"Halloween has occult roots." That's not historically accurate. The origins of Halloween were Christian. In fact, of the big current Christian celebrations, it is the ONLY one that actually has Christian origins. All the other celebrations like Christmas and Easter have pagan roots, and were co-opted for Christian purposes to sanitize the holidays. Halloween, however, was Christian to begin with and stands alone in this regard.
The Feast Of All Saints, or All Hallows' Day, was and is a holy day commemorating and remembering all the saints who were martyred for following Jesus. All Hallows' Evening or All Hallows' Eve was the opening night of the feast, as all feasts began at sundown and went til sundown the following day. The name was shortened to Hallowe'en (Hallows Evening) in the same way that "God be with ye" was shortened to "goodbye" as our English language vernacular developed and we shortened phrases. (We still do this. "'sup?" is a good example.)
Halloween nearly ceased to exist for a few hundred years, as Christians fought with one another over traditions and doctrine, persecuting each other over differences in theology in a particularly disgusting epoch of time. I can't deny that it happened. Believers killing other believers for centuries over things such as whether or not a believer should have access to the Bible. Terrible but we must acknowledge and remember our history in order that we not repeat past failures and horrors.
Much worse behavior was perpetrated by Christians upon fellows Christians in the Dark Ages than anything that has EVER been done in the name of Halloween by occultists. Let's be clear on that. Christians KILLED other Christians for not praying the same way, not believing every jot and tiddle of the law... and NONE of that has anything to do with what Jesus actually taught. But Christians did it in His name, horrifically. We can't ignore that we did that. And yet, I don't see sensationalist Christians saying we should bolt the doors against other Christians, because of the terrible things that we Christians have done to one another.
Fast forward to America.
Halloween came back in the new world along with religious freedom, as believers were able to exercise traditions that would have gotten them killed in Europe.
LATER, as in, just this past century, the occult things that happen to take place around the same season were ascribed to the holiday (which means "holy day") by people trying to once again push for an "us versus them" approach in church, and in the 70's and 80's, there was a big push by holiness movement churches in particular to sensationalize that mentality. Sounds like a dog returning to its vomit to me, since they obviously didn't learn their lesson from the atrocities committed by the church in the dark ages, when they tried to pit us against them instead of adopting Christ's approach of us FOR them.
There is also a lot of really ignorant confusion perpetuated by these same people that make a ridiculous claim that Samhain (pronounced "sow whin", it's Gaelic not English) is the high holiday of the occult and celebrated on Halloween, making it even more important that Christians reject this day. First off, Samhain is traditionally celebrated on SEPTEMBER 21st, the evening of the Autumnal Solstice. It doesn't even fall within the same MONTH as October. Not the same. Not even close. It's like saying that we shouldn't celebrate New Year's Day because some other religion celebrates a holiday in February.
Also worth mentioning that Halloween is also Reformation Day, celebrating the time that someone dared to speak up against the atrocities of the church and try to get the ball rolling in the right direction to return to sound doctrine and practice as described and prescribed by the Bible, rather than heed the whims and traditions of men. Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, beginning the movement we now call The Reformation, which started to put the word of God back in the hands of the people, and started to turn the church away from its toxicly nonbiblical practices that it had fallen into.
I'm personally convinced that making Halloween "evil" instead of heralding its Christian roots, is a movement designed by false teachers with evil motives to sell books to people whose opinions are easily influenced by emotions instead of facts, who don't do their historical homework to find out if it was true in the first place.
Frankly speaking, Christmas has more pagan occult roots than Halloween, and there are far more evil practices that take place along with the winter solstice, the yuletide, etc. than at Halloween. But we don't see Christians en masse bolting their doors to keep out Santa Claus or Christmas trees or carolers. Yes, there are extreme fundamentalists and members of various cults that do indeed protest Christmas and seasonal festivities and traditional fun that doesn't fall into their particular tradition, but not actual Christ followers who aren't crazy, deluded, misled, legalistic hypocrites.
Yes, let me admit while I'm there, I'm certainly a hypocrite. I've been part of a group in the past, that gathered in a small room, praying against the darkness, "taking a stand" against Halloween and all its "evil", and then I immediately put on a costume and went out trick or treating to enjoy the night, which I really have no issue with as a Christ follower. I went along with my crowd of weird fundie friends at that point in time to do that prayer circle against evil, which frankly resembled a seance more than anything Christian, with the exception of people who like to grandstand and sermonize their prayers - things that Jesus (remember Jesus??) yes Jesus said specifically NOT to do.
We are not supposed to huddle in a room, hiding from the world, pretending it's not there, ignoring its needs, while focused on our own pitiful sense of self righteousness.
Jesus certainly used prayer as an intentional discipline for communion with his Father God and for reflection, meditation, restoration, recalibration, and readiness to engage with others. But Jesus never weaponized prayer against people He disagreed with. He said to pray FOR our enemies, not against them. He was pretty specific about that.
Jesus would not have gathered hidden with others in a home or church to pray against Halloween. He would NOT have bolted His door, keeping kids out. He would be out there with the people, relating to them and serving them, meeting them where they are at. Maybe, and this is a little tongue in cheek, but just maybe He'd be doing the miracle of turning candy corn into dark chocolates.
But while we're at it on the topic of pagan roots of holy days, don't get me started on "Easter"... aka Ishtar, the spring celebration of the Mesopotamian fertility goddess. That word should have NOTHING to do with Christian celebrations. I have way more personal issue with that word and its pagan associations than Halloween, which I think should be embraced as a wonderful Christian holy day, celebrating the saints who gave all for the faith.
But... where it comes to Easter, I must admit that in similar regard, Jesus would not have bolted the door against those who want to hide candy eggs all over the place and have a little fun using their imaginations.
So this spring, you'll find me wishing folks Happy Resurrection Day, as I hide eggs and remember Jesus' atoning death on the Cross for my sake and the sake of all whom would believe in Him.
And this Christmas, you'll find me singing carols and giving presents and enjoying good cheer, even though it's not really Jesus' birthday, and even though (place your fundamentalist grocery list of objections here).
And this Thanksgiving, you'll find me struggling to be more content and grateful for all the blessings I have, rather than wishing for what I don't have, while enjoying a feast with family and friends.
And last night, I was celebrating Halloween. All Hallow's Eve. The Feast of All Saints.
God be with ye!!!!