“Satanists embrace what this holiday [Halloween] has become,” reads the Church of Satan’s “Holidays” section of their F.A.Q. page.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31. Halloween 2018 falls on Wednesday, October 31.
“[Halloween] originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.”
The Church of Satan, on their “official” home page, says it was “[f]ounded on April 30, 1966 c.e. by Anton Szandor LaVey” and is “the first above-ground organization in history openly dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence.” To the Satanist, “all Gods are fiction.” Satanists “are thus [their] own ‘Gods,’ and as beneficient ‘deities,’” claim they “can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver [their] wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm.”
But what does the Church of Satan have to say about the holiday of Halloween? The following is the Church of Satan’s complete answer to the question “Is Halloween important to Satanists?”:
“We see this holiday as the night when the mundane folk try to reach down inside and touch the ‘darkness’ which for Satanists is a daily mode of existence. Particularly in the United States, Halloween is a time for celebrating monster films, wearing costumes of a macabre nature, and evoking the thrill of ‘fun fear.’ Children (of all ages) can indulge their fantasies by donning costumes that allow for intense role-playing and the release of their ‘demonic cores,’ the parts of their personalities often hidden from their friends, co-workers and families.
“Though there are traditions making this an occasion for recalling the dead, it has been popularized as a time to play with what historically were fears directed towards what were thought to be unquiet spirits of the departed. And the grand traditional question ‘Trick or treat?’ has become a means for fulfilling an indulgence in sweets, without the need to resort to the optional coercion.
“Satanists embrace what this holiday has become, and do not feel the need to be tied to ancient practices. This night, we smile at the amateur explorers of their own inner darkness, for we know that they enjoy their brief dip into the pool of the ‘shadow world.’ We encourage their tenebrous fantasies, the candied indulgence, and the wide-ranging evocation of our aesthetics (while tolerating some of the chintzy versions), even if it is but once a year. For the rest of the time, when those not of our meta-tribe shake their heads in wonder at us, we can point out that they may find some understanding by examining their own All Hallows Eve doings, but we generally find it simpler to just say: ‘Think of the Addams Family and you'll begin to see what we're about.’”