Halloween Party, 1900

When Skidmore residents had a party, a good time was guaranteed for all. Mrs. H. W. Montgomery’s Halloween party was no exception, as we learn from the November 2, 1900 Skidmore Standard, page 1:

Halloween Party.

Halloween, as American boys and girls regard the day – or rather night – is a time when they are licensed to go about committing mischievous pranks of all kinds. Many years ago, in England and Scotland, the young people were want to congregate around the firesides at Halloween and crack nuts, duck for apples in a tub of water, tell ghost stories and engage in other harmless pleasantries. It was a time, also when many a rustic maiden had the face and name of her parents for life revealed to her through charms which are now almost forgotten.

Interest in the way Halloween used to be observed, was revealed in the minds of some of our town folk the other evening by a most delightful party given by Mrs. H. W. Montgomery at her pleasant home in Highland View, assisted by Mrs. E. T. Duval and Miss Laura Ashbrook.

The weather was about the worst that ever happened on Halloween but the anticipated pleasures caused a goodly number to brave the rain and darkness. When the guests arrived they were ushered into the dimly lighted parlors where they were confronted on all sides, by weird looking “bogie” men who stared at the visitors with great, red, unblinking eyes and grinned at them with monstrous gaping mouths.

The decorations were in perfect harmony with the evening. Beautifully tinted leaves from forest trees with large hickory nuts and ears of yellow corn were picturesquely arranged in every nook and corner. Each guest was given a white robe and mask, and when these were donned it was very difficult to tell which were ladies and which were gentlemen. While thus robed, partners were chosen and all marched to the dining room where the masks were removed, and it was discovered that four men had men for partners, and four ladies were equally unfortunate in as much as not one of them had a gentleman for a partner. Instead of ducking for apples in a tub of water, each guest was required to eat one suspended at the end of a string. Fortunes were told by burning nuts in the fire, a ring was taken from a tray of flour with the teeth, and other innocent but laughable features were introduced from time to time by the hostess, so that the time for departing seemed to come entirely too soon. The Halloween party was a great success.

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