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" Tempi passati " ... The nosy nostalgic group

Halloween Party, 1905

Halloween Party, 1905 

A Vintage Photos Theme Park photo for the theme of trick or treat (go crazy with this one and post as many photos as you want--no limit! Halloween, costumes, masks, skeletons, devils, human monsters, things that go bump in the night, ghostly apparitions, or anything you find scary or creepy).

A real photo postcard addressed on the other side to Miss Lizzie Moyer, Frackville, Pa., and postmarked in Selinsgrove and Frackville, Pa., during December 1905.

Handwritten message: "I suppose you will know one among the crowd, Lily Row."

The presence of the two jack-o'-lanterns in front of the group suggests that the photo was taken during a Halloween party. In front of the jack-o'-lanterns are ears of corn wrapped in paper or cloth. There's also another pumpkin in the lower left-hand corner of the photo, but this one hasn't been carved into a jack-o'-lantern. Instead, the letters of the alphabet have been stenciled on the pumpkin (see a cropped version of the photo for a better view of the details).

I haven't figured out how the partygoers used the ears of corn, but I was able to determine what they did with the stenciled pumpkin. A fortune-telling game listed in a book of Games for Hallow-e'en (Barse and Hopkins, 1912), by Mary E. Blain, p. 21, provides an explanation:

Pumpkin Alphabet

Carve [or stencil, in this case] all the letters of the alphabet on a medium sized pumpkin. Put it on a dish and set on a stand or table. Each guest in turn is blindfolded and given a hat-pin, then led to pumpkin, where he (she) is expected to stick pin into one of the letters on the pumpkin, thus indicating the initial of future life-partner.

Perhaps the wrapped corn was used in a party game, too.

Halloween Party, 1905 (Cropped)

RicksPics, John FitzGerald, Formica, Smiley Derleth have particularly liked this photo

RicksPics club
Alan, your depth of research never fails to wow me! Fortune telling pumpkins! I love these old group shots that seem to have been popular at that time. Really great clarity. All the interesting faces and expressions.
12 months ago.
Alan Mays club has replied to RicksPics club
Thanks, Rick! Figuring out what going on in a photo is the fun part. I still haven't been able to determine what they did with the wrapped corn, however.
12 months ago.

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