GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 19, 2013

Letter: Food for thought as near 'Hallow's Eve'


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

The evening had begun with the usual Halloween pranks.

Smoke bombs, toilet paper for trees, soap for windows and an occasional water balloon for some unsuspecting passer-by. Then, an older boy from down the street joined in.

He had grown tired of the pranks and suggested that they try some more exciting tricks. Under his guidance the band of kids slashed tires and broke glass in driveways. They poured oil on people’s front steps and threw rocks at windows. What had started as an evening of mischief, turned into a night of adolescent terrorism.

The children went wild with their destruction, causing residents to dread the idea of a Halloween yet to come ...

When we make someone a victim, we fall far short of the Glory of God. When we allow Halloween pranks or participate in trick or treat or any other Halloween custom, we help children to stumble and perhaps even fall.

Eve of All Hallows — Halloween — means a hallowed or blessed evening in honor of the departed saints. But is it really? Where did it come from?

It’s not important what we think of Halloween; it is however, important what the devil thinks of it. If the devil thinks of it as his holiday, then we as Christians should not even consider celebrating the day in any manner. As Christians, do we continue to help the devil by helping him to celebrate on his highest holiday. Think about it ... and is that really good for children?

Each year, there are countless examples of horror reported by the media. Reports of booby-trapped treats of all kinds — razors in apples, candy laced with drugs, poison or needles, and cookies made with ground glass are only a few of the horrors we hear of each year.

The high incidence of muggings and rapes that occur on “All Hallows Eve” is astounding. The accidents which happen when drivers fail to see children crossing the street dressed in black or dark costumes. The burns from flammable costumes and jack-o-lantern candles, and the uncalled for amount of extensive damage caused by vandalism. Are these occurrences unrelated to the purpose and theme of this night? I think not.

If we look clearly we will see that Halloween, among other things, is big business; it is one of the three top candy selling seasons of the year.

Costumes, cards, novelties and other seasonal products are all profitable to businesses which will help keep the spirit of the night thriving. And the cost of the night will continue to rise — as will medical and dental and insurance costs continue to rise as an indirect result of Halloween treats and/or tricks.

What is even more damaging is the possible psychological impact upon our children’s values. Stop. Think. Isn’t trick-or-treat nothing more than blackmail — give me something or else?

I would ask you at this time to join with me, in agreement, and take a few moments to pray this Halloween time. Pray one to one, on a personal level, especially for all the children that are out trick or treating; that they may return to their homes safe and sound, protected by God’s love and grace.

You the public can give the devil his due, by being vigilant of what you sell or buy; thereby, making it safe for all that want to venture forth that day, or night.

But perhaps, store managers, may — as many have done in the past — restrict minors from purchasing eggs, toilet paper, and shaving cream, to help alleviate the amount of vandalism.

And parents, if you do let your young ones go out, please dress them in light colors, to help alleviate injury of our children.

Lastly, perhaps the police could break up large groups of older children, in a measure of prevention.

GERALD MAHIEU

Langsford Street, Gloucester