A Halloween to Remember
It may be a case of ‘All dressed up and nowhere to go” this Halloween but there is plenty of fun to be had at home with these traditional Halloween games and activities. In the old days, the purpose of many of the games was to predict your future, especially your future husband or wife! All you need is a couple of bags of apples – everything else you have at home.
In advance: Get those pumpkins (or turnips) carved, the more grotesque the better; buy (or bake) a barm brack loaf – here’s a recipe; research a couple of ghost stories; perfect the scary costumes (adults included!).
Bobbing for Apples
Probably the most well-known and favourite Halloween game of all.
Float apples in a large basin filled with water. The object of this game is to grab one of the apples and remove it from the water using only your mouth. Hands must be kept behind player’s backs.
It was believed that if you put the apple you bite under their pillow the same night, you’d dream of your future lover.
Pass the apple
This relay Halloween game is the most fun with two teams competing against each other, but with the restrictions on household guests it may need to be simply a circle of whoever’s in the house.
The apple is passed to the next person in the circle using their chin, without using hands or dropping the apple. If the apple drops you have to start from the beginning again.
Tie strings around apples and suspend them from the ceiling, a tree branch, or even use the washing line. Make sure they are at mouth height or lower.
Each player must attempt to eat the entire apple without touching it with their hands. Another prize can be given to the person who gets the first bite out of their apple. It is quite tricky, and you may want to change apples for donuts for younger children.
Each child gets an apple, fruit knife/vegetable pairer and a plate with all being as close as possible in size and quality.
The children each have to peel their apple, with the winner being the one who produces the longest and narrowest peeling. In times past the person then threw the apple peel over their left shoulder and the letter which the peel resembled was the first initial of the person’s future husband or wife.
Various things are baked into the loaf, including of course a ring. It is seen as a form of divination for the year ahead.
The hidden objects signify different things:
- Ring – marriage
- Coin – wealth
- Rag – poverty
- Thimble – old maid
Setting the scene for a scary story is what is needed for maximum effect. Your story could be a real life haunting, a classic ghost story, or an urban legend.
Candles, strange noises and even a hidden prankster (to jump out at the right moment, or squeak some floorboards) will all provide suitable ‘fright’.
Ghost in the graveyard
One player, the ghost, hides. Meanwhile, the other players stay together at a spot designated “base” or “safety” (such as a lighted porch), and count loudly in unison, “One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock,” and so on, all the way up to “midnight,” at which point they all head off in search of the hiding ghost.
When a seeker spots the ghost, they yell, “Ghost in the graveyard!” and, along with everyone else, runs back toward base. The ghost lets loose a ghostly scream and chases after the seekers, trying to tag as many as they can before they all reach base.
Who gets to play the part of the ghost next depends on which version of the game your group prefers, but usually it’s the first player tagged.
Mummies, spiders and gooey intestines
Grow your own pumpkins
To have your very own pumpkins next year, sow seeds indoors on their side 1cm (0.5in) deep in 7.5cm (3in) pots of compost from mid-to-late April at 18-21°C (65-70°F). You will need to start hardening them off (slowly getting them acclimatised to the outdoors) from late May.
Or sow directly outdoors where you want your plants to grow. Sow two or three seeds per planting hole 3cm (1in) deep in late May or early June. Cover with cloches, jars or plastic. Leave this in place for two weeks, or as long as possible, after germination. Thin the seedlings, leaving the strongest one to grown on.
Pumpkins need a sunny position, moisture-retentive soil and shelter from cold wind.
Good varieties for your Jack o’ Lanterns are Pumpkin Atlantic Giant, this variety is world renowed for its large size and are ideal for carving. We will have them available in seed in late November.
Comments are closed