IN reply to Tony Kelly’s letter (HAS, Nov 2), Halloween originated as the Irish Samhain Festival. We know from eyewitness accounts from early Christians that it has nothing to do with celebrating evil.

In fact early Christians found nothing wrong with Samhain so they adopted it and as it became so popular the Catholic church renamed it Halloween. Irish immigrants took it with them whereever they went until it reached the Americas.

But Halloween, like Easter and Christmas, has had its meaning vastly distorted by massive commercialisation. Halloween’s darker image has been shaped by countless horror books, movies etc and by religious preachers who attack it based on such as third hand accounts by classic writers relating to Caesar’s Gallic Wars, but these accounts make no reference to Samhain, the Ireland or the Irish – because no one heard of or witnessed it until after Rome had fallen.

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The world is in a mess not because of Halloween, politics or religion in general. But because far too many people have become so opened minded that their brains have fallen out!

CT Riley, Spennymoor