Bored with blood, gore and scary monsters on Halloween? So over black cats, witches and jack-o-lanterns? Then return with us now to yesteryear, and break out some old chestnuts for your Halloween party games. A century ago, your great-great grandma was playing parlor games that promised to tell her romantic fortune. These 1914 Halloween traditions may seem like a visit to Quaint City, but who knows? They might just give a heads-up and inside info to anyone looking for love.
Try some of these largely forgotten Halloween games of love:
Using only their teeth, players try to bite an apple dangling from the ceiling by a string or ribbon. The first to succeed will be the first to marry. Back in great-great grandma’s day, this game was so popular that Halloween was sometimes called Snap Apple Night.
Bobbing For Apples
This one may be more in your wheelhouse. Tradition says that you will find true love reciprocated if you succeed on your first try at grabbing an apple floating in a container of water. The trick is that you can only make the grab using your mouth and teeth. Hands tied behind you, please. If at first, second or third try you don’t succeed, it may be time for you to move on in your love life.
Have everyone at your party peel an apple for a long strip of apple skin and toss it over their shoulders. When the peel falls to the ground, it will land in a shape that resembles the first initial of a suitor.
Eat an apple in front of a mirror to conjure the image of your soul mate. He or she will arrive just in time to ask for the last bite.
Having exhausted the apple supply, it’s time to move on to:
The Old Chestnuts
Place two chestnuts on a stove or fire. Each represents a lover in a romantic pairing. If the two chestnuts cozy up to each other and burn brightly, your relationship will be a happy one. But watch out if one nut cracks or pops. That partner’s love could prove fleeting. Trying to decide between two men? Add a third nut and observe which burns longer and more quietly. That’s the more constant lover.
Ring Around A Walnut Tree
On a moonlit Halloween night, circle a walnut tree three times while chanting, “Let him who is to be my true love bring me some walnuts.” The player should see his or her lover picking walnuts in the tree.
Walk backward in bright moonlight while staring into a hand mirror. Recite an incantation as you walk. You may have to consult a Book of Spells to find a working incantation. The face of your future spouse should materialize in the mirror.
Hide a dime, a ring and a thimble in mashed potatoes. And serve to your guests. The guest who gets the dime is headed for fame or fortune. The one who gets the ring will marry soon. The guest who receives the thimble will spend most of his or her life alone.