Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
Most people don’t think of horror as a genre of literature or film that is particularly agreeable to Christian sensibilities. However, two of the great practitioners of horror on both page and screen consider their work to be an extension of the gospel. Stephen King, author of many a scary tale, says that he considers himself the spiritual heir of the great Puritan preacher, Jonathan Edwards (who preached the famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”). William Peter Blatty, who penned <i>The Exorcist</i> wrote the story precisely in order to show both the depths of demonic evil and to remind the world of the reality of Christ-like self-sacrifice. It is the depth of the darkness of the Enemy that paradoxically highlights the brilliance of the light of Heaven. Indeed, the word “monster” comes from the same root as the word “demonstrate” and “monstrance.” A “monster” demonstrates what we can and will be apart from Christ. A monstrance shows forth the saving Eucharist, and self-sacrificial power of him who underwent the worst horror the world has ever known to save us from the terrors of Hell. He has prepared a Eucharistic table for us in the presence of Satan himself — and deprived him of his prey. This Halloween, be not afraid.