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Religion and Halloween- The Devil’s Bible, Catacombs, and more

Religion and Halloween- The Devil’s Bible, Catacombs, and more

There are some things about religion, which fit in very well with Halloween.  Some things, including the “Tales From the Crypt”, are even creepy enough to add to Fright Night video night.  So grab your Crucifixes and start saying Padre Nuestros, if you are so inclined, because we are going to take a walk on the dark side with a few creepy National Geographic videos and the Priest cannot save you or read your Last Rites, if Freddie comes for you.  (Insert evil laughter)

This week National Geographic uploaded the full-length versions of a couple of shows related to religion and creepiness, as well as clips of another show.  These videos are a great addition to movies such as Stigmata, End of Days, The Nun, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Exorcist, and other horror movies with religious themes.

The first episode, which was aired three years ago, is about the Devil’s Bible, written by a monk, who “sold his soul to the devil”.

With the use of science, National Geographic uncovers the fable and fear of the Codex Gigas or Giant Book.  Behind it is supposedly the Devil, yet there is a strong desire to possess it.  It puts together the Old and New Testament with violent incantations, exorcisms, and all human knowledge with supposedly no notable mistakes or omissions.

The “Devil’s Bible,” a behemoth volume weighing in at 165 pounds, believed to have been produced by a single monk over the course of decades in the 13th Century, is the focus of a documentary that was featured on the National Geographic Channel.

People blamed this book for the many tragedies, which fell upon the monastery that possessed, including the Black Plague.

The fascinating creepiness of this informative video is up there with horror movies, because it captivates a person for a good 46 minutes with the usual ending of many such horror movies.  Of course, the commentator’s voice helps a lot with the eerie feeling and if you enjoy religious themed horror, the Codex Gigas is a good one, despite its educational purpose.

Devil’s Bible facts:

  • The 310 parchment leaves (620 pages) of the Devil’s Bible are made of vellum, from the processed skins of 160 animals, most probably donkeys. Some pages of the Devil’s Bible are thought to have been removed, and no one knows what happened to them.
  • The entire Devil’s Bible is written in Latin. The calligraphy is lavishly luminated throughout.
  • Including its wooden case, which is ornamented with metal, the Devil’s Bible is so heavy (about 165 pounds) that it requires at least two adults to carry it.
  • The portrait of the devil faces a picture of the “City ofHeaven,” the only other image in the Devil’s Bible. Some scholars believe that the picture of Heaven negates the portrait of the devil. Others have noted that no people can be seen in the City ofHeaven.
  • Also in the Devil’s Bible is the “encyclopedia” by St. Isidore, who, more than a millennium after he lived, is regarded as the patron saint of the Internet. Isidore’sEtymologiae was an attempt to record all universal knowledge of his time, the 7th Century.

Of course, this show was met with Evangelical criticism.  The Church of Jesus Christ called it “goofy rubbish” and asked if National Geographic had lost its mind.  Is the Devil’s Bible rubbish or a book from the past?  You decide.

Another National Geographic video, which is a couple of clips of the full-episode and not as creepy, is about Vampires in the Taboo series.  In this case, the “Vampires” are actually humans who feel they need blood to survive.  These people are also Goths, who attend Dracula’s Ball before the blood feast.  It is most definitely wild, but lacks that horror movie feel.

Lastly, we face the Grim Reaper (spoof) and “Tales From the Crypt”, including The Rite.

Supposedly, touching the dead is “Taboo”, but touching a dead love one was one thing in my family that was not taboo.  I never could understand why others shivered with the creeps when I tell them my mother, aunt, and I, as well as others, gave my grandmother one last hug and a kiss on her cheek while she laid in her beautiful pink coffin.  Oddly enough, even in death, she looked beautiful and as though she was sleeping.

Despite the fact that some people get the creeps by my family’s practice of hugging and kissing our dead love ones one last time, I never found death creepy or disturbing, just sad and a time to grieve for our loss.  At the same time, skeletons also bother people, when they do not bother me.  It is all part of life and oddly enough, the further I get from religion, the less disturbing death gets, despite my religious family not being afraid of death.  Then again, if you are “Dead Like Me”, then death becomes an every day thing.

However, if the Grim Reaper (not a spoof), death, and skeletons give you the creeps and you want an eerie feeling for Halloween, this is another good 46 minutes of Halloween fun, which reminds me of Shakespeare.  In his time, people often dug up the bones of their dead love ones to make room in the graveyard for more recently dead people.  These families would take the bones of their dead family member and place them in the walls of their homes, according to my Shakespeare professor.

National Geographic also set up a web page with pictures of “creepy” crypts, which somewhat supports my Shakespeare professor's statements, except these are not people’s homes.  One can find great pictures of fascinating skeletal remains on this page and here is some Halloween sounds for you to enjoy as you view them.

Thus, we have a few educational and informative videos and more to add to your Halloween viewing fun.  Enjoy and please, do not take any of it too seriously and yes, except for Nightmare on Elm Street, which the trailers were too much for me, and the most recent movies, I viewed most of the movies I listed in the article.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
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