Between Soul Sleep, Ghost Busters and Halloween


Earlier today, Optimistic Chad debunked all of the fundamentalist Christian reasons why we should not celebrate Halloween. One goodie I want to point out from this post,

“Jack-o-Lanterns are an Americanized version of the Irish and Scottish (and very Christian) practice of “souling.” Souling was when a turnip was carved and lit from the inside to remember those souls who were in purgatory. While you may disagree with the theology a bit, there is certainly nothing wrong with remembering the dead.”

In all honesty, I will be right up front. I hate Halloween. No, I really do. It’s not my least favorite holiday, but it’s origins are not it’s problem. It is what Halloween has come to signify: bloodlusting sparkly vampires, people dressed as their favorite politicians, skeletons all over the place, haunted houses, and my least favorite: people putting white sheets over their head and calling themselves “ghosts.” Growing up, one of my favorite movies that became a cartoon series to watch on Saturday mornings was Ghostbusters. Yah! Slimer and Bill Murray! I even imagined someday I would be like this Christian ghostbuster, and I would vanquish all of the apparitions that haunted people. I hate Halloween, not because it’s the Devil’s Birthday, but because I am constantly reminded of one of the many things I do not believe in: ghosts. I just do not believe that people can comeback from the dead, visit you, or stay in this mysterious land of the dead for a time until they find some closure here on Earth. It just does not happen.

Halloween is a celebration of humans being dis-embodied (and all KKK/white hood jokes aside), our society has so much hatred towards our being enfleshed as human beings, I don’t see why Christians (who affirm the Incarnation and Bodily Resurrection of the Son) should be so enthusiastic about this particular holiday. Don’t like the way your body looks? Let’s imagine you were a vampire instead! Oh, your skin creeps you out? How about you become a werewolf? Or maybe a zombie can take care of your skin problem for you by eating you alive!?!? I think there is something to be said for the rise of consumer culture, and certain stories about teenage girls who don’t go to college, and instead opt to become vampires.

From a theological perspective, the human body is the human soul, at least that is how I am informed from a particular reading of the Hebrew Bible. In the Torah, consulting mediums in Leviticus (19:31) and Deuteronomy (18:11) are discouraged not because these feats are impossible, but because these actions disrupt the bodily nature of the dead souls’ restful state. Holy living requires bodily existence. All of our anatomy is necessary, and not by accident or secondary. Halloween is the perfect holiday for a culture bent on depreciating the human body, through its militarized police violence and economic disparity. I guess I choose not to believe the separation of souls from the body, it’s just unscriptural and denies the Resurrection and New Creation. Much like Halloween does.

0 thoughts on “Between Soul Sleep, Ghost Busters and Halloween

  1. Optimistic Chad

    There has got to be a fallacy in here somewhere. I am just too lazy to look it up. Why do you like Buffy so much, when clearly vampires don’t exist either? Why do you like Firefly, when clearly there is no zombie prison planet? Ghosts, and not even ghosts, just people dressing up as fictional ghosts, does not even come close to being what Halloween is about. It is about creativity. It is about play. About dress up. About experimenting. Living into fiction. By focusing on ONE thing, and theologically blowing it out of proportion, you are creating a ghost-shaped straw-man.

    I can only assume you are kidding, though. And as such, good job for getting me riled up, lol.

    1. Rod of Alexandria Post author


      Okay I wrote this post to stir people up. Again, I am very picky about by science-fiction, and rarely do I delve into “horror”; I dont consider the Buffy/Angelverse as purely horror and they did not focus on ghosts, remember, since the Gospel of Whedon is all about embodiment. Just sayin!

      One exception–spike, but he soon got a body, and as a ghost all he wanted was a body. real talk!

  2. Charles

    In the spirit of Bill Murray: Lighten up, Francis. 😛

    (Fun coincidence: our version of a Halloween party this year will be inviting a bunch of friends over on Saturday to watch Ghostbusters)

  3. Pingback: November Biblical Studies Carnival: The Undead Edition « The Musings of Thomas Verenna

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