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halloween-tree.com ~ a 1930s hallowe'en!
A 1930s Hallowe'en!
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The following come from a wonderful Hallowe'en Program Kit distributed by
the Cooperative Recreation Service in Delaware, OH, in the 1930s. Kali's copy
is stamped as the property of the Fresno, CA, Works Progress Administration.
The kit - marked #28 in the series, revised - was edited by Lynn & Katherine
Kali has selected the portions included here, and has provided editorial
comments in bracketed parentheses. Any of these can be used as-is or in adapted
form for a modern Hallowe'en party.
We'll be adding more from this kit as Hallowe'en approaches, so stick around!
.: superstitions | fortunes
| games :.
For Use in Planning the Hallowe'en Program...
- See a new moon over left shoulder.
- Find four-leaf clover.
- Horseshoe over door.
- If cat sneezes.
- Rabbit's left hind foot.
- See a pin and pick it up,
All the day you'll have good luck.
- To have a black cat cross your path.
- To start a journey on Friday.
- To change a garment put on wrong side out.
- To walk under a ladder. (Whistling may avert it.)
- To rock a rocking chair with no one in it.
- To bring any farm tool into the house.
- Not to leave a house after a call [as in, visit] by the same
door you entered.
- Seven years bad luck to break a mirror.
- See a pin and let it lie,
You'll need that pin before you die.
- If you boast, knock on wood to avoid bad luck.
- If salt is spilled at table, throw some over left shoulder to avoid
Signs of Death
- To open an umbrella in the house.
- To sit thirteen at a table. [Sarah Winchester's lucky number was
13. She was the eccentric heiress to the Winchester Rifle Fortune who
spent her later years building rooms onto her sprawling
mansion in San Jose, CA, in attempts to ward off the vengeful spirits
of those killed by the Winchester Rifle. ]
- Ringing in your ears.
- Bird pecking at window.
- Howling dog.
- Falling star. [Some traditions view this not as bad luck, but as
a chance to make a wish that will come true!]
- To bring a hoe into the house.
- To let a baby less than a year old look into a mirror.
- To cut a baby's finger-nails before it is a year old.
- Step on a spider, make it rain.
- Thick corn shucks, hard winter ahead.
- Corn hurts, going to rain.
- Rain before seven, clear before eleven.
- Cat eats grass, going to rain.
- If you try on another person's wedding ring, you will never marry.
- Sleep on wedding cake, dream of future mate.
- Rain on wedding day, tears will equal rain drops.
- Take last piece on plate, never marry.
- Stumble on stairs, you will not marry this year, unless you go back
and start over.
- Look under elbow in graveyard, see ghosts.
- Horseshoe protection against ghosts and witches.
- Witches can't cross running water.
- Dream of the dead, hear from the living.
- Witches and ghosts haunt the place where two roads cross.
- If you shudder involuntarily, someone is walking over your future grave.
[This fortune game can be modified as to the symbols used as well
as their meanings...have fun and be creative, or leave as is and enjoy
an oldschool tradition!]
Seven sauchers stand in a row, each containing one of the following:
moss, thorn (or pins), red cloth, blue cloth, forked stick, clean water,
double knot of string. Players are blindfolded one at a time and led to
the saucers. (The position of the saucers should be changed each time.)
The one which is touched by the hand of the player reveals his fortune:
Moss - A live of Luxury
Thorn - Disappointment in love.
Red Cloth - Military lover.
Blue Cloth - Husband [or wife] in the navy.
Forked stick - Marry a widow or widower.
Clean water - Never marry.
Double knot - Marriage soon.
[The kit recommends two variants of this game. In both, a suspended
hoop or lazy-susan-type wheel is used to dispense a random item to the
spinner. I recommend the lazy-susan method. The following description
is mine, based on the words in the kit. I quote the editors's actual words...]
In the first version of the game, bread, apples, peppers, cake, candies,
and candles are placed around the wheel. Each player spins the wheel,
blindfolded, taking the item nearest to them when the spinning ceases.
Depending on the item received, the spinner's married life may be "wholesome,
acid, soft, fiery, or sweet." The "candle entails paying a forfeit."
In the second version of the game, "rings, coins, thimbles, empty
nutshells for poverty, etc., may be tied around a wheel which is then
rolled to each guest in turn, who catches it and takes off the gift nearest
to him." It is not necessary to be blindfolded for this version,
though it might be a fun twist!
The letters of the alphabet are carved [or painted] on a pumpkin.
Each player is blindfolded and armed with a hat-pin which he sticks into
the pumpkin. The letter in which he puts his pin begins the name of his
future mate. [You could also say that the selected letter begins the
name of one's future college, &c.]
Multiply the day of the month of your birth by 7. The left hand digit
of the resulting number will be the number upon which hangs your fate.
Boats of Fortune
Tiny lighted candles are fastened into nut-shell halves by drops of their
own wax. Each boat is named and launched upon a wash-tub sea. Their behavior
is significant. If they cling to the side, their namesakes will lead a
quiet life. Some will float together; others collide and become shipwrecked.
Some will float steadily onward to some port of call. The candle which
burns longest belongs to the one who will marry first [or win the lottery,