The thing with Halloween is that it DOES celebrate evil, gore, witches, demons, etc. Even if we dress as princesses we are still out there yelling "Trick or Treat"! Yes, we may not ever "trick" anyone, but, we are threatening to do so.
...and yet, I can see the fun in it. My mother was always worried about letting us "celebrate" the day. She would only dress us as angels or princesses and we would then run around the neighborhood....however, it always bothered her that she may be allowing her kids to take part in a "pagan" ritual, etc.
As an adult, I now share her concerns. ...and yet, I remember the fun I had dressing up.
Halloween IS not a good thing to "celebrate"....I teach that to my students, however, in all my years I have yet been able to convince even from going out that night.
A few weeks ago, our bishop was visiting and we asked him this same question. He said it was not a good idea. Threatening to trick someone, to dress in evil costumes, to throw eggs at houses, set fires, etc...is never good. ...and while not everyone does this, we do support the evenings festivities by going out, or handing out candy....we perpetuate the evil.
However, when the kids were whining and disappointed, he did say that if you were to dress in non-evil costumes and go out to do good to your neighbors that would be okay.
Thinking long and hard on this....I decided to have our youth group go out and collect cans/dry goods that evening.
I made a flyer and bought plastic bags. Each child than circulated these to the houses they will hit on Halloween. The resident is instructed to have a few cans handy to donate to the kids. I have contacted "the Forgotten Harvest" and they will happily accept any food that is collected and donated to the needy in our area.
This way the kids get to dress up, go out with their friends, and do a good deed at the same time. They have been forbidden from dressing as witches, ghosts, etc...and they are not to yell "Trick or Treat". It is a win-win situation.
We'll see how many items they end up collecting.