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Don't Fear the Terror!
Scriptures for Halloween

"The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, 
you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of 
the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle's, from 
there I will bring you down," declares the LORD. --Jeremiah 49:16 (NIV)


"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day 
your Lord will come." --Matthew 24:42 (NIV)


******************************************************************* Note: in 2001 I asked the question, 10/31/01 + 9/11/01 = ? The book Death Makes a Holiday by David J. Skal, released September 2002, seeks to answer that question in the afterword "September 11 and October 31". ******************************************************************* 2008 JOKERS, JOKERS EVERYWHERE! And I plan to be a Female Joker! I'm not patterning myself after Heath Ledger's Joker. I have a lavender jacket, light-green pants, orange scarf, light orange flower, and other accessories. Check this out: The Biblical Batman, by Ross Hoss, 7/23/08 And yes, this is an election year! And the Obama mask seems to be outselling the McCain mask! ******************************************************************* 2007 THE NEW WONDER WOMAN Throughout the last few years I've been thinking that there are two costumes I haven't done yet: Joan of Arc, and Wonder Woman. So this year I'll be Wonder Woman. I'll be an overweight, bespectacled, African-American, walking-on-a-cane Wonder Woman! Isn't Halloween terrific? ******************************************************************* 2006 WHAT BECOMES AN ELDER? My mom died three months ago, July 23, 2006. The first heat wave on the Eastern Seaboard got to her, complicated by the illnesses she already had. Back in 2001 I bought a plastic Halloween tombstone similar to the one above, with the idea of creating some sort of 9/11 commemoration, or letting the tombstone stand alone and allow passers-by to create their own commemorations in their heads. My mom nixed the idea. Now, however, I've taken that same plastic tombstone and graced it, Day-of-the-Dead fashion, with doodads to commemorate my Mom: a funeral prayer card with a picture of Jesus overlooking a first-century Israeli city; a plastic flute (she loved music); a Day-of-the-Dead-like pushbutton dancing skeleton; silk flowers, including a rose; and a patch that says Mexico. That little memorial is in the front yard along with the little pumpkins and scarecrows. I turn 50 on December 21, 2006, and this Halloween I'm dressing up as a cincuentanera! I thought I'd made the word up, but it turns out that a handful of middle-aged women have been celebrating their cincuentaneras over the last few years! These may give some idea of what I'm aiming for with my cincuentanera dress: white trimmed in black. I've already lengthened the hem of a white dress of mine with a black cloth with white trim. I have a string of cloth black flowers and other things. If I don't have time to sew them, I might just tie them on! Amazon.com: So you'd like to... Celebrate your Cincuentanera (that is, your 50th birthday) Amazon.com Listmania!: Cincuentanera: 50 is the new 15 Shortly after my mother's funeral, my sister Becky reported that someone--a friend, maybe a cousin--said to her, "I guess we're becoming the grown-ups now." Becky replied, "We've been the grown-ups for years. We're becoming the elders." ***** BOOING AT LAST! Two years ago I stumbled upon an Internet report about a new Halloween tradition called booing. (See report in 2004 section.) A few days ago in the Target store in Elmhurst, I saw a couple of "booing" kits--three, actually, from M&M/Mars, Hershey's, and another company, maybe Target itself. "Oh, yeah!" I exclaimed. I bought the first two kits and supplemented their supplies with more candy, whistles, toy plastic horses, and leftover VistaPrint.com cards. I bought gossamer-like favor bags from a 99-cent store in my neighborhood, and divided the goodies among eight bags. Within the next few days, I go booing in my neighborhood! Will this fly in Queens, NY? ***** NEW FOR 2006: The Magic Eightball Test: A Christian Defense of Halloween and All Things Spooky by Lint Hatcher Publisher's website: Hambangers Junction: where faith and imagination meet ******************************************************************* 2005 THE WHORE OF BABYLON IS US? The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. --Revelation 17:4 (NIV) Last Halloween, or in early November, I told myself that if George W. Bush won--or "won"--the 2004 election, the next Halloween I would dress up as the Whore of Babylon. He did--and, Lord willing, I am. Some thoughts on this: The Bill Maher Message Board: Babylon the Great=USA?, 9/20/05> Amazon.com: So You'd Like to...Celebrate Halloween as a Christian (Oh, this Halloween page started so innocently, years ago!) ******************************************************************* Bush Kerry
Politically (In)Correct: Which One Is Scarier?
(masks available at DLAssociates.GiantPartyStore.com) HALLOWEEN AND POLITICS Trick or Treat as a Candidate New York Newsday, 10/28/04 2004 POLITICS CAN BE SCARY... This website's purpose is to deal with spiritual aspect of Halloween... yet, this is an election year, and the election is strong on my mind. To see which candidate I'm backing, go here. from www.ebay.com In the spirit of politics, I plan to repeat my Patriotic Jester costume of last year --and I almost never repeat a costume. I'm not the only one whose 2004 Halloween thoughts turn to the election: With Halloween Falling Just Days Before the Election... iParty's Halloween Shoppers Are Already Voting --As Bush and Kerry Halloween Masks Start Flying Off the Shelves! Masked revelers prefer Bush Get this one: Halloween mask sales predictor says incumbent will beat Kerry in November oh, oh... photo by Adi Ashkenazi, from photos.halloween-nyc.com. Not me, but another patriotic figure from the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, 2004. My picture's way below. (Scroll down.)

Have You Been Booed?

New trick-or-treat tradition involving the whole family: Getting Booed! A new Halloween tradition is spreading rapidly grass-roots fashion throughout the culture. Called "Getting Booed," it involves a family making a Halloween gift basket and leaving it anonymously on a neighbor's door step with a sign "You Got Booed." The receiving family's job, then, is to make up another gift basket and play the trick on another family in the neighborhood who doesn't have a 'got booed' sign on their door. "The way we celebrate holidays, in particular a grass-roots holiday like Halloween, reflects the trends of the time. Today consumers are emerging like butterflies out of their protective 'cocoons,' and looking to reconnect with the outside world. Connecting has become our dominant trend and along with it comes a desire to make new connections with our neighbors. Halloween celebrations, like trick -or-treating and getting booed, are a way for us to connect," Danziger explains [Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Why People Buy Things They Don't Need]. BOO News! Halloween is spawning new holiday traditions, reports Unity Marketing (9/29/04) As a cynical native New Yorker, I can already imagine the dangers if this practice falls into "the wrong hands". Might this be more safely done among neighbors who know each other--or might we take the risk with neighbors we barely know, or don't know at all? As a Christian, I see a wonderful opportunity for evangelism here-- slip in a gentle or holiday-appropriate tract along with the treats! Or, you might write a note of your own. For some ideas or resources: American Tract Society: Halloween If you live in or near New York City, you can visit the American Bible Society Store on Broadway near 61st Street; otherwise, you can call and ask about their tracts and booklets. New York Headquarters American Bible Society 1865 Broadway New York, NY 10023 Telephone: 212-408-1200 1-800-32-BIBLE ******************************************************************* 2003 GOD'S MONSTERS: GARGOYLES AND THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES Are there any gargoyles depicting the four living creatures? We often associate beauty with good and ugliness with evil. Oh, we know beauty can mask evil, too. But "ugly goodness"? Why did medieval artists decorate their churches with monsters? Why did God himself create "four living creatures" --fantastic, fascinating, and probably grotesque to our eyes-- to worship him day and night? Some say gargoyles are man's evil passions banished by the Holy Spirit. Some say gargoyles were meant to protect people from evil. Their practical purpose was as waterspouts, but, according to sculptor Walter S. Arnold, gargoyle-carving allowed sculptors to freely use their imaginations. They loved to make them, and viewers loved to see them. Perhaps these sculptors expressed a facet of the original Creator, who sculpted his own "living grotesques", if you will, in the four living creatures. Why did God want these fascinating, fantastic, grotesque creatures? In Ezekiel 1 they each have four faces—of a man, lion, ox, eagle. Throughout Revelation they each have one face—man, lion, ox, eagle. They’ve become differentiated and individualized in the New Testament. They don’t appear in any other book of the Bible. Do they represent the royalty of Jesus? Do they depicts the four Gospel writers? And by extension, the whole body of believers? Or are they the finest attributes of nature —nobility, strength, speed, and wisdom—praising their Maker? Or could they represent the Beatles? The Four Living Creatures, the 42nd Annual Biblesta Parade Saturday, October 2, 1999, Humboldt, Kansas The Four Living Creatures only appear in Ezekiel 1 and throughout the book of Revelation. At this time of year when our minds turn to scary things, God's Four Living Creatures, and man-made gargoyles, may serve to remind us that goodness and holiness can be scary, too! ******************************************************************* 2002 This summer I was reading Jeremiah, and I found this: "Moab has become an object of ridicule, an object of horror to all those around her." --from Jeremiah 48:39 Now I found a couple of places in the book of Jeremiah that talks about making something or someone "an object of horror and scorn". Also I saw a PBS-TV show with a panel of comedians talking about their craft. One said, "We laugh at what we fear." Think about this in connection to Halloween. Although the Bible talks about having proper respect for the power of evil (see Jude 9), it also talks about Jesus making a spectacle of evil powers (Colossians 2:15). In fact, the very next verse says: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. --Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV) I found an article that suggests Halloween is a good time to remind Satan of his ultimate defeat: Hallowing Halloween: Why Christians should embrace the "devilish" holiday with gusto —and laughter. also: Is Halloween a Witches' Brew? Or have Christians been spooked out of celebrating a part of their rich tradition? both from Christianity Today. ++++++++++++++++++ The following article is pretty highbrow for this website, but since it mentions Satan and Milton's Paradise Lost, it fits. Satan is Not A Literary Character: Teaching Early Modern Literature to Religiously Committed Students by Dr. Carrie Hintz, Assistant Professor, English, Queens College (Flushing, NY) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ When the terror strikes... 10/31/01 + 9/11/01 = ?
Halloween 2001 articles:
This Year's Halloween Hit: To Be a Hero "So many kids want to dress up as firefighters --and cops, doctors, and soldiers-- that the costumes are already in short supply."
Halloween 2001: Easing the Fright, Not the Fun
SLUCare Pediatrician Gives Tips for Parents to Help Kids Stay Safe
Terror attacks in US cloud Halloween festivities
"Americans usually enjoy a good scare on Halloween, but the September 11 terrorist onslaught and the subsequent anthrax attacks in the United States have left people looking for treats, not tricks."
Halloween may offer welcome diversion
"This is the night when people dance, that's what this holiday is about. It's about dancing in the face of death."

"At one store there was a t-shirt that simply stated ‘Who Died?’. This would have been thought of as humorous prior to September 11, 2001, now it brings back frightening memories."

Editorial Cartoon, 10/6/01
Am I Safe?
a Gospelcom message for children

and some news links.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ You will not fear the terror of night ...nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness... --from Psalm 91:5-6 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. --from Revelation 6:8 "Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." --from Joshua 1:9 Are you scared yet? Are you thrilled down to your marrow? Hope so, because we're going to touch on that most confounding of holidays:
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Someone's hair shot into the air as they ran from this website! For you brave people, come along! Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. --Psalm 23:4 Remember: He that is within you is stronger than he that is in the world. This site was begun October 5, 2000. Last updated October 30, 2008. Free graphics from thesitefights.com and hollowhill.com

Enter...if you dare!

SAUL AND THE WITCH OF ENDOR I Samuel 28 a ghostly witch story!

THE VALLEY OF THE DRY BONES Ezekiel 37

"Son of man, can these bones live?" --from Ezekiel 37:3
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, Now hear the word of the Lord!

THE DEVIL TEMPTS JESUS Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13 THE MAN AMONG THE TOMBS Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD 1 Corinthians 15

For All Saints Day (November 1):

THE GREAT CROWD IN HEAVEN--Revelation 7


Some Spooky Stories, Secular and Spiritual

New!: All-Hallows-E: download modern stories from stealthpress.com

Goblin Market (poem) by Christina Rosetti
Young Goodman Brown (story) by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (story) by Washington Irving
The Monkey's Paw (story) by W.W. Jacobs
Jabberwocky (poem) by Lewis Caroll
The Raven (poem)by Edgar Allan Poe
From the website of the movie "Poe: The Last Days of the Raven"

Jabbercandy (Trust me, just read it!)

"Alpha and Omega: Reconciling Science and Faith"
The theology of "B" horror movies, with a bow to Taylor Caldwell's Dialogues with the Devil.
By Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver

Mystical World Wide Web: 'THE FAUST LEGEND'
an article by Lloyd Hawkins (UK)
Faust Legends
translated and/or edited by D. L. Ashliman © 1999-2001
a list of articles concerning the story of Dr. John Faustus

Paradise Lost Study Guide
links to the complete poem, summaries, essays, etc., plus a prose (novel) version.

The Screwtape Letters (excerpt--Letter 1) by C.S. Lewis
Temptation lessons from one devil to another.

The Crucible Project

Guide to Arthur Miller's play about the Salem witch trials, with links to the recent movie and to history webpages.
Sweeney Todd
A webpage dedicated to Stephen Sondheim's musical thriller--or is it opera?--about "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Little Shop of Horrors
The Off-Broadway musical about a Faustian deal between a shop boy and his plant.
The Phantom of the Opera
Links to personal stories, Phanfic, the musical, etc.

Beliefnet.comA list of excellent and varied links about the Halloween controversy.

I ain't afraid of no e-mail!

mnl_1221@yahoo.com

Lamb Chop in Mourning, 1998 Blue M&M, 1999 Bread and Wine, 2000


2001: Okay, this isn't me, and I wasn't an Oompa-Loompa, but this comes fairly close to my Brownie Elf costume: silver-gray overall shorts, tan shirt, floppy tan hat with silver flowers, and oversized pink cloth bag with a flower on it!
Also, for an indoor party, I wore a silver gown covered with a brown velvet blouse and a crown, and called myself the Duchess of Chocolate.


2002: This American Girl doll echoes my Hippie costume: long red dress, flower lei in my hair, a plastic sax with a kazoo taped to the mouthpiece, and a yellow Smiley bucket!

2003: a Patriotic Jester!

2004: Patrotic Jester

2005: the Whore of Bablyon, aka Babylon the Great (Revelation 17, 18)

2008: the Female Joker, with my churchmate Gideon, at our church's Family Fun Night, the Saturday before Halloween

********************

Some of my costumes, since childhood, have included:
Herman the Mouse (of Harvey Cartoon's Herman and Katnip)
Artist (and I costumed my doll as an artist, too)
Gypsy
Doll

college:
Farm Woman (a la Fiddler on the Roof or Little House on the Prairie)
Cheerleader
Patty Hearst (as "Tania")
Batgirl
Girl Scout (yes, I took an extra year for college!)

adult:
Supergirl
Zorro
Witch
Old Man
Saint Michael the Archangel
Priest
Clown
Bride
Debi Thomas (Olympic figure skater, bronze medalist, 1988)
Energizer Bunny
American Indian (coincidentally, the year Dances With Wolves came out)
Olympic Gymnast (1992 costume)
Beauty Contest Winner: Ms. Greater New York
(I did this one two years in a row!)
Half-Bride, Half-Groom (I believe I repeated this one, too!)
Flower Woman from Streetcar ("Flores para los muertos.")

and then Lamb Chop, Blue M&M, Bread and Wine, Brownie, Hippie, Patriotic Jester, Babylon the Great (aka the Whore of Babylon), Cincuentanera, Wonder Woman, and the Female Joker.


Don't Fear the Links!

MNL, Queens, NY: my homepage!
MNL's Holiday Page: Celebrate, Commemorate, and Party!: All them other holidays!
The Bible Gateway: Read the stories yourselves! Many online Bible translations, in many languages; also word search.
Annie's Halloween Page: A Christian's look at the holiday, with many links to activities, alternatives, and other holidays.
Hollow Hill: Ghost hunts, Halloween clip art, Celtic lore. Link to a different perspective on a "witchy" Bible quote.
The Harvest At Your Door: When the mission field knocks on your door October 31. From On Mission.
Halloween: an historical and biblical perspective: Well-thought out essay about what Halloween was and is, though I don't agree with all the conclusions. From Grace Bible Church, Wappingers Falls, NY.
How Should We Answer the Mockers?: sermon starting with the Greatest Halloween Trick of Them All: the War of the Worlds hoax. From Peninsula Bible Church, Palo Alto, CA.
Judgement House: A walk-through drama about the choice between Heaven and Hell.
American Tract Society: Tracts for all occasions, including Halloween.
American Bible Society: Visit the Manhattan store for wonderful handouts and tracts. Why aren't they sold online? (Online store has Bibles and other resources.)
Hallmark : Cards, gifts, flowers, e-cards, etc.
Earthcam: Halloween 1998, Greenwich Village, NY: Ghoulish and not-so-ghoulish revelers.
Earthcam: Halloween 1999, Greenwich Village, NY: Same time next year.
Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, NYC: preparing for this year's parade.
What the Public and Faith Groups Think about Halloween: A variety of views. From Religious Tolerance.
Trick or Treat! Halloween and Jesus Christ: the greatest Treat of all!
Halloween in the Light of Scriptures: Same idea as mine, different conclusion. By Diane Dew.
Madison Scare Garden: About Madison Square Garden's annual Scare. Follow link to "the scariest place in cyberspace".
Six Flags Fright Fest: If it's October, it must be Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure, NJ.
Stealthpress: home of All-Hallows-E: short story collection.
God and Chocolate?: my first self-created tract, in time for Halloween 2001.
Earthcam: THANKSGIVING 2001: streaming video of the Macy's parade, NYC, held 11/22/01.
Christian Alternatives to Halloween: an essay by Conrad Walton. Links to e-mail and letters on the subject.
According to the Bible...Liberal equals Noble and Generous!: Tract by me, created October 2002, which asks, "What does the Bible say about liberals?"
Bill Maher Message Board: Left versus Right: Where is the Love?, 10/10/03: This became the basis of my 2003 Halloween tract.
Bill Maher Message Board: My 666th Post!: This happened by accident--and what a scary accident, if you think about it!
Morning Glow: Happy Halloween!: The Jack O'Lantern story, Poe's "The Raven", music, and links to kids' activities.
VistaPrint: Get your business cards, magnets, holiday cards, etc., here! I've designed many a card here for website or evangelistic distribution.