Greetings! Here is a short story that I hope gives everyone a better understanding of the day we call Halloween.
You are outside your home. It is October the 31st and the evening is setting in. As you gaze upon your surroundings a chill runs up your spine. But the chill is not from the biting nightfall, nor is it from the icy breeze sweeping across the landscape. Rather it comes as the realization dawns on you that “They” will soon be here. You gasp at the realization and rush inside your home where the rest of your family is gathered.
Everyone huddles together and waits in silence. The air in the room is so thick that you feel as if you would have more luck trying to swim through it than walk. You wish to converse in order to lighten the mood but you know that everyone is listening intently, hoping, and longing for the silence to continue.
Then you hear it; a most terrifying and dreadful sound. One so horrific that once again a chill plays the xylophone along the disks of your backbone. You strain to listen hoping that you had made a mistake in your hearing but the sound continues. It is the subtle clip clop of visitors coming down the way. “No!” your brother cries, “Not them!” but he is quickly silenced by the patriarch of your family.
You wait in silence as the sound of feet come ever closer to your door. You peek out the window but see nothing. Just as you prepare to duck back in you catch an orange glimmer. You stare hard at the glow as it takes the shape of a sinister grin. Your fears are confirmed as this is a tell-tale sign of who is coming. Soon figures emerge from the darkness wearing costumes and masks of all sorts of dreadful things, ghosts, goblins, trolls and demons. In their hands they carry jack-o-lanterns and their path is leading towards your door.
You move away from the window and rejoin your family hoping that they will pass by your home. Yet the sound of feet draws nearer and nearer until at last you hear them stop upon the threshold and then all goes silent. A seeming eternity passes as you wait in denial hoping not to hear the most dreaded phrase of this night. And then it comes. It is not a knock on the door nor is it a good evening to you. All you hear is a three word phrase that causes the hearts of all in your family to drop, “Trick or Treat!”
The patriarch of your family rises and heads towards the door. His wife attempts to stop him but he gives her a sad, knowing look and she lets him go. “No father!” another pleads, “Let’s just take the trick!”
“You know what could happen if we did.” The patriarch says and proceeds to the door.
You realize that he will soon open the door and another dreadful thought strikes you. Who is going to be the treat? You dare not ask such a thing, but you soon get the idea of who it is as you feel the burning gazes of your family upon you. You look up to see all of them staring, “No!” you cry, “You can’t do this!” You beg and plead but your family ushers you to the door and sends you outside slamming the gate quickly behind you. Momentarily you stare in terror at the costumed trick or treaters before they lay hands on you and lock you in a cage with many others who forced to endure your plight.
You are pulled along in a doleful procession as the trick or treaters head to many other houses collecting treats of the same kind as was harvested from your home. Once they have their fill they turn towards the north and set out for the bonfire glade. Your fellow treats cry out to the trick or treaters for mercy. They beg and they plead to be set free. You do not know what else to do so you join in the pleading, but the demonic masks of the trick or treaters show no sign of remorse and they pull you into the dreaded clearing.
As you gain a clear visual on the dell your eyes are immediately draw to a giant inanimate figure constructed out of wicker. As your gaze is fixated on the wicker man you hear a sudden piercing scream. You nearly leap out of your cage if the bars had not given you a painful reminder that there was no escape. You look to where the pained scream came from and you see two lines of your comrades. One stands before the wicker man and the other before a large black object.
You know well what the lines mean. If you get in line with the wicker man you are agreeing to help the trick or treaters with their ritual. And if you get in line with the black pot, the line where the terrible scream came from, there was a chance that the trick or treaters might set you free!
Screams continue to come from the black object line. You know what terrible fate awaits those in that line but you are also aware that the black line is the only hope you have of avoiding the ritual. So you conjure what hope you have and when the trick or treaters set you loose you get in line with the black object.
You wait with your head down and your fingers in your ears hoping not to have to see or hear the work of the black object. Even with your ears plugged you still hear the pained and hopeless cries of your companions.
The wait seems to last for an eternity until you realize at last that it is your turn. You find yourself standing before a large black pot of water with apples floating in it. You never dreamed in your worst nightmare that you would be willingly bobbing for apples. You feel an immense heat coming from the pot. You know that the water in that cauldron has been heated hundreds of degrees and you dare not even get close to it for fear of the hot water boiling out on you.
As you stare in fear of the task ahead you question whether or not you should continue. You could just agree to go ahead with the ritual but you know what that means. You know that the waters in the cauldron will melt the flesh off of your face but it is your only hope.
You continue to fight yourself and attempt to get prepared when you notice one of the trick or treaters take a step towards you intending to lead you to the wicker man. You know it is now or never, so you take the plunge. Your hands grasp hold of the side of the cauldron and immediately they break out in blisters. Your eyes catch hold of the smallest apple and you dive for it. Beneath the surface of the water your face, neck, and shoulders boil in the terrible brew. Everything within you tells you to come up as the apple continues to elude your teeth. But you know as soon as you surface it is the wicker line for you and so you refuse to rise as your teeth attempt again and again to ensnare the mocking apple.
Then all hope is lost as the apple bobs back to the surface and with it your last hope. You jerk your head out of the water screaming in agony. You are directed to the line before the wicker man and continue to cry out as do the others who have already bobbed for apples. You can hardly see. You feel as if your face is ready to fall off of your skull. But that is when hopelessness finally sets in and you resign to the fact that you must take part in the ritual. Even if you had of caught hold on the apple the damage done to your face would have killed you soon thereafter or your life from then on would have been torture.
You stand with your eyes gazing downward following the line as it went. Before long one of the trick or treaters lays hold on you. You make one more plea for him to do the humane thing and set you free, but you find that the demon he wears as a mask is only a reflection of the legion of them that reside within this vessel.
The trick or treater leads you up some stairs where you find there to be no lid to the wicker man. The demon lays hold on you and casts you into the wicker prison where you land atop many of your comrades.
Soon another falls upon you followed by another. They continue to pile helpless prisoners in the wicker man and the incredible weight of your fellow captors makes you feel as if you shall soon suffocate to death. You hear your comrades. Many cry out over the pain they feel. Others plead with the trick or treaters and yet others say nothing wearing blank faces as if they were already dead.
Instinctively you find yourself pleading for mercy. You are twisted in such a way as only to be able to see one of the trick or treaters in the corner of your vision. You continue to cry out to him when you see him take hold of an unlit torch. He walks out of your sight towards the base of the wicker man. This causes you to beg all the more when suddenly you are struck by the scent of smoke. The cries of your companions multiply so greatly that you feel as if you should soon go deaf.
Then you hear a crackling sound. An orange glow appears behind you and you feel heat rising. Sweat is rolling down your broiled face, and even though you know it might come from the amount of exertion you have given in trying to break free you know full well what the heat is coming from.
Your comrades from below cry out in horror as the smell of burning flesh finds its way to your nose. Once more you battle the wicker man hoping to break free. You rip, tear, twist, and writhe but nothing you do avails you. The orange glow grows greater and the heat increases along with the screams of your tortured companions. You find yourself screaming with all you have to no avail.
You close your eyes hoping that it is all just a dream that you will soon awake from when you notice that even with your eyes close all you can see is an orange glow. The pain multiplies to a level that you never dreamed you could experience. You open your eyes to find yourself amidst the flame. They whip you, burn you, melt you, and blister every part of you. Once more you give it your all twisting until you dislocate your joints scream until your voice fails and pound on the wicker man until there is nothing left of your hand but bone. You fight harder and harder until you have given all you have left and then…
November 1st. All that remains of the wicker man and his prisoners is a pile of ash and a tragic memory. Your family gathers to mourn your passing. In this life they know there will be no justice for you. They will forever remember what befell you that night, and sadly they know there is nothing they can do to prevent it from happening to others. The only relief they find on this dark day is that they know it will be a whole year before the trick or treaters come again, the most unholy day has passed.
I wish that I could say that I was continuing my habit of writing fantasy with this story, sadly though this story is all too real. While these characters never existed the ritual described here is what happened every year in various nations all over the world on Halloween. All of the things we celebrate on the 31st go back to this horrible Satanic practice. That is why I would love nothing more on this day than to see the church refuse to observe Halloween.
We would all take offense to people building twin towers and tossing planes through them on nine eleven in the name of fun so why is it all right to make light of impersonating the druids who murdered countless thousands for years?
In closing I would like to say that I am not necessarily advocating hiding our heads in the sand on Halloween. We should remember that, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Even though Satan wishes to hijack this day it is still a gift from God and we should use it to bring glory to him, not by impersonating druids, but by reaching out and sharing the gospel with the lost. God bless and may your actions bring glory to him!