Is Halloween a Trick or Treat for Catholics?

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It’s that time of year when we pull out the Halloween decorations, carve some pumpkins, go apple picking, and pick out over-priced costumes. It’s a dream come true for those of us who love to create our own costumes and act like our favorite characters from various books, movies, or tv shows.

When I was in high school, I loved dressing up for Halloween. One year I dressed up like Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings, and when I was a Senior, I decided to dress up like a mime. I did not speak at all and only made gestures through my hands and expressions. It was quite hysterical trying to “communicate” with my friends and teachers! In fact, when I tried miming out the answer to the math problem in my calculus class, my teacher squirted me with water as punishment… it was so worth it!!

For those of us who are Catholic, Halloween has become a controversial topic for the faithful. Many believe that it has pagan origins and feel that it is not appropriate for Catholics to celebrate. Others feel that it’s an evil holiday and want nothing to do with it. I can understand why many people would feel this way! Who in their right minds would want to participate in festivities that beckon evil spirits or make us stray away from God?

What many people do not realize is that

Halloween is deeply rooted in the Catholic Faith.

Since the fourth century, the honoring of all Christians who died for their faith was celebrated on May 13th. Overtime, the faithful celebrated the “Feast of All Saints” to commemorate all the Holy men and women in Heaven (not just the martyrs). By the 9th century, Pope Gregory IV transferred the feast to November 1st so that “All Hallows’ Eve” could fall as its vigil on October 31st. Some historians believe that Pope Gregory did this to “sanctify” the Celtic holiday of Samhain which was all about scaring away ghosts and spirits. This ingenious move encouraged pagans to delve deeper into the richness of Christianity. In turn, many hearts were converted to the Catholic faith.

For those of you who are still not convinced about Halloween,you must remember that

Jesus overcame death by His resurrection and that evil will never prevail because of the incredible love God has for us.

If we refrain from participating in any evil activity or practices, we have nothing to worry about.

As you participate in your annual Halloween traditions, take some time to think about the Saints who have gone before you! They are praying for you as you continue striving for holiness. Maybe one day, you will be doing the same for future trick-or-treaters! 😉


Carolina Soares is the Event Coordinator of Array of Hope. She received a Master’s Degree in Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University.  She is a Portuguese geek who is very passionate about her Catholic faith and family! She looks up to Saint Teresa of Calcutta for inspiration and thinks C.S. Lewis is pretty amazing!

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