Hallow-e'en or Hallow-Even is the last night of October, being the eve or vigil of All-Hallow's or All Saint's Day, and no holiday in all the year is so informal or so marked by fun both for grown-ups as well as children as this one. On this night there should be nothing but laughter, fun and mystery. It is the night when Fairies dance, Ghosts, Witches, Devils and mischief-making Elves wander around. It is the night when all sorts of charms and spells are invoked for prying into the future by all young folks and sometimes by folks who are not young.
Place burning dish in middle of bare table, for drops of burning spirits are often splashed about.
Carve all the letters of the alphabet on a medium sized pumpkin. Put it on a dish and set on a stand or table. Each guest in turn is blindfolded and given a hat-pin, then led to pumpkin, where he (she) is expected to stick pin into one of the letters on the pumpkin, thus indicating the initial of future life-partner.
Take water and meal and make dough. Write on slips of paper names of several of opposite sex friends; roll papers into balls of dough and drop them into water. First name to appear will be future husband or wife.
A laughable experiment consists in filling mouth with water and walking around house or block without swallowing or spilling a drop. First person of opposite sex you meet is your fate. A clever hostess will send two unsuspecting lovers by different doors; they are sure to meet, and not unfrequently settle matters the
Most of the games in this book are really just variations on picking a letter to determine the name of your future lover, the sort of games played by little girls for centuries. What's interesting though is that the author of this book is clearly either a pyromaniac or just plain hates children.
The very first game in the book suggests you place a cardboard box over your gas jets with some holes cut out in it to make a spooky face. If that wasn't flammable enough for you the book goes on to suggest cramming it full of crepe paper. The author rather reluctantly adds not to let the entire thing burst into flames.
My other favourite is the fun game of inviting your friends to thrust their hands into a bowl of flaming brandy to retrieve pieces of burning fruit. The person who gets the most is rewarded with being the one most likely to get married that year. Presumably to another person with blackened stumps instead of fingers.
Only really worth a read if you plan to set fire to your neighbours on halloween and want something to blame it on. None of the other games are really that interesting.
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