Pumpkins conceal Satanism, claims Orthodox Church in Halloween warning to schools and students
Officials in the Omsk region of Siberia are so worried about the festival that seemingly harmless activities such as making pumpkin faces and dressing up as Count Dracula have been proscribed in schools.
Halloween is a sinister "propaganda death cult" which "promotes extremism", the education ministry has warned in a letter.
Children who celebrate All Hallows Eve risk falling beneath the influence of "mystics" with potentially "devastating consequences for the spiritual and moral health of students", the ministry continues.
A spokesman said: "According to many scientists - psychologists and psychiatrists - Halloween is dangerous for children. Children who have taken part in such events often feel fear, depression, aggression and a suicidal mood."
But according to newsru.com, no evidence was presented to back this assertion.
A priest from Vladivostok explained the dangers of pumpkins. He told RIA Novosti: "One would think what's wrong about this pumpkin with holes? But in fact it is simply hidden Satanism."
Senior Orthodox Church archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin claimed that Halloween was a manifestation of the old proverb that the devil's greatest trick was to make people think he did not exist.
Chaplin said: "Evil spirits always win their game. It only seems to people that [Halloween] is only a fun and a harmless gag.
"Dark forces think otherwise and will definitely make fun of you so that you won't be happy about it at all."