Revellers in a Moscow club celebrate Halloween (Reuters)
Revellers in a Moscow club celebrate HalloweenReuters

A senior Russian activist has demanded that Halloween celebrations be banned, as they "induce low feelings" and "turn into orgies."

Georgiy Fyodorov, who is a member of Russia's Public Chamber, which is charged with with protecting the rights and freedoms of Russians, has written to Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, asking that bars, nightclubs and other establishments are banned from marking the ghoulish celebrations.

Fyodorov, who is head of a pro-Kremlin group, wants the minister to issue an official recommendation that Russian businesses do not mark the celebration, and for companies who close their doors to ghostly revellers to be rewarded, reports Izvestia.

In the letter, Fyodorov describes a litany of social ills he claims are unleashed during the event, where traditionally ghosts and ghouls stalk the Earth.

He claims that Halloween is "ideologically and culturally alien to the Russian way of life" and that extremists can hijack the celebrations for nefarious purposes.

He goes on to say that people have described to him drunken youngsters dressed as monsters striking terror into children and the elderly throughout Russia.

The culture ministry said it had not yet received the letter.

Nationalists and conservatives in Russia have long criticised 'foreign celebrations' such as Halloween, and urged Russians to celebrate the country's national holidays.

Last year, authorities in Omsk, Siberia, banned schools from marking Halloween, arguing that the holiday perpetuates "certain propaganda for the cult of death."

In 2012, Russian Orthodox Church leaders and Cossacks campaigned to cancel Halloween in the region of Stavropol Krai.

The regional education ministry announced that the celebration "contradicted the principle of secular education and could have a destructive impact on young people's morals and mental health."

In recent years, Russian president Vladimir Putin has spoken of the need to shape a distinctly Russian sense of national identity, in which the Russian orthodox Church would play a leading role.

Senior Orthodox priest Vsevolod Chaplin has criticised the celebration, and in an interview last year said "When you play with demons, it's easy to get played, and to wind up under influences that are no laughing matter."

The Soviet Union was also hostile to western celebrations, and after the regime fell Halloween parties became popular in bars and nightclubs.