For most of us Hallowe’en is nothing more than just a day filled with ghost stories and scary creatures. People all over the world carry with them varied versions of the tradition but how did Halloween really come about?
October 31st came to be known as All Hallows’ Eve basically because the day after, which is November 1 is All Saints’ Day. “Hallow” means “saint.” It was in 988 that November 2 was made All Souls’ Day. It was a feast to honor the dead and not only those who were regarded by the church as saints. These events must have been measures to be part of an attempt to Christianize the old Eve of Samhain and to wean people away from the old pagan ideas and customs. The probability that people might remember more to pray for the dead rather than pray to them and focus their attention on the lives of saints of the pasts than spirits, whether good or bad.
During the Reformation, there was a serious attempt to cut out some of the ideas, particularly concerning prayer for the dead. There is clearly nothing in the Bible which encourages us to pray for the dead; they are in the hands of God and their eternal destiny has been determined by their response to God in their life on earth. So praying for them cannot alter their condition. As a result of this, All Souls’ Day was removed from the church’s calendar, and wasn’t restored until 1928.