Halloween is a favored holiday for many, and it has long been a cherished occasion for we Satanists. We enjoy it as a time for viewing favorite darkly evocative films—the immortal monsters Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man as presented by Universal or Hammer are de rigueur. The classic ghosts depicted in THE HAUNTING, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, and THE INNOCENTS offer delicious seasonal frissons. And those magic lantern shows of diablerie, ROSEMARY’S BABY, NIGHT OF THE DEMON, and THE DEVIL’S RAIN warm our infernal hearts. This time of year offers the thrill of “fun fear,” when one partakes of local “haunted attractions”—be they darkly majestic or simply cobbled together with a sense of spooky fun. Perhaps of greatest import, Halloween is an accepted occasion for wearing masks and costumes that might be sinister, amusing, heroic, or seductive—these diabolically manifest personal inclinations typically hidden from others for the rest of the year.
We Satanists encourage all who enjoy this holiday to explore their “inner darkness”—a form of civilized “lycanthropy” that for us is common practice. It can be a most satisfying means for attaining deeper self-knowledge through exercising, rather than exorcising, the “demons” within. Being oneself can be a challenge for so many of the “normal” folk who attempt to live according to the expectations of others. On this night, it is socially acceptable to allow one’s true self to emerge, celebrating the singular passions that establish one’s uniqueness. We don’t need a special night for this, as Satanists are unafraid to be who we are. But, for those who might not have done so before, be warned, as such exhilaration can be addictive!
Here in the haunted Hudson Valley, we carry on the tradition of giving out candy to those “Trick or Treaters” who brave the night to approach our fancifully restored Victorian manse—and those with costumes of a more monstrous nature naturally tend to receive extra, from we aficionados of the outré. It seems the color scheme of our Black House—we recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of its adoption of us—has become the archetype for many depictions of haunted homes; black, red and purple are the emblematic hues on cards, banners and other Halloween décor. For those of us in what we call “The Witchcraft District,” Halloween is a state of mind, not limited to but once a year.
My wife Peggy and I were married on Halloween and tonight we celebrate the 38th anniversary of that formal joining of our lives. Back then, a Halloween wedding was most unusual. Now it has become a typical time for couples to be be wed. The sorcery inherent in a formal commitment to one’s partner is enhanced by the essence of being true to oneself with which this holiday is infused. We find this to be fundamental, not only for this holiday, but it is immanent in our philosophy. The High Priestess and I salute those who join us in revels on this most uncanny of evenings. We offer our blessings to couples who share this enchanted wedding night. May your passions be unparalleled!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore