Preschoolers puzzled as man with megaphone protests their ‘demonic’ Halloween parade

Varn Cummings discussing his protest of children dressing in Halloween costumes in Orangeburg, S.C.
Varn Cummings discussing his protest of children dressing in Halloween costumes in Orangeburg, S.C.

An outraged man with a megaphone berated a group of kindergartners this week in South Carolina, telling them and bewildered preschoolers their Halloween parade celebrated a “wicked and satanic ritualized holiday.”

The bizarre moment played out on Halloween in Orangeburg, about 50 miles southeast of Columbia, and involved Varn Cummings, a self-proclaimed preacher who was photographed at the scene dragging a large cross.

Cummings detailed the incident in a Facebook live video, noting the police were called on him.

Church parent Laura Franga told the Times & Democrat that the parade outside St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church was made up of children in the church’s preschool and kindergarten programs.

“He (Cummings) was telling the parents that he was appalled that they would allow their children to dress for Halloween,” she was quoted telling the newspaper. “These children are 3 to 5 years old and dressed as princesses and dinosaurs.”

Cummings says in his video that he was “very tactful” in his condemnations of the children and their parents, and was not on church property. However, one or more of the parents called the police and “three or four” showed up, he says in the video.

“I explained myself to the police and everything’s fine. There’s no arrest,” he said on Facebook.

Cummings stopped at the church after noticing it was “dressed up with demonic things,” according to his Facebook page.

“The church yard was filled with people, with children, dressed not as Biblical characters, but they were dressed up as witches and goblins and cats,” he says in the video. “I was so stirred, that I had to turn around. I went back to see if my eyes really could understand what I was seeing.”

His video includes a muffled argument in the church parking lot with a woman whose son was in the parade, and she takes Cummings to task for his protest. She is heard but not seen in the eight-minute video.

“Why would you say that in front of those small children?” the woman asks. “...That is an innocent children’s program....I would never tell children what you called them.”

Cummings declined to apologize.

St. Andrews officials released a statement Thursday, assuring parents that the children were not endangered during the incident, reported the Times & Democrat.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs