Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1907 Victorian Halloween Party

"A Halloween Party at Moss Point at the Residence of Dr. W. R. Thompson" (newspaper clipping)

By far the most interesting social event that Moss Point young folks have been treated to in a long while was the Halloween party given at the home of Dr. W. R. Thompson Thursday night. About thirty young people assembled at the home of Mrs. Fred Herrin, where the young ladies rigged themselves as ghosts to escort the young men to Dr. Thompson's residence. The crowd was met at the door by a gruesome witch, who pointed the way up the dimly lighted stairway with her broom.
The young ladies preceded the young men down the stairs into the parlor, where they seated themselves in a circle on the floor. The gentlemen were then allowed to enter and quiet a lively time was had guessing the identity of the ladies. The house was beautifully but weirdly decorated with ferns, golden rod and autumn branches, with here and there in the most unexpected corners pumkin and guord jack-o-lanterns smiled and gnashed their teeth.
In the parlor arch doorway there hung a portiere of apples on strings of varying lengths with a horse shoe hung in the midst, through the prongs of which each guest tried to throw three tiny apples. Those who succeeded were assured of phenomenal luck for the ensuing year. In another room a big pear shaped pumpkin hung, on the shining surface of which were cut all the letters of the alphabet. This was rapidly twirled and the guests in turn tried to stab some letter, thereby finding the initial letter of one's fate.
Pinned to the wall in another room was a sheet on which was mounted a large figure of a witch riding her broom. Scattered promiscuously over this were small envelopes containing fortunes. The guests in turn were blindfolded and allowed to seek and find his fortune by touching the sheet with a broomstick. The one securing the fortune placed in the witches handreceived as a prize a lovely little kitten.
The dining table was draped with a snowy white cloth. In the center of which was placed a mammoth pumpkin which had been freed from the meat and cocircled with grape vines to which clusters of grapes were attached. A large bowl containing punch was placed within the pumpkin shell, this being placed upon a lovely center piece made of autumn leaves. Running from this to each of the four corners of the table was a vine made of the conventional leaves at the end of which was placed a red apple candle stick on a mat of leaves.
Above the punch bowl hung a lovely hoop made of vines and all sizes of jack-o-lanterns with staring eyes and wide open mouthes. In one corner of the dining room was a beautiful gypsy tent where a lovely young lady told the most bewitching fortunes. Delicious refreshments were served and all kinds of quaint Halloween customs indulged in until the wee small hours.


  1. Suprising to hear of that kind of party in 1907? Sounds like the kind of party that Martha Stewart would love!Don't you wish there were pictures to go with the article?

  2. Reading this, one realizes how much simpler entertainment was a hundred years ago, and how much more memorable.

    I happened to go to a mall several Halloweens ago and was dismayed — no aghast — to see hundreds of children robotically snaking from store entrance to store entrance, each receiving a candy from a bored young employee on a stool. It makes one wonder if the holiday will eventually just fade away.

  3. Fun post and great blog! You've got me running to public library to see if I can find any accounts of PRIVATE celebrations here in Witch City.