Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Not withstanding the spiritual or religious implications, I really would rather not participate. The idea of going door to door for candy, while wonderful as a child, is less glamorous as an adult observer. The crowds of children swarming in the streets inevitably results in at least one tragedy each year. There are those sick individuals who enjoy ruining things for everyone by putting disgusting or dangerous things in the candy. Dressing up is fun and is what I most enjoyed about the holiday as a child. As I grew older and began to hear from clients the very real horrors that occurred around this holiday for them, I could not enjoy the holiday for thinking about what might be happening to children in similar circumstances. It’s not only clients who have informed me of the use of Halloween for ritualistic sexual abuse. I attended a therapy training with two sisters who grew up being ritualistically abused and Halloween was the centerpiece of the abuse rituals. The fact that many animal shelters have to stop allowing black cats to be adopted around Halloween is another attestation to the darker side of the holiday. I don’t think Halloween in and of itself is bad. Just like anything, there are people who use things for good and others who use things for bad. We can’t say that Halloween is unique in having questionable origins as far as our religious faith is concerned. Most all of the holidays have a mixed history. It’s really the people who are the problem and not the holiday. I am not religiously opposed to Halloween and do not begrudge people who enjoy it. I, personally, don’t and usually stay home on Halloween (and I don’t give out candy).