For many, especially children, it is a chance to dress up, gobble some bite-sized candy and celebrate “imaginary spooks”.
The super-charged media holiday is almost impossible to “avoid” and we are all accustomed to the sea of pumpkins, “gory” costumes and hoards of children “trick-or-treating.”
And Halloween is big business. According to the 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch, Americans are expected to spend about $6.86 billion on this year’s holiday.
Christian attitudes towards Halloween are diverse. Some embrace Halloween and view it as an innocent holiday which provides light relief and activities for children.
Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, has said, “If English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that.”