You are Cordially Invited to a Party in Honor of Satan and Hell

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Via America's Newspaper, AP exposes the great European backlash against the "American habit" of Halloween (a holiday, last I checked, with European roots). And by "backlash," they mean menacing remarks by a crazy Swiss mayor, an Italian theologian, and "an Austrian who backs the small but strident boycott movement" :

In Sweden, even as Halloween's popularity has increased, so have views of the holiday as an "unnecessary, bad American custom," said Bodil Nildin-Wall, an expert at the Language and Folklore Institute in Uppsala.

Italy's Papaboys, a group of pope devotees who include some of the young Catholics who cheer wildly at Vatican events, have urged Christians not to take part in what they consider "a party in honor of Satan and hell," and plan to stage prayer vigils nationwide that night.

Papal groupies notwithstanding, Americans themselves are perfectly capable of recognizing that Halloween is a vast conspiracy of chocolate industry lobbyists, sexual predators, and whatever you call the guys who stick needles in candy corn.

Whole thing here. Tim Cavanaugh notes that "Satan has a way of winning every holiday season" here.

NEXT: A Time to Vomit

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  1. They can go to hell. Can’t believe I got that in first.

  2. Italy’s Papaboys, a group of pope devotees who include some of the young Catholics who cheer wildly at Vatican events, have urged Christians not to take part in what they consider “a party in honor of Satan and hell,” and plan to stage prayer vigils nationwide that night.

    Yikes, just when we thought Europe was free of religious whackos. (Of course, most of the Euro anti-Halloween sentiment comes from “Ze-Filthee-Capitalist-American-Pig-Dogs” school of thought.) This guy sounds nearly as bad as the American evangelists who also proclaim Halloween to be a “satanic holiday.”

  3. A crazy Swiss mayor, an Italian theologian, and “an Austrian who backs the small but strident boycott movement” were having a drink at the bar one day when…

  4. I think children provide ample reason for putting needles in candy corn. And, if not kids themselves, then certainly parents who get pissed when you say, “Get off my porch, this candy is mine. Go buy your own, junior.”

  5. Kerry Howley,

    …(a holiday, last I checked, with European roots).

    Well, that’s a bit like claiming that modern day Christmas has roots in the medeival celebration of Christmas. Well, true enough, but they are remarkably different creatures.

    The U.S. version was popular in France for a couple of years, but has since 2000 or so lost popularity (plus, the way the French version of the American version didn’t even remotely resemble what trick or treating looks like in the U.S. – French children after all tended to go trick or treating as if they were waves of protestors or strikers after all).

  6. In my best Maurice Evans voice: “Hail Satan!”

  7. Hakluyt-Are you always “on?”

  8. On a tangentially-related note, there’s something that’s really bothering me: my oh-so gregarious neighbors actually turn on their goddamn sprinklers on Halloween to prevent trick-or-treaters.

    Since they don’t want to “treat” I am trying to think of a good “trick.” I’m probably going to rob them and sell their shit on Craigslist for candy. Anyone else in?

  9. Okay, I’m in an area of which I know next to nothing, but isn’t Halloween actually “All Hallows’ Eve”, which is the day before “All Hallows Day”, aka “All Saints Day”? That sounds suspiciously Christian and non-Satanic, whatever pagan influences the day may have.

    Of course, I’m sure the real objection to Halloween is the American version of it. Cuz we suck and everything. Maybe they should all dress up as Americans and scare each other. Egad.

  10. Bama-While you’re doing it you could also plant meth in their house and then call the cops. That way when the cops arrive it’ll just look like they sold all their junk to buy more speed.

  11. Glad to see that not all Italians are Mama’s-boys.

  12. a party in honor of Satan and hell

    At this party, will there be a guy who keeps going around saying, “Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste”?

  13. Libertate-Sorta. Our Halloween is actually portions of three or four methods of celebrating of the Autumnal Equinox crammed into one night. The date itself (along with All-Saints Day) was chosen for the same reason Christmas was moved to the 25th of December; the need to replace pagan holidays with acceptable Christian substitutes.

    We should all feel fortunate that they did, too; early Christianity was painfully unfun to live with. The influx of Pagan ideas made things more interesting.

  14. I think children provide ample reason for putting needles in candy corn. And, if not kids themselves, then certainly parents who get pissed when you say, “Get off my porch, this candy is mine. Go buy your own, junior.”

    This is just a suggestion, but: Maybe if you stop sitting on your porch with your porch light one holding a big bowl of candy on Halloween night, kids will stop coming to your door asking for candy. Again, just a suggestion.

    Waaait a sec…you’re one of those needle guys, aren’t you!

  15. with your porch light one

    Sorry, I meant to type “on”, not “one”.

  16. You are Cordially Invited to a Party in Honor of Satan and Hell

    By the way, someone should tell somebody that I already had the DC Reasonoid gathering a few weeks ago and that they should change the headline for this thread.

  17. Boy, if I was twelve again, and it was Halloween, and I lived in a certain Swiss town with a certain mayor and I had a dozen eggs or so, there’ no tellin’ what I’d do!

  18. Aren’t we celebrating when the fairies move their mound?

  19. These knee-jerk reacting, Christian psudo-religious reactionaries might smell better than their Muslim counter-parts but they share the same fundemental love of prohitting “sinful” behaviour by condemnations, vilification and whenever they can get a way with it, a hanging here and there…

    Oh, and they’re doing all this for “your” soul’s salvation.

    I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  20. I wonder what these “Backlash” types think of “Faschings”, that pre-lent holiday where drunks wearing giant phalluses march in parades.

  21. Sorry kids, no party this year. I forgot to get a costume–been too busy selling meth to schoolchildren.

  22. Open question: Who is your favorite Lucifer? Mine’s a toss up between Robert DeNiro in Angel Heart and Viggo Mortensen in The Prophecy, although Roddy McDowell’s turn as the first openly gay Satan on Fantasy Island still gets a chuckle from me.

  23. Gotta be DeNiro in Angel Heart. That scene when he peels the egg is pretty creepy.

  24. At this party, will there be a guy who keeps going around saying, “Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste”?

    Totally OT but it’s Stevo’s fault, so don’t get upset with me, just “have some courtesy, …some sympathy and some taste.” But more and more I think the Stones were onto something with “Just as every cop is a criminal…”

  25. Let ’em cry, nothings going to happen until the Islamists decide it’s a problem, then the shit’ll be banned faster than you can say ‘Miss Piggy’.

  26. Jeff P.,

    Satan in South Park is the best. 🙂

  27. And on a holiday related note, if you want a cheap educational non-teethrotting handout that’ll drive all the parents crazy, try books of matches. You can do loosies too, but make sure to ask if their 18 first or you’ll get locked up.

  28. Who is your favorite Lucifer?

    How about the one who gave certain pleasures (yet much grief) to Saddam Hussein in the South Park movie?

    Or the one who spoke through Linda Blair: “YOUR MOTHER SUCKS COCKS IN HELL!”

  29. Al Pacino wasn’t a bad satan I guess; and the guy who played Satan in Constantine was pretty creepy too.

  30. Best Satan:

    Danny Elfman in “Forbidden Zone”, no contest.

  31. Geez, we used to have a Halloween Haunted House at my church when I was a kid, and yes, it was really a haunted house, not a thing where your aborted fetus comes back to condemn you to Hell. I had to peel freaking grapes for the “bowl of eyeballs”.

    The worst thing about Halloween these days is how many adults are so pathetically into it. Remember the “30/30” rule – if you are over 30 and it takes you more than 30 minutes to create a costume, you may need to seriously re-evaluate your life.

  32. Hakluyt-You beat me to it; I was going to suggest Pacino. “He’s a sadist, Marty!”

  33. Gee, no mention of “Little Nicky”?

  34. The worst thing about Halloween these days is how many adults are so pathetically into it. Remember the “30/30” rule – if you are over 30 and it takes you more than 30 minutes to create a costume, you may need to seriously re-evaluate your life.

    Don,

    You think it’s bad now? Just wait a few years until my peers hit their 30’s. Ugh. There’s going to be tens of millions of real-life Peter Pans and, uh, (whatever the female equivalent of an adult who won’t grow up is).
    Thanks for expressing my take on dressing up, though. I mean, unless you’re going to some ritzy gala, or unless you’re an art student, who cares? Your costume is otherwise just going to be covered in keg beer and god-knows-what by the end of the night.

  35. Don Mynack,

    I thought that’s why we had costume shops? You go in, shop for 15-30 minutes, and rent whatever you want. Either that or you throw a sheet over your head. 🙂

  36. If you ask me, Halloween is wasted on the kids. Drinking $2 Black ‘n’ Oranges down at the local bar while watching a naughty school girl apple bobbing contest is a hell of a lot better than “oohhh look, another pokemon costume, you get two pieces.”

    Little bastards don’t even have the stones to play tricks anymore, why should i give ’em candy?

  37. if you are over 30 and it takes you more than 30 minutes to create a costume, you may need to seriously re-evaluate your life.

    I’m guessing you probably wouldn’t much like it at Burning Man!! 🙂

  38. Don,

    These things tend to wither away of their own inertia. I’m in my late 30s, and while my wife and I would love to spend a day creating some really weird costume (we’re both funny that way), the fact is that neither we nor our friends have had a Halloween party for about four years now, and the last couple of ’em before we stopped were kind of a bummer, anyway, since some of the best partyers had managed to reproduce and lost their mojo.

    My wife and I, on the other hand are such pathetic costume-ites, though, that our dream life would be as re-enacters in Colonial Williamsburg.

  39. fyodor,

    I’ve personally never been to Burning Man, so I can’t say I wouldn’t go at least once just to experience it. Still, from the outside, to me it unappealingly looks like a giant artistic circle jerk.

  40. ” ‘Excuse me, please,’ said the stranger with a foreign accent, although
    in correct Russian, ‘ for permitting myself, without an introduction . . .
    but the subject of your learned conversation was so interesting that. . .’ “

  41. Halloween may have morphed into an over-commercialized hunk of American clap-trap, but hey, at least it’s not Sweetest Day.

  42. Good points on the adult halloweenies. I am not a big fan of Halloween (certainly not for religious reasons) and dressing up so I usually try to get out any party-host applied peer pressure to dress up by telling them I’m coming as the most offensive or inappropriate costume I can imagine. I figure if I have to suffer so should they. But now it’s just more of a game to identify costume ideas that are in particularly bad taste. And when it comes to poor taste, what better place to seek ideas than H&R.

    So I’m curious, what would you all think is a particularly over the line costume? Past examples might be, say, going as OBL (or worse, Mohammed Atta complete with a box cutter) back in 2001, showing up as Tim McVeigh in a Hertz rental van 10 years ago, or perhaps going as… what was he called on here… oh yes, “Nearly Headless Nick” a couple years ago.

    But what about this year? Any ideas for topical costumes that are guaranteed to offend most everyone at a party? Or, just for fun, ideas for costumes from years past that would have been singularly despicable?

  43. Who is your favorite Lucifer?

    That would be the great Vincent Price, chewing up the scenery as Mr. Scratch in the otherwise godawful The Story Of Mankind.

  44. Brian,

    Schaivo.

  45. Oh, c’mon, it’s got to be Max von Sydow in “Needful Things”. But then, I’ve always imagined the Devil as being a bit dapper.

    “It’s alright…these things happen.”

  46. “giant artistic circle jerk.”

    wow. sounds kinda like the “cultural and gender studies” department at a small new england liberal arts school…

    there was a halloween kick in denmark a few years ago, too. then they wanted to have indian summer, hurricanes (no kidding), and a gangsta rap group hit #3 on the charts. and rapping in danish sounds really dumb.

  47. Schaivo.

    That’s just sick…

    So, with or without feeding tube?

    Damn JustinSane, you’re on a roll today I see. Not sure which made me laugh more: handing out matches and loosies for Halloween, the naughty school-girl apple bobbing contest, or your costume suggestion showing a tastelessness that will be hard to match.

  48. Little bastards don’t even have the stones to play tricks anymore, why should i give ’em candy?

    What, it’s bad to not have to pay protection-sugar to budding thugs? 🙂

  49. Definitely feeding tube, aka drinking straw. She had a certain androgeny toward the end that would make it good for boys and girls alike. If you get real tanked, you can probably even act the part. Cerebral cortex has more exposure to alcohol in the cerebral spinal fluid, so it starts shutting down first (inhibitions, motor cortex) while leaving brainstem activity still active (tracking, breathing). Just don’t push it too hard with the alcohol, or you may go the way of the Schaivo.

  50. In my best Maurice Evans voice: “Hail Satan!”

    You mean your Sidney Blackmer or Ralph Bellamy voice. Evans played “Hutch,” Rosemary’s trusted friend who gets murdered by the coven-and in the same year that he played Dr. Zaius, making him for my money film’s most compelling figure of wisdom and trustworthiness.

  51. At my church the youth group has an All Saints’ Eve party, but costumes are restricted to saints. Of course, those willing to do a bit of research on martyrdoms can and do come up with as gory a costume as any (arrow-filled Sebastians, flayed Bartholemews, burnt Joan of Arcs, breastless Agathas, and the ever-popular leprous Damians)

  52. But as yet none have dared show up as pre-conversion Mac Daddy Augustine…

  53. Eric,

    It’s not bad at all to not have to pay out in sweets. But I’m only free to do that now that I’m no longer cowed by TP, eggs and burning dog poo. I’m sure as hell not paying up now that I only have to dirty looks when I show up at PTA meetings. I was getting those for free anyway, since I don’t have any kids.

  54. crimethink,

    Too bad you can’t show up as someone yout Church has murdered over the years.

  55. Brian,

    How about this priest costume?

  56. M,

    Ouch. 🙂

  57. Hakluyt,

    Joan of Arc was burnt as a witch.

    I just made inquiries and found out that a gory martyr costume would be considered “unacceptable”, as would a pre-conversion Mary Magdalene. The separation of church and fun is nearing completion…

  58. crimethink,

    Hypatia of Alexanderia was murdered (well, ripped to pieces is more like it) by a Christian mob in a church – that is, they attacked her in her coach, drug her to the church through the streets, and then ripped her to pieces.

    As to Joan, well, that was a case of you Christians killing each other.

    I’d show up as Michael Servetus – Catholic and Calvinist wanted his head. Something to be proud of in that. 🙂

  59. Or maybe I’d come as Loffler instead.

  60. Hakluyt,

    I’m sure there are at least a couple of cases of atheists killing Catholics I could bring up, as well. Which proves little except that there are plenty of people willing to use ideology to justify their murderous deeds.

  61. Or, as Gumby once said, if something is worth living for, there are some who will consider it worth killing for.

  62. Good offensive costumes would be

    A bloated Katrina corpse floating in filth (maybe even clinging to piece of roof or a realistic baby doll) with little Nat. Guard and news helicopters hovering around your head on wires

    or

    A New Orleans police officer…show up in a Caddy with dealer plates and with gun drawn, take anything vaulable and skedaddle.

  63. So the mayor of Rankweil, a town near the border with Switzerland…

    …menacing remarks by a crazy Swiss mayor…

    So. Does that make Paul Martin the crazy “American Prime Minister”?

  64. Halloween, as Americans began celebrating it in the 1930’s, is actually closer to European traditions of Wassailing. Before the 30’s, Halloween was a time for kids to run around, knock on doors, play pranks and run away. Halloween was dealt with much like Americans (and the English) dealt with the rowdy and similar customs on Christmas. It became wholesome.

    But to deny Halloween customs have roots in Europe is to deny Christmas had its roots in Saturnalia. Italians should be ashamed.

  65. There’s a giant turd costume that’s now available.

    ‘Mr. Floatie’ withdraws from mayor race

    (Photo at http://www.poopvictoria.ca )

  66. I’m sure there are at least a couple of cases of atheists killing Catholics I could bring up, as well.

    By all means, please do.

  67. Hey, I’m wondering if we could get the number of posts up to 666 in honor of this blessed holiday.

    t – shake some nests, buddy 🙂

  68. I was thinking of dressing up as the Laffer curve this year, but I’m afraid that I’ll spend the entire evening explaining what it is.

    Sigh. Gandalf again, I guess.

  69. crimethink,

    I’m sure there are at least a couple of cases of atheists killing Catholics I could bring up, as well.

    Maybe some atheistic communists – but that is an entirely different creature from just a plain old atheist.

  70. Hakluyt,

    Making the 69th post on a thread about Satan makes the baby Jesus cry.

  71. i had been set to be dragged along to a rather loathesome holloween party on saturday, but it thankfully fell through. they insisted everyone dress up in a costume, so i was going to go as a dyslexic skinhead. easy costume – boots, rolled jeans, suspenders, and a white t-shirt with “ETIHW REWOP!” written across the front.

  72. smacky,

    I thought Jesus was all grown up? 🙂

  73. Hak,

    A wife and kids do not a grown up make.

  74. “I’m sure there are at least a couple of cases of atheists killing Catholics I could bring up, as well.”

    “Maybe some atheistic communists – but that is an entirely different creature from just a plain old atheist.”

    Oh, nice way to move the goalposts, dude.

    Might as well exclude murderous Inquisitors, heretic-haters and inflamed mobs from the discussion too, since they’re an entirely different creature from just a plain old Christian.

  75. Me? Being a certified geek I love Halloween parties, especial if I’m throwing them!

    Depending on weather, we usually grill something outside or make up a crock-pot of chili, taco meat, or Sloppy Joes along with whatever pot-luck stuff (e.g. chips, dips, salads, homemade pies, etc) that my buddies bring over. Before dinner we usually pass the time playing horror related games like Zombie!, Arkham Horror, or Illuminati. After we feast, it’s either to the TV for a monster movie marathon or back to the gaming tables for a night-long session of Call Of Cthulhu! Last year it was a trio of Hammer Studios horror films, and this year we’re planing a watch the orignal Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

    Fun, fun, fun! 🙂

  76. Whoops: Sorry about the grammar, folks. I got excited.

  77. Akira:

    Call of Cthulu is a sadistic GM’s wet dream.. Spending more then 10 minutes on a player character concept is pretty much a waste of time >:(

  78. Akira,

    Here are more things you may want to consider to put on your list of “things not to talk about on the first date”:

    horror related games like Zombie!, Arkham Horror, or Illuminati
    night-long session (or any session, for that matter) of Call Of Cthulhu
    Kolchak: The Night Stalker

  79. The worst thing about Halloween these days is how many adults are so pathetically into it.

    Hey! I resemble that remark!
    It’s the dress-up that I love. I mean, sure, I’d prefer to go to a real medieval masquerade ball, but we ain’t got those here in these united states, right?

    I ALWAYS throw a Halloween party. Anyone going to be in Chicago this Sat.? Stop by! I’m Morticia Addams this year.

  80. Hey, I also admit I kinda like the adult costume thing. One year, I got so involved in pulling together a costume (in conjunction with my tendency to put things off until the last minute) that I actually missed the party I was supposed to go to.

    Also, it gives me an excuse for keeping that pirate-type costume in my bedroom closet. (A leftover from when a chick-friend invited me up to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival last year, actually. It also ended up being my Halloween costume twice.)

    BTW: Akira, when is your dinner date? Are you going to keep us informed, or should we just pester you?

  81. Also, it gives me an excuse for keeping that pirate-type costume in my bedroom closet.

    Oh my.

  82. Smacky:

    “things not to talk about on the first date”:

    Awwwww Shucks! I was going to invite her to join my Serenity RPG campaign. 🙁

    Stevo:

    Nothing has been set up yet given our crazy schedules. I’ll touch bases with her this weekend when I make my weekly visit to Office Depot.

  83. Awwwww Shucks! I was going to invite her to join my Serenity RPG campaign. 🙁

    Save that for the third or fourth date, bub.

  84. By the way, I hope I didn’t offend any of the adult Halloweeners here with my disparaging remarks about dressing up. In truth, there is nothing wrong with it. That was just my inner crotchety old woman lashing out. She does that sometimes, for attention. *sigh* Time to go take my medicine…

  85. “Maybe some atheistic communists – but that is an entirely different creature from just a plain old atheist.”

    Oh, nice way to move the goalposts, dude.

    No, I think that’s a fair distinction. If someone was going on about how Christians were historically into the Angel Moroni and polygamy, it’s be fair to point out that Mormons aren’t exactly your plain old Christians.

  86. Stevo,

    Obviously, a “plain old” atheist is one who doesn’t kill people. Hakluyt’s point follows straight away. (. )_ /
    (. )

  87. On atheists killing Christians vs. Christians killing others: Well, what’s so special about Communist atheists who kill believers? The fact that they were intent on making their nonbelief into State policy?

    Then let’s be evenhanded,recognizes that it was really the Statism that was the overriding deadly component, and exclude both Christians and atheists who want to make their belief/nonbelief into State policy. What’s left?

  88. “Also, it gives me an excuse for keeping that pirate-type costume in my bedroom closet.”

    Oh my.

    smacky, it’s there for perfectly innocent reasons, as I’ve already explained!

    (But may it not always be so.)

    By the way, I hope I didn’t offend any of the adult Halloweeners here with my disparaging remarks about dressing up.

    No offense taken here.

    Although, if ’twere an offense, a soakin’-down with a bucket o’ seawater and 30 smacks with a fresh sea-bass would be the usual prescribed penalty, ‘ccordin’ to the Laws o’ the Sea. Arrr.

  89. Stevo:

    check out the Happy Tree Friend, Russell…

    http://happytreefriends.atomfilms.com/
    about_the_show/characters.html

    OR:

    YOU! are not a pirate.

  90. My parents, who were kids in the Depression years in Brooklyn and Queens, have told me that Thanksgiving morning used to be the day for dressing up and going door-to-door for treats, and to play pranks. That practice faded, and eventually migrated to All Hallows Eve. See:

    http://www.greenpt.com/anytngftkg.htm

    Of course, the Xters squatted their All Saints Day on top of the pre-Christian New Year, Samhain, so maybe they oughta shutteth up about American cultural imperialism. Our current custom of clothing ourselves as things of the Otherworld has a certain resonance with the old ways, even if I and others don’t believe in the underlying mythos any longer.

    Kevin

  91. Salon also has this:

    http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2002/10/28/halloween/print.html

    but you have to watch one of their ads or subscribe.

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