By Linda Nathan
When I grew up during the nineteen forties and fifties, Halloween was just a day at the end of October where we dressed up, ate popcorn and caramel apples, and collected candy from neighbors. Once I tried knocking on doors a day early and received green tomatoes. But that was it--we had no fears of being poisoned or of finding glass in our candy.
I made one of my favorite costumes from my mother's metallic-looking silver diet suit that was supposed to melt the pounds off while she exercised. I don't think it worked because she gave it to me, and it made a fantastic space suit. A plastic space helmet with bags for air tanks completed the effect, along with green cotton gloves with green thread sewn between the fingers for webs. It didn't scare anybody, but it sure was fun.
The horrific and demonic were almost unknown in my West Seattle neighborhood. And as television was still relatively new—we young kids used to gather at a neighbor's house in the afternoons to watch The Lone Ranger—there were no ghastly cartoons or demonic rock groups to trouble our fun—or our sleep. If there were a few monsters, you could sometimes see the zippers down their backs.
It wasn't long, though, before Hollywood started getting professional about horror. I still remember the terrible nightmares I experienced for weeks after watching the original War of the Worlds movie in 1953 when I was twelve. It wasn't until many years later that Jesus Christ freed me from the demons that harassed me from that movie.
Things began to change in major ways during and after the Sixties. And they changed for me too. My dad's sister was a spiritualist, and some years earlier, she'd introduced me to a few of her occult practices and given me a subscription to an occult magazine. She also convinced my mother and me to join her in a séance before I left for college. I started to become involved with evil, and it wasn't just "pretend" evil. It led to 14 years of deep involvement in psychedelics, spiritualism, and the New Age Movement. (For the full story, read Glorifying the Savior / Exposing Deception: Why We Wrote The Omega Point Series).
At the same time, horror and evil were becoming both popular and profitable in our culture. One important way it spreads is through the imagination, such as cartoons that we kids ate up and that kids still do. If it was "imaginative," it had to be okay. Sadly, Disney hasn't turned out to be the harmless fun it seemed at first. Fantasia, created to promote Mickey Mouse, not only blended animated imagery with classical music it also included vivid scenes of evil dominating good. One section that haunted Richard for years (a young boy when he saw it) was its depiction of Mussorgsky's "The Night on Bald Mountain," in which a gigantic rampaging Satan overpowered a tiny church. Even though Richard was raised as an atheist, the sheer overpowering visual evil was terrifying. Many years later, after he became a Christian, Jesus Christ sent those demons to flight. (When Richard went to seminary in the 1980s, one of his studies was on the theology of children's cartoons. The results weren't pretty, for by that time evil was coming in like a flood.)
Three Major Stages in the Downfall of a Nation
Dr. Mark Bubeck, in his book, The Satanic Revival, lists three major stages in the downfall of a nation, which he determined from studying God's actions in the Old Testament: