I don’t like horror movies. I’ve seen maybe 5 my entire life, the scariest of which was “Event Horizon”. After watching it my brother and I turned on every light in the house before going to bed. Growing up a preacher’s kid my dad told us stories of people he had witnessed opening the door to the Devil through Ouija boards and other devises, only to wind up with their physical lives at risk. While they scared us enough never to touch the things, we were always intrigued enough to ask him to tell the story again.
What is it about being afraid that excites and intrigues us? Is it the adrenaline rush we get when an ax wielding psychopath jumps out of a corn maze at us? Maybe it’s the sudden flash of our life before our eyes as we dodge the scythe of the grim reaper on a haunted hayride. Or maybe it’s the intrigue with death, the afterlife, and the Devil that draws us to it.
We’re coming up on Halloween and as I see the advertisements for horror movies, haunted hay rides, and scary costumes I can’t help but wonder what is our obsession? Many Christians don’t like to promote Halloween because they feel that all the scariness is supporting the devil; and that part of it is right. If it was just about costumes and candy, no one would care. But if you really look at it, Halloween is a commercialized promotion of witchcraft, murder, and mayhem (thrown in with childhood obesity). For one day a year everyone enjoys the fact that there is death in the world. How wrong is that?
There’s too much death in this world for me. 23,000 children die every day from preventable disease. Over 150,000 military and civilian deaths since 2003 in the Iraqi war. 1.8 Million deaths each year due to AIDS. Almost 600,000 deaths from Cancer each year.
The reason I don’t watch horror movies is that I believe the Devil is real and those sorts of hauntings and demon possessions can actually happen. I don’t want to think of what things he could do to me if I let him anymore than I would want to wonder what Jeffrey Dahmer would do if I invited him over for lunch. The devil is the father of sin and sin is the cause of death. By desensitizing ourselves to all the scariness that makes Satan real, it softens us to all of the other ways that he uses to take us out of a relationship with Christ. Satan is all around us every day looking for ways to tear us from God.
Ghosts, zombies, vampires, or whatever undead being you wish to dress up as or to have scare you this year may be exciting or even funny. But it’s so much more disturbing when you stop and look at the reason why those things even exist to begin with. So, don’t let me stop you from going on a haunted hayride or watching “The Exorcist”. But let me ask you, would you trade those ugly, haunting, nightmarish figures for a life that never knew they existed? A life where the words dead and undead had no meaning?