* Downloaded from a local cult's bbs in the "CfC" network 10/24/90. *
* Seems Johanna has no qualms about indoctrinating other people's *
* children into her cult, which seems hightly immoral and unethical *
* to me, at best. Johanna doesn't seem bothered by the fact that *
* "Lauren Stratford" has been demonstrated a liar of monsterous *
* proportions, in very serious need of psychiatric help. The tedious*
* pontifical diatrib that follows is about as accurate as a Batman *
* comic book; it is presented here just to show you how foolish and *
* gullible people can be. d.rice *
THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN
by Johanna Michaelsen
Last Halloween when the doorbell rang, I was greeted by an adorable
bunch of little kids doing their level best to look like gruesome
witches and vampires. I bent down as I distributed apples and
oranges in response to lusty cries of "trick or treat!"
"You kids want to know something?" I asked very softly.
"Yeah!" came the unanimous chorus.
"With the Lord Jesus there is no trick. He loves every one of you
Several little faces beamed up at me through their ghoulish makeup.
"That's neat!" exclaimed one little girl. "Yeah!" chimed in a few
"This is Jesus' night," I said. Why, I'm not really sure. I was
poignantly aware of the fact that it is a night the devil has made
a point of claiming for himself.
"No it's not!" snarled a hidden voice. "It's Jason's night!"
A boy who was taller than the rest stepped out from the shadows.
He was wearing the white hockey mask of Jason, the demented,
ghoulish killer in the movie Friday The 13th and was brandishing a
very realistic-looking hatchet. I have to admit that the boy gave
me a start, but I stood my ground and dropped a banana into his
"No, Jason, this is still Jesus' night!" I repeated.
Jason evidently resented the competition, however, for he ripped
our mailbox right out of the ground and left his banana squished on
Most of us in the United States have grown up observing Halloween
in one form or another. From the time we're in preschool we make
drawings or cutouts of sinister black witches - the haggier the
better. We make paintings of gruesome black cats with gleaming,
evil orange eyes; we hang up smirking paper skeletons with dancing
limbs; we glue together ghost and bat mobiles; and we design
demoniacal faces for our pumpkins.
For several years now, on thoughtful kindergarten teacher in
Southern California has even provided ghosts for her pupils to
commune with at Halloween. I spoke with one of the mothers from
that school who told me that her little boy was sent home with a
note from the teacher informing the parents that their child would
be bringing home a "special friend" the next day. The child was to
nurture his "friend," name it, feed it and talk to it - all as a
part of a special class project that was designed to "develop the
The next day the little boy came home with a sealed envelope along
with explicit instructions that his parents were NOT to touch it;
only the child was allowed to open the envelope. Mom said, "You
bet!" and promptly opened it up. Inside was six inches of thick
orange wool string with a knot tied a quarter of the way up to make
a loop resembling a head. The mimeographed "letter" that
accompanied it read as follows:
001 Cemetery Lane
Thank you for your order. Your ghost is exactly what you
ordered. You will find that your ghost is attached to an orange
string. DO NOT untie the special knot until you are ready to let
your ghost go. Your ghost will tell you when it is hungry and what
it prefers to eat. It will sleep in the air beside you all day.
It especially likes quiet places where there are cobwebs, creaky
boards and corners.
If you follow the above directions, you will have a very
The mother, a Christian, didn't cotton to the idea of her son
taking in a pet ghost, however housebroken. So she confiscated the
thing and put it in the garage on a shelf until she could decide
what to do with it. The next day his sister was in the garage on
an errand, unaware of the matter of the "ghost string." Suddenly
she was frightened by the sense of a threatening presence around
her. She heard the sounds of a cat hissing in the corner and
something like a chatty doll mumbling incoherently at her. Later
that night they threw the "ghost string" into the garbage pail and
prayed to bind and remove the entity. They were never bothered by
the presence again. This family had no trouble whatever believing
that a spirit had indeed been sent home with their little boy and
that it didn't much like having been assigned to a Christian
The Halloween ghosts were given out again last year by the same
teacher. The mother managed to get hold of the envelope, orange
ghost-carrier and all, and sent it to me. It is possible of course
that the teacher meant nothing sinister by it. Perhaps to her it
was just a cute exercise in imagination for her kindergartners.
Nevertheless, in light of the stated intent of many "transpersonal"
educators to introduce children to spirit guides, I can't help but
be a little curious about any teacher who sends the children home
with imaginary friends.
Even in the church, Halloween is a time of spooky fun and games.
Any number of good, solid churches, ever mindful of their youth
programs, will sponsor haunted houses designed to scare the wits
out of the kids. In Bakersfield, California, Youth for Christ's
Campus Life, Pepsi, Burger King and a heavy- metal rock radio
station are yearly sponsors of "Scream in the Dark," an event held
every night for about a week before Halloween. At least 20,000
people brave the chilly corridors and dark passages every year to
face ghoulish figures, terrifying tunnels and screams in the dark.
A certain Assemblies of God church in Tampa, Florida, got more than
it bargained for in that department a couple of years ago when it
borrowed a coffin from a local mortuary for use at a Halloween
fund-raiser and found a long-forgotten corpse still in it.
The Lawndale Christian Church in Lawndale, California, offers
discount coupons for "The House." The advertisement reads: "You
are entering at your own risk. Young children strongly recommended
NOT to enter The House. Children under 12 must be accompanied by
an adult. Persons with heart conditions, health problems or
pregnant women are not allowed."
Church-sponsored horror isn't a particularly new phenomenon. My
husband's Lutheran church in New York always sponsored a "Chamber
of Horrors" when he was a boy, complete with fluorescent skeletons,
scary pop-ups, peeled grapes to simulate dead eyeballs and a bowl
of cold spaghetti that was supposed to be... well, you know.
Halloween has become a full-fledged national children's play day,
but for hundreds of thousands fo people in the Western world
Halloween is a sacred time, the ancient pagan festival of fire and
The origins and traditions of Halloween can be traced back
thousands of years to the days of the ancient Celts and their
priests, the Druids. The eve of October 31 marked the beginning of
the Celtic New Year. The Feast of Samhain was a fearsome night, a
dreaded night, a night in which great bonfires were lit to Samana
the Lord of Death, the dark Aryan god who was known as the Grim
Reaper, the leader of the ancestral ghosts.
On this night the spirits of the dead rose up, shivering with the
coming cold of winter and seeking the warmth and affection of the
homes they once inhabited. And even colder, darker creatures
filled the night: evil witches flying through the night, hobgoblins
and evil pookas that appeared in the form of hideous black horses.
Demons, fairies and ghouls roamed about as the doors of the burial
sidh-mounds opened wide, allowing them free access to the world of
living men. These loathsome beings were usually not in a
particularly good mood by the time they arrived, and it was feared
that unless these spirits were appeased and soothed with offerings
and gifts they would wreak mischief and vengeance by destroying
crops, killing cattle, turning milk sour and generally making life
So it was that the families offered what was most precious to them:
food - a "treat" that they fervently hoped would be sufficient to
offset any "trick" the ghostly blackmailers might otherwise be
tempted to inflict.
The ancient Celtic villagers realized, however, that merely feeding
the spirits might not be enough to speed them on their way. The
ghoulies might decide it would be rude to eat and run, as it were,
and might just be tempted to stick around. That simply would not
do. So arose the practice of dressing in masks and costumes;
villagers disguised themselves as the creatures, mystically taking
on their attributes and powers. The "mummers," as they were
called, cavorted from house to house collecting the ancient Celtic
equivalent of protection money, and then romped the ghosts right
out of town.
They carried jack-o'-lanterns to light their way - turnips or
potatoes with fearful demonic faces carved into them, which they
hoped would duly impress, if not intimidate, the demons around
As part of their ancient New Year's ritual, massive sacred bonfires
were lit throughout the countryside of Wales, Ireland and France -
fires from which every house in the village would rekindle their
hearth fires (which had been ritually extinguished, as they were at
the end of every year). The villagers would gather and dance round
and round the bonfire, whose light and heat they believed would
help the sun make it through the cold, dark winter.
But the great fires served another purpose as well: On this night
unspeakable sacrifices were offered by the Druid priests to the
Lord of Death. In his Commentaries, Julius Caesar speaks of the
great wicker images "in which the Druids were said to burn scores
of people alive."
Last Halloween, I watched a rerun of "Garfield's Halloween
Adventure." Garfield, the feline comic strip character, is
thrilled at the realization that Halloween is a night when he gets
to rake in free candy. "This is the night I was created for," he
exclaims, with as much enthusiasm as Garfield ever seems to muster.
He decides to sucker poor unsuspecting Odie, an exceedingly dumb
doggie, into going with him so that Garfield can double his
personal candy haul. Well.... maybe he'll give Odie one piece of
candy for his troubles.
Then suddenly Garfield pauses in his Machiavellian musings and
wonders, "Am I being too greedy? Should I share my candy with
those less fortunate than I? Am I missing the spirit of Halloween?"
Wouldn't it be nice if that were in fact the spirit of Halloween!
The spirit of Halloween is more accurately discerned in the horror
movies and videos traditionally released in honor of the season.
Cinematic thrillers so popular with teenage boys today like
Halloween, Friday the 13th, Thriller, Faces of Death, Nightmares on
Elm Street, and any number of other slasher, blood-and-gore,
murder-and-terror flicks are truer to the original spirit of
Halloween - the spirit of murder and death - than is the sight of
Linus sitting all night in his "sincere" pumpkin patch waiting for
the Great Pumpkin.
Modern witches would vehemently deny that their celebration has
anything to do with the demonic horrors depicted in such films as
Friday the 13th. To them, Halloween is one of the four greater
Sabbats held during the year. Halloween for them is a time of
harvest celebration - that season in which the Great Goddess goes
to sleep for the long winter months, giving way to the Horned God
of Hunting and Death, who will rule until her return on the first
of May. It is a time of ritual, a time for ridding oneself of
personal weaknesses, a time for feasting and joyful celebration.
It is also a time for communing with the spirits of the dead.
While the witches spend the Halloween season tucking in their
Goddess for her long winter sleep and frolicking in joyful
communion with the spirits of the dead, there is another religious
group that is equally serious about its Halloween celebrations: the
"satanists." Halloween to them is a more sinister and direct
celebration of death and "Satan." Unlike the witches, most of whom
do not even acknowledge the existence of "Satan," the "satanists"
are quite candid about exactly who [they believe] the dread Lord of
Death happens to be, and they celebrate Halloween as one of "his"
two highest unholy days.
As is the case among witches, different denominations of
"satanists" have their own peculiar traditions, beliefs and
practices on this night. For some of them "Satan" is not a real,
specific entity, but rather the personification of evil resident
within all men.
Other "satanists" however - "cult" satanists - understand [sic]
that "Satan" is very real indeed. To them the sacrifices he
demands are not symbolic at all. They believe that the blood
sacrifice of innocence that "Satan" demands as the ultimate
blasphemy and sign of devotion to himself must be very literal
At Halloween the sacrifices of some of these "satanic" cults are
unspeakably vicious and brutal. Lauren Stratford, in her powerful
and important book SATAN'S UNDERGROUND, relates the horror of the
practices of the particular "satanic cult" that victimized her for
many years. It was their practice to begin the Halloween
ceremonies five weeks before the night of Halloween. In the fifth
week the group performs the "ritual" murder of a tiny infant or a
very young child. The child is often the offspring of a female
member of the coven or a victim who has been impregnated for the
purpose of turning her child over for the sacrifice. Because of
its innocence and frailty, a tiny child is viewed by these
"satanists" as the perfect sacrifice to their master. The infant
is seen as representative of the Christ child, and it is He whom
they are blaspheming.
The night of Halloween another child, as well as an adult female,
will be slaughtered. Not all "satanist" groups participate in
activities of this kind, but some certainly do.
Halloween is thus a day in which virtually everything that god has
called an abomination is glorified. Christians have no business
participating in that at any time, much less in the name of fun.
There are any number of creative alternatives that can be provided
for children on Halloween without participating in the ancient
religious traditions of the witches and the satanists.
Parents or churches could hold parties and have kids come as Bible
heroes. Some families view the occasion as a witnessing
opportunity and hand out gospel tracts with the treats. Some
churches are now sponsoring "Bible houses," which kids go through
to hear different Bible stories read or acted out - a godly
alternative to the haunted house.
Christian parents can also make a difference in the way schools
attended by their children celebrate Halloween. In the fall of
1987, The Eagle's Forum reported a story about parents in Colorado
who protested the traditional celebration of Halloween in several
public schools on grounds that it is a "high holy day in the
satanic religion, and as such is an inappropriate holiday for
schoolchildren." One mother said that she "would like to see the
same measures applied to the Halloween parties as have been taken
with the Christmas parties."
One thing that Halloween should NOT be for the Christian is a time
of fear. It should be a time to rejoice in the fact that "the son
of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works
of the devil" (1 John 3:8, NASB). Spend at least part of this
night worshipping God by singing hymns. Above all, spend time in
prayer and intercession for the children.
Too many of our children have been vulnerable to a spirit of fear
and to the occult because we have for so long believed Halloween to
be an innocent season of fun. But Halloween is not at all
innocent. After the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in England in
1951, the witches and satanists experienced a revival which is
currently in full swing.
You might not know too much about witches or "satanists" or Jason or
Freddie Krueger, the killer in the horror film NIGHTMARE ON ELM
STREET. But I guarantee you that most of your kids do!
Johanna Michaelsen is concerned about the effect of the occult on
children today. This article is taken from her new book titled
LIKE LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER, which is published by Harvest House.
Other chapters in the book look at occultism in the classroom,
yoga, spirit guides, toys and what parents can do. The book is
available at most Christian bookstores.
Johanna Michaelsen is the author of The Beautiful Side of Evil and
Like Lambs to the Slaughter. An "expert" on the occult, she lives in
Reproduced by Computers for Christ #22 (The Light), Silver Springs,
FL, (For electronic distribution only!) with permission from the
Charisma Magazine, October, 1989, pgs. 46-54, published by Strang
Communications, Altamonte Springs, FL.
Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR.
Johanna Michaelsen, Torrance, CA.
Please do not remove these credit lines if you distribute this