The Phaserl


The Pagan Roots Of Halloween

by Michael Snyder, End of the American Dream:

Most people that celebrate Halloween have absolutely no idea what they are actually celebrating.  Even though approximately 70 percent of Americans will participate in Halloween festivities once again this year, the vast majority of them are clueless about the fact that this is a holiday that is thousands of years old and that has deeply pagan roots.  If you are going to celebrate something, shouldn’t you at least know what you are celebrating?  Before it was ever known as Halloween, this festival was known as Samhain.  According to Wikipedia, Samhain “is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and is known to have pre-Christian roots”.  The ancient Celts believed that Samhain was the time when the veil between the spirit world and our world was lifted and the ghosts of the dead were able to freely mingle with the living.  It was also a time to honor the Lord of the Dead known as Bel (note the similarity to Baal) or Chrom.  Almost every major Halloween tradition including the jack-o’-lantern, trick-or-treating and wearing costumes is rooted in ancient Celtic practices.  In many areas of early America, Halloween was considered to be so evil that it was banned.  But today most Americans don’t even think twice about celebrating it.

To most people these days, Halloween is just a fun time to dress up, eat candy and attend parties.

But there are others that take this holiday extremely seriously.

For Wiccans, it is one of the most important times of the year.  The following description of Samhain comes from

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.

Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

So how in the world did a pagan festival known as Samhain become the holiday known as “Halloween” that we celebrate today?

Well, in the early seventh century a Catholic Pope known as Gregory the First decided that the best approach to ensure the continued spread of Catholicism was to “christianize” existing pagan holidays and practices

As a result of their efforts to wipe out “pagan” holidays, such as Samhain, the Christians succeeded in effecting major transformations in it. In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First issued a now famous edict to his missionaries concerning the native beliefs and customs of the peoples he hoped to convert. Rather than try to obliterate native peoples’ customs and beliefs, the pope instructed his missionaries to use them: if a group of people worshipped a tree, rather than cut it down, he advised them to consecrate it to Christ and allow its continued worship.

An existing Catholic festival known as All Saints Day (or All Hallows Day) was moved to the same time as Samhain.  Eventually, All Hallows Eve became known as “Halloween”, but many of the ancient Celtic traditions never disappeared.

Most people don’t realize this, but some of these ancient traditions even involved human sacrifice.  The following is what occult expert Bill Schnoebelen says the Druids would do at this time of the year…

Druids worshiped the sun god, called by names like Bel (Ba’al?) or Chrom. On October 31, they believed that he died and went into the kingdom of the dead, Anwynn. The purpose of Samhain was to insure his return. Even witches admit this involved human sacrifice.

Both animal and human blood were believed to be needed to resurrect Bel on Samhain. Human blood was believed to open the gates of Anwynn and released the spirits for a night. Thus, October 31 came to be associated with ghosts. This is not just history. Samhain is still celebrated by Pagans and is the most solemn ceremony on their “religious calendar”.

And of course it is not just Bill Schnoebelen that teaches this.  In fact, the May 1977 edition of National Geographic admitted that Samhain was a time when “firstborn children were sacrificed”.

So back then it definitely was not the light-hearted holiday that most Americans celebrate today.

Other “Halloween traditions” also have their roots in the Druidic practices of the ancient Celts.

For example, have you ever wondered where the “Jack-0-Lantern” comes from?  Here is more from Schnoebelen

Here it’s a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, or a skull with a candle in it. This serves two symbols, 1) the lord of the Dead, a “god” just like a Buddha – in short, an idol. 2) The fearsome face represented the god, Samhain, who would drive off less powerful demons that night. The lights in the Jack-o-Lantern symbolize the “faery fires” or “Will’o the Wisps” which were believed to be the lost souls flitting through the night. They also hearken back to the huge Samhain “balefires” which were lit to help conjure back the god from the darkness.

The traditions of dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating also come from the Druids.  The following is an excerpt from an article posted on

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10 comments to The Pagan Roots Of Halloween

  • Sayldog

    I know. Those damned kids dressed as cowboys and princesses, going around and asking their neighbors for candy. It’s diabolical. Snyder hits another home run.

  • Stuckinsidethematrix

    As evil becomes normalised so do evil cellebrations such as ‘Halloween’.

    How Samhein was allowed to become Halloween, which in turn became a childrens event is indicitive as to the sickness and gross ignorance infecting our societies today.

    Lost are the people who think it is normal or fun to encourge young children to glorify murder, death, and psychopatic behaviour, and dress up as legion of evil beings and spirits, glorifying all that is evil.

    So lost are they, caught up in the deception of the Father of lies himself, that it is almost not even worth explaining how wrong it all is. If these people had any understanding of any of the Abrahamic faiths, or even Satanic practices, they would realise they are foolish and ignorant pawns in a game of spiritual warfare. Worse, they are conditioning the next generation to normalise more and more extreme gore and satanic practices.

    But then, what can we expect from a population who in the main regard war as peace, and ignorance as strength.

    What do we expect when telling the truth in our society is an act of rebellion, or worse, is an act of terror.

    What do we expect when we glorify state sanctioned murder (war and surgical strikes) and then call the murder of children killed in these ‘actions’ ‘collateral damage’.

    What do we expect when the highest doctrine of the west is now ‘Do as thou Wilt’ (which is the first commandment of the Church of Satan by the way).

    What do we expect when every new movie contains levels of violence and gore that just a few decades ago would have caused it to have been banned.

    What do we expect when we allow our children to play video games that treat war, killing, shooting, bombing, and robbing as ‘fun’.

    Those who think Halloween is a fun event for children are totally deluded, and so far lost that there is nothing I could ever say or do to change their sick, deluded, satanically corrupted minds.

    Christians, show me just one verse from the Bible that permits this kind of celibration (I can show you several that FORBID IT).

    Same goes for Jews and Muslims and thier Holy books.

    Think I am being too strong with my words? Think I am going over the top?

    I dont care one little bit – what I have said is the truth, and I stand ready to be judged by that truth.

    I reject Satan and all his ways.

    • glitter 1

      Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

      • Sayldog

        Deuteronomy 1:39
        And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad — they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.

        I guess what I am saying is, kids are allowed to be kids, and dress up is fun, as is getting bags of candy and rushing home to empty it out and see what they got. Just as a responsible parent won’t let their children eat that candy until after it has been inspected (and in moderation), so too will that parent NOT indoctrinate their kids into the evils of samhain and protect them from such.
        In a fallen world full of evil, the laughing excitement of children on Halloween hardly registers on the scale, and then only peripherally. As my (I hope obvious) sarcasm at the top of these comments implies, Snyder is once again picking at low hanging fruit.

  • Mike

    C’mon,Man. Do we really have to dissect Halloween? It’s a fun Holiday – just leave it at that. Good grief….

  • SilverHawk

    Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.


    A “walk the walk” Christian does not participate in this evil themed holiday.

  • Anon

    Halloween: A Festival of Lost Meanings, by A. B. Kuhn (free .pdf download)

    VERY interesting.

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