I have noticed that the path to unbelief usually does not start by unbelief in God (a rather unnatural phenomenon as Justin Barrett has pointed out
). Instead it starts with disbelief in the devil. I remember being reminded of this key point when talking to a graduate student with whom I was meeting regularly. After some time studying at our seminary, he noted that he did not believe in the devil anymore. I thought, “he’s reached a key turning point.” Sure enough this student progressed from being a Baptist, to a Unitarian, to an Atheist in a short time.
Perhaps that could be one of the important uses of Halloween for Christians. For example, I remember a conversation with a different Baylor religion Ph.D. student who shared why he likes horror movies. They remind us that the realm of supernatural evil is real.
Of course, they can also make it too real for some. As C.S. Lewis famously said in his opening to The Screwtape Letters, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” May today be a reminder to find that balance.