I summoned a demon for atheist Hallowe’en. It did not go well.

It’s Hallowe’en, and you know what that means: we atheists (and also witches and ghouls, same difference) are expected to commune with our Dark Lord and Master, Satan. Sadly, he hasn’t been answering my calls in the past decade or so, with no explanation. This year, though, I decided to get to the bottom of it all, so I called and called and called. Persistence paid off, and finally someone picked up: it was the demon Squilliax'<cough>-haaaak’megok, who is the assistant to the vice-undersecretary in the department of spider infestations (I had an in, you see). It was a start!

PZ: “Sir Squilliax'<cough>-haaaak’megok, thank you for taking my call. I was hoping to find out why we atheists, who have been your useful and dedicated servants — or, at least, the religious folk tell us we are — have been abandoned, and how we can get back into your infernal graces. Can you tell us anything? Or connect me to someone with information?”

<sigh> You will have to learn humility. We don’t care.

PZ: But we have been in your service, taking away people’s faith! Isn’t that what you wanted?

Foolish. No. Faith is our greatest ally. Such delicious atrocities happen when people believe. So many of the greatest sins are meaningless without faith: apostasy, heresy, sodomy…

PZ: Hey! A lot of atheists are what you call “sodomites”…

But they are the wrong kind. You always talk about “consent” and “fun” and “using lube” — it’s not our kind of sodomy without squeals of pain and shame and guilt. You know who is the best kind of sodomite? Devout Catholics. You diminish us when you liberate a fanatic. This is why you are no longer in favor.

You also lack immortal souls. When you die, you end — you will never serve in Hell. You are useless to us.

PZ: But…the Christians and Muslims and Hindus and everyone else also lack these souls, and will not serve you in Hell either!

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Yes. We know. But they fear that we will drag them down into Hell on their death, so they serve us in life. Such pain! Such misery! All served so sweetly and voluntarily by priests and mullahs and Republicans and Tories. We whisper the name of a god in their ears, and they stumble eagerly forward to put the machineries of agony to work on their fellow human beings. We don’t need you.

PZ: But…but…Hallowe’en?

Hallowe’en is not ours. We’re not particularly fond of parties and candy and costumed frolics that trivialize the fear of death. Christmas…now that’s a Satanic holiday. Why do you think we’ve coupled it to capitalism? Have you noticed how it is expanding? It has swallowed up your Thanksgiving, is soon to consume Hallowe’en, and then on to Canadian Thanksgiving and Labor Day. When Christmas is year round, we will have achieved Hell on Earth.

PZ: Everyone blames us atheists! They think we’re the Satanists! You have to…

Isn’t that delightful? Do not call us again. If you must, contact us through our Earthly representatives — just find your nearest billionaire. They are Satan’s elect, not you.

Happy Hallowe’en.

My phone burst into flames and melted into a puddle of toxic metallic goo. Well, that wasn’t worth it.

It was unpleasant enough dealing with a demon from Hell, but I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to stoop to talking to Elon Musk just to find out more. Some things are just too repulsive and disgusting and vile for a mere mortal to do.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    In the review by the film ‘The Reaping’ by God Awful Movies they added this dialogue between a sheriff and a strawman skeptic atheist researcher:
    Sheriff: We literally have a river of blood.
    Atheist: it is algae coloring the water red with the chemicals they release.
    Sheriff: the people in the town suffer from boils.
    Atheist: you will find this is an allergic reaction to said chemicals.
    Sheriff: there is also the fire demon that has been strolling around the town last two weeks. It launches fireballs now and then.
    Fire demon: Hello. Wassup ?
    Atheist: Quiet! I am skepticing!
    (Cara Santa Maria played the role of Hillary Swank who played the role of the skeptic in the real film)

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    When Christmas is year round, we will have achieved Hell on Earth.

    So those scenes near the end of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life actually allude to a plan of Infernal conquest and not just bourgeois-topia? That adds esthetic balance – and nicely complements Marcus Ranum’s latest post.

  3. PaulBC says

    Being an atheist sounds like an ideal strategy to avoid being disturbed by demons. Satan will figure you’re going to hell anyway, and sending a succubus to tempt you at night or making a deal for your soul is going to reveal the whole game plan and turn you to religion. There’s a lot of work involved, not least the demonic fog that prevents you from seeing the miraculous images that come out of people’s toasters on a regular basis.

    It’d be a shame if this is why I have never caught sight of Sasquatch. Just in case, I’d like to emphasis that I believe there is an entirely naturalistic explanation for the presence of these gentle creatures of the forest.

  4. PaulBC says

    Nathaniel Hellerstein@3 My parents did Christmas, but not Santa, or anyway didn’t lie to us about where the presents came from. It was honestly a shock to me around age 12 or 13 when I started to understand that many kids actually believed there was a real Santa who landed on the roof. Why would you do that to kids? It also probably added to the staying power of religion, because I was left by and large with trust in my parents not to just make up random shit.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    A century ago, Sweden had a Christmas Goat that delivered presents. It got supplanted by the British/American Santa but we did not go all in the way Mericans do.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    When Merica has been thoroughly Reagazised and hunger is a real thing, the Christmas Wendigo will replace Santa (they both have a loud laughter, so parts of the myths are compatible).

  7. cartomancer says

    Daemons don’t like it when you miss out that important ae dipthong. Very particular, so they are. They also tend to respond better when summoned in Latin.