'Halloween is Satan Christmas' ...But religious leaders not worried about dark parties this weekend
Come this weekend, scores of Jamaicans will be don their scariest costumes of devils, demons and the like to attend the host of Halloween-themed events slated to take place on the island.
Though Halloween, a celebration widely thought to have pagan origins, is not traditionally celebrated in Jamaica, it has taken root on the island over the years, with some Halloween-themed functions even becoming calendar events.
Despite the growing popularity of the dark celebration on the island, some religious leaders who spoke with THE WEEKEND STAR have said it is not of much concern to them.
"It is thought that this is the time when the Satanic church and the Satanic cult really come alive. This is their 'Christmas'," religious leader, the Reverend Herro Blair Jr, told THE WEEKEND STAR.
"We have a tendency in Jamaica to just grab everything that we see happening around the world, not having a full understanding of it, but certainly, not everyone who gets involved in Halloween in Jamaica is a part of Satanism," Blair added.
"If I say [nothing is wrong with Halloween], some churches will jump on me and say I should know better because of all the demonic activities, but I would say young people are going to have their celebrations, because young people want to have fun," Blair said.
TOO MUCH DEMONIC ACTIVITY
"There is already so much demonic activity in Jamaica, and we need to take note of what is here to make the changes before we start condemning these kids that are trying to have fun."
Among the more pertinent issues Blair believes need to addressed are the high murder rate, domestic squabbles, and a lack of love and respect for others.
Sharing a similar sentiment that Halloween events in Jamaica are not of great concern is Learoy Campbell of the Jamaica Baptist Union.
"I know that in the United States, even fundamental Christians go trick-or-treating, and so on. But in terms of it coming to Jamaica, I haven't really given much thought to it," he said.
When THE WEEKEND STAR contacted some organisers of Halloween-themed events slated for the weekend, they shunned any notions that their parties are associated with anything demonic.
Debra Griffiths, marketing assistant at Guardsman Group, which collaborated with Hope Zoo to host the fourth staging of Boo at the Zoo, said, "I'm totally dispelling that belief."
"For us, it's a time just to get together in costume. It has nothing to do with any kind of devil or ghosts. It's just a party with costumes and we give out candy," she said.
Aung Chang, who is putting on the second edition of Scary Sexy Salsa, said, "I don't necessarily see it as celebrating the devil or evil."
"Nowadays, Halloween has evolved into more pop culture. Halloween is a good attraction, it gives people a chance to dress up as their favourite characters."