Halloween is a holiday known for its haunted houses, costume parties, kids trick-or-treating, and various scary imagery on screens big and small. The final day of October is also a time associated with darker ideas, like the Occult, witchcraft, and other unexplained phenomenon.
Many of these images dominate movies and television programs during late October, showcasing to mainstream America spiritual notions known as the "paranormal." According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, when something is paranormal it is "very strange and not able to be explained by what scientists know about nature and the world." The term involves a fairly diverse group of activities and entities, including the Occult, psychics, spirits, and other supernatural phenomenon.
So, should Christians believe in paranormal activity?
Dr. Rick Walston, author and president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary in Buckley, Wash., told The Christian Post that much of what falls under the category of "paranormal activity" is fake.
"I would say that much, perhaps most, of the 'paranormal activity' that is shown on TV is nothing more than con artists plying their trade," said Walston.
"Many people get sucked into the idea that a psychic medium can communicate with their dead loved ones, but in reality they are simply scam artists who prey on the emotions and gullibility of those who desperately want to reconnect with their dead loved ones."
Walston did add that while most occurrences dubbed "paranormal" are false or hoaxes, such events are not impossible.
"Yet, there can be real paranormal activity; however, the mere fact that the word 'paranormal' means 'beyond normal' indicates that this activity does not come from man, but from a source beyond man," said Walston.
"The question is then, is this source godly or demonic?"
A warning against encountering things connected to the paranormal is strongly suggested by the website gotquestions.org.
"Christians should avoid any and all contact with the paranormal," reads an entry on how Christians should "respond to evidence of paranormal activity."
"Our response to paranormal activity, at least as it pertains to any sort of demonic activity, is to be reminded of the evil which ultimately led to our Savior's great sacrifice."
Compelling Truth, a website affiliated with gotquestions.org, stated in an entry about the topic that Christians "need to be alert."
"The Bible is clear what we should do in regards to ungodly paranormal activity: avoid it. Ephesians 4:27 says to not give it a foothold. James 4:7 says that confrontations with Satan are inevitable, but if we resist him, he will flee. We are not to seek out demonic paranormal activity, even for the purpose of defeating it (Jude 1:8-10)," reads the entry in part.