Hallowe'en Parties and Familiar Sports

Some of the Games That Will Be Very Popular at the Gathering Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night is Halloween and the bad boys will play more pranks than Peck's Bad Boy, while the girls will walk backward to mirrors, look down the well, and jump over candles in an endeavor to find out who their future mate will be and how long it will be until that event takes place.

There are times when the good fairies are said to be about. Halloween is not one of them. All the good ones go to bed at dark on that evening and leave the revelry to the mischievous ones. And it is high revelry they hold.

The evening is that preceding All Hallow's day and from that it takes its name. The playing of pranks on that evening is a custom amos as old as the giving of gifts on Christmas Eve.

The bogie man also stalks abroad on Halloween. The bogie man in this day is the jack o' lantern made out of a good sized pumpkin with eyes, nose and ears hollowed out and is lighted with a candle. No Halloween party is complete without a bogie man, in fact, there should be no light except the subdued light for a Halloween party partakes of the weird and should have half-light in which the fairies revel.

One of the oldest Halloween games is bobbing for apples. The effort to catch an apple in your teeth and remove it from a tub two-thirds full of water, while your hands are tied behind you will furnish plenty of amusement for the spectators, while to you is the additional gratification of knowing that the apple will bear the initial or name of your companion.

The snatching of chestnuts and raisins from a plate of blazing alcohol is another weird pasttime of Halloween and is about the only one that is not supposed to have an effect on the future.

Some of the best known of Halloween games are as follows:

  • Name two apple seeds after two sweethearts, wet them and stick them to the forehead. The first one that falls off will bear the name of the faint-hearted, unfaithful love.
  • Apples bearing the name or initials of the opposite sex are suspended in the doorway by their stems. The person securing the apple with his teeth learns the name of the bride or groom to be. Sometimes the giving of prizes is substituted for the naming of the apples.

  • Suspend a wedding ring by a silk thread in a goblet. Repeat the alphabet and stop when the ring touches the side of the glass. Keep this up until the ring spells the name of the future husband or wife.
  • Fill your mouth with water and walk around the house or around the block without spilling or swallowing a drop. The first person of the opposite sex you meet is your future mate.
  • Make dough of meal and water. A young man writes names of a half dozen of his favorites among the girls and rolls each into a dough ball. Throw the dough balls into a pot of water and the first dough ball to melt apart will reveal the name of his intended. Young ladies make dough balls containing the names of the young men.
  • If a maiden stands before a mirror in a dimly lighted room, and eats an apple, her lover, if he is in earnest, will appear and ask for a bite of the apple.
  • Young men and young women are led blindfolded around a table on which are three dishes. If he sticks his finger first into an empty dish, he will remain single; if the finger goes into the dish of soapy water the spouse will be a widow or widower, but if it goes into the dish of clear water, the spouse will be young and handsome.
  • Peer into a well at midnight and you will see your lover's face reflected in the water.

The Halloween pranks are generally harmless, though annoying, and seldom go further than the misplacing of gates and other articles.

Halloween will be celebrated in this city by quite a number of Halloween parties.

The preceding article was published in the Fort Smith News Record, Oct. 30, 1903, on page 7.