Pertaining to the history of the devil in Halloween.
Red and fiery with a brimstone smell,
Comes the devil straight from out of hell.
The prince of evil will tempt your soul,
Collecting sinners is his monstrous goal.
He possesses your body or makes you a deal,
But all he wants is your goodness to steal.
The devil should be avoided with the greatest of care,
For the evil one is deadly I warned you now beware!
First mentioned in early religion, the devil has been the main villain in Christianity since the beginning. Feared by billions, he is considered the ultimate embodiment of evil and one of the few monsters where large groups of people believe he is real. Endless volumes have been written about his reality and he appeared in the biggest selling book ever, The Bible. What I want to discuss is the fictional aspects of him, because his representation in the holiday Halloween is meant as a fun boogey man monster used to scare kids and not as a doctrine into satanic beliefs. The devil has appeared in endless fictional literature with the two most famous being, Dante’s Inferno (1321) and John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667). Both are religious fiction, written in a way to make you feel that it is real. More modern well known stories are, Stephen Vincent Benet’s The Devil and Daniel Webster (1937) and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist (1971). Both deal with different traits of the devil such as the selling of one’s soul and demonic possession. A number of movies have also been made involving the evil one, the most famous being, Rosemary’s Baby (1968) The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976). All are suspense thrillers that ironically never show the devil in his typical red face with horns persona. His most outrageous appearance is the movie, Santa Claus (1959), where Saint Nick battles the devil over Christmas. This film shows the fiend in his classic red horned look, but is painful to watch.
The devil in modern America’s Halloween has been a favored monster since the beginning. He was a common paper decoration starting in the 1920’s, always depicting the horned and bearded, red faced fiend, with his pointy tail and pitch fork. This reached a peak in the 1950’s when Halloween exploded all across America. Causing several religious groups to be offended by his appearance in the holiday, where the image of the princes of evil is made light of in a children’s holiday. His imagery was then used less and less afterwards, almost disappearing by the 80’s. The devil costume has always been popular too, giving rascally boys an excuse to let out their inner demons. The most classic of devil costumes were the one’s produced by Ben Cooper and Collageville in the 60’s and 70’s. Heck the first purchased costume I ever wore was one of those bad boys. In current times the devil has made a big scary comeback in Halloween now that the holiday isn’t just for kids. Appearing as all types of costumes and rubber creatures, the devil has become one of the more popular fiends of Halloween. Now if you see any of these demonic decorations, just don’t be tempted to do anything too evil.