With Halloween coming up tomorrow you probably have noticed an uptick in ghost and goblin decorations around town. And while Halloween is a Christian holiday, some Christians feel uneasy about the way that Halloween is celebrated in our culture, and fear it is glorifying evil rather than mocking it.
Fr. Michael Maginot has performed exorcisms, and thus has first-hand experience with evil forces and the demonic. But as an exorcist, he also has first-hand experience of the power of God over the forces of evil. He stopped by The Drew Mariani Show™ recently to offer his view of Halloween and whether it is safe to participate in the holiday.
When asked how being an exorcist changed his view of evil, Fr. Maginot explained, “The demons will like to make you think that they’re all-powerful. But they do have limits. And also they can’t do more than what God allows them to do. But we can empower them to do certain things. One thing they cannot do is kill someone directly, though they can torment someone to the point that they may want to commit suicide or kill someone. But that’s still their free will. … It can’t take over your will.”
Drew and Fr. Maginot took a number of calls from listeners, and one caller asked about trick-or-treating, and whether the possibility of children being exposed to the more grotesque themes could be dangerous.
“It can go in to the grotesque, but I would say most kid’s trick-or-treating and those things, as long as the parents are with them there should be no danger,” Fr. Maginot advised.
Along the lines of trick-or-treating, some parents are hesitant to allow their children to dress up as wizards or witches, for fear it might encourage them to dabble in magic and the occult.
Responding to a caller who was unsure whether her daughter should dress up as a character from Harry Potter, Fr. Maginot said, “I think that’s usually fairly harmless entertainment. But again, if the child is getting very intrigued by doing magic and spells and getting deeper into that, it can be a gateway to deeper involvement in the occult. But as long as it’s just entertainment and they’re dressing up as characters I usually don’t see too much harm.”
And while Halloween is a Christian holiday (All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day), one caller said that it seems to him that the grotesque, gory, and gruesome trappings these days are mocking Christianity rather than providing an opportunity for Christians to mock the devil.
Fr. Maginot acknowledged that there are times when certain people or places cross the line when it comes to Halloween horror. But he advised listeners to not fear Halloween decorations, but by our example to encourage our culture to embrace the spirit of the holiday.
“I think there are certain fun types of things, like haunted houses, that would try to scare you. But I think they always kind of know it’s a liability to go overboard,” he said. “But sometimes it does seem to go a little overboard. There are times when lawn displays and such are really freaky, scary, and trying to be the haunted house on the block type of thing. I thought that was kind of getting overboard.”
“Now I kind of see a backing off from that. It’s probably more like they’re trying to make it like Christmas, so that the displays are not as grotesque or haunted. More lights, more orange lights and things. I remember as a kid the skeletons, jack-o-lanterns and stuff. But I guess there is always that kind where it does cross the line and that kind where can it be just fun and entertainment.”
Listen to the full conversation below: