Chapter 2 – A Celebration of Death. This is always my favorite part – debunking every damned thing Phillips writes. Behold, the power of the internet. By the way, he cites no sources for any of the following, and none of his images are credited in any way.
If you think Halloween is just a time for pumpkin pie and treat-or-treating children, again, you thought wrong, fool! There is so much more to the story that you are not thinking about!
Halloween is the festival witches celebrate more than any other! Actually, it’s Samhain, but factchecking whut? Witchcraft is nothing to sneeze at. It is an abomination in the eyes of god, and to make sure you are aware of how serious this this, they made sure to put it in italics! Phillips and Robie have their collective panties in a bunch over the fact that the IRS gave tax-exempt status to the Church of Wicca. Um, anything that is recognized as a religion gets tax-exempt status – shit, even the Scientologists finally got tax exemption after many years of fighting about it! Worshiping Jesus is the same as worshiping nature, so yeah, you’re equal. Deal.
How do you spot the Halloween Witch, as opposed to, say, the Christmas or Hanukkah Witch? She wears a black cloak and peaked hat, rides a broomstick, and has a cat with her. Well, now I know where you got your information; looks like someone watched a lot of cartoons. They prove my point by including a picture of the wicked queen from Snow White in her guise as the old hag, offering up the poisoned apple. Hey, Disney, the photo is uncredited, in case you wanted to know!
Witches “fly” by the use of “sacred ointments” called “ungent” rubbed on the skin. At first, I thought that was an error, but it was misspelled again at the end of the paragraph. The word is “ungUent,” by the way; if being pedantic makes me a heathen, well, I’m the biggest heathen there is. The “flying ointments,” wonder of wonders, is actually correct (you can read a little bit about it here). What would have been more amazing, however, is if they would have cited some damned sources. They obviously didn’t come up with this on their own.
“The peeling of church bells was believed to be a defense against aerial witches.” Oh, I see, because you pull off the strips of metal and throw them at the fiends! Ugh, how did this error-riddled idiocy ever get published? How much money did he slip Starburst Publishers?
In the seventh century, the Archbishop of Canterbury set punishments for “those who goeth about in the masque of a stag of bull-calf . . . those who by their craft raise storms . . . sacrifice to demons . . . consulteth soothsayers who divine by birds.” This is quoted directly from the book, but I cannot find an original attribution. A Google search yields me several fundie-type websites, all of whom took this quote from Halloween and Satanism, and apparently, never bothered to look further. Oh, well, at least they cited their source, no matter how erroneous, which is more than I could say for some people. Ahem.
The “bull-calf” is the horned god, and it’s worshiped with dances, barking, and howling. Herbs were gathered and potions created, some even with snakeskins and bat entrails! The religion of the horned god spread even though Christianity was trying to knock it out of existence. And even after people became Christian, they still worshipped the dead. In the Middle Ages, stone lighthouses known as “lanterns of the dead” protected people from malicious ghosts on All Hallows’ Eve. Actually, the “lanterns of the dead” were towers that lit the way to a cemetery.
Blah blah, Baphomet, Pan, esbats, somehow they got some of this right, blah. “The Hartz[sic] mountain region of Germany was the most famous sacred spot for witches.” Seems like “legend has it,” according to many websites, yet they are reporting it as actual fact. And I am sure that some “witches” probably did meet up there. But come on.
And now, the Celts, who worshipped the sun god “Muck Olla.” WRONG. A Google search turns up quite a few misattributions such as the one above, but it appears to be an Irish boogeyman and has nothing to do with deities at all. Lugh was the sun god. However, the legend of Muck Olla appears to be one of the several origins of “trick or treat.” Masked people would go from farm to farm and tell said farmers their good fortune was due to Muck Olla’s goodness; now, if they wanted this goodness to continue, and their crops to prosper, et cetera, they better give, and give plenty! This could be in the form of food or even gold. Much better than pennies, I’m sure.
The Celts built large stone structures called megaliths, the most famous of which is StoneHEDGE, not to be confused with its more well-known brother, StoneHENGE. Come on, how do you fuck that up?
In the end, they present all of this information about the origins of Halloween, and it’s not necessarily bad, just pagan. Oh, wait, pagan is automatically anathema to a fundie Christian. Trick or treat, motherfuckers.