How to Prepare for your Party
In getting up a Hallow-e’en Party everything should be made as secret as possible, and each guest bound to secrecy concerning the invitations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From “Games for Hallow-e’en” by Mary F. Blain, published in 1912