We've been writing about Chick Tracts here at Boing Boing for years. You know the ones–those weird little 3×5 inch religious cartoon booklets. They were created by Fundamentalist Christian Jack Chick (1924-2016), one of the best-selling artists of all time, as Chick Publications claims that more than half a billion tracts have been sold and distributed worldwide.
I first encountered them as a young child—I was given a few by someone at the church I went to, and for years I obsessively read them at night, with a flashlight, as I hid under the covers to try and keep the demons at bay. Chick Tracts have fascinated (and haunted) me for decades—so much so that I even wrote an academic chapter about them and the paranoid pedagogies they enact.
Because Halloween will be here soon, I figured it was time to call forth the ghost of Jack Chick and introduce you to this dramatic reading of the "The Trick," which will surely get you in the Halloween spirit! Yes, I know you can read it online (the official description on the Chick Tracts website says the tract "Shows Halloween's origin and real purpose") but trust me, this YouTube video is way more entertaining. And yes, I also know that there are many other Chick Tracts about Halloween, like "Happy Halloween" and "Boo!", but I'm partial to "The Trick," which was published in 1986, because it so perfectly captures the Satanic panic that is, depressingly, once again having a moment.
If you're not familiar with this classic tract, Chris Lane, writing for HoustonPress, describes "The Trick":
In the Chick universe, it's [Halloween] a devil-filled holiday of black magic and blood sacrifice. Chick published quite a few different anti-Halloween tracts, and some of the others are pretty awesome too, but "The Trick" is in a terrible and unintentionally hilarious class of its own. For the record, how many times have we heard about a case of Satanic murders happening on Halloween where the story turned out to be true? Oh, that's right, pretty much never.
Trick or treat!