what’s okay about Halloween – and what’s not

He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom[d]and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:12-14

Beks and David

Full disclosure: I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween.

I’m fine with the traditional understanding and the fun kids have with trick-or-treating, but I have never felt the least bit okay about the macabre association with slasher movies, the celebration of the horror genre, and the whole industry that has grown up around finding blood, gore, fear, and torture entertaining.

There is enough real pain, and abuse, and murder, and horror in this world. I simply don’t “get” how the gruesome details could ever be something to enjoy.

But then I love Rebekah with a pumpkin head, I love fall festivals, I love the Harry Potter stories, I love my grandchildren, and I love how much fun it is for them to dress up (and they are just the right age)!

I Couldn’t Win this Argument!

So I guess it’s fair to say that I’m a little inconsistent and conflicted. I know I sound somewhat prudish and judgemental when I talk about horror and brutality, and I’d be hard-pressed to debate a defendable position around the blood-and-guts slasher movies, or make a case that Hogwarts is acceptable whereas R-rated horror movies are not. But inside, in the core of my spirit, I have this sense about what is okay and what is not, and a lot of this is just not okay.

But inside, in the core of my spirit, I have this sense about what is okay and what is not, and a lot of this is just not okay.

Harry Potter and Rapunzel

What is okay is little kids dressing up and knocking on doors for candy and celebrating a beautiful fall evening as a community. What is okay is the idea that we can recognize in gratitude all the saints who have gone on before us. What is okay is that we understand what we don’t have to be afraid of and who exactly is the keeper of our souls.

So, “Happy Halloween y’all!” Or, as I like to put it, “Happy I-love-to-see-my-grandkids dress-up-and-have-fun day.”

As for the rest of it – try to tone down the mayhem a little, okay?






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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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