Games for Hallow-e'en
Mary E. Blain
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
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.
In getting up a Hallow-e'en Party everything should be made as
secret as possible, and each guest bound to secrecy concerning the
Any of the following forms of invitations might be used.
Witches and Choice Spirits of Darkness
will hold High Carnival at my house,
..............Wednesday, October 31st,
at eight o'clock. Come prepared to test
Costume, Witches, Ghosts, etc.
Miss Ethel Jones will expect to see
you at her Hallow-e'en Party Wednesday,
Oct. 31st, at 8 o'clock. She begs
that you will come prepared to
participate in the mysteries and rites of All
Hallow's Eve, and to wear a costume
appropriate to the occasion.
On Wednesday, Oct. 31st, at 8 o'clock,
I shall celebrate Hallow-e'en and hope
that you will come and participate in the
mysteries and rites of All Hallow's Eve,
so come prepared to learn your fate.
The room or rooms in which most of the games are to be played
should be decorated as grotesquely as possible with
Jack-o'-lanterns made from apples, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins,
etc., with incisions made for eyes, nose and mouth and a lighted
candle placed within.
Jack-o'-lanterns for the gas jets may be made of paste board
boxes about the size of a shoe box. Cut holes for eyes, nose and
mouth in all four sides of the box and cover the holes with red or
green tissue paper. A black box with the openings covered with red
tissue paper or vice versa or white and green make good
Cut a hole in the bottom of the box just large enough to fit
over the gas jet, turning the gas low enough to not burn the
In addition to this Jack-o'-lanterns made from pumpkins, etc.,
should be placed around on tables, mantles, corners, etc.
A skull and cross bones placed over the door entering the house
would be very appropriate. The hall should be in total darkness
except for the light coming from the Jack-o'-lanterns of all shapes
and sizes in various places.
Autumn leaves, green branches, apples, tomatoes and corn should
also play an important part in the decorations. Black and yellow
cheese cloth or crepe paper makes very effective and inexpensive
decorations. The dining-room should be decorated with autumn
leaves, golden rod, yellow chrysanthemums, strings of cranberries,
etc. For a table center piece a large pumpkin could be used with
the top cut off and partly filled with water in which a large bunch
of yellow chrysanthemums or golden-rod could be placed. Bay leaves
can be scattered over the table.
Another idea for a center piece is a large pumpkin
Jack-o'-lantern, the top cut in large points with small chocolate
mice in the notches and scampering down the sides of the pumpkin
(held in place by long pins or a little glue) and over the
Place cards representing pumpkins, black cats, witches' hats,
witches, brownies, etc., are appropriate.
If one is not an artist in water color painting, some of the
cards could be cut from colored bristol board or heavy paper. The
witches' hats of black or brown paper with a red ribbon band; the
cats of black paper showing a back view may have a red or yellow
ribbon necktie; the pumpkins of yellow paper with the sections
traced in ink or notched a trifle and black thread drawn between
Any of these designs could be used for an invitation for a
children's party, by writing on the reverse side: "Will you please
come to my party on Wednesday, October 31st" with the name and
address of the little host or hostess, using white ink on black
The dining-room should also be in total darkness, except for the
light given by the Jack-o'-lanterns, until the guests are seated,
when they should unmask. The supper could be served in this dim
light or the lights turned up and the room made brilliant. After
the supper is over and while the guests are still seated a splendid
idea would be to extinguish all the lights and to have one or more
of the party tell ghost stories.
Have a large pumpkin on a stand or table from which hang as many
ribbons as there are guests. Have one end of the ribbon attached to
a small card in the pumpkin on which may be a little water color
sketch of pumpkin, apples, witch, ghost or other appropriate design
together with a number. Have red ribbon for the girls and yellow
ribbon for the boys, with corresponding numbers. Let each guest
draw a ribbon from the pumpkin and find their partner by
Another suggestion is to have the hall totally dark with the
door ajar and no one in sight to welcome the guests. As they step
in they are surprised to be greeted by some one dressed as a ghost
who extends his hand which is covered with wet salt.
The following games and tests of fate and fortune will furnish
entertainment for children small and children of a larger growth.
Of course, prying into the future with these tests at any other
time, they may not prove infallible, but on the Eve of All Saint's
Day, when all the elves, the fairies, goblins and hobgoblins are at
large playing pranks and teasing and pleasing, why should they not
Open English walnuts, remove meat, and in each half shell fasten
short pieces of differently colored Christmas candles, each of
which is to be named for a member of party and, after lighting, set
afloat in large pan or tub of water. The behavior of these tiny
boats reveals future of those for whom they are named. If two glide
on together, their owners have a similar destiny; if they glide
apart, so will their owners. Sometimes candles will huddle together
as if talking to one another, while perchance one will be left
alone, out in the cold, as it were. Again, two will start off and
all the rest will closely follow. The one whose candle first goes
out is destined to be old bachelor or maid. These nut-shell boats
may also be made by pouring melted wax into halves of walnut-shells
in which are short strings for wicks.
Each one places handful of wheat flour on sheet of white paper
and sprinkles it over with a pinch of salt. Some one makes it into
dough, being careful not to use spring water. Each rolls up a piece
of dough, spreads it out thin and flat, and marks initials on it
with a new pin. The cakes are placed before fire, and all take
seats as far from it as possible. This is done before eleven p.m.,
and between that time and midnight each one must turn cake once.
When clock strikes twelve future wife or husband of one who is to
be married first will enter and lay hand on cake marked with name.
Throughout whole proceeding not a word is spoken. Hence the name
"Dumb Cake." (If supper is served before 11:30, "Dumb Cake" should
be reserved for one of the After- Supper Tests.)
Suspend apples by means of strings in doorway or from ceiling at
proper height to be caught between the teeth. First successful
player receives prize. These prizes should be Hallow-e'en
souvenirs, such as emery cushions of silk representing tomatoes,
radishes, apples, pears, pickles; or pen-wipers representing
brooms, bats, cats, witches, etc.
A bowl is filled tightly with flour. During the process of
filling, a wedding ring is inserted vertically in some part of it.
The bowl, when full, is inverted upon a dish and withdrawn, leaving
the mound of flour on the dish. Each guest cuts off with a knife a
thin slice which crumbles into dust. The guest who cuts off the
slice containing the ring will be married first.
A maid and youth each places a chestnut to roast on fire, side
by side. If one hisses and steams, it indicates a fretful temper in
owner of chestnut; if both chestnuts equally misbehave it augurs
strife. If one or both pop away, it means separation; but if both
burn to ashes tranquilly side by side, a long life of undisturbed
happiness will be lot of owners.
These portentous omens are fitly defined in the following
"These glowing nuts are emblems true
Of what in human life we view;
The ill-matched couple fret and fume,
And thus in strife themselves consume;
Or from each other wildly start,
And with a noise forever part.
But see the happy, happy pair,
Of genuine love and truth sincere;
With mutual fondness while they burn,
Still to each other kindly turn;
And as the vital sparks decay,
Together gently sink away;
Till life's fierce trials being past,
Their mingled ashes rest at last."
In this game the seeker for a prize is guided from place to
place by doggerels as the following, and is started on his hunt
with this rhyme:
"Perhaps you'll find it in the air;
If not, look underneath your chair."
Beneath his chair he finds the following:
"No, you will not find it here;
Search the clock and have no fear."
Under the clock he finds:
"You will have to try once more;
Look behind the parlor door."
Tied to the door-knob he discovers:
"If it's not out in the stable
Seek beneath the kitchen table."
Under the kitchen table he finds another note, which reads:
"If your quest remains uncertain,
You will find it 'neath a curtain."
And here his quest is rewarded by finding the prize.
Apple seeds act as charms on Hallowe'en. Stick one on each
eyelid and name one "Home" and the other "Travel." If seed named
travel stays on longer, you will go on a journey before year
expires. If "Home" clings better, you will remain home. Again, take
all the apple seeds, place them on back of outspread left hand and
with loosely clenched right hand strike palm of left. This will
cause some, if not all, of seeds to fall. Those left on hand show
number of letters you will receive the coming fortnight. Should all
seeds drop, you must wait patiently for your mail.
Put twelve apple seeds carefully one side while you cut twelve
slips of blank paper exactly alike, and on one side of each write
name of friend. Turn them all over with blanks uppermost and mix
them so that you will not know which is which; then, holding seeds
in your left hand; repeat:
"One I love,
Two I love,
Three I love I say;
Four I love with all my heart
Five I cast away.
Six he loves,
Seven she loves,
Eight they both love;
Nine he comes,
Ten he tarries,
Eleven he courts and
Twelve he marries."
Stop at each line to place a seed on a paper, and turn slip over
to discover name of one you love or cast away. Continue matching
apple seeds with papers as you count, until all twelve seeds and
twelve papers are used.
Hide ring, thimble and penny in room. To one who finds ring,
speedy marriage is assured; thimble denotes life of single
blessedness; penny promises wealth.
All are blindfolded and go out singly or hand-in-hand to garden.
Groping about they pull up first stalk of kale or head of cabbage.
If stalk comes up easily the sweetheart will be easy to win; if the
reverse, hard to win. The shape of the stump will hint at figure of
prospective wife or husband. Its length will suggest age. If much
soil clings to it, life-partner will be rich; if not, poor.
Finally, the stump is carried home and hung over door, first person
outside of family who passes under it will bear a name whose
initial is same as that of sweetheart.
Pass pencils and paper to each guest with the following written
1 (A Dairy product.)
2 (A Vegetable.)
3 (A Country.)
4 (A Girl's name.)
5 (A structure.)
6 (A name often applied to one of our presidents.)
7 (Every Ocean has one.)
8 (That which often holds a treasure.)
9 (The names of two boys.)
10 (A letter of the alphabet and an article made of tin.)
Explain that the above describes ten different nuts, which they
are to guess. The nuts described are (1) butternut; (2) peanut; (3)
brazil nut; (4) hazel nut; (5) walnut; (6) hickory nut; (7)
beechnut; (8) chestnut; (9) filbert; (10) pecan. A prize may be
awarded to the one first having correct answers.
A raisin is strung in middle of thread a yard long, and two
persons take each an end of string in mouth; whoever, by chewing
string, reaches raisin first has raisin and will be first
The players sit in a circle and one of them asks the others:
"What's my thought like?" One player may say: "A monkey"; the
second: "A candle"; the third: "A pin"; and so on. When all the
company have compared the thought to some object, the first player
tells them the thought—perhaps it is "the cat"—and then asks each,
in turn, why it is like the object he compared it to.
"Why is my cat like a monkey?" is asked. The other player might
answer: "Because it is full of tricks." "Why is my cat like a
candle?" "Because its eyes glow like a candle in the dark." "Why is
my cat like a pin?" "Because its claws scratch like a pin."
Any one who is unable to explain why the thought resembles the
object he mentioned must pay a forfeit.
Two hazel-nuts are thrown into hot coals by maiden, who secretly
gives a lover's name to each. If one nut bursts, then that lover is
unfaithful; but if it burns with steady glow until it becomes
ashes, she knows that her lover is true. Sometimes it happens, but
not often, that both nuts burn steadily, and then the maiden's
heart is sore perplexed.
Take half as many apples as guests, tie two long strings, one
red and one yellow, to each apple.
Place them in one large or several small baskets or receptacles
on a table. The girls choose the red and the boys the yellow
strings and at a signal they carefully pull the strings and follow
them up until each finds his or her mate holding the string of the
opposite color, attached to the same apple. The apples are then to
be divided between each couple and the seeds in each half, counted
One—I love thee.
Two—he (she) loves me.
Three—Wedded we will be.
Four—he (she) loves me dearly.
Five—he (she) loves me nearly.
Six—a friend forever.
Seven—we must sever.
Eight—we met too late.
Ten—he (she) is my chosen mate.
Sit on round bottle laid lengthwise on floor, and try to thread
a needle. First to succeed will be first married.
1. The dragon consists of half a pint of ignited brandy or
alcohol in a dish. As soon as brandy is aflame, all lights are
extinguished, and salt is freely sprinkled in dish, imparting a
corpse-like pallor to every face. Candied fruits, figs, raisins,
sugared almonds, etc., are thrown in, and guests snap for them with
their fingers; person securing most prizes from flames will meet
his true love within the year.
2. Or, slips of paper on which verses are written are wrapped
tightly in tin-foil and placed in dish. Brandy is poured on and
ignited. The verse each person gets is supposed to tell his
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 then and
If a maid wishes to know whom she is to marry, if a man of
wealth, tradesman, or traveler, let her, on All-Hallow-e'en, take a
walnut, hazelnut, and nutmeg; grate and mix them with butter and
sugar into pills, and take when she goes to bed; and then, if her
fortune be to marry a rich man, her sleep will be filled with gold
dreams; if a tradesman, she will dream of odd noises and tumults;
if a traveler, there will be thunder and lightning to disturb
Cellar-stairs' test is where girl boldly goes downstairs
backward, holding a mirror, and trying to catch in it the features
of him who is to be her mate.
Of all Hallow-e'en spells and charms associated with nuts, the
following is one of the oldest: If a young man or woman goes at
midnight on Hallow-e'en to a walnut tree and walks around three
times, crying out each time, "Let him (her) that is to be my true
love bring me some walnuts," future wife or husband will be seen in
tree gathering nuts.
Into one tub half filled with water are placed apples to the
stems of which are tied bits of paper containing the names of the
boys present at the party, while across the room is a similar tub
in which the names of the girls are placed. With hands tied behind
them the young folks endeavor to extricate the apples with their
teeth, and it is alleged that the name appearing upon the slip
fastened to the apple is the patronymic of the future helpmeet of
the one securing the fruit from the receptacle.
Guests take part, seated in a circle. Three Fates are chosen,
one of whom whispers to each person in turn name of his (her)
future sweetheart. Second Fate follows, whispering to each where he
(she) will next meet his (her) sweetheart; as, "You will meet on a
load of hay," or, "at a picnic," or, "at church," or, "on the
river," etc. The third Fate reveals the future; as, "You will marry
him (her) next Christmas," or, "You will be separated many years by
a quarrel, but will finally marry," or, "Neither of you will ever
marry," etc. Each guest must remember what is said by the Fates;
then each in turn repeats aloud what has been told him (her). For
example, "My future sweetheart's name is Obednego; I shall meet him
next Wednesday on the Moonlight Excursion, and we shall be married
in a week."
At one end of stick 18 inches long fasten an apple; at the other
end, a short piece of lighted candle. Suspend stick from ceiling by
stout cord fastened in its middle so that stick will balance
horizontally; while stick revolves players try to catch apple with
their teeth. A prize may be in center of apple.
Steal out unobserved at midnight; plucking a small lock of hair
from your head, cast it to breeze. Whatever direction it is blown
is believed to be location of future matrimonial partner.
"I pluck this lock of hair off my head
To tell whence comes the one I shall
Fly, silken hair, fly all the world
Until you reach the spot where my true love
Stand alone before mirror, and by light of candle comb your
hair; face of your future partner will appear in glass, peeping
over your shoulder.
Place four saucers on table in line. Into first put dirt; into
second, water; into third, a ring; into fourth, a rag. Guests are
blindfolded and led around table twice; then told to go alone and
put fingers into saucer. If they put into dirt, it means divorce;
into water, a trip across ocean; where ring is, to marry; where rag
is, never to marry.
To foretell complexion of future mate, select three soft, fluffy
feathers. (If none is handy, ask for a pillow and rip open and take
out feathers.) On bottom end of each feather fasten a small piece
of paper; a drop of paste or mucilage will hold all three in place.
Write "blonde" on one paper; "brunette," on another, and "medium"
on the third. Label papers before gluing them on feathers. Hold up
feather by its top and send it flying with a puff of breath. Do
same with the other two; the feather landing nearest you denotes
complexion of your true love. To make test sure, try three times,
not using too much force in blowing feathers, which should land on
table, not on floor.
One bowl is filled with clear water, another with wine, a third
with vinegar, a fourth is empty. All are placed in line on table.
Each person in turn is blindfolded, turned about three times, and
led to table. A hand is put out and prophecy made by bowl touched.
Water shows happy, peaceful life; wine promises rich, eventful,
noble career; vinegar, misery and poverty; an empty bowl is a
symbol of bachelor or spinster life.
Take two roses with long stems. Name one for yourself and one
for your lover. Go to your room without speaking to any one; kneel
beside bed; twine stems of roses together, and repeat following
lines, gazing intently on lover's rose:
"Twine, twine, and intertwine,
Let my love be wholly thine.
If his heart be kind and true,
Deeper grow his rose's hue."
If your swain is faithful, color of rose will grow darker.
Make barrel-hoop into necklace of bread, candies, red peppers
and candle-ends, and hang horizontally from ceiling. Set hoop
whirling and try to grasp its freight with your teeth. Accordingly
as you like your first bite will you enjoy married life.
Steal out into barn or garden alone and go three times through
motions of throwing corn against the wind. The third time an
apparition of future spouse will pass you; in some mysterious
manner, also, you may obtain an idea of his (her) employment and
station in life.
One of the most popular games at a party is certainly
"Consequences"; it is a very old favorite, but has lost none of its
charms with age. The players sit in a circle; each person is
provided with a half sheet of notepaper and a pencil, and is asked
to write on the top—(i) one or more adjectives, then to fold the
paper over, so that what has been written cannot be seen. Every
player has to pass his or her paper on to the right-hand neighbor,
and all have then to write on the top of the paper which has been
passed by the left-hand neighbor (2) "the name of the gentleman";
after having done this the paper must again be folded and passed on
as before; this time must be written (3) one or more adjectives;
then (4) a lady's name; next (5), where they met; next (6), what he
gave her; next (7), what he said to her; next (8), what she said to
him; next (9), the consequence; and lastly (10), what the world
said about it. Be careful that every time anything has been written
the paper is folded down and passed on to the player on your
When every one has written what the world says, the papers are
collected and one of the company proceeds to read out the various
papers, and the result may be somewhat like this:—
(1) The horrifying and delightful
(2) Mr. Brown
(3) met the charming
(4) Miss Phillips
(5) in Westminster Abbey;
(6) he gave her a flower
(7) and said to her: "How's your mother?"
(8) She said to him: "Not for Joseph;"
(9) the consequence was they danced the hornpipe, and the world said:
(10) "Just what we expected."
Dreams mean much on Hallow-e'en, but certain ceremonies must be
carefully followed in order to insure the spell. Before going to
sleep for the night have some one bring a small piece of dry bread.
No word can be spoken after this; silence must prevail. Eat bread
slowly, at same time making a wish and thinking the pleasantest
thing imaginable. Then drop off to sleep, and your dreams will be
sweet and peaceful, and your wish will come true, if the charm
Walk downstairs backward, holding lighted candle over your head.
Upon reaching bottom, turn suddenly and before you will stand your
wished- for one.
For this game, half the players go outside the door, whilst
those who stay in the room choose a word of one syllable, which
should not be too difficult. For instance, suppose the word chosen
be "Flat," those who are out of the room are informed that a word
has been thought of that rhymes with "Cat," and they then have to
act, without speaking, all the words they can think of that rhyme
with "Cat." Supposing their first idea be "Bat," they come into the
room and play an imaginary game of cricket. This not being correct,
they would be hissed for their pains, and they must then hurry
outside again. They might next try "Rat," most of them going into
the room on their hands and feet, whilst the others might pretend
to be frightened. Again they would be hissed. At last the boys go
in and fall flat on their faces, while the girls pretend to use
flat-irons upon their backs. The loud clapping that follows tells
them that they are right at last. They then change places with the
audience, who, in turn, become the actors.
Cut alphabet from newspaper and sprinkle on surface of water;
letters floating may spell or suggest name of future husband or
A splendid game, and one specially suitable for a large party. A
sheet or white tablecloth is first of all stretched right across
the room, and on a table behind it is placed a bright lamp. All the
other lights in the room are then extinguished, and one of the
players takes a seat upon a low stool midway between the lamp and
the sheet. The other players endeavor to disguise themselves as
much as possible, by distorting their features, rumpling their
hair, wearing wigs, false noses, etc., and pass one by one behind
the player seated on the stool. Their shadows are thus thrown upon
the sheet. The aim of the seated player is to guess the identity of
the shadows as they pass before him; and the aim of the others is
to endeavor by every means in their power to keep him from
recognizing them. As may be imagined, the task of the single player
is not an easy one, the distorted shadows being vastly different
from the originals as seen before the lights were extinguished.
Name two wet apple seeds and stick them on forehead. First seed
to fall indicates that the person for whom seed is named is not a
The players divide themselves into ladies and gentlemen, if the
ladies predominate some must personate gentlemen, and vice versa.
The gentlemen then proceed to choose lady partners. One of the
players next undertakes to question the couples. The fun consists
of the questions being put to the lady and the gentleman answering
for her. "Do you like your partner?" the lady is asked, and the
gentleman may reply, "Yes, I adore him." Whatever the reply the
lady is forbidden to deny it; if she does, or if she answers for
herself, she must pay a forfeit. But retaliation comes, for when
all the ladies have been questioned the gentlemen's turn arrives,
and the ladies answer for their partners. "What is your favorite
occupation?" the question may be, and the lady may answer "Dressing
dolls," or "Making mud pies," or anything ridiculous that occurs to
Each guest, receiving apple and knife, is requested to peel
apple without breaking; then swing paring around head, and let it
drop to floor. The letter formed is initial of future mate's name.
Or, you may hang your paring over door—the first of opposite sex to
pass under will be your mate.
This game, if carried out properly, will cause great amusement.
One of the party announces that he will whisper to each person the
name of some animal, which, at a given signal, must be imitated as
loudly as possible. Instead, however, of giving the name of an
animal to each, he whispers to all the company, with the exception
of one, to keep perfectly silent. To this one he whispers that the
animal he is to imitate is the donkey.
After a short time, so that all may be in readiness, the signal
is given. Instead of all the party making the sounds of various
animals, nothing is heard but a loud bray from the one unfortunate
member of the company.
Each person melts some lead and pours it through a wedding-ring
or key into a dish of water. The lead will cool in various shapes,
supposed to be prophetic. Any ingenious person will interpret the
shapes, and furnish much amusement for the listeners; thus, a
bell-shaped drop indicates a wedding within a year; a drop
resembling a torch or lamp signifies fame; a pen or ink-bottle,
that the future companion is to be an author; a horn of plenty,
wealth; a bag or trunk, travel; etc.
The Fortune Teller must provide the person who is to have his or
her fortune told with a piece of paper and a pencil and then
proceed to say:
1. Write "Yes" or "no."
2. "State a gentleman's or a lady's name."
(If a lady's fortune is to be told she must write a gentleman's name
and vice versa.)
3. "Give a number."
4. "Length of time."
5. "Yes or no."
6. "Yes or no."
7. "Yes or no."
8. "A color."
9. "A color."
10. "Yes or no."11. "Yes or no."
12. "A shape."
13. "A measure."
14. "A sum of money."
15. "A sum of money."
16. "A virtue."
17. "A profession."
18. "The name of a place."
19. "A lady's or gentleman's name."
20. "The name of a place."
21. "A number."
22. "Yes or no."
When these have all been written down, the Fortune Teller
proceeds to read out the list of questions he has, with the answers
corresponding in number. Below is appended the list of questions,
which, of course, must not be shown to the person whose fortune is
being told until he or she has written the answers.
1. Have you a lover?
2. What is his or her name?
3. How old is he or she?
4. How long have you known him or her?
5. Does he or she know you love him or her?
6. Is your affection returned?
7. Have you or has he proposed?
8. What color is his or her hair?
9. What color are his or her eyes?
10. Is he or she handsome?
11. Is he or she conceited?
12. What shape is his or her nose?
13. What size is his or her mouth?
14. What is his or her fortune?
15. How much will he or she allow you?
16. What is his or her chief virtue?
17. What is his or her profession?
18. Where did you first meet?
19. What is your rival's name?
20. Where do you intend to live?
21. How many other proposals have you had, or made?
22. Will the marriage be a happy one?
A cozy corner or a convenient part of the room may be converted
into an impromptu dispensary with the addition of the Love potions
and receptacles containing them, presided over by Dr. Dopem and his
assistants. There are a number of pill boxes containing different
colored pills, which are nothing but little round candies. The
powders, composed of powdered sugar or brown sugar are folded in
the regulation way, only in paper of various colors. Plasters,
court plaster cut in small pieces of different design. The
directions for taking the powders, etc., may be read or told to
each patient, as they are prescribed for, or a copied prescription
could be given with each remedy. Tell the guests that you
understand they are all more or less inoculated with the Love germ
in some form and this condition, if neglected, may prove serious—so
for their benefit, Dr. Dopem will prescribe for each, according to
his need, a remedy which is guaranteed to have the desired
Red pills—six, take one every two and a half minutes. Will cause
your ideal to reciprocate your love.
Pink pills—four at once. Will renew your fading love.
White pills—three, taken with eyes closed. Will cure
Black pills—three—take one between each breath. Will vanquish
Yellow pills—sneeze, take three pills and sneeze again—repeat if
necessary. Will make you love the one who loves you.
Lavender pills—stand on left foot, place right hand on heart,
take two pills, reverse position, stand on right foot, left hand on
heart, take two pills. Will bring about a proposal—or consent to
White powder—take with fingers crossed and eyes shut. Will make
you fall in love with the first one of the opposite sex you
Pink powder—take with feet crossed. Will gain consent for a kiss
from the right party.
Blue powder—take with right hand holding left ear. Will bring
about an introduction to Miss or Mr. Right.
Red powder—take with right hand on stomach and standing on right
foot. Will bring your heart's desire, providing you tell what it
Yellow powder-take while kneeling. Will make your rival
Purple powder—take with right hand and arm extended forward,
left foot and limb extended backward. Will bring a speedy
Black powder—take while on left knee, with left hand on top of
head. Will cause unwelcome attentions to cease.
The plasters worn conspicuously—have the following meaning:—
Worn on the right cheek—I love you.
On the left cheek—I dislike you.
On the forehead—I will be your friend.
On the nose—I am looking for a partner.
On the chin—I wish to speak to you.
At the corner of the mouth—I am willing to be kissed.
Prescriptions may be paid for with some trinket which may be
redeemed as a forfeit. A forfeit may be demanded if directions are
not faithfully carried out.
Forfeits may be demanded or omitted as desired by the hostess.
Suggestions for redeeming forfeits will be found under heading
"Forfeits" in this book.
Suspend horizontally from ceiling a stick three feet long. On
one end stick an apple, upon other tie small bag of flour. Set
stick whirling. Each guest takes turn in trying to bite apple-end
of stick. It is amusing to see guests receive dabs of flour on
face. Guest who first succeeds in biting apple gets prize.
Long bright colored strings, of equal length are twined and
intertwined to form a web.
Use half as many strings as there are guests.
Remove furniture from center of a large room—stretch a rope
around the room, from corner to corner, about four feet from the
floor. Tie one end of each string to the rope, half at one end and
half at one side of the room; weave the strings across to the
opposite end and side of the room and attach to rope. Or leave
furniture in room and twine the strings around it.
Each guest is stationed at the end of a string and at a signal
they begin to wind up the string until they meet their fate at the
other end of it.
The lady and gentleman winding the same string will marry each
other, conditions being favorable; otherwise they will marry
someone else. Those who meet one of their own sex at the other end
of the string will be old maids or bachelors.
The couple finishing first will be wedded first.
A prize may be given the lucky couple, also to the pair of old
maids and the pair of bachelors finishing first.
Partners for different games or for the midnight spread may be
decided by the fates. Write a number on one side of a small slip of
paper, on the reverse side write a bit of "fortune." Place the
folded papers in empty peanut or English walnut shells; the shells
may be slightly glued together or tied with colored ribbons or
string, or a narrow band of paper pasted at the ends will hold the
two halves together. If the paper band is used, the numbers may be
written on them and partners drawn before the nuts are cracked and
There should be two portions of nuts and two sets of numbers,
one for the ladies and one for the gentlemen. The lady and
gentleman drawing corresponding numbers are partners.
You will meet your future husband (or wife) to-night.
Prosperity and love await you.
A lap full of money and a lap full of children.
Change your mind before it is too late.
You have made the right choice.
Your love is not returned.
She is tired of Taffy, try chocolates.
Thee does not love him as much the(e)auto.
You have too many beaux to your string.
Your face is your fortune, but poverty is no crime.
Fate has deceived you; you will be left in the lurch, waiting at the
Your mate is true blue; what color are you?
Press your suit again; it needs it.
A kiss in time may save nine others taking a chance.
Dame Fortune says, "A good wife, Happy days, a long life."
You are well bred, but doomed to travel in single harness.
Your better half will be a silver one.
Your heart is like a street car—carries many passengers and always
room for one more.
The fates decree
You shall married be
In the year of 1923.
Ask her—two can live as cheap as one, in fact cheaper, on the same
Let several guests be blindfolded. Then hide nuts or apples in
various parts of room or house. One finding most nuts or apples
In a dish of mashed potatoes place a ring, a dime, and a
thimble. Each guest is provided with a spoon with which to eat the
potatoes; whoever gets the ring is to be married within a year; the
thimble signifies single blessedness, while the dime prophesies
riches or a legacy.
Some canny lassies have been known to get the ring into one of
their very first spoonfuls, and have kept it for fun in their
mouths, tucked snugly beneath the tongue, until the dish was
emptied. Such a lass was believed to possess the rare
accomplishment of being able to hold her tongue, but nevertheless
A loaf cake is often made, and in it are placed a ring and a
key. The former signifies marriage, and the latter a journey, and
the person who cuts the slice containing either must accept the
Each girl and boy seeks an even-leaved sprig of ash; first of
either sex that finds one calls out cyniver, and is answered by
first of opposite sex that succeeds; and these two, if omen fails
not, will be joined in wedlock.
Roast three chestnuts before the fire, one of which is named for
some lady (or gentleman); the other two, for gentlemen (or ladies).
If they separate, so will those for whom they are named; those
jumping toward the fire are going to a warmer climate; those
jumping from the fire, to a colder climate; if two gentlemen jump
toward one another, it means rivalry.
Walk backward several feet out of doors in moonlight with mirror
in your hand, or within doors with candle in one hand and mirror in
the other, repeating following rhyme, and face of your future
companion will appear in glass:
"Round and round, O stars so fair!
Ye travel and search out everywhere;
I pray you, sweet stars, now show to me
This night who my future husband (wife) shall
Suspend horizontally from ceiling a barrel-hoop on which are
fastened alternately at regular intervals apples, cakes, candies,
candle-ends. Players gather in circle and, as it revolves, each in
turn tries to bite one of the edibles; the one who seizes candle
Place a lighted candle in middle of floor, not too securely
placed; each one jumps over it. Whoever succeeds in clearing candle
is guaranteed a happy year, free of trouble or anxiety. He who
knocks candle over will have a twelve-month of woe.
Tie wedding-ring or key to silken thread or horsehair, and hold
it suspended within a glass; then say the alphabet slowly; whenever
ring strikes glass, begin over again and in this way spell name of
Stand in front of mirror in dimly lighted room and eat an apple.
If your lover reciprocates your love he will appear behind you and
look over your right shoulder and ask for a piece of apple.
Cut an apple open and pick out seeds from core. If only two
seeds are found, they portend early marriage; three, legacy; four,
great wealth; five, a sea voyage; six, great fame as orator or
singer; seven, possession of any gift most desired.
Each person floats greased needle in basin of water. Impelled by
attraction of gravitation, needles will act very curiously; some
cling together, others rush to margin and remain. The manner in
which one person's needle behaves towards another's causes
amusement, and is supposed to be suggestive and prophetic.
Throw a ball of yarn out of window but hold fast to one end and
begin to wind. As you wind say, "I wind, who holds?" over and over
again; before end of yarn is reached, face of future partner will
appear in window, or name of sweetheart will be whispered in
Few children think they will ever tire of playing games; but all
the same, towards the end of a long evening, spent merrily in
dancing and playing, the little ones begin to get too weary to play
any longer, and it is very difficult to keep them amused.
Then comes the time for riddles! The children may sit quietly
around the room, resting after their romps and laughter, and yet be
kept thoroughly interested, trying to guess riddles.
It is, however, very difficult to remember a number of good and
laughable ones, so we will give a list of some, which will be quite
sufficient to puzzle a roomful of little folks for several
Why are weary people like carriage-wheels?—Answer: Because they
An old woman in a red cloak was passing a field in which a goat
was feeding. What strange transformation suddenly took
place?—Answer: The goat turned to butter (butt her), and the woman
into a scarlet runner.
Why does a duck go into the water?—Answer: For divers
Spell "blind pig" in two letters? P G; a pig without an I.
Which bird can lift the heaviest weights?—The crane.
Why is a wise man like a pin?—He has a head and comes to a
Why is a Jew in a fever like a diamond?—Because he is a
Why may carpenters reasonably believe there is no such thing as
stone?—Because they never saw it.
What is that which is put on the table and cut, but never
eaten?—A pack of cards.
Why does a sculptor die horribly?—Because he makes faces and
When does a farmer double up a sheep without hurting it?—When he
What lives upon its own substance and dies when it has devoured
Why is a dog biting his tail a good manager?—Because he makes
both ends meet.
What thing is it that is lower with a head than without one?—A
Which is the left side of a plum-pudding?—That which is not
What letter of the alphabet is necessary to make a shoe?—The
Why is it certain that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was not written by
the hand of its reputed author?—Because it was written by Mrs.
Beecher's toe (Stowe).
If all the seas were dried up, what would everybody say?—We
haven't a notion (an ocean).
Why is a fishmonger never generous?—Because his business makes
him sell fish (selfish).
What is that which works when it plays and plays when it
What is that from which you may take away the whole and yet
there will be some remaining?—The word wholesome.
Why are fowls the most economical things a farmer can
keep?—Because for every grain they give a peck.
What coin doubles its value by taking away a half of
Why is it dangerous to walk in the meadows in
springtime?—Because the trees are shooting and the bulrush is out
(bull rushes out).
Why is a vine like a soldier?—Because it is listed and has ten
drills (ten-drils) and shoots.
Why is an opera-singer like a confectioner?—Because she deals in
ice- creams (high screams).
If a man who is carrying a dozen glass lamps drops one, what
does he become?—A lamp lighter.
What belongs to yourself, but is used more by your friends than
by yourself?—Your name.
Why is a spider a good correspondent?—Because he drops a line at
When is the clock on the stairs dangerous?—When it runs
Why is the letter "k" like a pig's tail?—Because it comes at the
end of pork.
What is the keynote to good manners?—B natural.
Why is a five-pound bank-note much more profitable than five
sovereigns?—Because when you put it in your pocket you double it,
and when you take it out you will find it increases.
Why is a watch like a river?—Because it doesn't run long without
What is that which flies high, flies low, has no feet, and yet
When has a man four hands?—When he doubles his fists.
What trees has fire no effect upon?—Ashtrees; because when they
are burned, they are ashes still.
What is the difference between a schoolmaster and an
engine-driver?— One minds the train and the other trains the
A man had twenty sick (six) sheep, and one died; how many were
What is that which everybody has seen but will never see again?—
Which is the best day for making a pancake?—Friday.
Which is the smallest bridge in the world?—The bridge of your
What four letters would frighten a thief?—O I C U.
What is that which goes from London to York without moving?—The
Which is easier to spell—fiddle-de-dee or
fiddle-de-dum?—Fiddle-de- dee, because it is spelt with more
When may a chair be said to dislike you?—When it can't bear
What animal took most luggage into the Ark, and which two took
the least?—The elephant, who took his trunk, while the fox and the
cock had only a brush and a comb between them.
Which of the English kings has most reason to complain of his
washer- woman?—King John, when he lost his baggage in the Wash.
If a bear were to go into a linen-draper's shop, what would he
want?— He would want muzzlin'.
Why is B like a hot fire?—Because it makes oil Boil.
If an egg were found on a music-stool, what poem would it remind
you of?—"The Lay of the Last Minstrel."
Why is a schoolmaster like a shoe-black?—Because he polishes the
understanding of the people.
Why was the first day of Adam's life the longest?—Because it had
Why is a washerwoman like a navigator?—Because she spreads her
sheets, crosses the line, and goes from pole to pole.
Why is an author the queerest animal in the world?—Because his
tale comes out of his head.
Why is it that a tailor won't attend to business?—Because he is
always cutting out.
When can a horse be sea-green in color?—When it's a bay.
Why were gloves never meant to sell?—Because they were made to
be kept on hand.
When are we all artists?—When we draw a long face.
Why are watch-dogs bigger by night than by day?—Because they are
let out at night and taken in in the morning.
When is a tradesman always above his business?—When he lives
over his shop.
Which is the liveliest city in the world?—Berlin; because it's
always on the Spree.
Why is a water-lily like a whale?—Because they both come to the
surface to blow.
Why is a shoemaker the most industrious of men?—Because he works
to the last.
What is book-keeping?—Forgetting to return borrowed volumes.
Why is scooping out a turnip a noisy process?—Because it makes
Why are teeth like verbs?—Because they are regular, irregular,
What ships hardly ever sail out of sight?—Hardships. When is an
artist a dangerous person?—When his designs are bad.
Why are tortoiseshell-combs like citadels?—They are
Why is the Isthmus of Suez like the first "u" in
cucumber?—Because it is between two "c's" (seas).
What motive led to the invention of railroads?—The
Why are deaf people like Dutch cheeses?—Because you can't make
When is the best time to get a fresh egg at sea?—When the ship
Who was the first whistler?—The wind. What tune did he
whistle?—Over the hills and far away.
Why need a traveler never starve in the desert?—Because of the
sand which is (sandwiches) there.
Why is sympathy like blindman's buff?—Because it is a fellow
feeling for a fellow creature.
If a Frenchman were to fall into a tub of tallow, in what word
would he express his situation?—In-de-fat-i-gabble.
Why is a diner on board a steam-boat like Easter Day?—Because it
is a movable feast.
Why is a little man like a good book?—Because he is often looked
Why is a pig in a parlor like a house on fire?—Because the
sooner it is put out the better.
What is the difference between a soldier and a bombshell?—One
goes to war, the other goes to pieces.
Why is it dangerous to sleep in a train?—Because every train
runs over all the sleepers on the line.
Spell "enemy" in three letters?—F O E.
Which is the only way that a leopard can change his spots?—By
going from one spot to another.
Why did Eve never fear the measles?—Because she'd Adam.
When is a tall man a little short?—When he hasn't got quite
What houses are the easiest to break into?—The houses of bald
people; because their locks are few.
Why is a watch the most difficult thing to steal?—Because it
must be taken off its guard.
Why is there never anybody at home in a convent?—Because it is
an (n)uninhabited place.
Why does a person who is not good-looking make a better
carpenter than one who is?—Because he is a deal plainer.
What plant stands for No. 4?—IV.
What is the best tree for preserving order?—The birch.
Why is shoemaking the easiest of trades?—Because the boots are
always soled before they are made.
How can a gardener become thrifty?—By making the most of his
thyme, and by always putting some celery in the bank.
Why is it probable that beer was made in the Ark?—Because the
kangaroo went in with hops, and the bear was always bruin.
"What was the biggest thing you saw at the World's Fair?" asked
a wife of her husband.—"My hotel bill!" said he.
Why is C like a schoolmistress?—Because it forms lasses into
What is that which never asks any questions and yet requires
many answers?—The street-door.
If a man bumped his head against the top of a room, what article
of stationery would he be supplied with?—Ceiling whacks.
Which is the longest word in the English language?—Smiles;
because there is a mile between the first and last letters.
Which is the oldest tree in England?—The Elder Tree.
What is that which happens twice in a moment and not once in a
thousand years?—The letter M.
In going through this book of—games the reader will find that
the players for various reasons are penalized or required to pay a
forfeit. When a player is so fined he must immediately surrender
some pocketpiece or personal belonging as a pawn or security which
may later be redeemed when "Blind Justice" passes the real
The players usually select some ready witted person to assume
the part of Justice, another acts as Crier or Collector. Justice is
blindfolded and the Crier holds the article over his head saying:
"Heavy, heavy hangs over thy head." Justice asks: "Fine or
Superfine?" If it be an article belonging to a gentleman the Crier
answers "Fine"; if it belongs to a lady he answers, "Superfine,"
and asks, "What shall the owner do to redeem his (or her)
property?" and Blind Justice renders the sentence.
If the proper person has been chosen for Justice a great deal of
fun may be caused by the impromptu imposition of ridiculous
penalties. Or the persons making up the party may in turn take the
part of Justice, each imposing a penalty. Some of the most familiar
Put one hand where the other cannot touch it.—Grasp the
Take the Journey to Rome.—The culprit is required to go to each
person and say that he or she is going on a journey to Rome and ask
whether they have anything to send to the Pope. The players load
him up with various articles, the more cumbersome the better, which
he must carry until every person has been visited. Then he must
walk out of the room and back, distributing the articles to their
Spell Constantinople.—When the offender begins to spell and
reaches C-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-i-, the players cry "no" (the next letters
in the word being n-o). Each time the culprit gets to
C-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-i-, the players cry "no," and unless he knows the
trick he will begin the spelling again and again.
Kiss Your own Shadow.—If the culprit is not familiar with this
forfeit he will kiss his own shadow on the wall, but realizes how
foolish he was when he sees some other victim place himself between
the light and a lady and kiss his shadow which then falls on the
Sit Upon the Fire.—This forfeit will puzzle the culprit, but may
be easily accomplished by writing the word "fire" on a slip of
paper and sitting upon it.
Ask a question Which cannot be Answered in the Negative.-"What
do the letters y-e-s spell?"
Kiss a Book Inside and Outside Without Opening the Book.—This
apparently impossible feat may be accomplished by kissing the book
inside the room and then carrying it outside of the room and
kissing it there.
Take a Person Upstairs and Bring him Down on a Feather.—This is
another apparently impossible feat but of course there is "down on
Act Living Statue.—The victim must stand upon a chair and is
posed by the players in succession according to their various ideas
of Grecian statuary, giving the victim various articles to hold in
his hand such as pokers, shovels, etc.
Leave the Room with two Legs and Come Back with Six.—This
sentence can be fulfilled by going out of the room and carrying a
chair into the room when you come back.
Perform the Egotist.—The culprit is required to drink his own
health and make some flowery speech concerning himself. If his
speech is not egotistic enough the players may again and again
demand a more flattering one.
Place three Chairs in a Row, Take off Your Shoes and Jump Over
them.— It is very funny to hear the culprit plead that he could not
possibly jump over the three chairs when the sentence means to jump
over his shoes—"take off your shoes and jump over them."
The Three Salutes.—The victim is required to "Kneel to the
prettiest; bow to the wittiest and kiss the one he loves best." The
easiest way to pay this forfeit is to kneel to the plainest, bow to
the dullest and kiss the one for whom he cares the least.
Kiss the Lady you Love the best without letting any one
know.—This is performed by the condemned kissing several ladies, or
perhaps every lady in the room.
Imitate a Donkey.—The culprit must bray like one.
Play the Shoemaker.—The culprit must take off his shoe and
pretend to drive pegs into it.
Shake a Coin off the Head.—This may be made productive of much
amusement. The leader, having wetted a coin, presses it firmly for
several seconds against the forehead of the victim. When he
withdraws his thumb he secretly brings away the coin, but the
victim invariably believes that he can still feel it sticking to
his forehead, and his head-shakings and facial contortions to get
rid of his imaginary burden are ludicrous. It is understood at the
time the sentence is pronounced that he must shake the coin off and
must not touch it with his hands.
The Three Questions.—The victim is required to leave the room.
Three questions are agreed upon in his absence, and he is requested
to say "yes" or "no" to each as they are asked him, not knowing, of
course, what the questions are, the result is usually embarrassing,
he finds he has made some ignominious admission, has declined
something he would be very glad to have or accepted something he
would much rather do without.
Go to Market.—The culprit is ordered to go to market with some
one of the opposite sex. They stand about eight feet apart, facing
each other, and the culprit asks his companion if she likes apples
(or any article he may choose) if the answer is "yes," she takes a
step forward, if "no," a step backward. If something is liked very
much or disliked very much a long step is taken. Then she asks him
a question which is answered by stepping forward or backward and so
on until they meet when a kiss is usually claimed and taken.
Place a Straw or Small Article on the Ground in Such a Manner
that No one Present can Jump Over It.—This is done by placing the
article against the wall.
Bite an Inch Off the Poker.—A poker is held about an inch from
the face, making a bite—-of course, the person does not bite the
poker but "an inch off the poker."
Blow a Candle Out Blindfold.—The person paying the forfeit is
shown the exact position of the candle and then blindfolded, and
having been turned about once or twice is requested to blow it out.
The cautious manner in which the person will go and endeavor to
blow out the clock on the mantle piece or an old gentleman's bald
head, while the candle is serenely burning a few feet away must be
seen to be appreciated.
The German Band.—This is a joint forfeit for three or four
persons, each of whom is assigned some imaginary instrument and
required to personate a performer in a German band, imitating not
only the action of the players but the sound of the instrument as
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