The darker side of Halloween

David Castellucci, Entertainment Editor

graphic2,000 years ago, Halloween went by the name of Samhain. It was a time when people would parade around bonfires and leave gifts of food and wine at their doorsteps to keep the “ghosts” at bay, according to People would also wear masks to disguise themselves from the risen dead.
Halloween was not celebrated in America until around 1845 when many Irish immigrants came due to the potato famine, and brought the holiday traditions with them, according to
Halloween has not changed much through the years. People still wear masks, and some dance around bonfires, but the distribution of chocolate was not always part of the tradition.
Samhain was a tradition celebrated at the “summer’s end”, or around the end of October. Earliest accounts of the festival were recorded 2,000 years ago, when the Celtics believed that the “souls of the deceased” were awoken, according to
Modern Halloween involves children (and sometimes adults) running around, asking for candy from strangers’ houses, bobbing for apples, and partying. People like Paula Serratos, senior, celebrate Halloween like most Americans do.
“[I]watch scary movie marathons and eat lots of candy,” Serratos said. She enjoys herself on Halloween Day. Taylor Covert, senior, enjoys passing out candy to trick-or-treaters.
However, others like Karri Tegar, of the Romeoville Human Society, are protecting black cats from being sacrificed.
According to religious, “the Celts believed that the veil between this world and the afterlife was thinnest at this time of year. Friends and relatives who had died would often return to Earth, with their souls inhabiting an animal. It was believed that the animal of choice would be a black cat.”
The article acknowledges that many animal shelters across the United States refuse to let black cats be adopted around Halloween, and that animal remains have been found in parks after Halloween. However, it also asserts that any sacrifices performed are probably by young people attempting their own version of Satanism.
According to, while Halloween is considered a religious holiday to Satanists, the suggested Halloween ritual does not involve a blood sacrifice.
“The whole month of October we pull all black cats from the stores,” said Tegar. “A lot of times people see black cats as bad luck and they think sacrificing them will make their bad luck stop.”
The Romeoville Human Society will not be the only animal center hiding black cats on Halloween. Places like the Naperville Animal Hospital and the Northern Illinois Cat Clinic will also have their cats on lockdown.
Partly because of concerns like these, not everyone celebrates Halloween. Lara Ayala, sophomore, says that because of her Christian background, she and her family do not celebrate Halloween.
“We have always been very religious, and Halloween seems to be a very anti-Christianity holiday according to my mother and the church,” Ayala said.
According to a British news article in, Pope Benedict XVI condemned Halloween as dangerous, and a Liturgical expert, Joan Maria Canals, said that “Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian.”
Those who do not celebrate Halloween are not as few as some may think. According to, Halloween was celebrated by approximately 66.7% of people in the United States in 2012.
However, many students do celebrate the holiday.
“I celebrate Halloween, but not the dark side. Even though I go to church, my family and I do dress up, just not in evil things,” Haley Kraulidis, sophomore, said.