By Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com
Halloween; it’s hard to imagine another holiday which invokes such fervent reactions in Christians. Given its dark reputation, October 31st has earned a special kind of notoriety among believers. Opinions on the holiday are so widespread and intense that, in recent years, many Christians have found themselves at a spiritual crossroads. Should they dress up and go trick-or-treating like everyone else? Should they search out a more Bible-friendly alternative instead? Should they just ignore Halloween altogether?
The answer to these questions largely depends on the individual themselves. However, for the sake of simplicity (and to poke a little fun at ourselves as well), here are the ten Christians you meet on Halloween.
1. The Witch Hunter
For the Witch Hunter, Halloween is a night of spiritual warfare. They see October 31st as a celebration of all things pagan, a time when witchcraft is at its peak. Naturally, they intend to break these demonic forces through the power of prayer and intercession. The Witch Hunter will typically spend Halloween night leading small group or hosting a miracle services at their church. No actual witches will be hunted during these events.
2. The Trunk-or-Treater
You’re a parent. You want your child to enjoy the pageantry of Halloween, but you don’t want to encourage such a controversial holiday. What’s a responsible adult like you to do? Why, call the Trunk-or-Treater of course! The Trunk-or-Treater celebrates Halloween by giving the night a distinctive, Christian twist.
Rather than collect treats door-to-door, the Trunk-or-Treater brings children to their local Church parking lot where they can go from car-to-car instead. This is a lot less creepy than it sounds apparently, plus there are games and plenty of Bible-themed costumes for the whole family. It’s all the fun of Halloween without any of the drama, though you may have to share space with the Witch Hunter.
3. The Hell-House Raiser
Where the Trunk-or-Treater sees a possibility for wholesome, family fun, the Hell-House Raiser sees an opportunity for some gruesome, questionable evangelism. “If people are going to get scared on Halloween,” they reason, “Why not scare them into the arms of Christ?” As their name implies, the Hell-House Raiser tries to accomplish this by raising “hell-houses”. For the unfamiliar, a hell-house takes guests through various dramatizations of The Pit while actors portray the eternal torment inflicted upon murderers, adulterers, people who talk during movies, etc. The tour ends with an altar call where spectators are encouraged to reflect on their relationship with Christ.
Some Christians believe hell-houses serve a valuable purpose. Others don’t appreciate the imagery of being skinned alive because they got a “No Regrets” tattoo in college.
4. The Reformation Day Redeemer
While the Trunk-or-Treater and Hell-House Raiser both believe Halloween can be used for good, the Reformation Day Redeemer is having none of it. Why should we cavort with ghosts and ghouls when there is a perfectly Christian holiday we could be celebrating instead? The Reformation Day Redeemer spends every October 31st trying to convince their fellow believers to revive Reformation Day. Unfortunately, nobody else knows what Reformation Day is. It doesn’t really matter, free candy still beats nailing your theses to a church door.
5. The Devil Mocker
This Christian doesn’t just celebrate Halloween, they love every bat-infested minute of it. Taking a note from C.S. Lewis, who said, “Above all else, the Devil cannot stand to be mocked”, the Devil Mocker has fun at the enemy’s expense. They throw elaborate costume parties, carve pumpkins with their family, and hand out more candy than anyone on the block. For them, Halloween is a reminder that Christ has overcome the darkness. With nothing left to fear, the Devil Mocker fills the evening with good food, good friends, and laughter.
Admittedly, the Devil Mocker’s casual attitude toward Halloween can make other Christians uncomfortable. Not to mention they always wear the best costume, which makes the rest of us look tacky!
6. The Door Locker
As their name suggests, The Door Locker is a Christian who, on Halloween night, simply locks their door and goes to bed. They know all the spiritual arguments surrounding Halloween. In fact, the Door Locker is probably good friends with all the other Christians on this list. However, as a Christian, The Door Locker simply doesn’t feel comfortable celebrating a holiday so steeped in darkness. They know the enemy will use any door to enter someone’s life, so why leave it open?
Being the considerate sort, the Door Locker will never foist their position on anyone else. They may even leave a bowl of candy outside if they’re feeling generous (please take only one).
7. The Closet "Harry Potter" Fan
The Boy Who Lived has been a point of contention among Christians since he first mounted his broomstick in 1997. Conservatives say J.K. Rowling’s books are inappropriate for Christian readers, believing they glamorize witchcraft and the occult. Shamefaced Potter fans have been forced to disguise their copies of The Sorcerer’s Stone as old hymnals, snatching only paragraphs of the story during evening prayers. On Halloween night however, their long-suppressed feelings cannot be contained, and like nerdy werewolves they transform into completely different beings. The Closet Harry Potter Fan is easily identified by their lightning-bolt scar, house scarf, and use of made-up terms like “Muggle”, “Snitch”, and “Blast-Ended Skrewt”.
It goes without saying, but the Closet Harry Potter Fan should probably avoid the Witch Hunter.
8. The One with the Tracks
Every year, at least one Christian comes up with the brilliant idea to hand out cassette tapes instead of candy. When children knock upon their door Halloween night, these believers greet them not with a bowl of Milky Ways or Reese Pieces, but with armloads of cassette tapes designed to point them towards God. The exact content of these tapes has varied over the years, but known subjects have included; Christ’s resurrection, the life of David, and (in one sadly misguided instance) flagrant poetry from Song of Solomon. While these Christians certainly act with the best intentions, children today have no idea what a cassette is, meaning they’re far more likely to eat the tapes than actually listen to them.
Plus, the only thing you can trade them for are Tootsie Rolls.
9. The Seasonal Saint
The Seasonal Saint is always a parent, but unlike the Trunk-or Treater, this adult isn’t satisfied with a little Halloween rebranding. No, The Seasonal Saint is determined to redeem October 31st by making it work for them. Instead of going door-to-door and receiving candy, this Christian will take their children through the neighborhood and have them collect donations for charity. This allows them to vanquish the specter of Halloween while also helping the needy as God commands.
Of course, it also means their children are going to grow up with some seriously complicated feelings toward UNICEF.
10. The Christmas Caroler
We all know this person. It doesn’t matter that it’s October, or that Thanksgiving has never received the recognition it deserves. Against all decency and decorum, this Christian spends their Halloween decorating for Christmas! Yes, as their name suggests, the Christmas Caroler is so deeply infatuated with Christmas they choose to skip over Halloween altogether. They’ll try to play it off by dressing up as Santa's elf and handing out candy canes or eggnog to passing children, but it’s hard to ignore the two-story Christmas tree they’ve erected in their front yard.
Then again, who can say no to free eggnog? Maybe we’ll just let it slide for now.