Halloween, the Afterlife, and the Bible

By Richard Young | Posted October 31, 2022

On the Fourth of July, American cities and small towns are inundated with fireworks, parades, flags, and images of the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty. At Christmas, there are singing angels, candy canes, wreaths, and, of course, the baby in the manger. At Easter, there are rabbits, dyed eggs, baby chicks, palm branches, and sunrise religious services.

At Halloween, however, everything takes a darker turn.

Instead of Santa racing through the air in a red sled, witches on broomsticks stalk the night. As opposed to gentle Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, bats dominate our thoughts, along with ghosts and goblins. Instead of reflecting on Jesus being resurrected from the tomb, the emphasis is on coffins, graveyards, corpses, skeletons, skulls, blood, death, and zombies.

While Independence Day is about the rise of a new nation, while Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, and while Easter is about His resurrection to life—Halloween is all about death and dying.

And what it implies about them is mostly wrong …

Ghosts and Goblins

One doesn’t need to be a Bible fundamentalist to know that Halloween has pagan origins. The holiday originated among the ancient Celts, tribes that lived in Central Europe and whose roots can be traced back thousands of years. Says History.com, “Their legacy remains most prominent in Ireland and Great Britain, where traces of their language and culture are still prominent today.” 

The Celtic holiday, called Samhain, commenced on October 31 and ushered in the Celtic New Year, November 1. However, what’s more significant is that for the Celts, this was a time when “the normally strict boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead became mutable. On the eve of Samhain, they believed that the veil between the two realms was the most transparent, allowing the spirits of those who have died to return to visit earth.” In other words, it was all about communicating with the dead, who supposedly still existed but in another realm. 

However it might be manifested today in contemporary culture, Halloween rests on the assumption that the dead are not really dead but live on as conscious beings in another dimension. And given the right circumstances, such as the holiday of Samhain, they supposedly can be contacted. “Halloween arrived in the United States in the 1840s. … Popular activities included fortunetelling, speaking with the dead and other forms of divination.” 


Today, most people don’t get involved in divination, seances, and the like. But in recent decades, one phenomenon has helped convince millions that the dead do live on: Near Death Experiences (NDEs), when people are pronounced dead but then come back to life with incredible accounts of another existence. Because they are now being seriously studied by researchers, NDEs have taken the notion of life after death out of the realm of faith and superstitious seances and have placed it in the realm of science. And, for contemporary society, this gives the idea of life after death a new aura of respectability.

One recent poll shows that about 83 percent of Americans “believe in an afterlife.” Only 17 percent don’t, which is amazing when one considers how many people no longer follow traditional religious beliefs. Certainly NDEs and the supposed scientific basis for them help explain why so many believe today in an afterlife that immediately occurs after death. 

And with its ghosts and general obsession with the dead, Halloween only reinforces these notions.

The State of the Dead

The Bible, however, tells us something very different about death and the state of the dead—and, notably, it’s vastly different from what most Christians believe today. In fact, in 2021, well-known Christian author Lee Strobel came out with the book The Case for Heaven, in which, citing NDEs and other phenomena, he argues that we don’t really die at death but go either to heaven or to hell right away.

Thus, whether from the implications of Halloween, NDEs, or of books like The Case for Heaven, billions worldwide believe that when we die, we immediately transition into another conscious existence. What people believe happens in that existence varies greatly, but all these different views are premised on one common erroneous notion—that something in us, often said to be the “immortal soul,” lives on after we die.

Tragically, all these people are falling for one of the first lies that Satan ever told humanity. Using the guise of a serpent, he told Eve in Eden, contrary to what God had said, that “you will not surely die” (Genesis 2:4). That is, even if you disobey God, you will live—despite what God actually told us.

Today, billions believe in this same lie in one form or another. Whether reincarnation, the transmigration of souls, purgatory, or the immediate ascent to heaven or descent to hell, the belief remains that death is an immediate transition to another level of existence. And Halloween, with its ghosts and goblins and graveyards and occult connections, only adds to this false concept.

This error leaves the masses vulnerable to all kinds of deceptions, especially as we get nearer to the end of time. To know the truth about death and the promised resurrection of the dead at the end of time, check out our “Are the Dead Really Dead?” Study Guide. 

Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.

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