Christianity, Paganism, and Secular Halloween

October 27, 2002

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On October 27, 2002 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that "many conservative Christians have stopped celebrating what today is the second -biggest commercial holiday, after Christmas, in America with an expected $6.9 billion in sales of candy, decorations and costumes this year. The anti-Halloween movement has ebbed and flowed in this country, flaring up most recently, experts say, around 20 years ago when reports of razor blades in apples and poisoned candies became more common, not to mention widespread vandalism in cities such as Detroit on "Devil's Night," the night before Halloween. While the Internet is rife with Web sites reporting on these pagan roots, some scholars say the connection is overstated. Many of the rituals of the holiday -- trick-or- treating and the carving of jack-o' -lanterns -- stem from medieval Christian traditions which replaced earlier pagan ones, said Hans Broedel, a professor of medieval history at Hamilton College."