ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should You Let Your Kids Celebrate Halloween?

Updated on October 9, 2007

Many people are confused about Halloween. Is it a fun excuse to dress up the kids and round up candy, or something sinister to be avoided? Is Halloween innocent tradition or wicked ritual? Learning about the history and symbolism of the holiday gives a historical background and can help you decide if it's something you want to celebrate within your family.

Many people view Halloween as entirely secular, but some opponents are challenging our right to celebrate Halloween to court. And the Christian Broadcasting Network has a whole website devoted to opposing Halloween.

Just What Is Halloween?

There many origins for what we now celebrate as Halloween. Here is an excellent article about the many traditions that have contributed to our modern American Halloween. If you want even more detail, Wikipedia has quite a large page dedicated to the different cultural beliefs and celebrations that have been folded into our current holiday.

Granted, there is some dark stuff out there, but for the most part our modern Halloween has become the kickoff of the holiday season. The air is changing and we are looking forward to all kinds of indoor celebrations. Halloween has become so commercialized that whatever it may have meant in the past, we can be assured that today's festivities are nothing more than an observance of fun.

In fact, when a secretary in a Puerto Rico government building filed suit (Rivera-Alicea v. Gonzalez-Galoffin) because she felt she was being singled out for her anti-pagan views, the court ruled:

"Halloween decorations, like valentines, Easter bunnies, and egg hunts are all secular displays and activities that neither convey religious messages nor constitute religious symbols. Halloween lost its religious and superstitious overtones long ago. It has become instead a commercial holiday enjoyed by communities in its many forms of entertainment."

Beliefnet has a large collection of articles that address specific questions surrounding Halloween and faith from diverse perspectives.

Alternatives to Halloween

Many people are opposed to celebrating Halloween on religious grounds and some churches provide safe alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating. Kids are encouraged to dress up and attend a fall festival where candy is distributed. But is Halloween by any other name not Halloween? It's just the latest tweak on this ancient celebration of the change of seasons. If it makes people feel better to re-define the holiday that's fine, just don't ask anyone else to turn off the spooky sound effects.

If you're dead set against Halloween, you can attend a hallelujah night in many parts of America. At one of these family friendly parties, there's no scary stuff allowed. I wonder what they would think about Casper the friendly ghost? Some churches put on alternatives to haunted houses called hell houses. Inside they act out scenes of human depravity that lead to an eternity in hell. The idea is to scare kids with what the church sees as the evils of this world. However, if you prefer your frights to be make-believe, you're not alone.

Decide For Yourself

Don't let anybody tell you what to do. Not the culture or your preacher either. In the end it comes down to what you believe. Do you think that by dressing up your child as Peter Pan, or even a blood-dripping vampire, that you're making a statement about your spiritual beliefs - or just having a good time? It's all fantasy. If Halloween is out, then what about violent video games? Or even cartoons? Timmy Turner has fairy godparents. Does that go against your grain?

Everyone needs to decide for his or her own family what is best. But Halloween is not going away. In taking your stand, remember not to take yourself too seriously. There are ways to instill your values onto your kids without making them rebel. But if it's important to you, then stand your grand. Choose you battles and if Halloween is one of them then fight the witches with all your might.

More Halloween Treats

Kids Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween Recipes for Kids

How to Start the Halloween Boo in Your Neighborhood

Halloween Jokes For Kids: Sorted by Type

Kids Halloween Costumes: Quick and Cheap Homemade


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    11 years ago

    this comment is for HillbillyGardener u make it sound like perticipating in halloween is a bad thing I still celeabrate halloween and so does the rest of my family. I did some resurch of my own and found out that a pope finalized the holiday of halloween and it was also celeabrated to keep away bad spirits.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 

    11 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    For those who practice earth-based religions, All Hallows Eve aka Samhain (pronounced "sow ain") is THE most sacred holiday of the year. It's the night to *remember* and *honor* the in dead ancestors, or recently-deceased loved ones. Think Pagan Memorial Day. It has *nothing* to do with raising the dead or other scary things depicted in horror movies to fill the coffers of movie companies taking advantage of an uneducated public.

    As Hillbilly Gardener pointed out, all "Christian" holidays are pagan in origin. Pagans were simply people who lived in rural areas - "on the heath" - and therefore also known as "heathens". Being agricultural communities, their religious celebrations revolved around the cycles of the sun and the moon. Oestera, the beginning of the growing season in spring, was "hijacked" by Christians as "Easter". Winter Solstice marked the beginning of longer days, but by moving it a few days, it became the "Christian" Christmas.

    Personally, I find it the height of hypocrisy that Christians want to ban Halloween because of its (incorrect) connection to raising the dead for one night, when one Sunday each spring they flock to churches to celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. Same for their aversion to anything "supernatural" in the secular world. Aren't "miracles" supernatural????

  • desert blondie profile image

    desert blondie 

    11 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

    As Halloween is just around the corner, holiday-wise, I appreciate having this column "at the ready" for all the opposers/defenders that pop up ad nauseum every October. When my girls were little, I would tell them that Nov. 1st was All Saints Day, very special day to remember really good people, and that as little goblins, their job was to run around and scare off any ol' goblins that might want to ruin All Saints Day. Just like the horribly ugly gargoyles on the Catholic Churches ... which were carved to "scare away" bad spirits from a sacred place. That made as much sense to them at the time as setting out cookies and milk for Santa. I love this "summer's over, fall's here" holiday...a nice break as we all count the days to celebrating Christmas season!

  • HillbillyGardener profile image


    12 years ago from Bolivar

    Normally I try to avoid being intentionally offensive, but on this issue there is probably no way to avoid it. So in this case, I’m just going to say it and let the chips fall where they may. I don’t understand at all the apparent lack of education on the part of some folks regarding any holiday. Nor do I understand some folks willingness to exercise outright hypocrisy regarding any holiday. Yes I said “Hypocrisy”! There are so many folks anymore that refuse Halloween on religious grounds that it is bewildering. Especially when these same folks will go all out for holidays such as Christmas, Easter, New Years and Thanksgiving. All of which have roots deeply embedded in a pagan culture at some point in its history. Many of the symbolisms of each of these holidays can also be traced directly back to a pagan culture before Christianity made a concerted effort to “highjack” and manipulate them for their own purposes. Remember this, it was the very same early Christians that instituted “All Hallows Eve” at the same time as the Celtic feast of “Samhain” that also forced countless thousands to convert to Christianity at the point of a sword and killed those who opposed them. Many of the creatures to which so much opposition is placed are not a part of the original celebrations at all. But are the product of modern day imaginations. Even the very institution of “All Hallows Eve” is based on the celebration of the past life of the dead saints. Yes I said the DEAD saints. Which the celebration of the dead is the basis of the original holiday. Now remember it is the Christians that instituted “Halloween”, so you put the correlation together.Years of investigating every scrap of evidence I can find from every imaginable source has revealed that there are very few so-called Christian holidays that do not have some “Pagan” roots running throughout. In many, if not most of these holidays, the roots were already ingrained in a pagan culture and it was the Christians attempting to “force” their beliefs on these peoples that led to the holidays as we know them today. Yet these very people who are the most vocal about Halloween are normally the very ones who are the most ignorant about holidays in general and therefore the least qualified to utter an opinion. I fail to understand the willingness of so many people to blindly follow the misguided and uninformed lead of others rather than learning the facts and making an informed decision on their own. If you wish to oppose something on religious reasons, that’s fine. But at least make your decisions on COMPLETE facts and not because someone who often knows less than you do tell you what to believe. And for goodness sake don’t show me your hypocrisy by “cherry-picking” what you want from history just to make a point.For more on a condensed overall history of Halloween, it’s characters and some of the folklore, here is a very good site to read up on it. It is compiled from many sources.

    The “Hillbilly Gardener”


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)