Necromancy No-No

dark gothic house and solemn girl
Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

I’d picked up some free, secular, young teen books that looked like spooky mysteries (which I always liked!). But I was horrified at the content of one, All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn.

It was about a supposed haunted place. And the last third of the book had the two key characters seeing and chatting happily with the spirits of several dead kids—and being harassed by a dead old lady. This communicating with the dead was portrayed as somewhat normal—and fun.

The grandma of the two key characters thought it was all a prank or something. Then she herself became able to see the dead kids. This conveyed (in my opinion) the idea that Grandma had been a bit uncool but now was enlightened.

Worse, when the kids wanted to help put the dead-kid spirits to rest, the question came up about contacting a priest (as maybe would be done for an exorcism). But the criticism was something like: priests don’t bother to get to know the person, and so it doesn’t go well.

This totally misrepresents reality. (Even if it’s fiction, it still gives us ideas.) In the first place, these are not the spirits of the dead; they’re demons. (Of course, that possibility was never mentioned.) And in the second place, we should not be encouraged to try to speak to or “get to know” any such manifestation. (Though that typically is the feel of the various ghost-hunting TV shows.)

In the end, the stars of the story (with Grandma’s help) do put the spirits of the dead kids—and of the old bag—to rest.

As with so many occult-related books/TV shows/movies these days, we are given the impressions that: (1) the dead come back; (2) that anybody can/should communicate with the dead; and (3) that we (even kids) can outsmart any supposed dark activity.

Trying to communicate with the dead (necromancy) is strictly forbidden in Scripture (ex: Deuteronomy 18:9-13).

All to say, it seems even more necessary than, say, back in the 1950s for parents to review popular books (I appreciate that my dear daughter-in-law reviews—and vetoes—certain books). And it wouldn’t hurt for parents to raise a ruckus with school staff about some of the books on their reading lists.


5 thoughts on “Necromancy No-No

  1. Lynn’s analysis is Biblical and appropriate, and it should be heeded. Satan’s most effective weapon is deception, and this “normalization” of communication with the “spirits of the dead” is one of his biggest lies. Thanks, Lynn, for calling attention to this serious error!

  2. Instead of being introduced to our classical literature children and teenagers are being dumbed down in their required reading in the public school, plus introduced to the occult. I am thankful for our Christian schools and homeschooling activities that still require the reading of our wonderful, old classics. Talking to the dead, if that were possible and other occult activities are not o.k. I never thought reading Harry Potter books was o.k.

  3. I went to a used book store with a friend and wandered around in the children’s area to see if I could find anything for my grandchildren. I was horrified to find that approximately 20-25% of the books were occult, including titles like Teaching your Child about Witchcraft.” This was more than ten years ago. I don’t even want to know what is there now.

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