Modern society has transformed Halloween from a spooky and scary event into a fun and festive holiday. Although there are still some scary elements to it, it has become a time when people, especially kids, can enjoy themselves, meet new friends, and make wonderful memories. But are Mormons allowed to participate in Halloween activities?
There is no church doctrine that prohibits Mormons from participating in Halloween activities. In fact, local congregations organize activities where people can dress up in costumes- everything from Batman to caterpillars. Some local congregations have Trunk-or-Treats where they decorate the trunks of their cars, and children go from trunk to trunk to ask for candy. Some put on costumes and go Trick-or-Treating from house to house. Some also carve Jack-o’-lanterns as Halloween decorations. These activities are mostly for kids but it’s also an opportune time for families to get together in a fun and exciting way.
While some Mormons choose to participate in Halloween activities, some also choose not to participate in any activities related to Halloween. And that’s okay. It is a personal choice. Not participating does not make anyone less of a Mormon, fun, or outgoing. There is no law or doctrine that is violated when one chooses not to participate in Halloween activities.
So does participating mean that Mormons believe in ghosts? Mormons believe that the spirits of all people who have died continue to live on. Mormons honor their ancestors by visiting where their bodies have been laid to rest and offer prayers. They do not worship their ancestors but honor them. During this time of year, family members gather, eat, and remember their ancestors. Some Mormons dedicate this time to search for their ancestors in FamilySearch.org—the world’s largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records and resources. Some even visit old family homes and cemeteries to search for their ancestors. They find their ancestors because they want to perform baptisms and temple work for them. These activities are a small example of how Mormons can sometimes celebrate Halloween differently.