David Brown |
Author: Kerr Cuhulain
Posted: September 2nd. 2002
Times Viewed: 17,296
"...Ralph Linton in his book Halloween Through the Centuries says: 'The American celebration (of Halloween) rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in a direct line from pre-Christian times. The earliest celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Shamhain, lord of death, whose festival fell on November 1st".(14)
NOTE: It should be noted that Ralph Linton's book has no bibliography. Therefore it is impossible to see where Linton got his facts from. It is true that many Halloween customs can be traced to the festival of Samhain, but here is that urban legend about the "God of Death Samhain" again.
NOTE: Owen Rachleff is the fundamentalist Christian author of the books The Secret of Superstitions: How they Help, How They Hurt and The Occult Conceit: A New Look At Astrology, Witchcraft and Sorcery. Rachleff is contradicting himself here. First he says that Samhain was an ancient Celtic festival and that early Christians created All Saints Day to coincide with these rites. Actually, as I pointed out earlier in this series, All Souls Day had been around for centuries. The early Christians simply moved it from May 13 to November 1 to coincide with Samhain. But then Rachleff says that Satanists reversed the Christian practices to create Halloween. Rachleff therefore has two different groups inventing the same celebration, which makes no sense. He can't have it both ways. In fact it was the Church who created the demonic myths surrounding Halloween, in an attempt to scare people into their pews.
- "Owen Rachleff amplifies this when he wrote: 'Halloween can be, and to many is, a deadly serious affair. [It] originated with pre Christian Druids or Celts in Northern Europe, who marked the year by four seasonal festivals. The autumn feast took place on November first. Early Christians, desiring a part in the traditional festivities, created All Saints' Day to coincide with the pagan rites. Satanists- acting true to form- reversed the Christian procedure. Because November 1st was All Saints' Day (All Souls' Day, November 2nd, memorializes the dead), Satanists established October 31st as an 'All Demon's Night.' As surely as the Christian martyrs and saints dominated their own holiday, so did the demons permeate the preceding evening. All Hallows' Eve predictably became a time of spells, curses, and horrors for those who did not believe, but for the Satanists, particularly the witches, it was a joyous festival and major sabbat. So it remains in a diluted form, ironically celebrated by Christian society far more vigorously that All Saints' Day.'"(15)
NOTE: Here Brown contradicts Rachleff right after quoting him. Brown cannot seem to make up his mind whether Halloween predates Christ or not, nor when it became known as Halloween. In the first paragraphs he says that "The Celtic Festival of Samhain" predates Christ by "2000 years". He then contradicts himself by quoting Rachleff, who says that the Celts celebrated November 1st, prompting Christians to make this same day All Souls' Day, which in turn prompted Satanists and witches to invent Halloween on October 31st. He then says that the Catholic Church moved All Saints Day to November 1st and this new day came to be known as Halloween.
- "...In AD 800 the Roman Catholic Church moved "ALL SAINTS DAY" from may to November 1st. The new day was called All HALLOW'S DAY and it soon became...HALLOWEEN."(16)
NOTE: Here Brown is quoting Sanguinet again. Samhain always occurs on October 31. It is in no way related to the full moon.
- "Halloween is a 'religious day' but it is NOT a Christian day. Tom Sanguinet, former high priest in the Celtic tradition of Wicca (witchcraft) said, 'The modern holiday we call Halloween...has its origins in the full moon closest to November 1, the witches' New Year. It was a time when the 'spirits' (demons) were supposed to be at their peak power and revisiting the earth planet.' He went on to say, 'Halloween is purely and absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have or will do that would make it acceptable to the Lord Jesus.'..."(17)
NOTE: To the Celts, such lanterns represented departed spirits of deceased family members and were intended to guide the dear departed ancestors back to them to celebrate with them. Jack O'Lanterns were never intended to indicate that the persons displaying them were Satanists.
- "...In [Rachleff's] book Occult Conceit the author says on page 190, 'The candle lit pumpkin or skull served...as a signal to mark those farms and homes that were sympathetic to the Satanists and thus deserving of mercy when the terror ('trick or treat') of the night began.' Further, an old edition of The World Book Encyclopedia says, "The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face of Jack O'Lantern is an ancient symbol of a damned soul."(18)
NOTE: This is a fanciful product of Brown's fertile imagination with no foundation in historical reality.
- "What about COSTUMES? They originated with these terrible Druid death rites also. As people and animals were screeching in agony while being burned to death the observers would dress in costumes made of animal skins and heads. They would dance, chant and jump through the flames in hope of warding off the evil spirit. It is obvious that Halloween is a pagan day rooted in the worst kind of pagan rituals and worship...Halloween is the devil's day!".(19)
NOTE: The fear being promoted here is by people like Ketterman and Brown, not by people in the Pagan community that he labels "occult."
- "Dr. Grace Ketterman, M.D., says in her book, You and Your Child's Problems: How to Understand and Solve Them a tragic by-product of fear in the lives of children as early as pre-adolescence is the interest and involvement in supernatural occult phenomena.' [emphasis in original]"(20)
NOTE: This is an absurd assumption. Millions of children go Trick or Treating without becoming involved in anything to do with the occult. The same applies to Rock Music.
- "The two most frequent ways children are introduced into the occult are through rock music and Halloween."(21)
NOTE: It is curious that Brown is so willing to accept the conqueror Caesar's account of Celtic religion, given that the same Romans accused early Christians of being cannibals, which is about as accurate. Caesar's accounts were highly slanted, written to justify his military conquests in Gaul. Other contemporary historians without Caesar's agenda do not report such things. Actually the Druid and Wiccan faiths, while sharing common roots, differ in quite a few significant ways.
- "Who were the DRUIDS? They were occult practitioners, witches of sorts. In the century preceding the birth of Christ, Caesar conquered the Britons and he records very carefully the account of the DRUID PRIESTS (early witches): 'All Gallic nations are much given to superstition...they either offer up men as victims to the gods, or make a vow to sacrifice themselves. The ministers in these offerings are the Druids, and they hold that the wrath of the immortal gods can only be appeased, and man's life redeemed, by offering up human sacrifice, and it is a part of their national institutions to hold fixed solemnities (Ceremonies) for this purpose".(22)
NOTE: It is true that there are a lot of funeral mounds around Stonehenge. But inferring that this means that they contain the remains of sacrifices is something like saying that old English Churches were once the scene of sacrifices because they often have cemeteries nearby. Modern Archaeologists have found that these mounds are simply funeral mounds, probably built near Stonehenge for reasons similar to those for placing a cemetery next to a church.
- "...It is evident that human sacrifice was common at [Stonehenge] because within three miles of this sight (sic) there are over 350 funeral mounds that contain the remains of countless human sacrifices".(23)
NOTE: The idea of Druids meeting at Stonehenge can only be traced back to 1650 when John Aubrey made this suggestion in his description of these ancient stone monuments. This idea was then picked up by several other authors and eventually popularized by Dr. William Stukeley in 1742 in a book on Stonehenge.(25) It was not until 1781, when Henry Hurle founded the "Ancient Order of Druids" that anyone identifying themselves as Druids used Stonehenge for worship. It is the descendants of organizations such as Hurle's that now meet there. We have no evidence that ancient Druids never did.
- "...You will still find Druids meeting at Stonehenge this Halloween symbolically carrying out their grotesque sacrifices. Although they claim no longer to practice human sacrifices they are one group responsible for keeping the occultic celebration of Halloween before the media".(24)
NOTE: Reverend Dave Benoit is the founder of Glory Ministries and associated with Cornerstone Community Baptist Church. Benoit claims to have been "saved out of the rock and drug culture." We'll see him popping up again in my discussion of Dr. Alan Herbert Peterson elsewhere in this article series. This is an interesting anecdote, but once again no names, no dates, no places, nothing that would allow us to corroborate it.
- "Dave Benoit tells of a mother finding a strange diary, called "The Book of Shadows" in her son's room. She, with fear and trembling, leafed through pages filled with Satanic drawings. Then her eyes fell on these horrifying words, 'Last year I stole a car at Halloween and ran over a kid and killed him. This year at Halloween, I plan to do the same thing!' The words in this Satanic diary proved to be true. The teenager is now incarcerated. He murdered a kid as a sacrifice to Satan."(26)
NOTE: Irene Park is another person who alleges she was a "former witch". Park is the director of Irene Park Ministries and Christ's Deliverance Ministries and is associated to Truth Ministries. Brown is quoting from page one of Park's book Seven High Pagan Masses and Halloween. Park is the author of several other awful books, including Modern Paganism, The Witch That Switched, Witchcraft, Idolatry and Indian Ways and Witchcraft, Puppets and Voodoo. There is no historical basis for Irene's claims. Satan was not part of the Druid system of beliefs.
- "I came across a shocking account of Trick or Treat written by a former witch, Irene Park. She says: 'The Druids in Ireland would go through the neighborhoods and countryside on the eve of October 31st to collect offerings to Satan. They would carry lanterns, bags of money, and canes with very sharp points on the ends (currently known as leprecaun staffs, good luck horns, or fairies' wands). At each house, they would demand a specific amount. If the household would not or could not give the offering (penance or treat), the Druid would use the cane to castrate the male human or one of their prize animals"(27)
(Continued... Click HERE for page III)
Article ID: 4643
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,708
Times Read: 17,296
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
Email Kerr: email@example.com
Other Articles: Kerr Cuhulain has posted 182 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Kerr Cuhulain... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2018 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).