I am so thrilled to finally get this on the blog! I got it in mid-October but couldn't manage to post it then between all the interviews.
I scored it on Ebay for less than $20 and considering how old it is, it's in really great shape. I've always been interested in the history and evolution of Halloween traditions and what better way to get a window into the past than a book?
Yes, that copyright date says 1912, this book is just over 100 years old! But what is it all about, you ask? It's broken up into three sections. The first five pages have suggestions for holding a Halloween party, including sample invitations and decorations to make.
The next 30 pages contain the games. Granted, not all of them involve igniting alcohol as part of the fun (above), but just about every game somehow relates to discovering who your true love will be or some method of foretelling the future.
The next eight pages contain riddles. According to the book, these are to keep the little ones amused while the older kids/adults play the true love/fortune telling games. They're meant to be told as riddles for people to guess the answer to, as opposed to jokes where you would say it and tell the punchline right after.
The final five pages are forfeits. If someone refuses to take part in a game or are penalized during a game, there are a variety of things you can make them do. I think this is the early 1900's version of "I'll take the physical challenge."
There is a whole thing that is acted out, where the victim must surrender a personal belonging as collateral. One person is selected to be Justice and hands out their sentence. Some of these are riddles in themselves as the person struggles to figure out how to perform the task. And still others are there just to make the person look foolish as their penalty.
I'm hoping to find the motivation over the next year to scan all 60 pages so that I can share it with you next Halloween in its entirety.
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