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19th Century Halloween Fortune Games

Jenna Wolford Vintage

vintage-cabbageKale Stalks

Young women and men would proceed to the garden, sometimes together forming a line. There they would close their eyes, and reaching out, pull a stalk of kale. The shape and size of the kale would determine the same qualities in regards to the future spouse. Excess dirt clinging to the root meant wealth. The heart of the kale was tasted, and either bitter or sweet represented the disposition of the future partner. These kale stocks, or “runts” are then placed above the kitchen door of the house where the Halloween festivities are taking place, and the Christian names of persons who walk under are names of spouses to be.

This is also played the same way with cabbage, and another variation is that the player must walk backwards. A straight cabbage means a handsome man, a bent will mean an ugly or deformed spouse.


Apple Seeds

Apple seeds may be named and stuck to the face. The last to fall is your partner-to-be.


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Burning Nuts

Two nuts are placed into a clear space in the fire, one bearing the name of a female, the other, a male. How these nuts react in the fire is said to tell about the status of a relationship between the two people. Nuts that burn quietly represented a healthy relationship while those that jumped and cracked stood for chaos or separation.


vintage-mirror

Looking Glass Lover

This supernatural exercise is one for the young women and men. The player enters a dark room with a candle and an apple cut into slices (sometimes specified as 9) and sits before the mirror. While she/he eats the apple in front of the mirror, the future beloved may peer over her/his shoulder, and both reflections will be visible. This opportunity for a little fun was often taken by the young men, who would scare the daylights out of the maiden sitting in front of the mirror. Another variation on this is that you must also be brushing your hair all the while.


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Three Bowls

Three bowls are placed on the heart. The first contains clean water, the second foul water, and the third is empty. Blindfolded and lead to the fire, the person reaches out and touches his or her fingers into the bowl. If her touch finds water, she’ll marry a maid. Foul water means she’ll marry as a widow, and if she’s unlucky enough to find nothing at her fingertips, she’ll die an old maid. This ceremony is sometimes repeated thrice, with the bowls being moved each time.


Dream Charm

Young women wanting to kind of man she will marry would make a pill of grated walnut, hazelnut, and nutmeg mixed with butter and sugar. Take this pill before bed. Golden, lush dreams tell that a gentlemen is in store. If there are odd noises and movements throughout the night, marriage to a tradesman is sure. If she’s to marry a traveler, thunder and lighting will occur in the night.


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Apple Skins

Peel the skin of an apple. Throw it over your shoulder and examine the pattern it takes where it lands. This will give you the initials of your future mate.


Lemon Peel

Take two lemon peels about in your pockets all day. At the end of the evening, rub these lemon peels on all 4 posts of the bed. The future spouse will come in a dream offering 2 lemons. If no person comes, marriage is hopeless.


Round the House

Walk backward around the house three times, and you’ll walk right into the arms of your true love.