Old Fashioned Halloween Games | Victorian Holidays


The Halloween holiday in Victorian times centered around romance, love, fate and fortune with a variety of games designed to predict the future.

Perhaps it was because the holiday fell at All Hallows Eve, a harvest festival that began in ancient England and Scotland where people paid homage to their dearly departed. They believed the veil between the supernatural and real worlds became thin and offered ideal opportunity to look into the future.

Meredith Sweetpea loves to play some of the fortune telling games of the past. Here are some for you to enjoy:

Victorian Halloween Games

Apple Grab

Etch the names of all the boys and girls at the party onto apples. Place the boys’ names into one barrel, and all the girls’ names into another. Take turns “grabbing” an apple from the barrel of the opposite sex using anything BUT your hands. The apple you grab will name your true love.

Tossing the Apple Peel

Girls should peel an apple, making sure the peel is kept intact in one long winding strip. She then tosses the peel over her shoulder, and lets it fall to the ground. The peel will fall into a shape that represents the initial of the first name of her true love.

Pou’ the Stocks

This game called “Pou’ the Stocks,” or pulling the stalks is a game where blindfolded participants pull up cabbages in the garden. The stalks and roots gave clues to the future. The more dirt clinging to the stalk means the wealthier the spouse. A closed white stalk means an old and possibly stingy mate, a full, green head means a lover younger and more attractive.

Bowls of Fate

A blindfolded person dips their hand into one of three bowls, each filled with a different colored water. The red water signified good fortune, blue represented a trip across water, and clear water foretold an upcoming honor. You could use clear or cloudy water to signify a happy or unhappy marriage, or marriage and spinsterhood/bachelorhood.

How Many Years to Marriage

In another game a blindfolded maiden could attempt to blow out candles. The number of candles she blows out signifies the number of years until she will marry.

Do you have any old fashioned games you’d like to share?

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