I have a few friends who wish to know why is it that the Mormon Church celebrates, or at least, does not discourage, the festivity of Halloween. They feel it is demonic, satanic, etc,etc. I Try to tell them that we do not “celebrate” Satan, but having fun dressing up and pretending. Is there anything else I can tell them?
The Mormon Church does not celebrate, foster or promote Halloween. The practice started out as a religious observance of the Catholic Church. Halloween, or hallowed evening, is the day before All Saints Day. However, the observance of the holiday has degenerated, first into a festival mimicking spooks, or evil spirits. Then the concept of “trick or treat” came along. In earlier times, i.e., when I was a lad, the threat of a trick was often responded to with a very reasonable and jovial treat. The tricksters were often invited into the homes to enjoy such things as cider and doughnuts, etc. However, if treats were not forthcoming, mischievous damage was done. I have seen buggies disassembled and reassembled on the roofs of barns, smearing soap, or worse, wax, on the windows of homes, etc.
To bring some order to the festivities, the schools, not the churches, would sponsor and develop “spook alleys.” At night in a certain area in the school the children, who were brave enough, would pass through the spook alley, where they were surprised with all sorts of ghoulish things. That practice has degenerated into the meaningless trooping of little children around the neighborhood, wearing some sort of costume and carrying a big sack that the people in the neighborhood are supposed to fill up with candy.
In an attempt to counter this unwholesome activity, many of the Wards of the Mormon Church organize some little festivity for the children with the purpose of keeping them off the streets, and discouraging them from loading up with penny candy, which, if they were to eat what was handed out to them would only tend to make them sick.