Planning a Fun Halloween Party (1920's)

The following is from the 1925 Dennison’s Bogie Book:pic1-c1

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Halloween, the night of October thirty-first, is the one time of all the year when an opportunity is supposed to be given for looking into the future and having one’s fate settled for the coming twelve months.

Why not invite your friens to a Hallowe’en party and join in the fun of trying some of the time-honored ways of finding out what the future holds in store?

The traditions of this eerie night never change, but there are new ways of adapting them for parties, new ways of decorating, new forms of playing the old games and tricks that will help make the Hallowe’en party really successful.

Conventionality may be set aside and all sorts of games and stunts be used to entertain your guests.

Although the opportunities for entertainment are more diversifieid and informal than for almost any other occasion, still the details of the Hallowe’en party must be carefully arranged.

Whether you are entertaining at home or at the club, be sure to ask you guests to come in costume.  It will introduce a gay color note, add to the fun and be in keepinb with the spirit of the day.

When the party is a large one, instead of all playing one game in which only two or three can take an active part, divide the company into groups of six or eight and have progressive games.  Have a different game for each group.  Allow ten or fifteen minutes for each game and then move the same as for any progressive game.

Scores should be kept and a prize awarded at the end of the evening for the highest score.  Have the score cards made in such a way that they may be worn and so be always at hand.  A bracelet score card for the girls and a score card attached to a neck scarf for the men are shown on page 7.

There is apt to be a lull after the refreshments have been served.  A few stunts at the table wil liven up the party.  The reading of the papers written for “A Calendar of Events,” described on page 21, will fill any possible dull moment with peals of laughter.

The suggestions on the following pages may be adapted for home parties or dances for either children or adults and simplified or elaborated as occassion requires.  They are planned so that the busy hostess may achieve the most delightful and unusual results with the least possible outlay of either time or money.

Creating a Trail of Terror for Halloween (1940's)

Probably the two most typical Hallowe’en stunts are fortune telling and the Trail of Terror.  Young boys are especially fascinated by the latter, and some version of it will always be successful at a boys’ party.  It fulfills a deep-seated longing for adventure and excitement on Hallowe’en, and gives the boy a thrilling memory for months to come.  Although the Trail of Terror usually opens the home party, it is better to use it as a goodnight stunt at the large party, in order that the boys may not be too excited for the quieter part of the program.  The following description includes ideas for several types of Terror Trails.

An outside entrance leads to a rendezvous with ghosts and witches in the cellar or attic.  Hang old fur, strips of raw liver on walls where one feels his way to dark steps.  Have waxed boards on cellar steps, with a mattress at the foot.  Host hands each guest an apple as he hits the bottom.  Basement dark, except for a few candles.  Each guest takes hold of a cord strung higher than his head, and follows it through a dark furnace-room, fruit cellar and amusement room.

Weird moans and howls come from dark corners, damp sponges and hair nets hung from the ceiling touch his face, he walks on corn stalks, bed springs, chains and lengths of hose and stumbles noisily over tin pans.  Electric fans blow tissue paper streamers in his face.  At one place “Tige” who is a guard dressed as a dog, suddenly jumps out at him, barking and growling.  A suit can be made out of brown crepe paper – sewed on old clothes – and a short tail made by wrapping cloth around a piece of wire and then covering it with brown paper.  A brown hood and a dog false-face complete the outfit.

Doorways are blockaded so that guests must crawl through a long dark tunnel, where voices muffled through a garden hose are heard, and a cowbell fastened under a running faucet gives the effect of a waterfall and a doleful gong.  At the end he hears a plaintive “meow” and sees a black cardboard cat outlined in luminous paint.  At the end of the tunnel a witch stirs her cauldron over a “fire” made by a light bulb covered with quantities of red tissue paper.  She gives him a teaspoon of brew, which proves to be vinegar.  A sheeted ghost appears to lead him back to the party room, where the witches’ snake (a roll of chilled dough), a spider (slippery mushroom), the devil’s hand (a cold chicken foot) and other objects are being passed from guest to guest in the dark.  Finally, the lights are turned on, the silence ends and games begin in a burst of fun.

Halloween Party Favor Ideas (1940's)

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Here are some ideas for party favors that are ideal for a Children’s Halloween Party:

  • orange and black noise-makers
  • orange and black suckers
  • individual cup-cakes with lighted candles
  • apples with gum drop arms and legs, marshmallow head, clove features, paper hat and ruffled collar
  • carrot goblins with clove features and tissue paper clothes

Tally Cards for Halloween

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Tally cards to add to your collection or use for your Halloween Party.

Black Cat Party Invitation (1940's)

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For a Black Cat home party, a cut-out black cat has tail attached by means of a dress snap fastener.  When the tail is swung up it is found to bear this message:

This is the tail of the Hallowe’en cat…

Hurry, he says, to meet Witch and Bat

On Hallowe’en Eve, about 7 or so

To a house that you know, yet may not know.


Name ____________________________

Halloween Invitation Ideas – Barn Party (1940's)

For a barn party, this was the message written on brown wrapping paper decorated with Hallowe’en figures:

Dere Frend – Yew air ast to a Halaween Partty that us folks air a goin to hav on Saturday nite, Oktober thirtieth.  Hope to see yas.  Kum at Kandle Lighten and stay till bedtime.  Place ____________   Committee __________

Halloween Invitations Tips (1940's)

A written invitation has the advantage of putting the guests into the party mood before they arrive at your door.  It should build up anticipation, but should not promise anything which the party will not justify.  Hallowe’en invitations may be written in:

  • black ink on orange paper with a tiny black cat in the corner
  • an orange pumpkin
  • or in white on black paper enclosed in an orange pumpkin envelope
  • invitations shaped like black cats, witches or owls
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