The Catholic Church, which has annually condemned the popular celebration of Halloween, claims that a spike in possessions in October is down to this traditional practice, The Daily Mail reports.
Rome's chief exorcist, Gabriel Amorth, says that October is a particularly dangerous month, one that marks an increase in occult activity, paranormal manifestations, and demonic possession, especially as the time of Halloween.
The numbers of such occurrences are documented via the emergency number run by the Pope John Paul II Community's Anti-Sect service, which receives hundreds of calls over this period. The callers are frequently parents who fear for their children. The number of calls has grown from 43 in 2002 to 1,502 in 2014, the association claims. This year there were 1,238 up until Thursday. That this number could reach an average of 40 calls a day till Halloween is a common expectation.
Young people, Amorth says, are the particular targets because of their vulnerability to peer pressure and dark unseen forces that entice them to experiment "with the other side."
The exorcist claims that occult activities that are done out of fun, or by those who worship Satan and practice witchcraft - such as seances, casting spells, animal sacrifice, black mass, dark rituals, playing with the ouija board, and chants - produces adverse effects in children. Some of these effects are depression, suicidal behavior, insomnia and other psychological symptoms
Amorth adds: "Halloween is really a spiritual gathering presented as a form of game. Europe is pulling away from God and Jesus and worshipping Satan. So should we really be surprised that the world seems to be going to wrack and ruin."
This is the reason the Vatican has condemned the celebration of Halloween, and it is a stance that the Catholic Church has stuck to for a long time.
According to a previous report in USA Today, The Vatican issued its warning through its official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, in the article "Halloween's Dangerous Messages."
In this report, liturgical expert Joan Maria Canals says that "Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian" and that parents should "be aware of this and try to direct the meaning of the feast towards wholesomeness and beauty rather than terror, fear and death."
The idea is supported by Pope Francis, more than any other pope in recent history. Pope Francis believes that Satan is real and not just a symbol of evil.
Recently, the Vatican has embarked on a campaign to popularize Holy-ween instead of Halloween. This drive will encourage children not to join the unholy gatherings of Trick or Treat but to pray and to dress up as the Saints instead.