HALLOWEEN WILL BE HERE SOON, GET READY
Young People Will Celebrate While the Goblins and Spirits Hower About, Just as of Old.
Get ready, kids. It’s coming. A week from Saturday the goblins, witches, elves and jack-o-lanterns will come into their own for one brief night. All Hallows’ eve — the world belongs to them.
In the old, old days Hallowe’en belonged to the spirits of the Northland, to the spirits and elves of Druid days. There are no witches or fairies now, but Hallowe’en will be celebrated just the same.
Farmers are getting ready for the occasion and are getting their cabbage and pumpkins under cover and before the latter part of next week will have them securely locked in the houses and barns. Corn is also used to a certain extent in celebrating, while tick-tacks** are just as big a favorite as ever.
From Dictionary Encarta:
**2. U.S. something that taps as prank: a device operated from a distance to make a tapping sound on a window or door as a practical joke.
Great changes have taken place in celebrating Hallowe’en in the past decade. It used to be that a boy or girl did not think they were having a good time unless they would burst in a number of doors during the night with cabbage stocks or hang some neighbor’s wagon on the roof of the barn, so it would be hard to remove, while some even went so far as to put cows in the school room and other things in just as ridiculous places. The taking of a buggy or wagon and running away with it was most enjoyed, that is by the celebrators, but it was a trick not enjoyed by the owner. The building of fences across the public highway also afforded the builder lots of fun. People out late at night or those compelled to get out early in the morning always bumped into one of these fences and there was all kinds of trouble. Gates and porch steps were to be found for the next two weeks in unlooked for places — but that was the way they celebrated a good many years ago.
It would not be very healthy to celebrate in this manner now. There are too many police officers. Then if you would happen to get caught or your name learned later on, you stand a good chance of being arrested for malicious mischief. There are too many laws today to permit such carryings on. Of late years the proper way to celebrate Hallowe’en and have a good time is to attend a taffy-pulling. Of course jack-o-lanterns are still used and are a big favorite, but not to the extent they were a number of years ago. In later years the young folks dress up in masque costumes and attend their taffy pullings. Many of the games played when grandmother was a girl, such as ducking for apples, etc., are still in vogue and affords no end of amusement.
It is not known to what extent Mayor Harry Lusk will permit celebrators to go this year; but one thing is sure and that is that he will not stand for destruction of property, so the boys and girls who desire to keep out of the clutches of the law and escape spending a night in the ill-smelling cooler at city hall should confine their celebrating to innocent fun and not try to see how much property they can damage.
New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Oct 23, 1908
The Good Old Candy Pull.
You kin talk about y’r op’rae y’r germans an’ ali sich,
Y’r afternoon receptions an’ them pleasures o’ the rich;
You kin feast upon y’r chol’lates an’ y’r creams an’ ices full.
But none o’ them is ekal to a good old candy pull.
For ther’ isn’t any perfume like the ‘lasses on the fire,
A bubblin’ an’ a dancin’ as it keeps a risin’ higher,
While the spoon goes stirrin’, stirrin’, till the kittle’s even full;
No, I reely thin ther’s nothing’ like a good old candy pull.
It’s true we miss the music, an’ the ballroom’s crush an’ heat,
But ther isn’t any bitter that stays behind the sweet,
An’ I think the world’d be better, an’ its cup o’ joy more full,
If we only had more pleasures like the good old candy pull.
– BOSTON BULLETIN.
The News (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 13, 1891
A Potent Incantation.
On All-Hallows eve there is one form of incantation which is known to be extremely, nay, terribly potent when all others have failed. You go out by yourself, taking a handful of hempseed with you. You get to a secluded place and begin to scatter the seed as you walk along the road. You say, “Hempseed, I sow thee; hempseed, I sow thee, he who is to be my true love, appear now and show thee.” And if you look furtively over your shoulder you will behold the desired apparition following you. — William Black in Harper’s.
Davenport Morning Tribune (Davenport, Iowa) Nov 5, 1890
Its Origin and Customs — How the Small Boy Came to Have a Part Therein.
Many Parties of Social Nature Held — Police Department Busily Entertained.
Hallowe’en or All Hallow’s Eve, the night of Oct. 31, that is the eve of All Saints’ Day, which is the first day of November, takes its origin from the conversion in the Seventh century of the Pantheon at Rome, into a Christian place of worship, and its dedication to the Virgin and all the martyrs.
It was first celebrated on the first of May, but the date was Subsequently changed to Nov. 1st, and under the designation of “Feast of All Saints,” set apart as a general commemoration in their honor, and as such retained by the Angelican and American Episcopal churches.
On this day it is a custom of Roman Catholic countries, and is still practiced in Louisiana, to visit the cemeteries for devotion or for laying floral tributes on the graves of relatives.
The “Hallowe’en” part of it, however, appears to have nothing churchly about it. It is more in keeping with the practices of pagan times or perhaps of medieval superstitions, which set apart the night for a universal walking abroad of spirits, both of the visible and invisible world. On this mystic evening it was believed that even the human spirit might detach itself from the body and wander abroad.
From the above it can be readily seen how members of the younger population have come to distort the customs of this celebration by performing mischievous pranks, dressing in most hideous costumes and working destruction in general to everything animate and inanimate, after the fashion of sprites, or worse than these, perhaps, demons. Here also we discover the origin of the pumpkin ghost or Jack ‘o lanter, the troops of wandering devils, etc.
Practically so far as recognized at all, as it is still in Great Britain and some of our states, where church usages and traditions survive, it is devoted to sports and practical jokes. Nuts and apples are in requisition, they being not only cracked and eaten, but furnish sport in the way of “ducking” and “bobbing” which often results in damp disaster at the bottom of the wash tub.
The fate of many a lad and lass is also often decided in the signs of the seeds and the kernels, as the renowned Burns put it:
“The old guidwife’s well hoardit ______ nits,
Are round and round devided,
And many lads and lassies’ fates
Are there that night decided.”
A number of parties were held last evening in commemoration of the event. The police department was also obliged to use its entire force and acumen to watch the mischievous sprites who were on the lookout to work destruction to anything and everything which happened to fall in their pathway.
Among those who entertained in a social way were Miss Lulu Wolfe, Wisconsin street; Miss Anna Slagsvold, Wisconsin street; Miss Laura Aswumb, Garfield avenue; Rev. and Mrs. Arns, Vine street; and among others something unique in the way of hobo Hallowe’en amusement at the home of Mrs. David Drummond. To say the least, all of the events named above furnished much enjoyment to those who were in attendance, having a part in the quaint games and customs in accord with practices of olden times.
The Small Boy.
Hallowe’en with the small boy, was not so exciting up to midnight. Dr. Selbach’s buggy was carried with the Leader’s mail wagon. Windows were soaped, gates stolen, every upsetable, upset, a sidewalk in the Ninth ward torn up, with untold and various other depredations. This is all. No lives were lost. Hallowe’en is all over but the swearing.
Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Nov 2, 1906
THIS IS HALLOWE’EN.
Which Has Been Celebrated Through Centuries — The Prince of Mischief Abroad in the Land.
To-night is Hallowe’en and around it clusters more Old World superstitions than begirt the other 364 nights that go to make up the year.
The small boy knows it best as “cabbage night,” and to him it means a round of fun. He has been keeping track of it. He knows it comes with darkness and for days he has been keeping his optics on the cabbage heads in the back yards of his neighbors.
The small boy knows where all the cabbage in the neighborhood, for squares around, is kept, and as soon as night has stolen over the earth he will be out with his companions, carefully climbing over the back yard fences, and stealthfully approaching the mound where the cabbage is buried. It is no use to watch him, for if it is there he will have it if he has to stay up all night, and after he has it in his grasp he is off on his round of pranks.
The readers of THE SENTINEL know how he will put in the night. They were all young once and as they peruse this Hallowe’en article, memories of those old-time days, when they were out on the All Hallows Eve lark, will crowd in on them thick and fast, and when the “bump,” “bump” of the cabbage head comes against the door, they will say, “Oh, it’s boys. They are out for a little fun. Let them have it.”
Gates are carried off from their hinges, and the posts are ornamented with hideous, grinning faces, made of a grotesque pumpkin, hollowed out, and containing a lighted candle. Bonfires are built and potatoes, eggs and apple roasted on the hot coals. Door bells are mysteriously rung and the king of misrule and his retinue are abroad in the land.
But the Hallowe’en is not now what it once was. The boyish pranks of twenty, thirty and forty years ago (many of them) seem to be unknown to the boys of to-day and there isn’t one one hundredth part of the fun crowded into the night now as there was then. Many of the older readers of THE SENTINEL could tell the boys of to-day Hallowe’en stories that would “make their hair stand on end,” but it is best, perhaps, that those olden-time tricks (some of them mean and cruel in their nature) should be discontinued, and we will not tell more of them now for fear the boys will be tempted to repeat them to-night in Fort Wayne.
There used to be a time when the night was full of superstitions, and men, women and children believed that on All Hallows Eve disembodied spirits visited the earth again; that devils, witches and fairies were abroad; that supernatural influences existed everywhere, but these old-time superstitions passed away with the advent of railways, telegraph, and, most of all, with the enlightening influences of the newspapers, and now the night is mostly (among those who desire to celebrate it) given to amusements of a social nature, either at home or in some public hall. Even the boyish pranks grow to be less common, and bye and bye, perhaps, they will cease all together.
Hallowe’en, or more properly All Hallows Eve, is the night before All Saints’ day and comes on October 31st, being kept as a vigil by some churches for the religious ceremonies of the following day, November 1st, when honor is done in the sanctuaries to all the saints. This is its real signification now, and yet in many countries the old superstitions still prevail and we give a few of them.
In the north of England this is “Nutcrack-Night,” and everywhere nuts and apples are in demand for consumption or for divination. In Ireland the same customs exist as in the sister isle; the lads and lasses gather by the blazing fire of peat and bogwood; the hearth is cleanly swept and each pair of lovers put two nuts before the fire; if either jumps the party represented is sure to give the other the mitten.
Ducking for apples is another ceremony peculiar to Hallowe’en.
Apples are placed in a tub of water, and often coins, and the attempts to catch them in the mouth produce tremendous mirth. So. too, does the “snapapple cross”; apples and lighted candles are placed on the opposite ends of a wooden cross, suspended by a string, and the attempts to rescue an apple with the mouth is generally rewarded by catching the twirling candle.
Three plates, containing earth, water and a ring, are placed on the table, the fortune seeker is led blindfolded, and his selection dooms him to death, exile or marriage within the ensuing year. A somewhat similar form of divination exists in Scotland.
“Popping” is a custom as popular in America as in the old country, where it originated. One girl heats a shovel red hot. Two chestnuts are then named after two of the company, as Jennie and Jack. In a few minutes they begin to sputter, and when they pop with much noise and confusion it is judged by the method of popping how the love affair will terminate. If Jennie pops away it is surmised that it is meant as an invitation for Jack to follow and capture her, but if Jack pops he is not for her. If the two pop side by side or away together, it is the happiest of auguries. IF the pair of chestnuts burn up into a flame and consume together it foretells a happy married future.
Eating the apple – This first demands a walk through a long corridor, when, if the young lady does not see her lover, she must return backward, going to her room and eating the apple before a looking glass while she combs her hair. She will then see her future husband’s face over her shoulder.
Paring an apple in one long paring, throwing it over the shoulder and letting it fall is a favorite spell of the night. If it falls so as to resemble a letter, that will be the first letter of a coming lover’s name.
The Hallowe’en Mirror – This is always a moonlight night performance, as the spell is assisted by the spectral light of the moon. They young woman looking into the glass must munch an apple at the same time. As the moonbeams fall across the glass she will see a face beside her own, which will be that of the man she is to marry. This test is very trying one, and many cases have been known where a delicate girl has fainted from fright, her imagination supplying the expected face.
The Three Leggies – These are three bowls of water placed on the hearth, a custom prevalent in Scotland and referred to by Burns. One is filled with clear water, one with turbid water and one is empty. Whoever dips must be blindfolded and use the left hand only. If it is a maiden and she dips into the clear water she will marry a young man and be prosperous. If she, however, puts her hand in the turbid bowl her husband will be a widower, and she will have more or less trouble, but if she dips into the empty dish, never a husband will she have at all.
A Scottish superstition was: – The girl would take her ball of knitting worsted and at midnight, standing on the edge of an old lime kiln, would throw it down in the devil’s name, and commencing to wind up the end would say, “I wind, who holds?” when a voice was supposed to answer, “I hold.” Many fatal accidents from shock followed these incantations, caused probably by some of the lads who knew that such a visit would be made.
But when all the sports were finished, then came the crowning terror to the rustic mind — the journey home and the possibility of meeting the dreaded “Phooks,” the hairy, misshapen spirit steed that on this particular night was permitted to roam around and decoy wearied pedestrians to mount him.
Some of these sports may be repeated to night among our young folks and much merriement will ensue. All in all, with the repetition of these pranks and the parties, dances and night “raids” of the small boy Hallowe’en will not go unobserved in Fort Wayne.
To morrow will be All Saints day. As early as the fourth century the Greeks kept on the first Sunday after Pentecost the feast of all Martyrs and Saints, and there is still a sermon of St. John Chrysostom delivered on that day. The feast was introduced in the west by Pope Boniface IV. The feast was at first kept on the 13th of May, but the day was changed to the 1st of November by Gregory IV. This feast has been instituted by the church to honor all the saints who reign in heaven.
Next Sunday will be All Souls day. It is a solemn commemoration of and prayer for all the souls in purgatory. This feast is dept on the 2d day of November. This feast owes its origin to Odilo Abbot, of Clugny, who instituted this solemnity for all the monasteries of his order in 998.
Both days will be religiously observed by the Catholics in this city.
The forty hour devotions began at the Cathedral to-day at 9 o’clock. Father Ambrose, of Cincinnati, a Franciscan, preached in the forenoon and will be heard again this evening. To-morrow the principal services will be at 5, 7:30, 10 a.m., and in the evening at 7:30, closing with a sermon, procession and benediction on Sunday evening.
Fort Wayne Sentinel, The (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 31, 1890
Three things seem to be wrapped up in Hallowe’en rites — silence, salt and apples! Salt and silence worked together, and for dire occasions. Hallowe’en, from time immemorial, seems to have been a special occasion for attempting to lift the veil and peer into the future, especially as regards one’s personal fortunes or the fate of one’s enemies.
For instance, many hundreds of years ago in northern Europe a man who put a spoonful of salt in his mouth, drank no water, and walked away in silence — you cannot imagine him talking much — to “a place where three crossroads met and sat thereon on a three-legged stool” was rewarded at midnight by hearing a supernatural voice announce the name of the neighbor, generally, his enemy, who would die within the year!
In many parts of Scotland to this day, the house-wife will empty a thimble of salt on every breakfast plate before going to bed on All Hallows Eve; and if in the morning the salt has fallen out of shape on any plate, it is believed that individual might just as well get ready, as the big bell has tolled for him.
In other parts of northern Europe, the girl who eats a salt cake and goes to bed in silence, and without drinking water, will see her future husband in her dreams.
Olean Evening Times (Olean, New York) Oct 30, 1929