Thursday, September 13, 2012

Decorations for a Halloween Party

From "Games for Halloween", 1912.

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 combinations.

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 box.

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 table.

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 the notches.

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 paper.

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 number.

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 "come true."

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