Halloween history, hooligans and hoopla

Maude Pritchett, Crier Staff

Ohh it’s that time of year again! I love Halloween, the costumes, the decorations, the festivities. Back when I was in my prime and had the figure that the young ladies here have, I wore brilliant gowns and masks. I attended Halloween balls; there was dinner and dancing, we told ghost stories and bobbed for apples. It was wonderful, but like with everything else times have changed and as have the traditions.

The last Halloween that I really celebrated was in 1806. I dressed as a witch, with a black lace mask and a black dress with a pointed hat. The party my parents threw was fantastic! We sat around the table for dinner and everyone told their favorite ghost story.

After dinner there was music and dancing. Not the kind of dancing that you all do today, that would have been unspeakable. We did the proper kind, where a gentleman asks you to dance and there is very minimal touching. At the end of the dancing, there would be a dance where the man turns the woman around and around, and then when the dance is done we bob for apples.

It was during the bob that I learned of a new tradition; young women sit in front of a mirror in a dark room. I was believed that if you sat there long enough you would eventually see the face of the man you would marry. If you saw a skull however, it meant you would die before getting married.

When I heard the other girls talking about doing this I laughed and laughed. How could you believe a mirror would show you your future? The others dared me to go and sit in the room and look into the mirror. So, being dizzy from the dance and loving to prove people wrong, I went. I sat and I sat, after an hour I hadn’t had any experience other than seeing my own face squinting in the dark.

I went back down stairs and scoffed at the other girls who believed in such foolery. But I suppose the joke was on me. That was 208 years ago, and I have neither died, nor married. I have had lots and lots of children though. I get to watch you all celebrate my favorite holiday.

The ritual seems to have changed however. There are no longer appropriate parties with creative costumes. The females here wear skimpy clothes and don’t mind when the males gawk and ogle. I just sit back and have a good laugh. I eventually make my way down to the parties and I am in the gallant costume that no one recognizes.

Keep your eyes peeled; you may get to see me.