How about some Halloween fun from over a hundred years ago. Marion in the early 1900’s was a festive place, and it seems Halloween was a favorite time for having fun parties
The young people knew how to throw an entertaining party, with good food, exciting imaginary games, and good friends. Their parties seemed to not get started until very late in the evenings and would continue until the morning hours.
Delightful Halloween Reception. (October 31, 1904)
Mesdames J. W. Blue and J. H. Orme gave the first of the season Halloween entertainments at the residence of Mayor J. W. Blue, on the corner of College St., and Wilson Avenue.
Among those who attended were noted the following: Mesdames Ollie M. James, Henry H. Sayre, C. Maxwell, Thomas H. Cochran, Sidney M. Jenkins, Wm. J. Deboe, I. H. Clement, Chas. Evans, Avery H. Reed, George M. Crider, John J. Clark, Harry A. Haynes, Robert F. Haynes, Frank Walker, Thos. Clifton, E. J. Hayward, George C. Gray, Perry D. Maxwell, Henry K. Woods, Clem S. Nunn and James R. McFee.
Guests were first ushered into the reception hall and then all invited to the Halloween room where beautiful decorations of pumpkin vines, apples and oranges; sketches of witches riding broom sticks, skulls and cross bones, bats and skeletons were galore. Candies of different kinds and colors gave a soft glow to the jack- o’-lanterns.
Several contests were indulged in such as bean and candle, guessing the number of candies, witches, etc. After this a “nose contest” which was the most enjoyable of all.
Guests were then invited into the dining room where they feasted on cider, pumpkin pie, ginger bread and other good things of the Halloween season.
Souvenirs were presented to each guest and a most enjoyable time was had, and the season’s reception was opened auspiciously.
Another party going in town that same night was being hosted by Mrs. Jim Henry, assisted by Mrs. Charley Moore. They very delightfully entertained a crowd of young people in her home on West Belleville Street. Games and contests were engaged in.
Henry Haynes won the prizes given for the “Advertisement Contest.” Miss Daisy Towery, also, won a prize. It being Halloween, of course, fortune telling was popular, each one drawing his or her fate from a pumpkin.
At another popular household in town a Phantom Party was being held. As the young people arrived, the young ladies were ushered into one room and the young gentlemen into another, there each guest was robed in white from head to foot, all the robes being precisely alike.
All then assembled and for more than an hour these grave specters wandered about and it was impossible to recognize any one.
At nine o’clock the phantoms paired off and then each mask was lowered and instead of the death like countenance of the ghost was seen the happy face of some young lady or gentleman.
Refreshments were served and at 11 o’clock the young people dispersed, all agreeing they had a delightful time.
I remember the Halloween parties that we would have when I was growing up in the 1950's. It would usually be in someone's basement. It would be decorated with simple home make decorations of cardboard witches and bats, and also the streamers of creme paper, which would be black and orange braided together to make chains that would be drapes around everything. Some of the "refreshments" would be given out with everyone's blindfolded, as to imagine that grapes were eye-balls, spaghetti as brains, and what ever the host family could dream up that would be scary feeling. The real refreshments were usually home-made popcorn balls, caramel apples and home-made fudge. What fun and care-free times.