Welcome To Steampunk Desperado

  • Who is that handsome stranger?

For the Love of Halloween, By Arlys Holloway

Arly's skull ring

Arly’s skull ring, modeled by Roscoe the Spider.

I love Halloween! I have more spooky home décor for both inside and out than I do all the other holidays combined.

Curious about how Victorians celebrated Halloween, I did a little digging… pun intended. After a bit of research, I discovered I come by my love of All Hallows’ Eve honestly.

Halloween made its debut into proper society around the 1870s, but not for how we know it today. This scary holiday was a chance for love to bloom! Parties were the rage, and competitions for the best gathering were common.

A hostess from this time (often a matchmaker) would leave a lit Jack-o-lantern along with a note (sometimes in verse) on the doorsteps of those invited. She always made sure her guest list included young sweethearts and single ladies and gentlemen.

The hostess’ home would be transformed into a haunted house. Jack-o-lanterns, candelabras, and candlesticks would light an otherwise entirely dark dwelling. Young ladies would hold tightly to their intended as they descended a dark staircase to the basement.

The hostess would place a cowbell under a facet to mimic running water and hang wet strips of newspaper from the rafters, providing a damp ambiance. A hand might reach out to grab the party goers or a paper bag could be popped to scare them.

Most important were the games which allowed young lovers to hold hands, stand or sit close. Such public displays of affection were normally frowned upon in Victorian society.

Bobbing for Apples

Bobbing for Apples. Image from http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/halloween-traditions-and-superstitions-explained/84782666/

For singles, there were special activities to ascertain who their true love would be. These included bobbing for apples, which in upper-class society was accomplished by dropping a fork into the barrel. A letter carved into the apple they retrieved would reveal the initial of their future spouse.

What was most curious was the tradition of the “Dumb Supper.” This required one to silently set a table for two at midnight. The young lady or gentleman would then wait for the apparition of their intended to join them.

Halloween provided a perfect backdrop for the caprices of Victorian young people. Yet the age of reason was at the doorstep, and Halloween superstition was often scorned as a practice of the ignorant. As one lady said to console a neighbor too afraid to set a dumb supper and wait for the apparition of his future wife, “Do not try it, Mr. Oakly–if she must be not only out of her mind, but actually out of her body, to make you any response, her love is not worth having.”

I had no idea that Halloween was so romantic, although it shouldn’t have surprised me. After all, my wedding band is encrusted with skulls.

Happy Halloween! Kisses!



I. “Episcopal Church will conduct special service next Tuesday,” Atlanta Constitution, October 31, 1895.

2. Elizabeth Phipps Train, “The Hallow-e’en Sensation at Gov’ner Dering’s,” Godey’ s Lady’s Book, October, 1888, p. 280.

3. Griffith Wilder, “By Cupid’s Trick. A Parlor Drama for All Hallowe’en,” Godey’s Lady’ s Book, November, 1885, pp. 500-501.

4. Ella Rodman Church, “Through a Looking-Glass,” Godey’s Lady’s Book, October, 1880, p. 346.

5. Ibid., p. 345.

6. “To-Night Is Hallowe’en,” Hartford Daily Courant , October 31, 1895, p. 6.

7. Mary McKim Marriot, “Social Affairs for Halloween,” Ladies Home Joumal, October 1908, p. 58.

8. Anna Wentworth Sears, “Games for Halloween,” Harper’s Bazar, October 27, 1900,p. 1651.

9. Isabel Gordon Curtis, “A Children’s Celebration of Halloween,” St. Nicholas Magazine, Volume 32, Part II, October, 1905, p. 1124.



Add a Comment
  1. Forget Valentine’s Day it’s Halloween for me

  2. I love this ! So interesting

  3. разнорабочий

    Right here is the perfect site for anybody who wishes to find out about
    this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to
    argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic
    that’s been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  4. I am really inspired with your writing talents as well as with the format
    for your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you customize it your self?
    Anyway keep up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to look a nice blog like this .

  5. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will ensure
    that I bookmark your blog and will come back in the future.
    I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!

  6. essay writing service

    Great info. Lucky me I discovered your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book-marked it for later!

  7. cheap essay writer

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it,
    you might be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and
    will come back down the road. I want to encourage one to continue your great job, have
    a nice evening! http://nadiwa.org/node/562193

  8. Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to look it over.
    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and excellent design and style.

  9. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch
    break. I enjoy the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get
    home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, fantastic site! http://www.mbet88vn.com

  10. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different page
    and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am
    following you. Look forward to looking into your web page

  11. I have been surfing online more than 4 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful
    than ever before.

  12. WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for link

  13. Good site you have here.. It’s difficult to find excellent
    writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!! http://childpsy.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=&event2=&event3=&goto=http://alternatif188bet.com/

  14. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?
    My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

  15. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This article
    posted at this website is genuinely good.

  16. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally,
    if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the
    internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  17. I get pleasure from, cause I discovered exactly what I used to be taking a look for.

    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.

  18. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this blog.

    I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well.

    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get
    my very own website now 😉 http://yallpo.com/node/4165

  19. My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from
    PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am
    anxious about switching to another platform.

    I have heard good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts
    into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated! http://spartancxdev.com/how-to-write-an-explanatory-essay/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *