’s the difference between two dates for children and adults though, and people don’t stay the night either. But on these days people typically the cemeteries and leave flowers, especially chrysanthemums. Not sure where that tradition comes from… Do you have it as well in Poland?

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          Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 10:26)

          Yes, exactly Chrysanthemums. I don’t think it is a “cemetery flower” in the states–just saw some at the NC State Fair–but has that connotation here. My Polish grandmother just told me with a laugh it would be strange to give that flower for name day or birthday.

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            Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 10:34)

            Haha, your grandmother’s got a point… And it’s not even a pretty flower. To me it’s really a cemetery flower.

            Must admit that the concept “name day” isn’t a familiar one to me by the way. Why don’t we get that one in Belgium yet? If it means getting flowers, someone should introduce it! 🙂

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              Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (November 1st, 2013 at 07:45)

              It does Janina, or sweets and things like that. Each day of the year has a number of names associated with it and you celebrate on your name’s day (complicated I know). I think it used to be even more popular than celebrating birthdays but things have probably shifted more in the direction of birthdays. Older folks would be more likely to pay attention to name days, in my experience.

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    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 09:17)

    Has it been 2 years since that post? Where does the time go?

    Like you, Erik, I really take advantage of those “unlimited miles!”

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    City Slicker
    Comment on Ragamuffin Day (October 31st, 2013 at 09:56)

    Ragamuffin Day

    My mother (who would be 98 this year, if she were alive) said Halloween and Trick or Treating is a comparatively new “custom”. When she was a girl (in the NYC area) kids would dress in old clothes and smear themselves with dirt or soot, then go door to door and “beg” for food on or around Thanksgiving.
    Jump ahead to Halloween: my sister and I in the 50s & 60s, and later my own kids in the 80s, were REQUIRED by parental fiat to say “Thank you” at every house, whether or not any “treats” were received.

    Erik, how’s that new book coming?

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    Comment on There's a real downer out there... (October 31st, 2013 at 10:37)

    There's a real downer out there...

    I heard that there is some lady who if she sees an overweight child on her doorstep will hand out a message I guess to the point of go on a diet. In my opinion a real Debbie Downer.

    I can understand why the Amish don’t celebrate Halloween. Now that I’m older with no kids–I choose to keep the lights off and hopefully no one will ring my doorbell. This is my choice–I just choose not to participate.

    Many people bus their kids over to my county because so many are better off financially. While I understand the take is greater it means less for our kids…

    I like the idea of a fall party with no dress up allowed. Hand out candy to the youngsters. It’s a much safer practice.

    For anyone with small kids DO CHECK YOUR KIDS HAUL. Toss out any unwrapped candy or cookies (unless you positively know not only where it came from but you know the family). People put all sorts of crazy harmful ingredients in cookies. Razor blades in apples. Any open juice have your kids politely decline any drinks.

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      Comment on Not so sure about poisoned candy (October 31st, 2013 at 10:56)

      Not so sure about poisoned candy

      On the poisoned candy, I just read an interesting article. There apparently is just one known case of that happening, (I think Oldkat referenced this in the original post thread) in the 1970s in Texas. Out of that has grown a fear over poison or other nasty things being in candy. We can still use common sense but I don’t think there is much evidence of it actually happening.


      You could also apply the same cautious treatment to any food anyone you don’t know ever gives you, such as any restaurant-purchased food, or even that in grocery stores…a crazy/malicious person could strike at anytime, after all. But generally we trust our food sources and eat it without question so maybe it’s not such a big concern.

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    Brad of the Brethren
    Comment on Halloween in England (October 31st, 2013 at 11:35)

    Halloween in England

    Back in the 60’s & 70’s when I lived in London, Halloween was very much a Druid holiday. Where I lived in London they would meet at ‘High Gate’ cemetery clad in long white robes and Druid sticks. Also ‘Stonehenge’ was another favorite place for them to meet. Very much a party like atmosphere, don’t remember a lot about it, too stoned !

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    Comment on Overly worried (October 31st, 2013 at 14:19)

    Overly worried

    I agree with an earlier comment about how Christmas also has pagan beginnings. I was a kid in the early 60’s and a ritual was going to the five and dime store and selecting our costume. It consisted of a sort of taffeta jumpsuit costume with the design painted on it, and a plastic mask with eye and breathing holes held on with a thin piece of elastic. Choices were cowboys, doctors, nurses, ballerinas, and the like. As a young adult I used to dress up and play spooky music through loudspeakers on the porch. I look at it as just a day to be able to dress up and the kids to get candy. Yes, there might be some people who are into the occult who do things at Halloween, but that is certainly not the majority of this country.

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    Matt from CT
    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (October 31st, 2013 at 16:13)

    The only razor blades ever put in apples where in the minds of candy salesmen.

    Since Janina mentioned All Saints Day above…Halloween means All Hallows Eve — All Hallows Day is an alternative name for All Saints Day.

    Saint comes from Latin, Hallow from German (back in Anglo-Saxon days). In modern usage we usually use Saint to refer to people who have been sanctified, and Hallows to objects.

    Not a common word, but you’ll hear it in the “hallowed ground” of the Gettysburg Address, or the Lord’s Prayer (“Hallowed by your name”).

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    Sandra Kathleen
    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (November 1st, 2013 at 00:59)

    We had fun at Hallowe’en when I was a child in the 50s & 60s…I loved to dress up and feel so magical. Can’t say as I minded the candy, either! Favorites were Snickers Bars, hands down!

    So, of course, my kids had fun times Trick or Treating, too. We’d have kids over for a good meal BEFORE the sugar influx –and then go on the dole for the goodies! At 39, it’s still my older daughter’s favorite holiday.

    What happens here, being that we’re a bit more rural, is Trunk or Treat. Some churches hold Trunk or Treat in their parking lots — with cars very much decorated. Kids (from the church or not) go car to car and then into the church for a party. It’s really a lot of fun for everyone involved. in some communities, police and/or fire stations hold a Trunk or Treat. People that participate are known, so everyone feels a bit safer all the way around.

    I agree with an earlier reader, it’s what is in your heart as far as faith goes. And, it seems over the 60+ years I know anything about, the “demonic” stuff sorta comes and goes.

    As I think about it, I wonder if the Internet/Facebook has perhaps influenced this becoming a more “adult” holiday with more mature “themes.” I don’t remember as many “scary walks.”

    The description of your Hallowe’en is beautiful writing, Erik.

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      Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (November 1st, 2013 at 07:40)

      Thanks Sandra, it was fun to recall those times. I have wondered how rural children trick or treat (dropped off in town?), and sounds like Trunk or Treat is one solution (had never heard of that).

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        Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (November 1st, 2013 at 08:35)

        We live on an acreage just outside town and we take our daughter into town to trick or treat. We had ours t&t postponed by the city because of a large storm that hit last night. It’s now scheduled for Saturday night.

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    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (November 1st, 2013 at 07:36)

    My Halloween night was quiet. I had to work, so I didn’t get to see the little creatures stirring come to our door. At work, a lady did give the receptionist and I a handful of candies, which was kind. The most awesome adult costume I saw in my travels was a man dressed up as one of television and movies’ Muppets, semi-home made, it was cool.
    It rained actually, but people still went out, locally, next morning, all’s well as far as I know.

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    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on Christians and holidays (November 1st, 2013 at 08:45)

    Christians and holidays

    It seems to be a huge fad among churches these days to look and act just like the world, as long as it is all done in the name of Jesus. But Jesus and the early apostles teach very strongly against conforming to the ways of the world. It may gratify our human reasoning to want to reel in as many “converts” as possible with big holiday parties, shows, and events, but God asks his followers to lead by humble example, by walking the narrow road.

    This is one of the main reasons my family recently started attending a conservative anabaptist church.

    Interestingly, as a child I had my fair share of trick or treating, but it was the families I knew who were staunchly against celebrating Halloween who made the greatest impression on me. Even though I thought they were terribly silly, scared, and old-fashioned at the time.

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    Sandra Kathleen
    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (November 3rd, 2013 at 20:33)

    We also had delayed Hollowe’en activities this year for wind (50-60 mph winds) more than the rain! The house really rattled…but, not from bones!

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    Comment on Halloween Questions Revisited (November 3rd, 2013 at 20:55)

    In my area of the world the rain came and went on Thursday. I saw undaunted trick or treaters during the five o’clock and six o’clock hours. I saw adult partiers dressed up later in the evening. It was warm here, well, warm enough at any rate.

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