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Readings and Recitations

No. 31– Hallowe'en Festivities


Readings and Recitations

No. 31

Hallowee'en Festivities



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Copyright, 1903, by Edgar S. Werner



The night wind whispers—Ghosts!
They are waiting for their hosts;
The waning moon is weary and will not be up till late;
Already there are shadows at the gate.
A word, half heard, that is whispered in your ear,
And a presence that is felt when no one else is near.
Have you been along the corridors alone—all alone—
And listened to the wind up yonder making moan?
Have you thought about it all,
The footfall in the hall
That comes and goes—comes and goes—
With the measure of a heartbeat of a life that ebbs and flows?

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Readings and Recitations

No. 31.

Hallowe'en Festivities.


An Essay.

Hallowe'en or All Hallow Even, the name given to the night of October 31, and the eve of All Saints' Day (November 1), is one of the most delightful opportunities for entertaining. On such a night there should be nothing but laughter, jollity, and mystery. It is the night best loved by sprightly little fairies, gnomes, elves, and witches, and is the night of their great anniversary.

Of all nights in the year this is the one upon which super-natural influences most prevail. The spirits of the dead wander abroad, together with witches, devils, and mischief-making elves, and in some cases the spirits of living persons have the temporary power to leave their bodies and join the ghostly crew.

Children born on this day preserve through their youth the power to converse with these airy visitants. But often the latter reveal themselves to ordinary folk, to advise or warn them. Hence it is the night of all nights for divination. Impartially weighed against the others, it is the very best time of the whole year for discovering just what sort of a husband or wife one is to be blessed withal.

Hallowe'en is a curious recrudescence of classic mythology, Druidic beliefs, and Christian superstitions. On November 1 the Romans had a feast to Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, and it was then that the stores laid up in the summer for use in the winter were opened. Hence the appropriateness of the use of nuts and apples at this time. November 1 or thereabouts was also the great autumn festival to the sun which the Druids celebrated in thanksgiving for their harvest.

November was also one of the quaternary periods when the Druids lighted their bonfires in honor of Baal. The custom was kept up in many portions of Great Britain until a comparatively recent period. Wales was especially tenacious of it, and the observances which marked the November fire may be held to have descended directly from the Druids. Each family used to make its own fire; and, as it was dying out, each member would throw a white stone into it, the stones being marked for future identification. Then all said their prayers and went to bed, and in the morning they tried to find all the stones again. If any stone was missing, it betokened that the owner of it would die within a year. Some superstitions are pretty and picturesque and attractive; this was one of the many that were cruel as well as picturesque. It would take but a slight accident to cause a fright that might be actually dangerous to a superstitious person, and it would not be hard for an enemy of such a person to cause that fright by stealing his stone from the fire.

These fires in Wales were commonly followed by feasting on nuts, apples, and parsnips, and by games. Sometimes nuts were thrown into the fires, in the belief that they indicated prosperity to those who threw them if they burned well, and the reverse if they simply smoldered and turned black. There were fires also in Scotland, and there, in some parts of the country at least, the ashes were carefully raked into a circle and just within this the stones were placed, one for each person present. If in the morning any of these appeared to have been disturbed, it betokened death. Sometimes it was the custom to make large torches by binding combustible material to the tops of poles and to bear them blazing about the village, lighting new ones as often as the old were burned out. Fires were also used at different times and places on All Saints' Night, which is the eve of All Souls' Day, and on All Souls' Day itself, the 2d of November. In these cases the fires were regarded as typical of immortality, and were thought to be efficacious, as an outward and visible sign at least, for lighting souls from purgatory.

On this night the peasants in Ireland assemble with sticks and clubs, going from house to house, collecting money, bread-cake, butter, cheese, eggs, etc., for the feast, repeating verses in honor of the solemnity, demanding preparations for the festival in the name of St. Columb Kill, desiring them to lay aside the fatted calf and to bring forth the black sheep. The good women are employed in making the griddle-cakes and candles; these last are sent from house to house in the vicinity, and are lighted up on the (Saman) next day, before which they pray, or are supposed to pray, for the departed soul of the donor. Every house abounds in the best viands it can afford; apples and nuts are devoured in abundance; the nut-shells are burned and from the ashes many strange things are foretold; cabbages are torn up by the root; hemp-seed is sown by the maidens, and they believe if they look back they will see the apparition of the man intended for their future spouse; they hang a smock before the fire, on the close of the feast, and sit up all night, concealed in a corner of the room, convinced that his apparition will come down the chimney and turn the smock; they throw a ball of yarn out of the window, and wind it on the reel within, convinced that if they repeat the Pater Noster backward, and look at the ball of yarn without, they will then also see his apparition: they dip for apples in a tub of water, and endeavor to bring one up in the mouth; they suspend a cord with a cross-stick, with apples at one point, and candles lighted at the other, and endeavor to catch the apple, while it is in a circular motion, in the mouth.

If in the word Saman the Irish preserve a distinct evidence of Druidism, on the other hand in the drink called "lambs-wool" they equally confess the Roman intermixture. Lambs-wool is made by bruising roasted apples and mixing them with ale or sometimes with milk. The "Gentleman's Magazine" for May, 1784, says: "This is a constant ingredient at a merrymaking on Holy Eve." Vallency makes a shrewd etymological guess when he says: "The first day of November was dedicated to the angel presiding over fruits, seeds, etc., and was therefore named La Mas Ubhal—that is, the day of the apple fruit,—and being pronounced 'lamasool,' the English have corrupted the name to 'lambs-wool.' "The"angel presiding over fruits, seeds, etc.," was obviously a reminiscence of Pomona.

Everybody is familiar with Burns's famous poem "Hallowe'en," which gives a panoramic insight into the customs of Old Scotia on this night of mirth and mystery. Perhaps no influence has done more than this to preserve and spread these observances among English-speaking folk.

But what was once a ceremony of belief has now become a thing of sport, of welcome sport in a day of such serious thought and work and sense of responsibility that any excuse for sport should be laid hold of; so that now its observances are all a jest which young people lay upon themselves, not in the least believing in the consequences, only half hoping there may be something in it, and saying to themselves that stranger things have happened.

Hallowe'en has become so popular among the schools and colleges that each in turn tries to outdo the other, and the night is given over to the pranks of the students, and the sounds of revelry are heard issuing from residence hall, chapter-house, and around the grounds of the school or college.

The patron saint of Hallowe'en is Saint Matrimony.

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General Points: If the place where the festivities are held is in the country, the lawn in front of house should be decorated with hanging lighted jack-o'-lanterns. The eyes, nose, mouth in each one should be different and as grotesque as possible. If there is a fence around the grounds, put a jack-o'-lantern on each post. Drape black muslin above entrance to house; and, at center, over door, hang skull and cross-bones.

Entrance to House: On Hallowe'en put a sign on door telling guests to knock low and slow.

Hall: The hall should be in total darkness except for light coming from jack-o'-lanterns of all shapes and sizes on tables, and hanging from doors and ceiling, or from frame in open fire-place. The hall should be draped in black; and the person who opens the door, and those who conduct guests to dressing-rooms, should all be gowned in black.

Parlors: Decorate parlors with jack-o'-lanterns made from apples, cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, etc., hanging them somewhere in room or place on stand, piano or mantel. Use also green branches, autumn leaves, apples, tomatoes, ears of corn—red and white — and drape room with red and yellow scrim and cheese-cloth. If possible, have an open fire in parlor—a grate fire will do. Have white portieres. Place of Mysteries: The best place for mystic rites is the barn; second best is an attic full of shadows; third best is a cellar into which guests descend immediately after removing wraps; fourth best is large hall; lastly the kitchen. If affair is held in barn, build a large bonfire in front for use of guests for after-supper sports. The place where the mysteries are performed should be decorated with grewsome things—jack-o'-lanterns, skulls and cross-bones, black draperies, witches made out of cardboard and suspended from the walls, cats,-bats, owls, etc. The shades and spirits should flit about.

Dining-Room: The dining-room should have festoons of nuts, branches of oats, strings of cranberries, autumn leaves, goldenrod, odd lanterns, yellow chrysanthemums, etc. All the decorations of this room should be cheerful and suitable to the season. Charming maidens flit about serving the guests. For table center-piece use a large pumpkin with top cut off, pulp removed, and filled with water holding a large bunch of chrysanthemums or goldenrod. Bay leaves should be scattered over table and around the dishes. The menu card at each guest's plate should be of burnt leather bearing a sketch of a witch. After all unmask, lights in dining-room should be turned up and room made brilliant.

Note.—Jack-o'-lanterns are made by removing pulp from apples, cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, etc., cutting places for eyes, nose, and mouth, and fastening a lighted candle inside.

Hallowe'en Invitation Forms.

Send invitations at least two weeks ahead.

Form 1.

Witches and Choice Spirits of Darkness will hold High Carnival at my Home, —————— October 31st, at eight-thirty o'clock. You are invited to be present. Costume, Witch or Ghost, etc,

Form 2.

Miss Eleanor James requests the pleasure of Mr. Charles Jones's company on ———————— evening, October 31st, at eight o'clock.

She begs that he will come prepared to participate in the mysteries and rites of All-hallows Eve., and to wear a costume appropriate to the occasion, representing a character of fact or fancy, one which will not be injured by communion with the spirits of the visible and invisible worlds.

Form 3.


To all political, litenary, dramatic, artistic and historic ghosts, and to the spirits of events, ideas, customs and things belonging to this century.

Fellow Ghosts: You are summoned to haunt the mansion, No.—————— St., on the evening of , October 31, 19—, at three hours before midnight. Appear in costume appropriate to your earthly being, as grave clothes are not permitted.

The spirits of the occasion are Miss ——————, Mrs. ——————, Mrs. ——————, Miss —————— , and Miss ——————

Assemble in the cellar and then rise.

Spirits will please check their wraps.

Ghosts of ideas must be well labelled, or they will be carried out.

All banshees, ghouls, will-o'-the-wisps, genii,and other old-time apparitions, are politely requested to absent themselves.

Astral bodies must be wrapt in more than thought.

Ayes and noes sent in at once, as the Styx ferry accommodations are limited.

Form 4.

Write the following invitation, addressing outside envelope correctly, but inside envelope backwards.

Raey a ecno tub semoc ne'ewollah

Reehc doog dnif Iliw uoy esuoh ym ta revo

,Thgie ot retrauq ta uoy tcepxe ylniatrec llahs I

.Etag eht denetsaf evah lliw stsohg taht naht retal

Hang correct form of invitation in parlor, where guests may see it, as follows:


Hallowe'en comes but once a year

Over at my house you will find good cheer;

I shall certainly expect you at quarter to eight,

Later than that ghosts will have fastened the gate.

Form 5.

Your shade is expected to attend a ghostly gathering which will haunt the house of Miss on the 31st day of October, 19—, at 8.30 o'clock. Come costumed as a ghost (sheet wrapped around body, pillow-case head-dress, mask of white muslin for face, with slits cut in for eyes).

R. S. V. P.

Form 6.

Ye Merry Ghosts, and Goblins too,
Come visit me
On Hallowe'en,
At————, when the clock strikes eight.
And how we'll dance and play and sing
And Fortunes tell
Till rafters ring,
And the clock strikes twelve!

Form 7.

Write invitation on narrow strip of paper which roll up and tack into empty English walnut shell. Glue the two half shells together, tie them into two square pieces of paper, green outside, white inside (squares 8 inches). Place nut on end inside of squares, then gather corners up around nut and tie a piece of ribbon around paper close to nut; turn back corners of papers. To every ribbon attach a card with guest's name.

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Hallowe'en Program.

Hostess should plan definitely her evening's entertainment so that she can carry out her whole evening rapidly and without hitch. No game should be continued after the fun has reached its height.

  1. Reception and Introduction of Guests.
  2. Shadow Pantomimes.
  3. Spook March.
  4. Witches' Dance.
  5. Goblin Parade.
  6. Play: "Clever Matchmakers."
  7. Games and Mysteries for Early Evening.
  8. March to Supper.
  9. Supper and Supper Games.
  10. After-Supper Sports, Tests, Mysteries.
  1. Your Lucky Sticks.
  2. Fagot Ghost Stories.
  3. Fortune Telling.
  4. Games.
  5. Home Tests.


As guests enter house, barn or cellar, they are welcomed by a Shade who introduces them to another Shade by saying: "This is the shade of my grandfather," or, "This is the shade of my aunt," etc. The Shade to whom the guest is introduced conducts the guest to waiting-room and introduces guest to Ghost: "Permit me to introduce the ghost of this room, she died ten years ago," or, "She was murdered in this very room," etc. Each time a guest is introduced there should be a lot of moans, sighs, groans, clattering noises, and raps. Sometimes as guest is introduced, Shade may say when a moan is heard: "There is the moan of my ancester," or, "Your great aunt is turning over in her grave," or, "That is the groan of Hamlet who died from over-eating," etc.

After guests have removed wraps they are ushered into the first entertainment room by a band of Ghosts who close around them.

If the evening is opened with stage entertainment the whole place is kept in darkness, and moans, groans and hisses continue from all parts of the room until guests feel shivery. If all enter into the spirit of the occasion pandemonium will reign.


If Shadow Pantomimes are presented, a large white sheet is stretched across front of stage; at back of stage on floor is placed lighted lamp or candle in front of a reflector. The Shadows move along close to curtain and in front of lamp. The more awful the shadows the better.


Spooks or Ghosts are costumed in pure white flowing draperies. Stage should be lighted with white light; background, ceiling and sides of stage should be draped in black.

Enter Spooks R. moaning, groaning and walking as if lost. They keep heads revolving—front, right, back, left, etc., and arms waving up and down.

When a long line is formed across stage, Spooks face audience, start back, peer forward, point fingers at audience and moan deeply.

Spooks move wildly about in circle, shake heads from side to side, wave arms out toward back, and forward again.

When Spooks see audience again they hiss and moan and move up center of stage in couples, waving arms obliquely.

Spooks move across back of stage in single file to R. and L. corners; rush groaning and moaning from these corners across to stage C, on to front corners of stage with both arms at face level pointing first R., then waving arms toward L. and so on, making awful moans.

Spooks reverse and go back, as they came, to back corners, across back, down C. to stage front, form one long line across stage and sway first R. and then L., etc. moaning and groaning as lights die out, and finishing with awful moans. [Exit Spooks.Lights turned up.]


Music: "Tarn O'Shanter." (Sent for 50c.)

Enter eight Witches riding brooms and dancing around stage in a circle, while constant hissing is kept up as if lots of cats were present.

After Witches have completed one circle, they reverse and go around stage in opposite directions. (Stage is lighted with white light.)

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Witches straighten into one long line at each side of stage with brooms at side. They whiil brooms in air and lines swing into one long line facing audience with hissing sound. (Stage is lighted with red light.)

Witches clump handles of brooms on stage three times and meow. (Stage is lighted with green light.)

Witches whirl brooms in air again; line divides at C. and swings back to sides with hissing sound. (Stage is lighted with white light.)

Witches clump brooms on floor three times and meow. (Stage is lighted with green light.)

Witches drop broom ends on floor and drag them; lines approach each other and pass each other to opposite sides on tiptoe saying "sh-uh sh-uh" in most witchly fashion.

At opposite sides, Witches face back of stage in two long lines and, hissing fast and loud with brooms in air, rush back sidewise to opposite sides of stage. As Witches pass each other at stage C. the hissing should be very fierce. (Stage lighted with yellow light.)

Lines face stage front, brooms held high in air in front. Witches trip wildly across front of stage and around to back of stage, meowing as they go, passing at stage front C. and meeting at stage back C, all the time whirling brooms. (Stage lighted with red light.)

Forming into couples at stage back C, Witches ride brooms to stage C, then, hissing loudly, form one long line across stage facing audience. (Stage lighted with yellow light.)

Witches rest brooms on floor and, holding them still, dance around them by way of R. ; around them by way of L., leering at guests. (Stage lighted with white light.)

Witches move around C. of stage in circle, clumping handles of broom "clump, clump, clumpety, clump," all around the circle; putting brooms between legs, ride off stage with hissing sound. (Stage lighted with yellow light.)


Stage in darkness.

Red tableau light discloses Goblins at stage C, in semi-circle, grinning hideously at audience.

Green tableau light. Goblins take handsprings to stage front, leering at audience.

White tableau light. Goblins open mouths wide, then take side somersaults all around stage.

Yellow tableau light. Goblins bend over and play leap-frog to stage back, then reverse and return to stage front.

Red tableau light. Goblins form in circle and whirl rapidly first R. and then L.

White tableau light. Goblins bend forward and swing bodies to R.. and L., taking funny steps, all around stage to back C, winking as they go. At back C. first two kneel, second two jump over and kneel, some distance away; next couple jump over first couple, then second couple, and so on until all couples have jumped over and are kneeling; then first couple turn and jump over each couple until they have reached front of stage; then they trip around to R. side of stage. Each couple in turn do likewise.

When all Goblins are on line at R. side of stage they put fingers at side of nose and trip wildly around stage in circle; reverse and rush off stage.

[Tableau light powder, in any of these colors, sent postpaid for $1 a pound, 65 cents half pound, 35 cents quarter pound.]



Characters: Mr. Benedict Buckley, diplomatic host.
Mrs. Benedict Buckley, strategic hostess.
Agnes Hunt, their guest and a belle of three winters.
Charley Legree, young army officer.
Everett Evans, the catch of the season.
Owen Reynolds, a confirmed woman hater.
Miss Bruce, susceptible young bud.
Millicent, Marie, Mary, Matilda, and Maud Willowby, five jolly sisters.
Janet, the maid.


Library of the Buckleys' country house. [Enter Mr. and Mrs. Buckley, the latter talking volubly.]

Mrs. Buckley. Benedict, my dear, I simply must insist upon arranging this affair to my own satisfaction. It is, as you know, high time Agnes was well married and settled down. Yes, I agree with you. She is fascinating, but she is also almost thirty, and her aunt says she can not afford to have her on her hands much longer, especially as Imogene is coming out next winter.

Mr. B. Well, but, Cecily, suppose she refuses to be married offhand in this way?

Mrs. B. Strategy, Benedict, strategy.

Mr. B. But, my dear, I have such unpleasant recollections of the last couple you brought together by—er, strategy, you know.

Mrs. B. Benedict, I must beg that you never refer to that incident again. Adelaide Turner was a high-spirited girl, who would have been divorced from the best man living in. a year's time, so I do not feel in the least to blame.

Mr. B. Ah, very well, my dear. What, may I ask, is your plan of action in this especial case?

Mrs. B. [tapping her forehead lightly with fingers]. Let ma think a moment.

[Mr. B. strides about room whistling softly with hands in pockets.]

Mrs. B. [suddenly springing up and placing her hand on his, arm]. I have it: just listen.

[Mr. B. stops whistling and listens attentively.]

Mrs. B. Eating is conducive to sentiment, is it not?

Mr. B. [somewhat surprised]. Why—er—yes, but it depends largely upon what you have to eat.

Mrs. B. Certainly, I agree with you, therefore, I intend giving a little informal dinner to-night. Just five or six covers, you know, and of course both you and I know that to-night is Hallowe'en. [She smiles at him and he takes her hand from his shoulder and kisses it.] We must, however, pretend not to know that it is, until dinner is well under way, because if Agnes smells a mouse—Mercy! what was that? [Gives a shrill little squeal.]

Mr. B. Only the portière rings moving.

Mrs. B. What made them move?

Mr. B. The wind, I suppose.

Mrs. B. [calming down']. Yes, I suppose so. Well, to continue the subject: While we are all at table you must lead off something like this: "Cecily, did you receive the Morton's invitations?" I will answer in the affirmative. Then you must say: "By the way, what's the date of their dance?" I'll say, "The fourth of November." Then you must say, as if very much surprised, "Why, 'pon my word, that's only about four days off. This is the thirty-first, and, good gracious, it's All-Hallowe'en." Then I shall clap my hand? in a jubilant manner, and say, "Yes! yes! We must test some charms." You see, Agnes will be the only girl [she gives a little jump]—I tell you, Benedict, there is something behind those curtains.

Mr. B. [striding over to them and drawing one aside]. You are nervous, Cecily; there is nothing there.

Mrs. B. And of course you must have young Legree and Everett Evans. They are both splendid catches for any girl. And one will act as a foil to the other. I will insist that Agnes shall go around the house with her mouth full of water.

Mr. B. With her mouth full of water!

Mrs. B. Certainly, you dear goose. And we will send Charley Legree or Everett out of another door with their mouths full of water. Each will, of course, be unconscious of the other's presence. Then they must proceed around the house without speaking a word or swallowing one drop of water, and should they meet, that will precipitate matters.

Mr. B. Yes, ahem, I should think so, about as much as a waterspout might, but I don't quite see how that leads up to matrimony.

Mrs. B. Oh, Benedict, you are really too stupid. If you had met me coming around the side of a house with my cheeks like this [swells cheeks out], and my mouth full of water three years ago, what would you have done?

Mr. B. Why, my dear, I surely think I should have run away.

Mrs. B. Absurd. You would have done nothing of the kind; you undoubtedly would have kissed me.

Mr. B. Never! At least not until you had swallowed every drop of that water. [The portières arc pushed aside and a very pretty young lady enters the room and looks amusedly from one to the other.]

Agnes Hunt. Well, you two conspirators, what dark and mysterious deed are you plotting now?

Mr. and Mrs. B. [after an embarrassing silence, with one accord]. We were talking over some business matters.

A. H. [laughing lightly]. Really? Well, I have just come in from making a few hurried calls on the different girls about here.

Mrs. B. [somewhat surprised]. Why hurried calls, my dear?

A. H. Well, I wanted to talk over some business matters with them. [She laughs again.]

Mrs. B. [looks askance at Mr. B.]. Agnes, we are going to give a very small dinner to-night. I'm afraid Gordon is not equal to a large affair just yet. She has sprained her wrist quite badly, and of course it will be rather stupid for you, but then Benedict has asked a man or two; that will perhaps be interesting. You are fond of men ?

A. H. Oh, yes! But [shaking a little bag attached to her chatelaine] you must not expect me to be smitten by their manly charms. I've worn this St. Joseph, lo! these many years, and I'm still "heart whole and fancy free."

[Mr. and Mrs. B. exchange despairing glances.]

Mrs. B. Agnes, dear, do you never think what a delightful thing it is, or would be, to have a husband and a home of your own?

A. H. No, indeed, you dear thing, I much prefer other people's homes and husbands, for they never cause one the least annoyance.

Mrs. B. [in pretended wrath]. I've a good mind to send you home to your aunt at once.

A. H. Oh, don't, dear! I'm so fond of you. Come, let's go and consult Gordon on the dinner question. [Slips her arm around Mrs. B.'s waist and they leave the room together.]

Mr. B. [soliloquizing]. It's all very well for Cecily to ask me to invite those two young fops, Charley Legree and Everett Evans, in order to entertain Agnes, but I'd like a sensible man to talk to myself. I think I'll just step across fields and ask Owen Reynolds to come over for a game of ecarte after dinner. He's not fond of women. [Shakes his head.] By Jove! the one must have been a queen who drove him away from here for so many years. Poor fellow, poor old Owen. [Leaves room shaking head dolefully.]


Drawing-room of Buckley house. [Mrs. B. and A. H. in evening dress enter room and seat themselves.]

Mrs. B. There, my dear, we will leave the men to their wine and cigars for awhile. [Bell rings briskly.

Mrs. B., looking startled.] Why, who can that be?

[Enter maid with several cards on salver.]

Mrs. B. [looking at them one by one]. Oh, goodness! what shall we do? Here are the five Willowby girls and their friend, Miss Bruce.

A. H. Well, the more the merrier. Put all six girls in the attic to try their fortune with the apple and looking-glass, and secrete the two men somewhere to look over their shoulders. I sha'n't miss them—the men, I mean.

Mrs. B. Oh, Agnes, I'm ready to cry. You will persist in upsetting all my plans.

A. H. [rising and greeting six very pretty girls that enter]. Oh, you dear creatures, how lovely you look, and how sweet of you to come.

Mrs. B.[aside to Agnes]. Agnes, you wretch, you have done this on purpose.

A. H. [also aside]. Well, dear, vou wanted to marry me off, and self-preservation is the first law of nature. [Enter the men, in high spirits.]

Charley Legree. Come on. I thought we were going to bob for apples and do a lot of other things.

Mrs. B. [helplessly]. Well, we were, but—

A. H. There was only one girl before, now "we are seven."

Everett Evans. Jolly number—always lucky.

Mrs. B. [aside to Mr. B.]. I'm sure I don't know where the luck's coming in. [Aloud to her guests.] We have not hand-glasses enough to go around, but you girls can take turns in going to the attic or cellar, whichever you prefer, and eating an apple before the glass. Suppose Agnes goes first.

A. H. Ah, ha! No, you don't, my dear. Send Miss Bruce.

Miss B. [sweetly]. Why, I don't mind in the least. [Picks up an apple from a dish on table and disappears. Each girl save Agnes follows suit and the men depart also.]

Mrs. B. Well, Agnes, I hope you are perfectly satisfied with your night's work. Perhaps you will try the water charm [ironically] now that the men have departed and you are quite sure of being safe. Indeed, I think you could walk about the house half the night without fear of being molested. [Fans herself indignantly.]

A. H. [gaily]. Under those circumstances I think I'll try it. It is a lovely moonlight night, so here goes. [Takes up a glass and fills her mouth with water, waves her hand at Mrs. B. and departs through front door.]

Mrs. B. [to Mr. B., who has just entered room]. Benedict, I intend to wash my hands of Agnes Hunt after to-night. She simply won't marry herself and won't let any one else. There are half a dozen eligible men dangling around her, who would turn their attention to the other girls if she were only married. Now just look how she has spoiled this evening. She got wind of our little scheme, and purposely invited all those girls here.

Mr. B. Well, my dear, you certainly can not accuse her in this instance of monopolizing the men.

Mrs. B. Benedict, don't wilfully misconstrue my meaning. You know very well both of those men, if they are not with her already philandering in the garden, want to be.

Mr. B. [laughing softly]. I doubt it, my dear. I just passed the conservatory and saw the heads of Charley Legree and little Miss Bruce very close together; and as for Mary Willowby and Everett Evans, they are walking around the attic arm in arm utterly oblivious to their surroundings.

Mrs. B. [tearfully], There—it is just as I knew it would be. That silly little Ethel Bruce and that horse-marine of a Mary Willowby have deliberately walked off with those two men right under my nose, and I shall have to send Agnes home to her aunt without a single offer.

Mr. B. There, there! my dear. Don't take things so hard.

Mrs. B. Where, I should like to know, are those other odious girls?

Mr. B. I set them to melting lead in the kitchen.

Mrs. B. Yes, and there's that horrid Agnes gone on a perfect witch's dance around the house, with her mouth filled with water, and not a man in sight for miles. Since she is so fond of other people's husbands, perhaps [tartly] you had better go and escort her indoors before she catches her death of cold. [A loud scream causes them both to start up and rim to the window.]

Mrs. B. Merciful goodness! Benedict, what was that? I saw a dark figure rush towards Agnes.

Mr. B. Let me go, I say! [Tries to unclasp her hands.]

Mrs. B. Never. You will be murdered!

Mr. B. Cecily, that girl's blood be upon you if you do not let me go and protect her! [Struggles vainly to free himself.]

Mrs. B. Look, look! [At that points with one finger through the window.]

Mr. B. The brute! He is kissing her again and again! Cecily, you should be ashamed to hold me in this way with that maniac conducting himself so!

Mrs. B. [shaking her husband's arm vigorously]. Yes, yes, but she has her head on his shoulder now.

Mr. B. [giving a start]. Will wonders never cease! Why, it's Owen Reynolds, by thunder! [Claps his leg.]

Mrs. B. I thought you told me he went to shoot tigers in the wilds of Africa because he had never recovered from some love affair. That's just like you men. And here he is kissing and embracing a woman he never saw before.

Mr. B. Hush! they are coming in.

[Enter Agnes and Owen Reynolds.]

A. H. [rapturously]. He has come at last!

Mrs. B. [rather coldly]. Whom do you refer to?

A. H. Why, my St. Joseph, of course. [Pats 0. R. on the arm.]

Mrs. B. Don't be absurd, Agnes. Do explain yourself. First I hear you give a scream as if to rend heaven and earth, and then, after some time, you appear with Mr. Reynolds.

A. H. [leaving her escort's side and going over to her hostess]. You dear, cross thing, Owen and I were engaged four years ago, and then [hesitatingly] we quarreled. Now he has come back and—we've made it up.

Owen Reynolds. Yes, this must be something of a surprise to you, Mrs. Benedict, as it was a very great one to me. [He turns to Mr. B. as if to cover his evident confusion.] I say, old fellow, have you got a dry collar to lend me? I frightened poor Agnes so she—er—half fainted and—er— to my surprise she spouted like a whale, you know, and I got my collar rather wet. What the dickens was she doing with her mouth full of water?

Mrs. B. Why, looking for you, of course. I knew that charm would work. You remember "I told you so," Benedict.


Halloween Festivities p038.png



Hide ring, thimble and penny in room. To one who finds ring speedy marriage is assured; thimble denotes life of single blessedness; penny promises wealth.


Place lighted candle in middle of floor, not too securely placed; each one jumps over it. Whoever succeeds in clearing candle is guaranteed a happy year, free of trouble or anxiety. He who knocks candle over will have a twelve-month of woe.


Float in tub of water a half walnut shell with tiny sail made of a tooth-pick and slip of paper. On paper each one writes his initials and another's; revealing name to no one. Boats are all launched at same time; water is agitated to make miniature waves; those whose boats are overturned will not win their lovers and sweethearts, but owners of boats that override the troubled seas will get their hearts' desires.


Ribbons indicating college colors are hung up; girls or young men are blindfolded, and each picks out a streamer, and so knows what future college husband or wife will have for alma mater.


Cellar-stairs' test is where girl boldly goes down stairs backward, holding a mirror, and trying to catch in it the features of him who is to be her mate.


One bowl is filled with clear water, another with wine, a third with vinegar, a fourth is empty. All are placed in line on table. Testers are blindfolded, turned about three times, and led to table. A hand is put out and prophecy made by bowl touched. Water shows happy, peaceful life; wine promises rich, eventful, noble career; vinegar, misery and poverty; an empty bowl is a symbol of bachelor or spinster life.


Hostess enters with small round pumpkin on old pewter platter. On pumpkin are carved all letters of alphabet. One guest is blindfolded and given a hat-pin, then led to pumpkin, where she is expected to stick pin into one of the letters on the pumpkin, thus indicating the initial of future life-partner.


To foretell complexion of future mate, select three soft, fluffy feathers. (If none is handy, ask for a pillow and rip open and take out feathers.) On bottom end of each feather fasten a small piece of paper; a drop of paste or mucillage will hold all three in place. Write "blonde" on one paper; "brunette," on another, and "medium" on the third. Label papers before gluing them on feathers. Hold up one feather by its top and send it flying with a puff of breath. Do same with the other two; the feather landing nearest you denotes complexion of your true love. To make test sure, try three times, not using too much force in blowing feathers, which should land on table, not on floor.


If you wish something very pleasant to happen, try "touch-stone" charm. Place on a platter seven small, clean stones of same shape and size—six of common grayish color, the seventh white. After being blindfolded and changing position of stones on platter, describe a circle in air three times with left hand, at last bringing forefinger down on one of the stones. Should you touch white one, good fortune is yours.


"Guess Who?" is a game where a suspended sheet is used. An aperture just large enough for a pair of eyes to look through is made. Men are seated on one side of curtain, while women are on the other. Under direction of captain, who directs her company, first young woman looks through opening. Captain of young men arranges who shall have first three guesses. Should he fail to discover the owner of eyes, she steps aside, to be put up again, and thus mystify and confuse her audience. The failure of young man in guessing leaves him without a partner for remainder of game, while successful ones enjoy waltz or two-step after game is finished; or, if preferred, prizes are given, which a man presents to the woman he has guessed.


In this game the seeker for a prize is guided from place to place by doggerels as the following, and is started on his hunt with this rhyme:

"Perhaps you'll find it in the air;
If not, look underneath your chair."

Beneath his chair he finds the following:

"No, you will not find it here;
Search the clock and have no fear."

Under the clock he finds:

"You will have to try once more;
Look behind the parlor door."

Tied to the door-knob he discovers:

"If it's not out in the stable,
Seek beneath the kitchen table."

Under the kitchen table he finds another note, which reads :

"If your quest remains uncertain,
You will find it 'neath a curtain."

And here his quest is rewarded by finding the prize.


"The Baby Show" makes much mirth. Each guest brings his baby pictures, which have names on outside and are arranged on table with numbers attached, and catalogued as in an art collection. Young men are invited to view their future wives and young women their future husbands. They expect to see photographs of grown-ups. However, the guests try to guess whom the pictures represent, and prizes are given for prettiest baby. The teller keeps tally of lucky guessers, who receive for souvenirs rattles, dolls, toys, etc.


1. The dragon consists of half a pint of ignited brandy or alcohol in a dish. As soon as brandy is aflame, all lights are extinguished, and salt is freely sprinkled in dish, imparting a corpse-like pallor to every face. Candied fruits, figs, raisins, sugared almonds, etc., are thrown in, and guests snap for them with their fingers; person securing most prizes from flames will meet his true love within the year.

2. Or, slips of paper on which verses are written are wrapped tightly in tin-foil and placed in dish. Brandy is poured on and ignited. The verse each person gets is supposed to tell his fortune. Place burning dish in middle of bare table, for drops of burning spirits are often splashed about.


Peanuts or beans are previously hidden in every conceivable place in rooms to which guests have access. Finder of greatest number gets prize.


Each person floats greased needle in basin of water. Impelled by attraction of gravitation, needles will act very curiously; some cling together, others rush to margin and remain. The manner in which one person's needle behaves towards another's causes amusement, and is supposed to be suggestive and prophetic.


At one end of stick 18 inches long fasten an apple; at other end, a short piece of lighted candle. Suspend stick from ceiling by stout cord fastened in its middle so that stick will balance horizontally; while stick revolves players try to catch apple with their teeth. A prize may be in center of apple.


A raisin is strung in middle of thread a yard long, and two persons take each an end of string in mouth; whoever, by chewing string, reaches raisin first has raisin and will be first wedded.


Suspend horizontally from ceiling a barrel-hoop on which are fastened alternately at regular intervals apples, cakes, candies, candle-ends. Players gather in circle and, as it revolves, each in turn tries to bite one of the edibles; the one who seizes candle pays forfeit.


Open English walnuts, remove meat, and in each half shell fasten short pieces of differently colored Christmas candles, each of which is to be named for a member of party and, after lighting, set afloat in large pan or tub of water. The behavior of these tiny boats reveals future of those for whom they are named. If two glide on together, their owners have a similar destiny; if they glide apart, so will their owners. Sometimes candles will huddle together as if talking to one another, while perchance one will be left alone, out in the cold, as it were. Again, two will start off and all the rest will closely follow. The one whose candle first goes out is destined to be old bachelor or maid. These nut-shell boats may also be made by pouring melted wax into halves of walnut -shells in which are short strings for wicks.


Cut alphabet from newspaper and sprinkle on surface of water; letters floating may spell or suggest name of future husband or wife.


Sit on round bottle laid lengthwise on floor, and try to thread a needle. First to succeed will be first married.


Suspend apples by means of strings in doorway or from ceiling at proper height to be caught between the teeth. First successful player receives prize. These prizes should be Hallowe'en souvenirs, such as emery cushions of silk representing tomatoes, radishes, apples, pears, pickles; or pen-wipers representing brooms, bats, cats, witches, etc.


Each girl and boy seeks an even -leaved sprig of ash; first of either sex that finds one calls out cyniver, and is answered by first of opposite sex that succeeds; and these two, if omen fails not, will be joined in wedlock.


Let several guests be blindfolded. Then hide nuts or apples in various parts of room or house. One finding most nuts or apples wins prize.


Take water and meal and make dough. Write on slips of paper names of several of opposite sex friends; roll papers into balls of dough and drop them into water. First name to appear will be future husband or wife.


Each one places handful of wheat flour on sheet of white paper and sprinkles it over with a pinch of salt. Some one makes it into dough, being careful not to use spring water. Each rolls up a piece of dough, spreads it out thin and flat, and marks initials on it with a new pin. The cakes are placed before fire, and all take seats as far from it as possible. This is done before eleven p.m., and between that time and midnight each one. must turn cake once. When clock strikes twelve future wife or husband of one who is to be married first will enter and lay hand on cake marked with name. Throughout whole proceeding not a word is spoken. Hence the name "dumb cake." (If supper is served before 11.30, "Dumb Cake" should be reserved for one of the After-Supper Tests.)


Two hazel-nuts are thrown into hot coals by maiden, who secretly gives a lover's name to each. If one nut bursts, then that lover is unfaithful; but if it burns with steady glow until it becomes ashes, she knows that her lover is true. Sometimes it happens, but not often, that both nuts burn steadily, and then the maiden's heart is sore perplexed.


Cut an apple open and pick out seeds or pips from core. If only two pips are found, they portend early marriage; three, legacy; four, great wealth; five, sea voyage; six, great fame as orator or singer; seven, possession of any gift most desired.


Suspend horizontally from ceiling stick three feet long. On one end stick an apple, upon other tie small bag of flour. Set stick whirling. Each guest takes turn in trying to bite apple-end of stick. It is amusing to see guests receive dabs of flour on face. Guest who first succeeds in biting apple gets prize.


Each guest, receiving apple and knife, is requested to peel apple without breaking; then swing paring around head, and let it drop to floor. The letter formed is initial of future mate's name. Or, you may hang your paring over door—the first of opposite sex to pass under will be your mate.


Place four saucers on table in line. Into first put dirt; into second, water; into third, a ring; into fourth, a rag. Guests are blindfolded and led round table twice, then told to go alone and put fingers into saucer. If they put into dirt, it means divorce; into water, a trip across ocean; where ring is, to marry; where rag is, never to marry.


The wedding-ring or key to silken thread or horse-hair, and hold it suspended within a glass; then say the alphabet slowly; whenever ring strikes glass, begin over again and in this way spell name of future mate.


Name two wet apple seeds and stick them on forehead. First seed to fall indicates that the person for whom seed is named is not a true lover.


Make barrel-hoop into a necklace of bread, candies, red peppers and candle-ends, and hang horizontally from ceiling. Set hoop whirling and try to grasp its freight with your teeth. Accordingly as you like your first bite will you enjoy married life.


To know when Cupid shall mark you for his own, place twelve lighted candles on floor in rows of three. Jump over each of them in turn; if none blow out, you will marry in a year. Each candle blown out represents a year, and if all are put out, you can resign yourself to life of single-blessedness.


A tub of water is placed on table. Hostess lights candle and gives each guest a boat made from half an English walnut shell containing taper an inch long. These tapers are of as many colors as possible, so that each may recognize his boat; and when there are not enough colors to go around, the remaining shells are painted. The tapers are fastened in with wax. At signal, each couple lights tapers at hostess's taper and at stroke of gong all launch boats. A witch's wand sets water in motion, and fates are decided by course of various vessels. If your own and partner's boat sail staunchly side by side, the inference is obvious; if they jostle each other, woe for the love, which, however true, does not run smooth. Boats which cross but part way and remain whirling helplessly round, or drifting hither and thither, do not promise successful, well-rounded life; while, if they cling to edge and fear to take their chance, their owners will lack enterprise. The length of time each candle burns foretells length of owner's life; one which burns longest betokens first bride or bridegroom.


Method of Securing Partners for Supper.

Supper partners are secured by drawing lots from two baskets or dishes of English walnuts which have been prepared as follows:

Cut English walnuts open, being careful not to break the half shells; remove the meat and place- inside one raisin, or one pea, bean, filbert, or one other similar thing; tie the two half shells together with fancy ribbon. Make the contents of two walnuts just alike and keep the walnuts apart, placing one in one dish and the other in another dish, making enough so that every guest will have one. When supper-time comes, pass one dish to the men and the other dish to the women.

each man and each woman taking a walnut, and the man and woman whose walnuts have similar contents are supper partners.

When all have partners, they form in couples and march to supper to " Dead March " in " Saul." (Price, 35c.)


Supper should be unique. Fun, good humor, and general good-fellowship should prevail.

As soon as guests reach table, hostess asks all to unmask and be seated. Hostess passes basket of beans and each guest takes a handful and counts them. One securing most beans has first privilege of cutting Fortune Cake at center of table; next highest, second, and so on around table.

Hostess says: "Ladies and gentlemen, I have arranged with great care, as you see, a fine supper. You will confer a great favor by keeping to yourselves the wonders and secrets you discover. Do not let your neighbor know what you discover."


Bouillon, Cream Soup, or Creamed Oysters.
Rolled Sandwiches with Lettuce and Mayonnaise.

Chicken or Lobster Salad.
Cheese Straws.
Mashed Potatoes.

Water Ice (pumpkin- or corn-ear shaped), or Sherbet Glass.
Fortune Cake.

Conundrum Walnuts. Fortune Balls.

Hallowe'en Cake.
Funny Pumpkin.

Halloween Festivities p049.png


Serve bouillon and cream soup in cups. "Serve creamed oysters in prettily decorated paper cups set on cabbage leaves so arranged as to look like flower petals around cup.

Serve chicken and lobster salad with cheese straws on a plate.

Serve mashed potatoes in a large bowl. Prepare as follows:

Allow one potato to three persons; mash and press into a deep bowl; when cold, press into potato a ring, thimble, key, and dime. Each guest takes a tablespoonful of potato. The guest getting ring will be married in a year; the one finding thimble will never marry, the one finding dime will be rich, or will receive a legacy; the key means a journey.

Water ices follow the potatoes. Water ice in pumpkin form should be colored orange color; ear of corn should be cream-colored ice with pistache-colored husks turned back toward end displaying ear of corn. If you do not care for ices in fancy fashion, prepare sherbet glass as follows: Fill glass half full of sliced oranges, pineapples, and bananas; cover with powdered sugar and a little sherry, finish with a layer of delicate lemon ice completely covering the front. Smooth top until level.

Serve the Fortune Cake after ices. Fortune Cake may be made same as gold cake and a ring pressed in bottom after it is baked, or it may be made of bran and water so that it is hard and stiff, and the ring be mixed into it. The whole should be iced on outside so that it looks like real cake. Cake is cut by guest who has most number of beans.

With the coffee are passed .Conundrum Walnuts (nuts with meats taken out and conundrums written on slips placed within, and both half shells tied with baby ribbon), also platter of Fortune Balls (balls made of popcorn containing some line about future), and plate of apples, in center of which are fancy souvenirs.

After reading and guessing of conundrums and reading of future fates, Hallowe'en Cake is placed on table.

(Hallowe'en Cake is made of a series of white pasteboard boxes, pie-shaped, which fit into one another and give appearance of large cake. Each box should be covered with icing and contain some dainty souvenir, except six boxes, and these six boxes should contain one of the following: thimble, dime, mitten, fool's-cap, key, ring.)

Each guest takes a piece of cake and the one who gets ring marries first; one who gets thimble never marries; dime winner will be rich; mitten winner will get mitten from his best girl; fool's-cap will have to wear cap rest of evening; key winner will take a long journey.

After fun has subsided, hostess brings in the Funny Pumpkin.

(Funny Pumpkin has pulp taken out from top and is filled with funny bats, witches, owls, cats, lucky shoes, etc., with long streamers of ribbons attached, ribbons hanging over outside of pumpkin.)

Hostess places Funny Pumpkin on table and arranges ends of ribbons in direction of each guest. Hostess tells each guest to take hold of ribbon. When all are ready each guest pulls gently and gets a souvenir.

After Hallowe'en Pumpkin hostess tells guests to rise, when food, etc., is removed and table shoved aside. Guests stand in elliptical position; hostess requests each one to count from one to thirteen and the next one following thirteen to begin with one again. Hostess starts with "one," and counting goes around by way of right. When all have counted, hostess announces that each number thirteen will be an old maid or old bachelor.

Hostess requests each guest to take five bay leaves from table and when they get home to pin one leaf at each corner of pillow and one at center. Each leaf is to be named for one of the opposite sex; the one they dream of is destined wife or husband.

Hostess has three supper candles placed in window which is opened and shades are raised. She requests each guest to name each candle for a sweetheart, and watch and see which candle puffs out first, which flickers in the breeze, which burns brightly, telling them the one that puffs out first doesn't love; the flickering candle means lover is wavering, uncertain; brightly burning candle means a devoted lover.

Hostess asks guests to go to retiring-room with ghostly attire and return in ordinary attire to room (where fireplace is) for sports.


After supper it is customary to go to parlor or hall with open fireplace, and with low light, pop chestnuts in coals and repeat magic spells and witcheries of the night, or tell creepy tales of midnight experiences, usually broken in upon by laughing, hooting friends, fairies, spooks, who go tearing madly about in hilarious jollification to cause fright.


Hostess stands with two bundles of sticks, one under each arm, with ends only exposed and requests each guest as he enters to take one. The kind of stick—long or short, straight or crooked, plain or smooth, or knotty—indicates kind of future partner. To each stick is attached some article predicting business or style of person.


For Women: Small bottle, a physician; roll of cloth, a merchant; bit of goods with needle, a tailor; anchor, a sailor; flag, a soldier; bit of coal or iron, a miner; bit of earth, a farmer's wife; bits of wood, a lumberman; book, a writer; roll of paper, a journalist; pen, a lawyer; penny, for gold; brass, a gambler; nothing, failure; two sticks together, two husbands or wives; box of matches, to light the fire for your future husband; ball of twine, so he won't get away.

For Men: Comic valentines of different subjects, or small pictures representing gold-girls, poster-girls, Gibson girls, are tied to each stick. Japanese dolls, pig-tail, tape-measure, clay pipe with instructions for use, huge slippers made of canvas or burlap, dressing-gown of paper, dunce-cap, pair of paper suspenders tied in tissue paper with baby ribbon.

(Seepages 83-119 for suggestive styles of ghost stories.)

All may be invited to sit on floor in circle. At center of circle hostess places a table on which is a dish of salt covered with burning alcohol. Then each guest receives a fagot. Hostess takes one and lights it and begins to tell a ghost story. When fagot is burned out she stops. The first person to her left tells a story after she has lighted a fagot and the story ceases with fagot. Stories should be awful, grewsome, ghostly.

(See pages 79, 82 for suggestive fortune-telling.)

Next should come the Fire Tests of chestnuts, etc. Meanwhile hostess has disappeared, and returns dressed as a fortune-teller. She offers to tell fortunes or read character.

Halloween Festivities p053.png



Guests take part, seated in a circle Three Fates are chosen, one of whom whispers to each person in turn name of his (her) future sweetheart. Second Fate follows, whispering to each where he (she) will next meet his (her) sweetheart; as, "You will meet on a load of hay," or, "at a picnic," or, "at church," or, "on the river," etc. The third Fate reveals the future; as, "You will marry him (her) next Christmas," or, "You will be separated many years by a quarrel, but will finally marry," or, "Neither of you will ever marry," etc. Each guest must remember what is said by the Fates; then each in turn repeats aloud what has been told him (her). For example, "My future sweetheart's name is Obednego; I shall meet him next Wednesday on the Moonlight Excursion, and we shall be married in a week."


All are blindfolded and go out singly or hand-in-hand to garden. Groping about they pull up first stalk of kale or head of cabbage. If stalk comes up easily the sweetheart will be easy to win; if the reverse, hard to win. The shape of the stump will hint at figure of prospective wife or husband. Its length will suggest age. If much soil clings to it, life-partner will be rich; if not, poor. Finally, the stump is carried home and hung over door, first person outside of family who passes under it will bear a name whose initial is same as that of sweetheart.


Throw a ball of yarn out of window but hold fast to one end and begin to wind. As you wind say, "I wind, who holds?" over and over again; before end of yarn is reached, face of future partner will appear in window, or name of sweetheart will be whispered in ear.


Steal out into barn or garden alone and go three times through motions of throwing corn against the wind. The third time an apparition of future spouse will pass you; in some mysterious manner, also, you may obtain an idea of his (her) employment and station in life.


A laughable experiment consists in filling mouth with water and walking around house or block without swallowing or spilling a drop. First person of opposite sex you meet is your fate. A clever hostess will send two unsuspecting lovers by different doors; they are sure to meet, and not unfrequently settle matters then and there.


Walk downstairs backward, holding lighted candle over your head. Upon reaching bottom, turn suddenly and before you will stand your wished-for one.


A maid and youth each places a chestnut to roast on fire, side by side. If one hisses and steams, it indicates a fretful temper in owner of chestnut; if both chestnuts equally misbehave it augurs strife. If one or both pop away, it means separation; but if both burn to ashes tranquilly side by side, a long life of undisturbed happiness will be lot of owners. These portentous omens are fitly defined in the following lines:

"These glowing nuts are emblems true
Of what in human life we view;
The ill-matched couple fret and fume,
And thus in strife themselves consume;
Or from each other wildly start,
And with a noise forever part.
But see the happy, happy pair,
Of genuine love and truth sincere;
With mutual fondness while they burn,
Still to each other kindly turn;
And as the vital sparks decay,
Together gently sink away;
Till life's fierce trials being past,
Their mingled ashes rest at last."


Of all Hallowe'en spells and charms associated with nuts, the following is one of the oldest: If a young man or woman goes at midnight on Hallowe'en to a walnut tree and walks around three times, crying out each time, "Let him (her) that is to be my true love bring me some walnuts," future wife or husband will be seen in tree gathering fruit.


Steal out unobserved at midnight; plucking a small lock of hair from your head, cast it to breeze. Whatever direction it is blown is believed to be location of future matrimonial partner.

"I pluck this lock of hair off my head To tell whence comes the one I shall wed. Fly, silken hair, fly all the world around Until you reach the spot where my true love is found."


Walk backward several feet out of doors in moonlight with mirror in your hand, or within doors with candle in one hand and mirror in the other, repeating following rhyme, and face of your future companion will appear in glass:

"Round and round, O stars so fair! Ye travel and search out everywhere; I pray you, sweet stars, now show to me This night who my future husband (wife) shall be."


Each guest in turn melts lead and pours it through a wedding-ring or key into dish of water. Have one person dressed as fortune-teller who tells what the shapes in water mean.


Tie hands of contestants behind. Fill tub with water and on bottom place a dozen apples. In centre of each apple is an initial. Each player may draw two apples. Or each player may try to draw as many apples as he can. The one winning most gets prize. If apples have initials, they are supposed to represent initials of loved one's name.


Hostess usually prepares a set of Home Tests for each guest, and after the evening's games are over gives each guest a set and tells him (or her)to try it at home that night before retirinr.


Take two roses with long stems. Name one for yourself and one for your lover. Go to your room without speaking to anyone; kneel beside bed; twine stems of roses together, and repeat following lines, gazing intently on lover's rose:

"Twine, twine, and intertwine, Let my love be wholly thine. If his heart be kind and true, Deeper grow his rose's hue."

If your swain is faithful, color of rose will grow darker.


To know how any friend feels toward you, do this: Supposing your name to be Katherine Smith, or Frank Carter Parker, write it out in full as shown in Figs, 1 and 2. Under your name write your friend's name, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4. Cancel in both names all similar letters, as shown in Figs. 5 and 6. For the sake of clearness, let us go through the test with the first two names.

K, the first letter in the first name, is not found in "Mary Hallon," so it is left in; A is found in both names, so A is crossed out; T, the next letter, is not found in second name, so it is left in; H is in both names, so it is crossed out; E is left in; R is crossed out; I is left in; N is crossed out; second E is left in; S is left in; second M is crossed out; second I is left in; second T is left in; final H is crossed out. All this canceling gives us Figs. 5 and 6.

Speak aloud one of the following potent words for each cancelled letter:


Figure No. 1.

Figure No. 2.

Figure No. 3.

Figure No. 4.

Figure No. 5.

Figure No. 6.

Halloween Festivities p058.png

Figure No. 7.

You find by this test that the girls love each other and that the boys are friends. Try your names with the names of other friends. Results will constantly vary. Test the names of two friends.


Before your first nap on last day of October name four bedposts, first being "Art;" second, "Science;" third, "Literature;" fourth, "Business." The post you see first on awakening will indicate your future vocation. Should your eyes first rest on post called "Art," many beautiful things are in store for you. If "Science" post is first seen you will acquire deep learning, etc. Be sure not to get posts confused; remember order in which they have been named.


Old friends cannot be too highly valued, but new ones also frequently prove joys in our lives. To know how many new friends you will make ensuing year, count number of buttons on dress or coat of first person the fairies send to your room after twelve o'clock noon, October 31. Should some one enter whose clothing shows no buttons, you will be obliged to rest content for a whole year with the friends you already have.


Stand in front of mirror in dimly-lighted room and eat an apple. If your lover reciprocates your love he will appear behind you and look over your right shoulder and ask for a piece of apple.


If a maid wishes to know whom she is to marry, if to a man of wealth, tradesman, or traveler, let her, on All-Hallowe'en, take a walnut, hazelnut, and nutmeg; grate and mix them with butter and sugar into pills, and take when she goes to bed; and then, if her fortune be to marry a rich man, her sleep will be filled with gold dreams; if a tradesman, she will dream of odd noises and tumults; if a traveler, there will be thunder and lightning to disturb her.


A quaint book of charms, published in 1690, declares that an infallible means of getting a glimpse of future husband or wife is to go to bed on Hallowe'en with a glass of water containing a sliver of wood, standing on table by bed-side. You will dream of falling from a bridge into a river, and of being rescued by your future wife or husband, whom you will see distinctly. This charm is thus alluded to by Gay:

" Last Hallow Eve I looked my love to see,
And tried a spell to call her up to me.
With wood and water standing by my side,
I dreamed a dream and saw my own sweet bride."


Dreams mean much on Hallowe'en, but certain ceremonies must be carefully followed in order to insure the spell. Before going to sleep for the night have some one bring a small piece of dry bread. No word can be spoken after this; silence must prevail. Eat bread slowly, at same time making a wish and thinking the pleasantest thing imaginable. Then drop off to sleep, and your dreams will be sweet and peaceful, and your wish will come true, if the charm works.


Apple seeds act as charms on Hallowe'en. Stick one on each eyelid and name one "Home" and the other "Travel." If seed named "Travel" stays on longer, you will go on a journey before year expires. If "Home" clings better, you will remain home. Again, take all the apple seeds, place them on back of outspread left hand and with loosely clenched right hand strike palm of left. This will cause some, if not all, of seeds to fall. Those left on hand show number of letters you will receive the coming fortnight. Should all seeds drop, you must wait patiently for your mail.

Put twelve apple seeds carefully one side while you cut twelve slips of blank paper exactly alike, and on one side of each write name of friend. Turn them all over with blanks uppermost and mix them so that you will not know which is which; then, holding seeds in your left hand, repeat:

"One I love,
Two I love,
Three I love I say;
Four I love with all my heart and
Five I cast away.
Six he loves,
Seven she loves,
Eight they both love;
Nine he comes,
Ten he tarries,
Eleven he courts and
Twelve he marries."

Stop at each line to place a seed on a paper, and turn slip over to discover name of one you love or cast away. Continue matching apple seeds with papers as you count, until all twelve seeds and twelve papers are used.


Stand alone before mirror, and by light of candle comb your hair; face of your future partner will appear in glass, peeping over your shoulder.

Halloween Festivities p062.png

A Hallowe'en Supper.


Select a round vegetable and cut with sharp knife so as to form a bucket handle on each side; scoop out membrane and seeds; rub outside with flannel until polished; then fill with polished autumnal fruit; set on plate and wreath with foliage.


Soak half a box of gelatine in half cupful of cold water until soft; add one cup of boiling water, juice of one lemon one cup of sugar, one pint of grape juice; set on ice and stir until it commences to stiffen; then fold in two stiffly beaten egg whites; turn into mold; when firm, unmold and garnish with bunch of grapes.


Remove soft crumb from Parker House rolls, then fill cavities with chicken salad, seasoned with celery cut in small pieces, boiled cream dressing, paprika and salt; serve on fringed napkin and garnish with nasturtium pods, blossoms, and leaves, or any autumnal blossoms at hand can be artistically used.


Cut sections from small muskmelons so as to leave every other rib fastened at top and bottom; remove membrane and seeds and fill center with delicately flavored cream; serve one melon to each person, arranging on grape foliage. If preferred, lemon ice can be used instead.


Cream 1¼ cups of sugar, ¾ cup of butter; add juice and rind of half a lemon, 2 cups of flour, stiffly beaten whites of 7 eggs, teaspoon of baking soda sifted with flour, cup of candied citron, cup of blanched almonds; drop in a heart,thimble, ring, and dime, and bake. Ice when cold.


Cream 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons unmelted lard; add 2 eggs, ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg, if cups sweet milk, teaspoon salt, 1 level teaspoon baking soda, 2 level teaspoons cream of tartar, flour enough to make soft dough; fry golden brown in deep, smoking fat. Sugar when cold.


Cut peel into strips after removing white membrane, soak in cold water for two hours; wipe dry. Boil two cup's of sugar with one of water until syrup threads; dip straws in this; lay on oiled paper until next day.


Blanch any kind of nut-meats by scalding them with boiling water, dash on cold water, then rub off brown skin; dry on cloth; mix with little olive oil; sprinkle with salt and brown in moderate oven.


Boil one pint of New Orleans molasses and three-quarters of cup of sugar until brittle when dropped in water; then pour over popped corn; mix thoroughly; press together into balls and place on buttered plate until it becomes cold. A simple prize may be placed in each.


Place two quarts of sweet cider in tall pitcher; add few slices of lemon; just before serving turn in juice of three lemons; serve with straws and use thin glasses. For a cold night cider can be made hot. Cider for this must be fresh and very sweet.

Halloween Festivities p064.png

Ghost Dance.

Invitations: Written on black cards with white ink. Draw tiny skull and cross-bones in one corner of cards.

Invitation Form.

"I can call spirits from the vasty deep."


Your shade is expected to attend
A Ghostly Gathering which will haunt
The house of ————— on Octber thirty-firt
at eight and a- half o'clock.
Wear sheet and mask of white.
All conversation or loving
remarks must be made
in disguised voice
until after un-

R. S. V. P.

Points for Hostess: Inform guests before dance that sheet is to be so draped over head and about body that no one can tell before unmasking whether ghost is man or woman. A good way to drape a sheet is to have one corner cover hair and part of face while the rest is draped and safely pinned about body. Mask can be a square piece of white muslin with eye, nose, and mouth holes cut in. Such a mask can be tied about head, and will completely disguise face. For decorations, see page 15.


Dance Music: Musicians are seated behind white sheets and play weird music only. Dancing before supper may consist of:

Hallowe'en Waltz: Regular waltz; only when one couple meet another they exchange partners. At finish each receives a suitable souvenir.

Hallowe'en Frolic: Hostess asks four to dance a two-step around room once, then each selects a partner from, audience and dances around room once again. After second round, each dancer chooses a partner, and so on, until all are dancing. A table of favors may be brought in, and each guest gets one. Witches, ghosts, skull and cross-bones, etc., are very suitable.

Hallowe'en Lancers (Saratoga Lanciers) may then follow; and, when finished, Hallowe'en nuts (walnuts with kernels taken out, and love mottoes inserted) are given each one with request to keep them until supper, and at proper time read them to guests at table.

Ghost Dance: Each ghost waltzes by himself until he meets another, when he waltzes with him, and so on until music suddenly stops. When music stops, the last person danced with is partner for supper. All form in couples and march to dining-room to "Dead March" in "Saul."

SUPPER (suggestive).

See page 44 for menu, and for directions for preparing and serving.

When all are placed around table, hostess says "Unmask." Results are very humorous, as partner may be sister or chum, or an old lady or old man who under disguise were not discovered, and may have had a fine time.

After supper all return to brilliantly lighted drawing-room, and all ghostly reminders are laid aside. Any kind of dances may follow, Hallowe'en games, plays or mysteries tried.

Lucky Charms.

Some of these charms, with their special virtues, are as follows:

  1. Split chestnut—Good morning.
  2. Amethyst heart—Loyalty.
  3. Owl—Wisdom.
  4. Heather in glass—Eternal love.
  5. Four-leaf clover—Luck.
  6. Scarab—Fidelity.
  7. Antique money—Luck at games.
  8. Pine cone—Preserves from sickness.
  9. Seaweed in glass—Preserves from accident.
  10. Poppy—To forget grief.
  11. Holly—Overcomes all obstacles.
  12. Auvergne bell—Guide in the right path.
  13. Hazelnut—Long life.

These are attached by a little chain to a central ring. The flowers are incased in glass locket, and the others are of silver or of gold in the forms given.

Another set of charms consists of tablets of various shapes, heavily chased in ornamentation and set with gems, the sentiment of which is also engraved on tablets just above setting. These are:

  1. Opal—Hope.
  2. Garnet—Grace.
  3. Sapphire—Truth.
  4. Bloodstone—Courage.
  5. Chrysoprase—Eloquence.
  6. Topaz—Fidelity.
  7. Jacinth—Modesty.
  8. Ruby—Charity.
  9. Jasper—Wisdom.
  10. Pearl—Innocence.
  11. Turquoise—Prosperity.
  12. Amethyst—Deep love.
  13. A wire charm containing in a frame the figure "13."
The person wearing this set of charms is supposed to have all these wonderful qualities of character. The same gems and others as beautiful are also to be had in the rough uncut stones, inclosed in gold wire cages and hung imprisoned on little gold chains of varied lengths.

Your Lucky Birthday Jewel.

If you wish good luck to follow you throughout life, wear the stone belonging to the month in which you were born.


By her who in this month is born
No gems save Garnets should be worn;
They will insure her constancy,
True friendship and fidelity.


The February born will find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they the Amethyst will wear.


Who on this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a Bloodstone to their grave.


She who from April dates her years
Diamonds should wear; lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone
Emblem of innocence is known.


Who first beholds the light of day
In Spring's sweet, flowery month of May
And wears an Emerald all her life,
Shall be a loved and happy wife.


 Who comes with summer to this earth
And owes to June her day of birth,
With ring of Agate on her hand
Can health, wealth, and long life commando


The glowing Ruby should adorn,
Those who in warm July are born;
Then will they be exempt and free
From love's doubts and anxiety.


Wear a Sardonyx, or for thee
No conjugal felicity;
The August -born without this stone,.
'Tis said must live unloved and lone.


A maiden born when Autumn leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze
A Sapphire on her brow should bind—
'Twill cure diseases of the mind.


October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know;
But lay an Opal on her breast
And hope will lull those woes to rest.


Who first comes to this world below
With drear November's fog and snow
Should prize the Topaz amber hue—
Emblem of friends and lovers true.


If cold December gave you birth—
The month of snow and ice and mirth—
Place on your hand a Turquoise blue:
Success will bless whate'er you do.

Halloween Festivities p069.png

Hallowe'en Entertainment.

Send out invitations at least two weeks beforehand.

Form of Invitation.

Young Men and Young Women,
Attend ye Petrer Stout's Hallowe'en Entertainment
144 Southward Street.
Come ye

Prepared to take part in the sports of an Old-time Hallowe'en.

At the early hour of eight on the night
Of the Thirty-first of October,


Decorate back of stage with medallion of Jacob Sleeper and surround him with halo of brooms. Suspend from ceiling above ctage-center, a witch riding a broom. Decorate sides of stage, rooms, and halls with jack-o'-lantern heads draped in black, with blazing eyes and grinning faces. Between jack-o'-lanterns hang chains of bright red apples. Below chains hang cardboards containing appropriate mottoes.


"Keep me as the apple of thine eye."
"A cure for every disorder."
"I am the 'Apple of Discord.'"
"The means of Atalanta's undoing."
"The cause of Eve's banishment from Paradise."

Sometimes ears of corn, tomatoes, and popcorn are used for decorations. Over entrance to room where guests are seated during performance, place a large motto,

"All hope abandon,
Ye who enter here."

Station two Sable Sisters at main entrance to house to receive flowers (two of a kind to be given by each unmarried woman in attendance) and the regular fee for admission, if the affair is for charity, church, or school benefit. (The Sable Sisters are gowned in black from head to foot and have their hair streaming about shoulders and faces.)

As guests enter house they give required fee to Sable Sisters. If married they pass to room where they are to enjoy performance. Unmarried guests are escorted by Ghosts to rooms where Ghosts in attendance request them to remove wraps and to don garments of "The Realms of Shade" (white sheets). They enter hall and are met by Mephistopheles (a man gowned in brilliant red from head to toe), who escorts them to room where guests are seated.

As guests enter room they are greeted with groans, moans, howls, and hisses.


As each guest enters room where performance is to take place he receives a copy of the evening's program from hands of a ghost.

Form of Program.

Robin Goodfellow: A Recitation.

Macbeth's Fortune: A Play.

Ghostly Pantomime:

(a) Seein' Things.

(b) Tenting To-night.

(c) Au Revoir.


At eight o'clock orchestra begins first piece, "A Hot Time in the Old Town To-night."

Orchestra: Combs, tin horns, brass horns, dinner-bells, tin pans, harmonicas, piano, drums.

Orchestral Music (to be played between the part performances): "Sweet Marie;" "The Bowery;" "You Can't Play in my Back Yard;" "There's a New Coon in Town;" "We've All Been There Before;" "Good Night, Ladies."

Performance: With finish of "There's a Hot Time in the Old Town To-night," Robin Goodfellow appears and recites "Robin Goodfellow." After his recitation curtain rises.



By Ben Jonson.

From Oberon, in fairye land,
The King of Ghosts and shadowes there,
Mad Robin I, at his command,
Am sent to viewe the night sports here.

What revell rout
Is kept about,
In every corner where I go,
I will o'er see,
And merry bee,
And make good sport, with ho, ho, ho!

More swift than lightning can I flye
About this aery welkin soone,
And, in a minute's space, descrye
Each thing that's done belowe the moone.
There's not a hag
Or ghost shall wag,
Or cry, " 'Ware Goblins! where I go;"
But Robin I
Their feates will spy,
And send them home, with ho, ho, ho!

Where'er such wanderers I meete,
As from their night-sports they trudge home:
With counterfeiting voice I greete
And call them on, with me to roame
Thro' woods, thro' lakes,
Thro' bogs, thro' brakes;
Or else, unseene, with them I go,
All in the nicke
To play some tricke
And frolicke it, with ho, ho, ho!

Sometimes I meete them like a man;
Sometimes, an ox; sometimes, a hound;
And to a horse I turn me can;
To trip and trot about them round.
But if, to ride,
My backe they stride,
More swift than wind away I go,

Ore hedge and lands,
Thro' pools and ponds
I whirry, laughing, ho, ho, ho!

When lads and lasses merry be,
With possets and with juncates fine;
Unseene of all the company,
I eat their cakes and sip their wine;
And to make sport,
I dart and snort;
And out the candles I do blow:
The maids I kiss;
They shrieke—"Who's this?"
I answer nought but, ho, ho, ho!

By wells and rills, in meadowes greene,
We nightly dance our hey-day guise;,
And to our fairye king, and queene,
We chaunt our moonlight minstrelsies;
When larks 'gin sing,
Away we fling;
And babes new borne steal as we go,
And elfe in bed
We leave instead,
And wend us laughing, ho, ho, ho!

From hag-bred Merlin's time have I
Thus nightly revelled to and fro;
And for my pranks men call me by
The name of Robin Goodfellow.
Fiends, ghosts, and sprites,
Who haunt the nightes,
The hags and goblins do me know;
And beldames old
My feates have told;
So Vale, Vale; ho, ho, ho!
[Exit Robin Goodfellow.]


Performers: Three Witches, Hecate, Armed Head, Bloody Child, Crowned Child, Eight Kings, Ghostly Speaker, Macbeth, Banquo's Ghost, Clowns, Authors, Tramps, etc.


Ghostly Speaker.

[Standing on stage — outside the curtain — left side.]

And now I will unclasp a secret book,
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
I'll read you matter deep and dangerous,
As full of peril and adventurous spirit
As to o'er-walk a current roaring loud
On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

[Curtains open on Scene I., a cavern. In middle a boiling caldron. Loud thunder. Enter three Witches in ghostly attire, leaning on crutches, and with long snake-like tresses hanging about their faces. They move forward toward caldron. Loud and long thunder. Witches look around and at one another and shudder. Then mewing of cat. Again roar of thunder followed by mewing of cat. Witches shudder and shake their heads. A still louder crash of thunder followed by quick and sharp flash of lightning and deep and awful cat-mewing. Looking at sky and in distance, Witches shake heads.]

First Witch. Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.

[She approaches and looks into caldron solemnly shaking her head. Sound of whining of pig. Witches glance hastily at one another and in direction of sound. Again whining of pig. Second Witch approaches caldron and shudders. Other two look at each other and shake heads. Again whining of pig. Witches all approach caldron and each in turn stirs contents with stick, and shaking her head steps back and looks in direction of sound. Whining sound is heard again, and they stand dumb.]

Second Witch. Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin'd.

Third Witch. Harpier cries, 'Tis time, 'tis time.

First Witch.

[Marching around caldron and throwing in things, shaking her head wisely and solemnly; bending over stick she thumps it on floor, saying:]

'Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.


[After First Witch has gone around often enough to complete her rhyme, others follow and, thumping sticks on floor and bending their bodies back and forward as they go, say:]

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron, bubble.

Second Witch.
[Marches around alone, others stepping out and one side. Second Witch does exactly what First Witch did when she went alone. She continues to go round while she says:]

Fillet of a fenny snake;
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

[When Second Witch finishes, others fall in behind her and march around shaking heads, bending back and forward, and thumping sticks, saying:]

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron, bubble.

Third Witch.
[Continues on around and repeats her rhyme while others jail out and stand one side, nodding and thumping sticks.]

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips,
Make the gruel thick and slab;
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.


[At close of Third Witch's speech others fall in and march around caldron, thumping sticks as they go, all saying:]

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron, bubble.

Second Witch.
[Continues on until she says her lines. Others step one side.]

Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

[Enter Hecate to the other three Witches.]


O, well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i' the gains.
And now about the caldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.

[Soft dreamy music, then weird music. Witches dance around caldron, keeping time to music and humming in peculiar manner as they make evolutions. Hecate retires while they are dancing.]

Second Witch.
[Halting and stepping one side and looking at thumbs:]

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!

[Enter Macbeth in ghostly garments. He strides forward. When near Witches he stops, frowns a second.]

Macbeth. How, now, you secret, black, a^d midnight hags!
What is't you do?

All. A deed without a name.

Macb. I conjure you, by that which you profess,
Howe'er you come to know it, answer me;
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches; though the yesty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up;
Though bladcd corn be lodged and trees blown down;
Though castles topple on their warders' heads;
Though palaces and pyramids do slop
Their heads to their foundations; though the measure
Of nature's germens tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken; answer me
To what I ask you.

First Witch. Speak.

Second Witch. Demand.

Third Witch. We'll answer.

First Witch. Say, if thou'dst rather hear 't from our mouths,
Or from our masters'?

Macb. Call 'em; let me see 'em.

First Witch. Pour in sow's blood that hath eaten
Her nine farrow; grease that's sweaten
From the murderer's gibbet throw
Into the flame.

[As Witch speaks oilier two pass around Cauldron throwing in something.]

All [march around saying]. Come high or low;
Thyself and office deftly show!
[Loud thunder and heavy crashes. In middle of caldron, appears Armed Head. Macbeth looks startled.] Macb. Tell me, thou unknown power,—
First Witch. He knows thy thought:
Hear his speech, but say thou nought.

Armed Head [in sepulchral tones].
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff,
Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.

Macb. Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks;
Thou hast harp'd my fear aright; but one word more,—

First Witch. He will not be commanded; here's another;
More potent than the first.

[In middle of caldron appears Bloody Child.]

Bloody Child [yells]. Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!

Macb. Had I three ears, I'd hear thee.

Bloody Child. Be bloody, bold and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth. [Descends.]

Macb. Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee?
But yet I'll make assurance doubly sure,
And take a bond of fate; thou shalt not live;
That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,
And sleep in spite of thunder.

[Loud thunder, heavy flash of lightning; more thunder; in middle of caldron appears Crowned Child, with tree in hand.]

Macb. What is this
That rises like the issue of a king,
And wears upon his baby-brow the round
And top of sovereignty?

All. Listen, but speak not to't.

Crowned Child. Be lion-mettled, proud; and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are:
Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him. [Descends.]

Macb. That will never be:
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
Unfix his earth-bound root? Sweet bodements! Good!
Rebellion's head, rise never till the wood
Of Birnam rise, and our high-placed Macbeth
Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath
To time and mortal custom. Yet my heart
Throbs to know one thing: Tell me, if your art
Can tell so much: Shall Banquo's issue ever
Reign in this kingdom?

All. Seek to know no more.

Macb. I will be satisfied; deny me this,
And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know.

First Witch. Show!

Second Witch. Show!

Third Witch. Show!

All. Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart!

[Enter Eight Kings, the last holding glass; Banquo's Ghost following. As first appears, Macbeth speaks (1) then (2) with the second, and so on, until all have disappeared. Kings are dressed in ghostly garments and crowns.]

Macb. (1) Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo: down!
Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs. (2) And thy hair,
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first,
(3) A third is like the former. Filthy hags
[looks angrily at Witches],
Why do you show me this? (4) A fourth! Start, eyes!
(5) What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?
(6) Another yet! (7) A seventh! I'll see no more:
(8) And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass
Which shows me many more; and some I see
That twofold balls and treble sceptres carry;
Horrible sight! Now, I see 'tis true;
For the blood bolter'd Banquo smiles upon me,
And points at them for his. [Eight Kings] vanish.]
What, is this so?

First Witch. Ay, sir, all this is so; but why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites,
And show the best of our delights:
I'll charm the air to give a sound,
While you perform your antic round;
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.

[Music. Witches dance and vanish.]

Macb. Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour
Stand aye accursed in the calendar!
Come in, without there.
[Enter Clowns, Authors, Tramps, etc.]



This part of the program, represented by the Clowns, Authors, and Tramps in as humorous and ghostly a fashion as possible, is left to the ingenuity of manager of entertainment.


Represented by tent with beds. Soldiers sit around singing. Suddenly all becomes hushed and still. Music of "Stars and Stripes" is played softly, and ghosts approach and hoist before astonished eyes of soldiers American flag that they had forgotten to hoist. When flag reaches top of pole, all sing "Stars and Stripes."


Represented by entrance of Shakespeare, Byron, Tennyson, Bryant, Twain, Kipling, and Swift, who glide about stage in mysterious manner. "Au Revoir" is played, and these authors glide to front of stage and stand. Witches and Macbeth appear and stand between them. All sing "Au Re voir." {{center|[Curtain.]


As curtain goes down Ghostly Speaker appears and says:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors
Were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
All shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.

At close of program, unmarried people are escorted by Mephistopheles to two different rooms. Over door of room for men is large sign, "Enter Men, but Have a Care." Over door of room for women is sign. "May Fortune Treat You Fairly." Men and women enter these rooms and select flower preferred, and meet in hall. Woman and man that have same kind of flower are partners for evening in all games, feasts, etc.


Serve refreshments immediately after play or performance. Following refreshments are suggested: "Fortune Cake," "Conundrum Nuts," "Hallowe'en Pie," "Apples," "Chestnuts," "Fortune Balls," Lemonade. For married people substitute pop-corn balls for "Fortune Balls."

When married and unmarried people are present, refreshments may be served at different tables. In center of table for married people have large cake, without ring. In center of table for unmarried people have "Fortune Cake." Rest of refreshments for married people may be same as for unmarried.


Cut "Fortune Cake" at table after all are seated, the cake at other table at same time. See that each person gets a piece. All are to search for the ring. The one 'hat gets it will be married within a year.

After ring is found, pass the "Conundrum Nuts." Each person receives one. The one at head of each table reads his conundrum and each one at table tries to answer. If answer is not given, hostess gives it. Each person in turn reads his conundrum and answer is given.

When all have read conundrums and answers have been given, "Apples" are passed, each guest taking one. Hostess tells them to eat the apples.

After caps are found and put on, "Chestnuts" are passed. Each guest takes one and person at foot of each table, when mottoes are discovered, reads his. Each one in turn does the same until all are finished.

"Hallowe'en Pie " comes next and is brought in cut. Each person gets a piece.

Next come "Fortune Balls." Each person receives one, except married ones. Married ones may have pop-corn balls at same time. Hostess requests them to enjoy pop-corn. When a guest finds the paper he rises and reads it. Each does so in turn. Lemonade is served as guests are about to pass to kitchen.



One lb. butter, 2 lbs. sugar, 3 lbs. flour, 1 lb. currants, 1 lb. raisins, 6 eggs, 3 teaspoonfuls powdered saleratus, 1 teaspoonful ground cinnamon, ½ nutmeg, 1 gold ring. Beat butter to a cream; add sugar after rolling it fine, add well-sifted wheat flour, well-beaten eggs. Dissolve saleratus in little hot water, add it. Also add cinnamon and grated nutmeg. Wash and dry currants thoroughly and stone and cut raisins in two; flour them all together with the ring and work them all in the dough. Put into large buttered tin and bake in moderate oven.

Samples of Fortune Slips.

  1. You will receive a letter in a few days from your dearest friend. Your life will be smooth and full of glad content.
  2. You are going to marry and live abroad. Your life will have many clouds but will end gloriously.
  3. Your life will be spent in doing good to others.
  4. You are about to enter upon the broad ocean of life. Choose the straight and narrow way and you will be exceedingly successful.
  5. You will be a wanderer. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  6. Sorrow approaches you through one you deem your friend. Tell no more secrets. Be a friend to yourself.
  7. You are not doing yourself justice. Cease hiding your light under a bushel. Show the world what you are.
  8. A glorious future is thine. Gold to burn—Take up thy cross.
  9. Be of good cheer—Thy flour barrel shall never be empty.
  10. Thou shalt win all thou desirest. Be noble, true, and good.

[If preferred, humorous fortunes may be written on slips. They are likely to cause more fun.]


Take English walnuts and cut them apart with a knife—do not break shells; take out kernels and make inside of shells smooth. Write suitable conundrums on strips of paper about two inches wide and four inches long. Roll up slips and put between two shells. Place opening of shells together and tie daintily with baby ribbon. Place them into deep glass dish or in several dishes, to be served at table same as if good nuts.

Samples of Conundrums.

Why is the letter D like a wedding-ring? Because we cannot be wed without it.

Why is a bridegroom often more expensive than a bride?

Because the bride is given away, but the bridegroom is often sold.

Why does a single lady wear mittens? To keep off the chaps.

When is a ship said to love? When tender to a man-o'-war.

What did the girl call the man who took her home under his umbrella when she was caught in the rain? Her rain-beau (bow).

Why is a young man like a kernel of corn? Because he turns white when he pops.

What should a young man carry with him when calling on his fiancee? Affection in his head, perfection in his manners, and confection in his pockets.

Why might it be expected that some men would abuse their wives? Because they are lady-killers before marriage.

What nation produces the most marriages? Fascination.

Why. do birds in their nest agree? Because if they did not they would fall out.

Who was the first man condemned to labor for life? Adam.

When was fruit known to use bad language? When the first apple cursed the first pair (pear) .

What does a stone become in the water? Wet.

What ship carries the most passengers? Court-ship.

Why is Canada like courtship ? It borders on U. S.


Consists of upper and lower crust of dough and looks like any large deep pie. Dish is deep and round. Bake under crust and upper crust. When cool, fill with sawdust and dainty knick-knacks. Have knick-knacks evenly scattered throughout sawdust. Then put on top pie crust and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Knick-knacks should consist of things pertaining to occasion, as witches on brooms, tiny jack-o'-lanterns, ghosts, apples, etc., — souvenirs of the occasion.


Cut out inside of apples and fill in with sawdust, and into center of sawdust put witch's caps made from pretty colored paper. Put plug of apple in top to hide opening.


Take out kernel of chestnut and put in a motto about Hallowe'en, or ghosts, or good luck. Tie daintily with colored cord.


On slip of paper four inches long by six inches wide write fortune of each person. Select things that happen in every life. Have each paper different. Roll them up and when corn is popped and dipped in syrup or molasses that has been properly boiled, put paper into middle of each ball and roll corn all around bundle of paper. These balls may be of different colors.


Take two cups of granulated sugar to one cup of boiling water, and boil until syrup, when dropped into water, makes a soft ball. Stir in popped corn. Molasses boiled until stringy may be used in same way. A little cochineal will make syrup red, a little chocolate will make it chocolate color.


Refreshments should be served by young girls gowned as Witches.


Tall steeple cap with narrow rim and snake coiled around steeple; black bodice with white front (bodice laced together at front); short, full white skirt; long black pointed over-skirt (about six points reaching bottom of skirt); short, white panier overskirt at each hip; black pointed, slippers with big buckles and black stockings.


After refreshments, hostess invites guests to take part in games in kitchen. [See Games, page 49.]

Fortune-Telling With Dominoes.

The room in which the future is to be tested should be of inky darkness, with half-dozen or more white lights set in form of double-three dominoes; and a gown of black-and-white "polka-dot" should be worn by the "revealer of destinies."

The dominoes should rest face down on a smooth table of white marble or oil-cloth. The inquirer seats himself at table, shuffles dominoes, and from them draws five dominoes. From these the seer must concoct a "revelation" of sufficient detail and length. As an aid the following are given:

Double-six denotes receipt of money, will be very rich.
Six-five denotes amusement and success.
Six-four denotes early marriage and much happiness.
Six-three denotes constancy and affection.
Six-two denotes orderly, economical, and industrious.
Six-one denotes will marry twice, rich in old age.
Six-blank denotes will learn of death of a dear friend.
Double-five denotes will be very lucky in everything.
Five-four denotes will marry poor.
Five-three denotes ample means and eventual wealth.
Five-two denotes unfortunate love affair.
Five-one denotes an invitation to an enjoyable affair.
Five-blank denotes avoid gambling and games of chance.
Double-four denotes lucky to lovers, farmers, and laborers.
Four-three denotes neither riches nor poverty.
Four-two denotes a change in your circumstances.
Four-one denotes you will be childless but rich.
Four-blank denotes quarrels and separations, never marry.
Double-three denotes immense riches.
Three-two denotes fortunate in love, marriage, and business.
Three-one denotes not favorable.
Three-blank denotes your sweetheart is deceitful.
Double-two denotes thrifty and successful, moderately rich.
Two-one denotes a life of luxury, but never marry.
Two-blank denotes poverty and bad luck.
Double-ace denotes constancy in love and marriage.
Ace-blank denotes travel in great luxury.
Double-blank denotes selfish, miserly, and heartless.

Ghost-Story Party.

There is no more grewsome and unique kind of party than a Ghost-Story Party. To make such a party successful limit your guests to twelve—six men and six women—and request each one to come prepared to do his part in story-telling. The one that gives the most awful story wins a prize. Each story-teller should aim to make his listeners believe the thing occurred to him. The following stories are suggestive of the kind of stories one may tell.


By Anna E. Dickinson.

One evening not many years ago I visited a friend who resided in a so-called haunted house. Just before retiring my hostess called my attention to the fact that I was to occupy the room in which the most awful sounds of the night were heard. As I was neither superstitious nor timid, I told her I was willing to give the ghosts a trial, and shortly I retired to my room.

The room was a delightful old-fashioned apartment, the open fire, and huge chintz-covered easy chair inviting—I said I wouldn't—yet even while I said so, sat down to read.

I read and the hours wore on.

The book was not cheerful, far from it, but it was fascinating—Bulwer's "Strange Story"—and as the night waned there was something more than the sinking fire to account for the chill that insidiously crept over me.

I could hear the striking of the bell at the town hall. Two o'clock. It did sound preternaturally clear and loud. I paused in my reading to listen. Could the unhappy souls that so many years ago were untimely sped into eternity yet wander about these old haunts of earth to disturb the descendants of their merciless executioners? I pondered the thought and, still pondering, put down the book with its weird characters and uncanny apparitions, and found my way, shiveringly and in haste, to bed.

Had I really been asleep? I do not know. I know a longer or shorter interregnum of dark and silence had followed the extinguishing of my light, and that I had lost consciousness when something wakened me.

Up I sprang with the familiar exclamation, "Who's there?"

No reply, but a swishing sound, soft and continuous, smote my ear in such wise as to make it tingle with anything but pleasing sensations.

"Who's there?" again demanded I, this time defiantly.

Again no answer, but stillness fell for a space.

Softly I got out of bed, and, as well as I could, steered for the gas-burner and the match-safe with intent to cast some light upon the matter, but alas, was foiled on reaching them by the discovery of one headless stick and two burned ones.

The silence continued.

"Sheer imagination," said I to myself jeeringly, and retraced my steps through the room.

Swish, swish, went the noise, and I sat up again—swish, swish, swish.

Rats? No; it was not like rats. No gnawing, no scamper, no patter.

Wind? Perhaps so. There is no accounting for some of its demonstrations. I shook up the pillow and composed myself to sleep once more.

It was no use—swash went something.

I scrambled out this time in dire earnest. A light I must have. A light I would have. There were no matches. I stumbled my way to the hall door, and cautiously opened it. No light. No stir. I shut the door and turned back into the room.

Seemingly the fire had died, but I found my way to the grate and poked at it gingerly, till through the ashes I saw the glimmering hint of an ember, and blew at it till my throat was dry, in a vain effort to light a scrap of paper, dragged from the recesses of my coat pocket, but the letter-paper was harsh and unamenable to fire or reason, and did but smoke and smoke till, through heating and charring, it was gone without consenting to the dawn of a blaze.

The noise had stopped meanwhile, but began again. A soft breathing and a movement like trailing garments. I had no more paper to help me. I must prosecute my investigations in the dark.

For the second time I stumbled to the door. No one there. To the windows. There were four of these, lofty, with blinds within and without. No, no tree branch grew sufficiently near to strike against them. No loose hinge nor ill-hung sash permitted them to waver, no rain fell from the darkened sky to beat against them, but the darkened sky and dreary night allowed no friendly glimmer to penetrate the gloomy recesses of my room, up and down which I navigated, hands and feet both in requisition, with many a halt and more than one threatened shipwreck in a hopeless voyage of discovery.

Nothing but darkness, stillness, and bruises rewarded me. "I am a fool," then said I, with chattering teeth; "My death I shall catch, but a ghost?—no. Let us have done!"

Swash went the something once more.

"Ah ha!" whispered I, with malicious triumph, as I shuffled across the room; "you are there, are you? in the water pitcher? trying to drown yourself? Now I have you!" and I plunged my hand into the pitcher, into the basin, back into the pitcher to its bottom. Nothing there but water, cold and plenteous—nothing found save a wet arm and an additional discomfort—a wet sleeve.

I retreated to the shelter of pillows and blankets, and resolved to give repose to my heavy head and burning eye-balls, though a whole legion of ghosts saw fit to revel in what had once been the abode of some one of their number.

Determination has its rewards. Strained eyeballs and tense head gradually relaxed, frozen body thawed, sleep, with its downy mantle, was covering all fret and fatigue with its blessed oblivion, when—Well, I sat up once more, descended, ran nimbly, for I had learned every step of the way to the grate, and that forlorn hope of an ember. Did it still live? Barely, and fast growing cold.

There were no more scraps of paper, no more letters. Even the match-sticks had been tried in desperation and tried in vain; but there was my pocket-book, and some scrip, or, this failing, a bill of inferior denomination. So the blowing, and the ashes, and the slow dull smoking, slower and duller than before, were repeated, and that was all—save that I was the poorer by some scrip and a green-back or so.

"Miserable ghost!" cried I, the necessity of speech subdued by the reason of the living beings sleeping in near rooms, making speech doubly intense not to say savage—to the being, living or dead, but wide-awake and aggressive in my own room—"miserable ghost, speak or be silent, prance or be still. I will sacrifice to you no more time, no more rest, no more comfort, no more letters, no more greenbacks. I defy you — only, for my own enlightenment will you, in return for the annoyance you have caused me, in ghostly language tell me whether you go through this performance every night, and whether you purpose continuing it till morning? Three raps for affirmative. One for denial. Come! Begin!"

It began, but not as I desired. It was not a ghost to be defied, nor a spirit to indulge in trifling conversation, and it punished my effrontery by going on with its dreary program as though it entirely ignored me and my queries. No light-minded rapping responded, but in its stead, a curious gurgling sound that to my intent ear seemed like the breath of a person dying by slow suffocation.

Yes, it is true; my hair certainly did uncurl, and each particular thread did stand on end with horror. Small, cold claws paced down my back, and marked off each spinal vertebra with painful and peculiar distinctness. My chest was a drum, and my heart a drum-stick that beat a double tattoo with as much ease as though it had been two.

I ceased alike entreaties and defiance. There were no more observations to be made. I would not speak to the inhabitants of my own world, though the vertebra parted, and each hair turned white where it stood. I got into my bed with a desperate determination to remain there, and I remained till morning.

Morning came. There was nothing at the windows, nothing at the door, on the furniture, behind the furniture, under the bed— nothing in the pitcher, the basin—nothing anywhere.

I struck against the porcelain foot-bath, unstumbled against and unremembered the night before, and screamed—in a voice that brought the household to my threshold—over a half -grown, half-drowned rat, that was swish, swishing with its wretched little claws up the concave side of the slippery ware and sliding back into its unwished-for bath of ten inches of cold and mustardy water.

I screamed, but it was morning. My reputation for courage was lost, but no one of that household has known of cause to accuse me of superstition unto this day.

Halloween Festivities p091.png


The ghost about which I shall speak is probably the most blood-curdling and terror-inspiring ghost ever seen; at least that was what my two boy friends and I thought as we came scampering through a field, falling over stones and stumps, plunging headlong into thickets and yelling at the top of our voices.

The way it all came about was this: It was early in June. We had started out in the afternoon to go trouting in the pretty little mountain stream that comes dashing down from the side of the Ossipee range and empties into Winnipisseo Lake at Melvin village.

So exciting had the sport been that we kept on, following the stream far up the mountain, and it was not until near sunset that it occurred to any of us that it was time to start for home.

"I say, Jerry," shouted Bill my friend, "the sun isn't more than an hour high, and there's a fog rising down there on the lake. If you two don't want to stay out in the woods all night, you'd better be making tracks."

"All right," answered Jerry, "I'm ready when you are; but isn't it rough to have to give it up now? How hungry I-am. Seems to me I could eat one of those trout raw; and it will be two hours and a half or three hours before we can get home, too."

"Oh! you needn't eat raw fish. 'Twon't take but a few minutes to cook some."

Dry wood was gathered and a bright fire started. Meanwhile Jack had cleaned half a dozen good-sized trout, and spread them open, placing them on a sort of gridiron made of green branches. Then raking over the fire he put them on the glowing coals. Pretty soon the fish began to sizzle and when they were browned on one side they were turned over and cooked on the other. While the cooking had been going on, Bill had peeled pieces of birch-bark, and when the fish were done he had some clean, fresh-looking, sweet-smelling plates all ready to receive them.

"Now, help yourselves, boys," said Jerry, as he transferred the contents of the rude gridiron to the dishes and seized upon a tempting morsel himself; but dropped it as quickly as though it were a red-hot iron.

"Jerusha, isn't it hot though?" he exclaimed, alternately blowing and sucking his fingers; "guess we'll have to wait for them to cool a little."

In time, however, even red-hot trout will cool, and we boys enjoyed a hearty supper. There was a lack of salt and seasoning, but voracious appetites made up for that. "Now, chaps," said Bill, as he finished his last fish, "it's time for us to be traveling, and we've got to do some fast walking if we want to get home by bedtime; it isn't a very easy road following the brook down; but I'm afraid we'll lose the way if we don't keep near it, especially if that fog comes up here, for then it will be as dark as a stack of black cats."

We discarded our fish-poles, rolled up our fish-lines and put them into our pockets, then, taking our heavy string of fish, started down the mountain. It was a rough path, and as it grew darker and darker we had much trouble in clambering over the obstacles in our way. As we feared, the fog crept up the mountain, and ere we were half way home it was so dark that we could scarcely see fifteen feet ahead.

But the brook served as a guide to our course, and we followed it till we came to a clearing about two-thirds of the way down.

"I guess this is Deacon Jones's field," says Jack, as he comes to the fence, "and I think we'd better go 'cross-lots the rest of the way.".

"I'm a little suspicious we'll get lost in this thick fog; but at any rate it's better than tumbling and straddling around among the rocks and bushes over there by the brook."

We accordingly struck off through the field. Getting out of the woods we found it a little lighter, but it was still disagreeably dark. Through the pasture we went, and finally came to a plowed field, in which the young crop was just starting up. Here the walking was much better. Bill, who was the oldest, trudged along ahead, and we followed after in Indian file.

Suddenly Bill stopped, and in frightened accents cried out: "B-boys; 1-look th-there. Wh-what's th-that?"

Gazing in the direction in which Bill was pointing, we beheld a sight which nearly took our breath away with fright. Right before us—certainly not fifteen feet off—was a most awful spectre—a ghost—there could't be any doubt about the matter; there it stood, a tall figure clothed in white, with great white arms stretched out as though about to catch all three. On its head was a bright sort of helmet, and underneath the helmet a face—not of the dead, but of glowing fire. It seemed to us that the fiery eyes were fixed on us with a malignant stare. We were spellbound with fear.

All the stories of ghosts and goblins that we ever heard rose up in our minds. We were too frightened to speak or even to run away. What good in flight? Cannot the demon, or ghost, or whatever it is, overtake us? It began to move! The long white arms waved in the air as though about to grasp us! The head nodded as though the goblin was chuckling to himself before seizing his prey. He was about to start for us, when, with loud cries, we dropped our fish and started off on a wild run through the field, each, in fancy at least, feeling the awful presence of the phantom close behind him.

Scuttling along in our wild retreat we reached the fence which formed the other boundary of the field, and over it we tumbled in hot haste. As we struck the ground on the other side we were saluted by a gruff voice:

"Hullo, thar! What's the rumpus?"

And looking in the direction whence the sound came, we beheld another apparition, but this time a welcome one. It was old Deacon Jones with a lantern. He was out hunting up a stray cow, and was considerably surprised and not a little startled at the sudden appearance of three boys tumbling over the fence, pell-mell, in such a terrible state of excitement.

As soon as we recovered a little we proceeded to explain the matter by stating that we had been chased by a most awful ghost ever heard of in those parts. "It was at least fifteen feet tall, wore a long white shroud, had a head of burning fire, and chased us clear across the field."

"Pooh!" grunted the old deacon, "you're as crazy as loons. Thar ain't no sich things as ghosts. Come 'long an' find out what it is. I'll agree ter eat all the ghosts on Ossipee Mountain."

We boys were still badly frightened, but reassured by the presence of the valorous deacon we consented to return, provided he would go ahead.

We retraced our steps, and soon Bill, pulling the deacon's sleeve, whispered in tremulous tones: "There it is!"

"Yes, that's jest what I thought; why, ye simpletons, ye've been scart out o' yer senses an' come nigh breakin' yer necks runnin' away from a scarecrow that I fixed up myself ter keep the thievin' crows from pulling up my corn," and the deacon set down his lantern and laughed so loud that the mountain echoes caught the infection and laughed again.

"But his head is just like a ball of fire, and his arms kept waving about, just as though they wanted to hit us," said Jerry, still unable to comprehend the affair.

"Wal, come 'long an' find out all about it," answered the deacon, as he proceeded toward the cause of so much excitement.

"Thar, ye see it's nothin' but an old white birch stub, about seven feet high. I put an old white smock frock onto it, an' I fixed some beech withes inter the arms a-puppus to have the wind blow 'em about an' scare the pesky crows. That wonderful hat's only an' old tin pail, an' the burnin' fiery face that most scart yer inter fits—wal, that's the wurst uv all; why, it's nuthin' but fox-fire, that ye can see in most any old rotten stump hereabouts. Now, jest pick up yer fish an' help me find my cow or I'll tell everybody down ter the village how three smart young chaps got scart out uv a year's growth by an old birch stump."

We boys hunted up the fish we had left in our fright and meekly followed the deacon. He promised not to tell the story, but it was too good to keep, and for many months after three young men were haunted by the story of "that awful ghost."

Halloween Festivities p096.png


In the year 1704 a gentleman of large fortune took furnished lodgings in a house in Soho Square. After he had resided there some weeks, he lost his brother, who had lived at Hampstead, and who on his death-bed particularly desired to be interred in the family vault at Westminster Abbey. The gentleman requested his landlord to permit him to bring the corpse of his brother to his lodgings, and to make arrangements there for the funeral. The landlord without hesitation signified his compliance.

The body, dressed in a white shroud, was brought in a very handsome coffin and placed in a great dining-room. The funeral was to take place the next day, and the lodger and his servants went out to make preparations for the solemnity. He stayed out late; but this was no uncommon thing. The landlord and his family, conceiving that they had no occasion to wait for him, retired to bed about twelve o'clock. One maid-servant was left up to let him in, and to boil some water, which he had desired might be readv for making tea on his return. The girl was accordingly sitting all alone in the kitchen, when a tall spectre-looking figure entered and clapped itself down in a chair opposite to her.

The maid was by no means one of the most timid of her sex; but she was terrified beyond expression, lonely as she was, at this unexpected apparition. Uttering a loud scream, she flew out like an arrow at a side door, and hurried to the chamber of her master and mistress. Scarcely had she wakened them and communicated to the whole family some part of the fright with which she was herself overwhelmed, when the spectre, enveloped in a shroud, and with a. face of death-like paleness, made its appearance and sat down in a chair in the bedroom without their having observed how it entered. The worst of all was that this chair stood by the door of the bedchamber, so that not a creature could get away without passing close to the apparition, which rolled its glaring eyes so frightfully, and so hideously distorted its features, that they could not bear to look at it. The master and mistress crept under the bed-clothes, covered with profuse perspiration, while the maid-servant sank nearly insensible by the side of the bed.

At the same time the whole house seemed to be in an uproar; for though they had covered themselves over head and ears they could still hear the incessant noise and clatter, which served to increase their terror.

At length all became perfectly still in the house. The landlord ventured to raise his head, and to steal a glance at the chair by the door ; but behold the ghost was gone! Sober reason began to resume its power. The girl was brought to herself after a good deal of shaking. In a short time they plucked up sufficient courage to quit the bedroom and to commence an examination of the house, which they expected to find in great disorder. Nor were their anticipations unfounded; the whole house had been stripped by artful thieves, and the gentleman had decamped without paying for his lodging. It turned out that he was no other than an accomplice of the notorious Arthur Chambers, who was executed at Tyburn, 1706; and that the supposed corpse was this arch-rogue himself, who had whitened his hands and face with chalk, and merely counterfeited death. About midnight he quitted the coffin, and appeared to the maid in the kitchen. When she flew upstairs he softly followed her, and seated at the door of the chamber, he acted as a sentinel, so that his industrious accomplices were enabled to plunder the house without the least molestation.


By Carolyn Wells.

[Copyright by the Century Co. Used by permission of Publishers.]

When I first spoke to Gertrude about going down to our seashore cottage to spend Hallowe'en, she treated the idea with scorn. This pleased me, for I knew that she would soon be enthusiastically approving my suggestion, if, indeed, she were not offering it as her own.

I was not surprised, therefore, to hear her, a few days later, telling a neighbor that, just for the novelty of the thing, we were going to spend Hallowe'en at Beachhurst.

"We haven't quite decided," she continued, "but I think it would be great fun, and little Frederick would enjoy it so much. If my husband will only consent, I think we shall surely go."

I graciously allowed myself to be persuaded to consent to my own plan, and then Gertrude invited a house-party of a few friends to spend a few days with us.

The "Woodpile," our seaside home, was newly built, and as it was one of the finest cottages on the New Jersey coast, we were justly proud of it, and enjoyed the prospect of entertaining our friends with a novel and pleasing hospitality.

We arrived at the "Woodpile" two days before Hallowe'en, as there was much to be done.

However, as the servants were capable, though not very willing, and the guests were willing, though not very capable, we soon had the machinery in motion for a jolly old-fashioned Hallowe'en. The first evening we made jack-o'-lanterns and witches, and decorated the house with a determined enthusiasm that accomplished wonders.

Indeed, I never remember working so hard in all my life. I cut and tied and hammered and nailed, and ran up and down step-ladders, until I was so tired that when at last I found myself in bed I fell asleep at once.

From this deep sleep I awoke suddenly and with a jump.

The room was dark, save for a tiny spark of night-light. I looked and listened, but could see or hear nothing alarming; yet I felt an irresistible impulse to rise and go down-stairs.

I was not frightened; I had no thought of fire or burglars. I simply rose and put on my bath-robe and slippers because I could not help it.

For the same reason, I went out into the hall, down the stairs, and into the parlor. This was a large apartment, which was already decorated in Hallowe'en fashion.

As I entered, I was surprised to notice the chill air of the room. I crossed the room, though I grew colder with every step, and sat down in an arm-chair near the fire-place.

There was no fire on the hearth, but I did not select my seat with a view to warming myself, but because I was unable to resist the power that pushed me into that particular chair.

As I sat there, I was cold, extremely cold, but not shivering; the calm iciness of the atmosphere seemed to imbue my whole being, and I sat, silent and immovable, with a half-conscious sense of admiring my own magnificent inanition.

Then the thought came into my mind that I was about to see a ghost. Even this did not startle me.

So when the misty, frosty air gradually settled into a distinct though semi-transparent shape, I knew at once that I was in the presence of a ghost. And then, as I looked with interest upon his ghostship, there seemed something familiar about him. I was sure I had never seen a ghost before, yet that tall, commanding figure walking" toward me with a stately and solemn step seemed somehow like an old acquaintance".

I gazed at the ghost more curiously. He wore a complete suit of armor, of an antique make that appealed strongly to my collecting instincts, and my fingers fairly itched for his wonderful helmet. His face was that of an oldish man, yet his flowing, dark beard was only partially silvered, and his expression, though a trifle sad, seemed to betoken a strong noble nature. Undoubtedly he was a ghost, and a ghost of no small importance, and after waiting a suitable time for him to speak, I concluded to open a conversation myself.

But while I was considering in what terms to address a strange ghost, and what degree of welcome to offer him, the apparition stalked a few steps nearer to me, and announced in a deep, hollow voice:

"I am thy father's spirit,
Doomed for a certain time to walk the night."

And then I recognized my visitor. Of course he was not my father's spirit at all, but the Ghost of Hamlet's Father.

"Hamlet," I cried, "king, father, royal Dane, my! but I'm glad to see you!"

I had not intended to speak in this colloquial way, but I had always felt a warm sympathy for the old gentleman, and somehow it broke through my icy calm.

Perhaps it broke through his also, for he stopped stalking and stood regarding me with a countenance more in sorrow than in anger. Then he said:

"For this assurance, thanks. I would that I
Might say the same to you. But of a truth
Your presence here, at this especial time,
Hinders my dearest plans."

"No! Is that so?" said I, much concerned. "But I'm only here for a week, or ten days at most; can't your plans wait that long? "

"Not so; on Hallo' eve— to-morrow night —
I do expect that there will join me here
A dozen of my fellows — fellow-ghosts,
Doomed for a certain time to walk the night."

"Oho!" said I, "I see;, you have made my house a rendezvous for Hallowe'en, because you thought it would be otherwise vacant."

"Tis so, my friend; and lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold. In vain I've sought
In the Old World a castle or a church,
A ruined abbey or an ancient tower,
Where I and some few spirits of my choice

Might congregate, unnoticed and alone.
At my wits' end, I thought, there's one last chance;
Mayhap, across the sea, the newer world,
With less of legend and tradition,
May offer us a haven, where, in peace
And unmolested, we may work our will."

"Yes, yes, I see," cried I; "you came here thinking the Jersey coast the farthest possible remove from a ghost-haunted atmosphere. But what is your work? What are you contemplating that excludes your fellow-ghosts?"

"But soft! methinks I scent the morning air.
Brief let me be; and yet I ever was
Rambling and slow of speech. I will call up
A comrade spirit; he shall tell thee all.
Ho, Marley's Ghost appear!"

"Marley's Ghost!" I exclaimed. Surprise and delight had now entirely melted my icy calm, and I rose to shake hands cordially with Marley's Ghost as with an old friend. The hand-shaking gave me a peculiar sensation, for though I could see his hand grasp my own and jog up and down with it, yet I felt nothing but a handful of ice-cold air, like an evaporated snow-ball.

All my life I had been familiar with Marley's Ghost, and now he stood before me: the same face; the very same Marley in his pigtail, usual waistcoat, tights and boots, with his chain clasped about his middle; and when he sat down in an arm-chair and wrung his hands and gave a frightful cry, I realized afresh that this was truly Marley's Ghost that I had known and loved for years.

"It is extremely awkward, my dear sir," he said, "to object to a man's presence in his own house, but I will explain our predicament in a few words, and perhaps you can aid us in some way."

"My services are at your disposal," said I, for just at that moment it seemed to me that to assist Marley's Ghost and the Ghost of Hamlet's Father was the only aim of my life.

"We are about to organize a club," went on the spirit of Jacob Marley, "of Ghosts Who Became Famous. Now, you will readily see that such a club should be kept very select and none admitted to membership except those who

are unquestionably famous."

"And myriads there be,"

broke in the Ghost of Hamlet's Father,

"whose natural gifts
Are poor to those of mine; and yet they come
With pomp and circumstance to join our ranks."

"I sympathize with you," I said, and sincerely, "for I know how difficult it is to keep undesirable members out of a club and, without question, you two gentlemen are as the most famous ghosts of all time qualified to judge an applicant's claims."

"That is true," said Marley's Ghost; "but though we are the most famed, others also have won lasting recognition. But they are few. It would surprise you to know how few ghosts have become really famous. Of course you understand that when we selected this house and this room for our meeting it was on the supposition that you would spend Hallowe'en in your city home, and this house would be un-occupied."

"It is indeed awkward," said I, "for though I would gladly leave to-morrow, and take my family, yet I can't ask my guests to go away so suddenly. But stay; I have an idea.You don't want this room until midnight. Suppose I have our Hallowe'en sport Hallowe'en morning. Then if I can make everybody go to bed before midnight the coast will be clear for you."

My spectral guests were delighted with this plan, and, as an expression of their gratitude, invited me to be present at the club meeting.

This was exactly what I wanted, and I accepted their invitation with pleasure.

"You are sure you can arrange matters so as to have this room vacated by midnight?" said Marley's Ghost, anxiously.

"I am sure of it," said I, for I resolved that I would do so, even if I were obliged forcibly to eject my guests.

"Swear! " said the Ghost of Hamlet's Father, in his stagey way.

"I swear it," I said earnestly.

As there were no cocks to crow down at the seashore, I wondered if my guests would know when to depart; but even as I wondered, they disappeared slowly, like a dissolving view, and I was left alone.

I returned to my bed, and lay there, thinking how I should persuade Gertrude to consent to deferring the celebration as I wished.

But it was not difficult. She readily agreed that the fun would be much greater on Hallowe'en morning, for then our baby boy could enjoy it, too—a pleasure which would be denied him at night.

On Hallowe'en, then, I hurried every one off to bed well before midnight; and when the clock struck twelve I arose, earnestly hoping that every one else in the house was asleep. I softly descended the stairs, feeling again that impelling force, but by no means inclined to resist it.

When I entered the parlor it was quite dark, save for the semi-luminous presence of several ghosts.

I at once recognized the Ghost of Hamlet's Father, who was stalking up and down. Marley's Ghost was talking to three other spirits.

The Ghost of Hamlet's Father seemed too preoccupied to pay much attention to me, but Marley's Ghost was exceedingly polite, and told me who the various phantoms were.

"That," said he, pointing to a tall, gloomy specter, "is Banquo's Ghost; and this" —indicating another, in hunts- man's garb—"is Herne the Hunter."

Caesar's Ghost I recognized for myself, and the noble figure, in its Roman drapery, must have thrilled Brutus when it appeared to him before the battle of Philippi.

The Headless Horseman seemed to be one of the most important ghosts, and the Hessian trooper looked especially weird as he carried his lioad under his arm, and often carelessly left it lying around on a chair or table.

The Skeleton in Armor rattled about with a good deal of dignity. He wasn't as ghostly looking as the others, but he was quite as ghastly.

Suddenly eleven spirits entered at once.

"Who are they? " I whispered to Marley's Ghost.

"Those are the various ghosts," he replied, "which appeared to King Richard III. when he was in his tent in Bosworth Field. Of course you recognize the Tower Princes."

"Yes," said I, looking at the misty shapes of two beautiful children, who were like and yet unlike the familiar picture of them.

Queen Anne, too, I knew, and King Henry VI., but Buckingham, Clarence, and the others were to me simply picturesque phantoms, and I did not know which was which.

Marley's Ghost answered my questions politely, but I could see his attention was otherwise attracted, and he was covertly listening to a controversy which was going on between the Ghost of Hamlet's Father and the Headless Horseman.

"What is the trouble? " said I.

"The trouble is," replied Marley's Ghost, "that there are three ghosts who want to belong to the club, and Hamlet doesn't want them. He thinks they aren't sufficiently famous; and as, when the club is formed, Hamlet will doubtless be elected president, of course his opinion must be considered. But the Headless Horseman thinks these doubtful members should come in."

"Who are they?" I asked.

"There they stand," said Marley's Ghost, pointing to three phantom figures that stood apart from the rest.

Two seemed to be companions—a tall, erect man, with close-curling red hair and queer red whiskers, and a woman in black, pale, and with a dreadful face.

The other ghost stood alone, and seemed rather morose and dejected, though apparently the spirit of a well-to-do gentleman.

"Those two together," said Marley's Ghost, "are Peter Quint and Miss Jessel."

"And who are they?" said I.

"Ah, you don't know! " said Marley's Ghost, with an air of satisfaction. "That strengthens my opinion that they are not famous; and yet they claim that they are well known in literary circles. They are characters in Henry James's 'The Two Magics.'"

"Never read it," said I; "but of course they're not famous at all, compared with you and old Hamlet."

"No," said Marley's Ghost, and he might be pardoned for clanking his chain a little ostentatiously, "but then, of course, they're younger. A hundred years hence, perhaps—"

"Yes," said I, "perhaps. And now, who is the dissatisfied-looking gentleman near them?"

"That," said Marley's Ghost, "is Tomlinson."

"Ah," said I, "Kipling's Tomlinson. I know him."

"Yes?" And do you call him famous?"

"It's so hard to say," I answered. "To my mind, he is worthy of fame, but many readers do not agree with me. And he, too, is young."

"Yes," said Marley's Ghost, "but I was famous when very young. Why, the ghost of Nell Cook and the Drummer of Salisbury Plain in the 'Ingoldsby Legends,' or even 'Gilbert's Phantom Curate,' are better known than they."

"Yes," said I, thoughtfully, "or the extremely up-to-date ghosts of Frank R. Stockton, John Kendrick Bangs, and F. Marion Crawford."

The discussion became more general, and soon all the ghosts were arguing the question of "What is fame?" Peter Quint loudly asserted his claims on the ground that his author was the most famous of living novelists. "That may be," said Marley's Ghost, "but I am personally acquainted with a living gentleman who says he never read 'The Two Magics.'"

"Pooh!" said the Ghost of Peter Quint, "fame does not necessarily imply popularity. Because it was not one of the six best -selling books is no reason why the book I am in should not be considered famous. My author would scorn to be popular, but all the world calls him famous. Therefore, I am famous."

"'Infamous' would describe them better," growled the Headless Horseman. He was sitting near me at the time, but as his head was lying on a window-seat across the room, the voice came from there, and the effect was extremely weird. Tomlinson's principal claim was also on his author's reputation, and Marley's Ghost sagaciously opined that "after a hundred years he, too, perhaps—" Most of the ghosts were slow of thought and deliberate of speech, and the consequence was that they hadn't begun to organize their club, but were still mulling over the question of "What makes one famous? " when I heard footsteps in the room above, and knew that Gertrude had arisen.

Then I heard other footsteps of a childish, pattering nature, and I realized that my son and heir was already awake and would soon descend. Here was a predicament. If Gertrude or Baby Frederick should see these ghostly visitors they would faint and yell respectively. But how could I induce the club to adjourn?

I explained my difficulty to the Ghost of Queen Anne, who, being a woman, might have sympathy for Gertrude and the child.

But she only said, with an air of finality:

"Ghosts never depart until cockcrow."

At this I was in despair, for, as I have said, there were no cocks at Beachhurst. The situation was desperate. Already I could hear Gertrude and little Frederick on the stairs.

I thought of appealing to the Ghost of Hamlet's Father, but he was in the midst of a resounding speech in blank verse, and I felt sure he would not even notice me. Marley's Ghost was talking to the Skeleton in Armor, and by the clanking chains and the rattling bones I knew they were having a fierce argument, and I could not hope to gain their attention. The footsteps sounded farther down the stairs.

In despair I cast my eyes about, and saw a mechanical rooster. With a sudden inspiration I seized the toy and wound it up, and a loud and very natural crow was the result.

There was a swishing sound, a final clanking and rattling, and in an instant every ghost had disappeared.


I live with Catchings and Hopkins, two other newspaper men. We have the fifth flat in a large six-story house.

Until last Friday every flat in the house was occupied. We have lived here for more than a year, but knew the name of but one other tenant, a Miss Russell, an actress, who occupied the fourth flat. Although we knew her name, none of us had ever seen her.

My work keeps me at the office until 2 o'clock in the morning. One morning as I came home I met the janitor going out for Miss Russell's physician. She had fallen ill. Several times after that, one or other of us met the physician coming to the house or just going away, and gradually we fell into the habit of asking the janitor about Miss Russell's condition. At first she seemed to respond readily to treatment, but there came a time when the janitor or the physician could not report any change, either for better or worse.

"Just about the same, sir," the janitor would say when I asked him. "She doesn't seem to get on."

For about four weeks now an unusual series of events has been keeping all three of us out of the house for two or three hours more than customary at night. Several times it has happened that although I did not get home until 4 o'clock in the morning I was the first one in. I distinctly remember that it was so on Saturday three weeks ago. I had been reading a book which puzzled and interested me in no small degree. After I had eaten my supper, I sat in the parlor smoking my pipe, finishing a baffling chapter.

I was aroused from my absorption in the book by sudden and violent banging of the door between kitchen and dining-room. For a few seconds I sat still, thinking that one of the other boys had come in and had slammed the door by accident. But I heard no one move, nor, indeed, was there another sound until, without warning, the slamming of the door was repeated. Then I arose quickly, put down my book, and went swiftly into the dining-room, turning up the gas in the hall as I passed.

The dining-room was empty. The supper things stood exactly as I had left them, and the kitchen door was shut as usual. I opened it and passed through the kitchen. Nothing seemed amiss, and I lit the gas for a closer inspection. Everything was in its place, and the door into the storeroom was locked according to custom. I unlocked it and looked in. Nothing had been disturbed. I turned the light full on in the dining-room and went back to my book. It was closed, and lying on the corner of the piano. I had left it open, on a chair.

It was very curious, whatever this was that was happening, and it distracted my attention from the book for several minutes, but at last the book held me captive again. I do not know how long I sat absorbed in reading, but I became suddenly conscious that the room was cold. Then I felt a soft draught. I put down the book and went to the hall. It was dark. The light was out.

I was certain that I had left it turned well up, and I went to see what was the matter. Before I reached it the kitchen door was shut again with a thundering bang, and I saw that the dining-room also was in darkness. I put a match to the gas-jet in the hall and went into the dining-room. One of the windows I had left shut and fastened had been thrown half-way up and the heavy iron shutters were wide open. Just then Catchings and Hopkins came in.

"What's the matter, Seagrave?" Hopkins called out. "You've got the house as cold as a barn."

"If you will tell me what is the matter," I replied, "you will solve a very pretty puzzle."

Then I told them what had occurred. They laughed a raucous laugh that was not pretty. Nor was it expressive of belief.

"Pipe dreams," said Catchings, reassuringly, to Hopkins.

"He's been smoking. Where did you get it, Seagrave?"

I did not answer, but refastened the shutters securely and latched the window shut. After that I went to bed. I had had enough to set me thinking and was in no mood for sport or badinage. I left them sitting at the table and joking about what I had said.

For three nights nothing happened. Then, on Wednesday, Catchings got home first. It was about half-past 3 o'clock when he finished his supper and went into the parlor to smoke. I came at 4 and found him standing, white-faced and excited, in the hall, with every room in the house dark.

"I can't keep 'em lighted," he whispered, pointing to a gas jet. "Something turns them out."

"Oho!" said I. "Have you had a pipe dream? Where did you get the dope?"

"As God made me," he answered, "it's the truth."

As he said it the door between the kitchen and the dining-room smashed against its jamb with a crash that sent a shiver through the whole house and brought a man from the flat overhead out into the hall, demanding to know what was the matter.

Well, Catchings was satisfied, but Hopkins still laughed, and told long tales of things he had read of sendings and magic in the East.

"We have to do with neither sendings nor magic," replied Catchings. "Life is too short to be wasted in investigating such phenomena. I prefer to let others hold up the hands of science and go myself where such things are not."

"Don't get nervous, old man," said Hopkins. "Stay at least until it has given me a chance."

There was a week of quiet. Every night Hopkins hurried through his work to be the first one home, but it was not until last Thursday a week ago that he got his wish.

Catchings and I got home together, just before 4 o'clock. Hopkins was in the bath-room. It was a position of vantage, he said, from which he could observe the operations on both sides of him. Something had been playing hockey in the hall with the blue Chinese porcelain umbrella-jar. The game had been going on, Hopkins declared, for fully a quarter of an hour when we interrupted it. The jar would be rolled tumultuously down the hall and bring up with a deafening crash against an open door. Then the dining-room door into the kitchen would hammer out a thunderous applause, and the jar would go tumbling back again along the hall, to stop with a shivering smash at the open parlor door. So he told it. When we got in the house was quiet and the umbrella-jar stood peacefully erect and whole in its placid niche by the hat-rack.

I do not comprehend such things. I do not understand how hat-racks, and doors, and umbrella-jars, and gas-jets, made out of metals which have been inanimate, as we know animation, for years, can suddenly develop the attributes of life and attain voluntary motion.

I do not like such things as have been happening in our house, and I proposed that we move. Catchings agreed, but Hopkins said wait. He is of an investigating frame of mind, and he was not satisfied. So we waited.

On Tuesday of last week we all got home at the same time and sat down together to our supper. We had been sitting for perhaps fifteen minutes when the noise came. It was the tremendous slamming of the door into the kitchen. Hopkins, who specially desired the investigation, fairly leaped out of his chair. Catchings, who most wanted to avoid it, did not show by the movement of a muscle that he had heard the noise. As for me, I sat still, but that was because I had a reason. For I sat facing the kitchen door, and at the very moment it was slammed I happened to be looking directly at it. It had not moved the smallest fraction of an inch, but the noise it made was like the report of a ducking gun on Great South Bay.

When I said that the door had not moved Hopkins declared that I was cross-eyed and could not see. We examined it and found it solidly locked. Then Hopkins asserted that it was the door from the kitchen into the store-room that had slammed. We examined that. It was shut and locked. To determine accurately whether motion accompanied the noise or not we sealed up the windows and the doors from the storeroom to the dining-room door into the private hall and retired into the parlor for consultation and the consolation of tobacco. There followed a riot in the rear of our apartment, but we paid no attention to it. After a while the doors got tired and stopped for a rest. Then we went out. We broke every seal as we went along and we shot back every bolt. Not a seal or a bolt had been disturbed.

"The demonstration is satisfactory," said Hopkins, finally.

"As far as I am concerned the investigation is closed. Suppose we go house-hunting to-morrow."

This was, as I said, on Tuesday of last week. We did not find a place that suited us on Wednesday or Thursday, but the house was quiet on both nights. On Friday morning we all got in together soon after 3 o'clock. We were sitting in the parlor discussing the difficulties of moving when there was a soft knock at our door. Catchings answered it. Hopkins and I heard him open the door and then there was a pause. Then we heard Catchings say something, but it was in a voice so low that we could not distinguish his words.

"What is it, Jack?" asked Hopkins.

Catchings made no reply to us, but we heard him say distinctly, "I think you have made a mistake, madam."

Hopkins and I jumped up and went down the hall together. As we passed the gas-burner, I turned the light on full. Looking over Catchings 's shoulder I saw standing in the doorway a woman perhaps 25 years old. She was in her night robe and her long, glossy black hair hung thickly over her shoulders. Her hands were clasped in front of her. Her face was absolutely without color, and her eyes, big, round, and deep black, were staring straight over our heads up the hall.

"What is it, Jack?" Hopkins asked again, as we reached the door. "What does she want?"

"I don't know," replied Catchings. "She doesn't say."

Then addressing the woman he said again: "I think you have made a mistake, madam."

She did not move a muscle. I was staring at her with all my eyes and I could not see her even breathe. Then Hopkins asked, and I remember feeling that his voice was rough and harsh.

"Madam, what is it you want?"

Her expression never changed, and I who was watching her as intently as it is given to a human being to watch, I swear that her lips did not move, but she answered clearly and distinctly, although in a voice that was like a sigh of the darkness on a country road in the summer when the night has been holding its breath by the hour, and she said:

"Is Miss Russell here?"

"Ah," exclaimed all three of us together, and with intonation of relief, "you have made a mistake. Miss Russell lives on the floor below."

"Oh!" she said, and turned about in the hall as if to go down stairs. Hopkins stepped out to turn up the hall-light, but before he reached it that happened which froze him to the spot where he stood. The woman turned slowly. Then she went swiftly down the. seven steps of the upper half of the flight, and instead of turning at the midway landing to go on down she went straight through the end wall of the house and out of sight.

"She's fallen!" I cried, and down the stairs we leaped together. For one wild instant we all thought perhaps we had not seen aright, and that she had pitched over the balustrade into the open hallway. To the bottom we raced and back again, and saw nothing more than a frightened mouse scampering to its hole in the corner. There was our door wide open, and the gas-jet flaring up, and the end wall sound and whole where the woman went through. We went into the parlor and faced one another without speech, and the silver chime of the clock on the mantel struck four.

As we went out in the morning after breakfast we met the janitor in the hall.

"How is Miss Russell to-day? " asked Catchings.

"She died, sir, at 4 o'clock this morning," answered the man. He took a photograph out of his pocket and showed it to us. "She was a handsome girl, sir," he said.

It was a photograph of the woman who went through the wall.


Professor Hermann V. Hilprecht, of the University of Pennsylvania, had charge of the excavations at Nippur.

One Saturday evening, about the middle of March, 1893, he had been wearying himself, as he had done so often in the weeks preceding,, in the vain attempt to decipher two small fragments of agate which were supposed to belong to the finger-rings of some Babylonian. The labor was much increased by the fact that the fragments presented remains only of characters and lines, and that dozens of similar fragments had been found in the ruins of the Temple of Bel at Nippur, with which nothing could be done; that in this case, furthermore, he had never had the originals before him, but only a hasty sketch made by one of the members of the expedition sent by the University of Pennsylvania to Babylonia.

He could not say more than that the fragments, taking into consideration the place in which they were found and the peculiar characteristics of the cuneiform characters preserved upon them, sprang from the Cassite period of Babylonian history {circa 1 700-1 140 B.C.); moreover, as the first character of the third line of the first fragment seemed to be KU, he ascribed the fragment, with an interrogation point, to King Kurigalzu, while he placed the other fragment as unclassifiable with other Cassite fragments upon a page of his book where he published the unclassifiable fragments. The proofs already lay before him but he was far from satisfied. The whole problem passed yet again through his mind that March evening before he placed his mark of approval under the last correction in the book. Even then he had come to no conclusion. About midnight, weary and exhausted, he went to bed and was soon in deep sleep. Then he dreamed the following remarkable dream:

A tall, thin priest of the old pre-Christian Nippur, about forty years of age and clad as a simple abba, led him into the treasure-chamber of the temple, on its southwest side. He went with him into a small, low-ceiled room, without windows, in which there was a large wooden chest, while scraps of agate and lapis-lazuli lay scattered on the floor. Here he addressed him as follows:

"King Kurigalzu (circa 1300 B.C.) once sent to the Temple of Bel, among other articles of agate and lapis-lazuli, an inscribed votive cylinder of agate. Then we priests suddenly received the command to make for the statue of the God Ninib a pair of ear-rings of agate. We were in great dismay, since there was no agate as raw material at hand. In order to execute the command there was nothing for us to do but to cut the votive cylinder into three parts, thus making three rings, each of which contains a portion of the original inscription. The first two rings served as ear-rings for the statue of the god; the two fragments which have given you so much trouble are portions of them. If you put the two together you will have confirmed my words. But the third ring you have not yet found in the course of your excavations, and you will never find it."

With this the priest disappeared. He awoke at once and immediately told his wife the dream, that he might not for-x get it. Next morning—Sunday—he examined the fragment? once more in the light of these disclosures, and to his astonishment, found all the details of his dream precisely verified in so far as the means of verification were in his hands. The original inscription on the votive cylinder read: "To the God Ninib, son of Bel, his lord, has Kurigalzu, pontifex of Bel, presented this."


Mrs. P. was married in 1867 and lived happily for two years, when her husband became greatly depressed in spirits and his health began to fail. Something seemed to be preying on his mind, but all inquiries failed to elicit more than the reply that there was "nothing the matter with him, and that his wife was 'too fanciful.'" Things continued in this way until Christmas, 1869. The husband and wife went upstairs to their chamber early, about 9.30, and the husband went immediately to bed. Their baby girl, however, usually awoke about this time and after drinking some warm milk would sleep for the rest of the night. As she was still sleeping Mrs. P. lay down on the outside of the bed, wrapped in her dressing-gown, waiting for her to wake and thinking over the arrangements for the following day. The door was locked and the lamp was burning brightly on a chest of drawers at the opposite side of the room. Suddenly she saw standing at the foot of the bed, between her and the light, the figure of a man dressed in naval uniform and wearing a peaked cap pulled down over his eyes. As his back was to the light his face was in the shadow. She spoke to her husband, saying, "Willie, who- is this?" Mr. P. turned and looked in astonishment at the strange visitor, crying out, "What on earth are you doing here, sir?" The apparition slowly drew itself erect and said in a commanding but very reproachful voice, "Willie! Willie!" The husband immediately sprang out of bed and moved toward the figure as if to attack it, when it moved quietly away in the opposite direction from the door and disappeared as it were into the wall. As it passed the lamp a deep shadow fell upon the room, as if a material person had intervened between the light and the spectators. Mr. P. instantly took the lamp and unlocking the door made a thorough search of the house. When he came back he informed his wife that the apparition was that of his father, who had been dead fourteen years. Early in life he had been in the navy, but his son had only once or twice seen him in his uniform. Mrs. P. had never seen her husband's father. Later Mr. P. became very ill and revealed the fact that he had been on the eve of acting upon the advice of evil associates, and had, indeed, already done some things which later brought sorrow to the family, when his father's warning voice had called him back from the brink of the precipice. Mr. P. confirms his wife's narrative in all particulars.


By Eben E. Rexford.

Lem' me see. 'Twas in the year i860. I was jest begin, nin' my work on this road that year. I'd been on a road out West, but a friend got me the position here that I've kep' ever sence.

It was a rainy, disagreeable day when the affair I'm goin' to tell you about happened. Jest one o' them days that makes a feller feel blue in spite of himself, an' he can't tell why, neither, 'less he lays it all to the weather.

I don't know what made me feel so, but it seemed as if there was danger ahead ever after we left Wood's Station. An' what made it seem so curious was that the feelin' o' danger come on me all to once. It was jest about four o'clock, as near as I can tell. Anyway, jest about the time when the down express must have got safely by the place where what I'm goin' to tell you about happened, I was a-standin' with one hand on a lever, a-lookin' ahead through the drizzlin' rain, feelin' chilly an' kinder downhearted, as I've said, though I didn't know why, when all of a sudden, the idea come to me that somethin' was wrong somewhere. It took hold o' me an' I couldn't git red of it, nohow.

It got dark quite eariy, on account o' the fog an' the rain; it was dark as pitch afore we left Holbrook, which was the last station we passed afore we come to the place where I see the ghost.

"I never felt so queer in my life afore," said Jimmy, the fireman, to me, all of a sudden.

As I was feelin' queer myself, he kinder startled me, a savin' what he did.

"Why! What d'ye mean? " said I, without lettin' on that I felt uneasy myself.

"Don' know," answered Jimmy; "can't tell how I do feel, on'y as if suthin' was goin' to happen."

That was jest it! I felt the same thing, an' I told him so, an' we talked about it till we both got very fidgety.

There's a purty sharp curve about twenty miles from Holbrook. The road makes a turn around a mountain, an' the river runs below ye, about forty feet, or sech a matter. It is a pokerish lookin' place when you happen to be goin' over it an' think what 'ud be if the train should pitch over the bluff inter the river.

Wall, we got to the foot o' the mountain just where the curve begins. The light from the head-lamp lit up the track and made it bright as day, about as fur as from me to the fence yonder, ahead o' the engine. Outside o' that spot, all was dark as you ever see it, I'll bet.

All to once I see suthin' right ahead, in the bright light. We allers run slow around this curve, so I could see distinct. My hair riz right up, I tell ye, fer what I see was a man a-stand-in' right in the middle o' the track, a-wavin' his hands; an' I grabbed hold o' the lever an' whistled down brakes, an' stopped the train as fast as ever I could, fer ye see I thought 'twas a live man. An' Jimmy he see it, too, an' turned round to me with an awful scart face, fer he thought sure he'd be run over.

But I began to see 'twan't any flesh-and-blood man afore the train come to a stop, fer it seemed to glide right along over the track, keepin' jest about so fer ahead of us all the time.

"It's a ghost," cried Jimmy, a grabbin' me by the arm. "You can see right through him."

An' we could!

Yes, sir, we could. When- 1 come to notice it, the figure ahead o' us was a kind o' foggy-lookin' thing; and only half hid anything that was behind it. But it was jest as much like a man as you be, an' you'd a said the same thing if you'd a seen it.

The train stopped. An' then, sir, what d'ye think happened?

Well sir, that thing just grew thinner an' thinner, till it seemed to blend right in with the fog that was all around it, and the fust we knew 'twas gone!

"It was a ghost!" said Jimmy, in a whisper. "I knew somethin' was a-goin' to happen, 'cause I felt so queer like."

They come a crowdin' up to find why I'd stopped the train, an' I swear I never felt so kind o' queer an' foolish as I did when I told 'em what I'd seen 'cause I knew they didn't b'leeve in ghosts, most likely, an' they'd think I was drunk or crazy.

"He see it, too," sez I, a-pointin' to Jimmy.

"Yes, 'fore God, I did," sez Jimmy, solemn as if he was a witness on the stand.

"This is a pretty how-d'ye do," sez the conductor, who didn't b'leeve we'd seen anything. "I'm surprised at you, Connell; I thought you was a man o' sense."

"I thought so, too," sez I, "but I can't help what I see. If I was a dyin' this minnit I'd swear I see a man on the track, or leastwise the ghost o' one. I thought 'twas a real man when I whistled."

"An' so would I," sez Jimmy.

The conductor couldn't help seein' that we was in earnest, and b'leeved what we said.

"Take a lantern an' go along the track," sez he, to some o' the men.

An' they did. An' what d'ye s'pose they found?

Well, sir, they found the rails all tore up jest at the spot where the train would a shot over the bluff into the river if it had gone on!

Yes, sir; they found that, an' I tell you there was some pretty solemn lookin' faces when it got among the passengers how near we'd been to death.

"I never b'leeved in ghosts," sez the conductor, "but I b'leeve you see somethin', Connell, an' you've saved a precious lot o' lives. That's a sure thing."

Well, sir, they went to huntin' round, an' they found a lot o' tools an' things that the men who'd tore up the rails had left in a hurry, when they found the train wasn't goin' over the bluff as they'd expected. An' they found, too, when it come light, the body o' the man whose business it was to see to the curve , where it had been hid away after bein' murdered. An' that man was the man whose ghost we had seen.

Yes, sir. He'd come to warn us o' the danger ahead after the men had killed him an' was a-waitin' for us to go over the rocks to destruction. An' he'd saved us.

I found out afterward that there was a lot o' money on board, an' I s'pose the men who tore up the track knew it. So that's my ghoststory, an' it's a true one.


'Twas in the Summer of '46 that I landed at Hamilton, fresh as a new pratie just dug from the "ould sod," an' wid a light heart an' a heavy bundle I sot off for the township of Buford, tiding a taste of a song, as merry a young fellow as iver took the road. Well, I trudged on an' on, past many a plisint place, pleasin' myself wid the thought that some day I might have a place of my own, wid a world of chickens an' ducks an' pigs an' childer about the door; an' along in the afternoon of the sicond day I got to Buford village. A cousin of me mother's, one Dennis, O'Dowd, lived about sivin miles from there, an' I wanted to make his place that night, so I inquired the way at the tavern, an' was lucky to find a man who was goin' part of the way, an ? would show me the way to find Dennis. Sure he was very kind indade, an' when I got out of his wagon he pointed me through the wood an' tould me to go straight south a mile an' a half, an' the first house would be Dennis's.

"An' you've no time to lose now," said he, "for the sun is low, an' mind you don't get lost in the woods."

"Is it lost now," said I, "that I'd be gittin', an' me uncle as great a navigator as iver steered a ship across the thrackless say? Not a bit of it, though I'm obleeged to ye for youi kind advice, an' thank yiz for the ride."

An' wid that he drove off an' left me alone. I shouldered me bundle bravely, an', whistlin' a bit of time for company like, I pushed into the bush. Well, I went a long way over bogs, an' turnin' round among the bush an' trees till I began to think I must be well nigh to Dennis's. But, bad cess to it! all of a sudden I came out of the woods at the very identical spot where I started in, which I knew by an ould crotched tree that seemed to be standin' on its head an' kickin' up its heels to make divarsion of me. By this time it was growin' dark, an', as there was no time to lose, I started in a second time, determined to keep straight south this time, an' no mistake. I got on bravely for a while, but och hone! och hone! it got so dark I couldn't see the trees, an' I bumped me nose an' barked me shins, while the miskaties bit me hands an' face to a blister; an', after tumblin' an' stumblm' around till I was fairly bamfoozled, I sat down on a log, all of a trimble, to think that I was lost intirely, an' that maybe a lion or some other wild craythur would devour me before morning.

Just then I heard somebody a long way off say, "Whip poor Will! " "Bedad," sez I, "I'm glad it isn't Jamie that's got to take it, though it seems it's more in sorrow than in anger they are doin' it, or why should they say, ' poor Will'? an' sure they can't be Injin, haythin, or naygur, for it's plain English they're afther spakin'. Maybe they might help me out o' this," so I shouted at the top of my voice ," A lost man! " Thin I listened. Prisently an answer came.

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!"

"Jamie Butler, the waiver!" sez I, as loud as I could roar, an', snatchin' up me bundle an' stick, I started in the direction of the voice. Whin I thought I had got near the place I stopped an' shouted again, "A lost man! "

"Who! Whoo! Whooo! " said a voice right over my head.

"Sure," thinks I, "it's a mighty quare place for a man to be at this time of night; maybe it's some settler scrapin' sugar off a sugar-bush for the children's breakfast in the mornin'. But where's Will and the rest of them? " All this wint through me head like a flash, an' thin I answered his inquiry.

"Jamie Butler, the waiver," sez I; "an' if it wouldn't inconvanience yer Honor, would yez be kind enough to step down an' show me the way to the house of Dennis O'Dowd?"

"Who! Whoo! Whooo! " sez he.

"Dennis O'Dowd," sez I, civil enough, "an' a dacent man he is, and first cousin to me own mother."

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" says he again.

"Me mother!" sez I, "an' as fine a woman as iver peeled a biled pratie wid her thumb nail, an' her maiden name was Molly McFiggin."

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!"

"Paddy McFiggin! bad luck to yer deaf ould head, Paddy McFiggin, I say,—do ye hear that? An' he was the tallest man in all the county Tipperary, except Jim Doyle, the black-smith."

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!"

"Jim Doyle the blacksmith," sez I, "ye good for nothin' blaggard naygur, an', if viz don't come down and show me the way this minit, I'll climb up there an' break every bone in your skin, ye spalpeen, so sure as me name is Jimmy Butler."

"Who! Whoo! Whooo! " sez he, as impident as iver.

I said nivir a word, but lavin' down me bundle, an' takin' me stick in me teeth, I began to climb the tree. Whin I, got among the branches I looked quietly around till I saw a pair of big eyes just forninst me.

"Whist," sez I, "an' I'll let him have a taste of an Irish stick," an' wid that I let drive, an' lost me balance an' came tumblin' to the ground, nearly breakinme neck wid the fall. When I came to me sinsis I had a very sore head, wid a lump on it like a goose egg, an' half of me Sunday coat-tail torn off intirely. I spoke to the chap in the tree, but could git niver an answer at all, at all.

"Sure," thinks I, "he must have gone home to rowl up his head, for by the powers I didn't throw me stick for nothin'."

Well, by this time the moon was up, an' I could see a little, an' I detarmined to make one more effort to reach Dennis's.

I wint on cautiously for a while, an' thin I heard a bell. "Sure," sez I, "I'm comin' to a sittlemint now, for I hear the church bell." I kept on toward the sound till I came to an ould cow wid a bell on. She started to run, but I was too quick for her, an' got her by the tail an' hung on, thinkin' that maybe she would take me out of the woods. On we wint, like an ould country steeplechase, till, sure enough, we came out to a clearin', an' a house in sight wid a light in it. So, leavin' the ould cow puffin' an' blowin' in a shed, I wint to the house, an', as luck would have it, whose should it be but Dennis's?

He gave me a raal Irish welcome, an' introduced me to his two daughters—as purty a pair of girls as iver ye clapped an eye on. But, whin I tould him me adventure in the woods, an' about the fellow who made fun of me, they all laughed an' roared, an' Dennis said it was an owl.

"An ould what? " sez I.

'Why, an owl, a bird," sez he.

"Do ye tell me now? " sez I. "Sure it's a quare country and a quare bird."

An' thin they all laughed again, till at last I laughed myself that hearty like, an' dropped right into a chair between the two purty girls, an' the ould chap winked at me and roared again.

Dennis is me father-in-law now, an' he often yet delights to tell our children about their daddy's adventure wid the owl.

Queen Mab.

By William Shakespeare.

[From "A Midsummer Night's Dream."]

O, then I see, Queen Mab hath been with you,
She is the fairies' midwife: and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep:
Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams;
Her whip of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small gray-coated gnat,
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
And in this state she gallops night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love.



Halloween Festivities p127.png

Popping Corn.

Oh, the sparkling eyes,
In a fairy ring!
Ruddy glows the fire,
And the corn we bring;
Tiny lumps of gold,
One by one we drop;
Give the pan a shake;—
Pip! pop! pop!

Pussy on the mat
Wonders at the fun;
Merry little feet
Round the kitchen run;
Smiles and pleasant words
Never, never stop;—
Lift the cover now;—
Pip! pop pop!

What a pretty change!
Where's the yellow gold?
Here are snowy lambs
Nestling in the fold;
Some are wide awake,
On the floor they hop;
Ring the bell for tea!
Pip! pop pop!

The Witch's Cavern.

By Bulwer Lytton.

[From "The Last Days of Pompeii."]

A fire burned in the far recess of the cave; and over it was a small caldron; on a tall and thin column of iron stood a rude lamp; over that part of the wall, at the base of which burned the fire, hung in many rows, as if to dry, a profusion of herbs and weeds. A fox, couched before the fire, gazed upon the strangers with its bright and red eye—its hair bristling—and a low growl stealing from between its teeth; in the center of the cave was an earthen statue, which had three heads of singular and fantastic cast. A low tripod stood before this.


But it was not these appendages ... of the cave that thrilled the blood of those who gazed fearfully therein—it was the face of its inmate. Before the fire, with the light shining full upon her features, sat a woman of considerable age. Her countenance betrayed the remains of a regular, but high and aquiline order of feature; with stony eyes turned upon them—with a look that met and fascinated theirs—they beheld in that fearful countenance the very image of a corpse!

Glaucus. It is a dead thing.

Ione. Nay—it stirs—it is a ghost!

Slave. Oh, away—away! It is the witch of Vesuvius!

Witch. Who are ye? And what do ye here?

Glaucus. We are storm-beaten wanderers from the neigh- boring city; we crave shelter and the comfort of your hearth.

Witch. Come to the fire if ye will! I never welcome living thing—save the owl, the fox, the toad, and the viper—so I cannot welcome ye; but come to the fire without welcome—why stand upon form?

Ione. We disturb you, I fear.

Witch. Tell me, are ye brother and sister?

Ione. No.

Witch. Are ye married?

Glaucus. Not so.

Witch. Ho, lovers! ha! ha! ha!

Glaucus. Why dost thou laugh, old crone?

Witch. Did I laugh?

Glaucus. She is in her dotage.

Witch. Thou liest.

Ione. Hush! Provoke her not, dear Glaucus.

Witch. I will tell thee why I laughed when I discovered ye were lovers. It was because it is a pleasure to the old and withered to look upon young hearts like yours—and to know the time will come when you will loathe each other— loathe—loathe—ha! ha! ha!

Ione. The gods forbid. Yet, poor woman, thou knowest little of love, or thou wouldst know that it never changes.

Witch. Was I young once, think ye? And am I old, and hideous, and deathly now? Such as is the form, so is the heart.

Glaucus. Hast thou dwelt here long?

Witch. Ah, long!—yes.

Glaucus. It is but a drear abode.

Witch. Ha! thou mayst well say that—Hell is beneath us! And I will tell thee a secret — the dim things below are preparing wrath for ye above.

Glaucus. Thou utterest but evil words. In the future, I will brave the tempest rather than thy welcome.

Witch. Thou wilt do well. None should ever seek me, save the wretched!

Glaucus. And why the wretched?

Witch. I am the witch of the mountain; my trade is to give hope to the hopeless; for the crossed in love, I have philtres; for the avaricious, promises of treasure; for the happy and the good, I have only what life has—curses! Trouble me no more.

As Glaucus now turned towards the witch, he perceived for the first time, just under her seat, the bright gaze and crested head of a large snake. Whether it was that the vivid coloring of the Athenian's cloak, thrown over the shoulders of lone, attracted the reptile's anger—its crest began to glow and rise, as if menacing and preparing itself to spring upon the Neapolitan. Glaucus caught quickly at one of the half-burned logs upon the hearth; and, as if enraged at the action, the snake came forth from its shelter, and with a loud hiss raised itself on end, till its height nearly approached that of the Greek.


Glaucus. Witch, command thy creature, or thou wilt see it dead!

Witch. It has been despoiled of its venom.

Ere the words had left her lips, the snake had sprung upon Glaucus; the agile Greek leaped lightly aside, and struck so fell a blow on the head of the snake, that it fell prostrate and writhing among the embers of the fire.

The hag sprung up, and stood confronting Glaucus with a face which would have befitted the fiercest of the Furies.

Witch. Thou hast had shelter under my roof, and warmth at my hearth; thou hast returned evil for good; thou hast smitten and slain the thing that loved me and was mine; now hear thy punishment. I curse thee! and thou art cursed! May thy love be blasted—may thy name be blackened—may the infernals mark thee—may thy heart wither and scorch — may thy last hour recall to thee the prophet voice of the Saga of Vesuvius!


Long and loud rang the echoes of the cavern with the dread laugh of the Saga.

The lovers gained the open air.

"Alas!" said lone, "my soul feels the omen of evil. Preserve us, oh, ye gods!"

Ghos' Stories.

By Flavia Rosser.

These nights 'r sort 'r gray an' still;
The frogs sing awful ahin' the hill,
'N' all the chil'ren in our end o' town
Jes' hurry their bread 'n' butter down,
'N'come to our ol' apple tree
Tuh tell ghos' stories, after tea.

Ef we get tuh stay till in the night,
We huddle all tuhgether tight—
Cos its shivery down your back, yuh know,
When th' leaves an' shadders wiggle so.
But we're alluz a-wishin' 'at we could see
Th' ghos' ccme from ahin' th' tree.

They never come—we've spells and things,
An' words tuh say, an' magic rings;
We say 'em, an' do 'em, an' talk, an' talk,
'N' if a cricket hollers under the walk,
Th' girls all squeal, an' then, yuh know,
We're afraid tuh stay, an' afraid tuh go.

I tol' ol' Mister Crooked Green,
Th' one wot walks with a stick, I mean,
About th' ghos' stories, an' he stopped at that,
An' patted me on top my hat.
He said we'd see 'em, when we're men,
An' wouldn't want 'em a-comin' then.

He talked a lot about spirits o' sin,
An' ghos'es o' things wot might o' been.
He said, a-comin' 'round every tree
Would be ghos'es o' things wot used tuh be.
I don't much believe thet he is right,
But it's a good un ??? tell th' boys tuh-night.

The Ghost of a Flower.

"You're what?" asked the common or garden spook
Of a stranger at midnight's hour.
And the shade replied with a graceful glide,
"Why, I'm the ghost of a flower."

"The ghost of a flower?" said the old-time spook;
"That's a brand-new one on me;
I never supposed a flower had a ghost,
Though I've seen the shade of a tree."

Don Squixet's Ghost.

By Harry Bolingbroke.

"Well, now, spakin' o' Father Doyle, reminds me of the time whin I fust dug his peaytees for him; let me see; I'm sure I don't know how many years agone, now; but faix, 'tis meself was only a big lump of a gurrul thin. Oah! but I'll niver forget that day, if I lives to be as ould as Buckley's goat.

"Me and Biddy Morrissy were diggin' his riv'rince's peay-tees,—'twas about tin o'clock in the mornin',—and turnin' up the painted ladies as purty as iver you see, whin along come the ould rousther, and a half dozen hens wid him, struttin' along, and peckin' the peaytees like fine fellows; and 'twas niver a bit of use in uz sayin' 'whist!' for there the ould hay-then 'ud peck and peck, scratch and scratch, till says I, 'Me boy, I'll soon see whether or no me or you is the better man; so I ups wid a big lump of a peaytee and laves 'im have it in the eye; and over he goes, flipperty-flap, as dead as a herrin'.

"'Och, mallia!' says Biddy, says she; 'now, Kitty, you may go and hang yerself,' says she, ' fur his riv'rince'll niver forgive ye killin' that bird,' says she, half-frightened out of her wits.

"'Faix, I don't care,' says I. 'What business had he peckin' the peaytees, thin?' says I, all of a trimble.

"'Oh,' says she, 'you'll know what; and, by the same token, here comes himself now; and you'd better dig a hole as quick as you can, and pitch the ould rousther in it,' says she.

"So I looks round, and sure enough, there was his riv'rince walkin' slowly towards us, in the trench, wid a pinch of snuff betune his finger and thumb, lookin' to the one side and the other. Well, begannies, it wasn't long I was diggin' a hole, and coverin' up the ould rousther in it, and scatterin' the peaytees over the place ; and thin I felt as guilty as if it was a man I murdered. By and by himself comes along; me heart was thumpin' away inside; ye could hear it a mile off, as one may say.

"His riv'rince talked about the weather, and the peaytees, and this and that, and there was his fut widin' a yard of the place.

"'Honey,' says he, 'you shouldn't lave the hens be after pecking the peaytees!' says he; 'they'll spoil more than they're worth,' says he.

"'Humph! 'tis meself can't keep 'em away,' says I.

"Oh, botheration! but you must drive 'em away,' says he.

"'Faix, they won't stay druv,' I says.

"'Why, then, Kitty,' says he, 'my honey,' says he, 'you must knock 'em down,' says he.

"'Oh, wisha, good-morrow to ye, Father Doyle,' says I.

"'Why so?' says he.

"'Is it knock 'em down?' says I.

"'Yes,' says he, 'it is.'

"'Humph!' says I; 'if I did that same, maybe yer riv'rince 'ud niver forgive me for doin' av it!' says I.

"'Yes, I would, honey; why not?' says he.

"'What, if I killed one of yer hens?' says I.

"'Did I say kill?' says he; 'I said, knock 'em down; that's all.'

"'Hah, yer riv'rince,' says I, 'I'm thinkin' I won't thry it!'

"Oh, didn't I feel as if I wasn't spakin' the truth to him!

"'Humph!' says he, lookin' round, and takin' a pinch of snuff; 'it surprises me not to see Don Squixet here, any way; he's always the first into mischief, and the last to lave it.'

"Dad, thinks I to meself , if he means the ould rousther, he's the fust to lave it this time, any way. 'But', says I, 'and who's Don Squixet?' I axes, wid me heart into me mouth.

"'Ha! that's what I call the ould cock,' says he; 'but the rascal is up to some mischief now, I go bail, or he'd be here,' says Father Doyle.

"Well, whether to down on me two knees (savin' yer prisence) and confess all, or lave him to find it out, I didn't know; when all to once the peaytees right furninst us begun to move, and roll the one over the other.

"'Oah! what's that, Kitty?' cries Father Doyle. 'Be the powers, there's somethin' comin' up through the yearth!'

"Faix, 'twas meself thought I'd sink down through it; for just then up comes the head of the ould rousther himself, bad scran to him, lookin' round to make out where he was. Awe! I couldn't tell yees how I felt. I fell down on me knees, and axed his riv'rince to forgive a poor crayter the sin av it. But, by and by, when the ould scamp got up and shuck himself, and clapped his wings, and crowed, bedad, I thought his riv'rince would split laughin', as well as Biddy. And when Father Doyle could spake, says he, wipin' his eyes wid his kurcher, 'Kitty,' says he, 'always be sure a body's dead,' says he, 'before you inters it,' he says. 'But see now, if you kill any av 'em outright, another time,' says he, 'just bring the remains to me,' he says, ' and we'll have a dish of broth out of it, anyway,' says he. And wid that, he set up a-laughin' again, and walked off, shakin' his sides; and I s'pose, if he told that story once, he did the Lord knows how many times. But he niver seed me, to this day, but he alius axed when I seen Don Squixet's Ghost last."

At Candle-Lightin' Time.

By Paul Laurence Dunbar.

[By permission of the Author.]

When I come in f'om de co'n-nel' aft ah wukin' ha'd all day,
It's amazin' nice to fin' my suppah all erpon de way;
An' it's nice to smell de coffee bubblin' ovah in de pot,
An' it's fine to see de meat a-sizzlin' teasin'-lak an' hot.

But when suppah-time is ovah, an' de things is chared away,
Den de happy hours dat foller are de sweetes' of de day.
When my co'n-cob pipe is sta'ted, an' de smoke is drawin' prime,
My ole 'ooman says, "I reckon, Ike, it's candle-lightin' time.'

Den de chillun snuggle up to me, an' all commence to call,
"Oh, say, daddy, now it's time to mek de shadders on de wall."
So I puts my han's togethah,—evah daddy knows de way, —
An' de chillun' snuggle closer roun' ez I begin to say:

"Fus thing, hyeah come Mistah Rabbit; don' you see him wuk his eahs?
Huh uh! dis urns' be a donkey; look how innercent he 'pears!
Dah's de ole black swan a-swimmin'—ain't she got a' awful neck?
Who's dis feller dat's comin'? Why, dat s ole dog Tray, I 'spec'!"

Dat's de way I run on, tryin' fu to please 'em all I can;
Den I hollahs, "Now be keerful— dis hyeah las' 's de buga-man!"

An' dey runs an' hides dey faces; dey ain't skeered—dey's lettin' on;
But de play ain't raaly ovah 'twell dat buga-man is gone.

So I jes teks up my banjo, an' I plays a little chune,
An' you see dem haids come peepin' out to listen mighty soon.
Den my wife say, " Sich a pappy fu to gin you sich a fright!
Jes you go to baid, an' leave him; say yo' prayers, an'say good night."

Sweet William's Ghost.

As May Margaret sat in her bowerie, in her bower all alone,
Just at the parting o' midnight, she heard a mournful moan.
" Oh, is it my father, oh, is it my mother, oh, is it my brother John;
Or is it Sweet William, my ain true love, to Scotland new come home?"

"It is na thy father, it is na thy mother, it is na thy brother John;
But it is Sweet William, thy ain true love, to Scotland new come home."
"Oh, hae ye brought onie fine things, onie new things for to wear,
Or hae ye brought me a braid of lace to snood up my gowden hair?"

"I've brought you no fine things, nor onie new things to wear,
Nor have I brought you a braid of lace to snood up your gowden hair.
Oh, dear Margaret, oh, sweet Margaret, I pray thee speak to me;
Gie me my faith and troth, Margaret, as I gave it to thee!"

"Thy faith and troth thou's never get, nor yet will I thee lend,
Till thou come within my bower and kiss my cheek and chin."

"If I should come within thy bower,—I am no mortal man,—
And should I kiss thy rosy lips, thy days would not be lang.

"Oh, dear Margaret, oh, sweet Margaret, I pray thee speak to me;
Gie me my faith and troth, Margaret, as I gave it to thee!"
"Thy faith and troth thou's never get, nor yet will I thee lend,
Till thou take me to yon kirk-yard, and wed me with a ring."

"My bones are buried in yon kirk-yard, afar beyond the sea.
And 'tis but my spirit, Margaret, that's speaking now to thee!"
She stretched out her lily-white hand, and for to do her best;
"Hae there your faith and troth, Willy, God send your soul to rest!"

And now she has kilted her robes of green a piece below the knee,
And a' the live-lang winter night the dead corpse followed she.
"Is there onie room at your head, Willy, or onie room at your feet,
Is there onie room at your side, Willy, wherein that I mav creep?"

"There's na room at my head, Margaret, there's na room at my feet,
There's na room at my side, Margaret, my coffin's made so meet."
Then up and crew the red, red cock, and up then crew the gray;
"'Tis time, 'tis time, my dear Margaret, that you were going away!"

No more the ghost to Margaret said, but with a grievous groan
Evanished in a cloud of mist and left her all alone.
"O stay, my only true love, stay!" the constant Margaret cried;
Wan grew her cheeks, she closed her een, stretched her soft limbs, and died.


By James D. Corrothers.

Dey may be glioses, er dey may be none;
I takes no chances on de thaing, mase'f;
'T won't neber shorten no man's life to run,
When somethin' 'nother's skeert 'im mose to deff.

De white man's logic may be all-sufhcin'
Foh white folks—in de day-time; but dey's quar
Thaings seen at night; 'n' when ma wool's a-risin',
Dese feet o' mine is gwine to bu'n de a'r!

Ain't gwine to pestah wid no 'vestigation,
Ma business is to git away f'om dah
Fas' 's I kin—towards my destination—
De ghose ain't bo'n kin ketch me, nuther, sah!

The One Thing Needful.

On Hallowe'en when the lanterns glow
Ruddy and round o'er the throng below,
Each pumpkin-face wears a ghastly grin,
Wide enough to swallow one in—
Yellow noddles ranged in a row.

Why should the lantern mock us so,
Gypsy lasses who to and fro
Swing in the dance with merry din
On Hallowe'en?

This is the reason, if you would know,
Spite of our charms—of course of dough,
Seeds and apples and twirling pin—
The law of our college has ever been
That one may have but a ghostly beau
On Hallowe'en?

Seein' Things.

By Eugene Field.

I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs, or worms, or mice,
An' things 'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
I'm pretty brave, I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed,
For, when I'm tucked up warm an' snug an' when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me "Happy dreams!" an' takes away the light.
An' leaves me lyih' all alone an' seein' things at night.

Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door,
Sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor;
Sometimes they are a-sittin' down, sometimes they're walkin' round
So softly an' so creepy-like they never make a sound;
Sometimes they are as black as ink, an' other times they're white.
But the color ain't no difference when you see things at night!

Once, when I licked a feller 'at had just moved on our street,
An' father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat,
I woke up in the dark an' saw things standin' in a row,
A-lookin' at me cross-eyed an' p'intin' at me—so!
Oh, my! I wuz so skeered that time I never slep' a mite—
It's almost alluz when I'm bad that I see things at night!

Lucky thing I ain't a girl or I'd be skeered to death!
Bein' I'm a boy, I duck my head an' hold my breath;
An' I am, oh! so sorry I'm a naughty boy, an' then
I promise to be better an' I say my prayers again!
Gran'ma tells me that's the only way to make it right
When a feller has been wicked an' sees things at night!

An' so when other naughty boys would coax me into sin,
I try to skwush the tempter's voice 'at urges me within;
An' when they's pie for supper or cakes 'at's big an' nice
I want to — but I do not pass my plate f'r them things twice I
No, ruther let starvation wipe me slowly out of sight
Than I should keep a-livin' an' seein' things at night.

A Speakin' Ghost.

By Sara S. Rice.

[This can be effectively given as a costume-recitation, the reciter to be dressed as an old lady, with cap, spectacles, kerchief crossed over breast, and knitting in hand.]

Yes, I do b'lieve in 'em, in one of 'em, tennerate. An' I know why you ask me if I do. Somebody's put you up to it, so's you can make me tell my ghost-story.

Well, I s'pose I'll s'prise you when I say it all happened in New York city. I was born about here, an' come of a good old stock. There was father'n mother, three boys, Amos, Ezry, an' Peleg, an' me, Mary Ann. We was pretty well to do; we had a good home; father was a good man, an' mother was the best of women, an' I was dreffle fond of the boys. But one day in September they went out in a sail-boat, an' a storm come up, an' their boat capsized—an' they was brought home so dreffle still. Mother never held up her head arter that, an' afore New Year come she'd follered pa an' the boys. It left me dreffle lonesome. So when I had an opp'tunity to go to New York, I. took it. 'Twas Mis' Davis, an' she writ to know if I'd come an' take care o' her house while she was away, an' look arter her pa. An' 'twas right there in the front basement o' that city house that I see the ghost. 'Twa'n't like any ord'nary other ghost I ever heerd-on; 'twas a speakin' one. I don't mean oce that talks, but one that speaks pieces.

I don't think I smelt pepp'mint the fust time it come. I was a-sittin' in the front basement when it come. I don't know what made me look up, but I done it; an' there, standin' right near the table, was the ghost; though's I said before, I didn't know it for a ghost then. It looked like a boy. Afore I could ask him what he wanted, he stepped up, an' says, sort o' quick and excited-like, "Don't you want to hear me speak my piece?" and he began,

"My name is Norvyle; on the crampin' hills
My father feeds his flock"—

an' a lot more about his folks. When he'd done, he bowed real perlite. When I turned round he'd gone. The next day about the same time, I begun to smell a strong kind o' brimstoney smell, an' I looked up an' there stood the ghost, an' he says real interested: " Don't you want to hear me speak my piece?" an' he started off real glib. [Pause.] I can't reelect what he spoke that time. Bimeby I went to the closet to git somethin' to show him, an' when I got back he was gone.

Ev'ry single arternoon arter that, I begun to smell a sort o' pepp'minty smell, an' in come that boy, walked up to me, an' sort o' excited-like says : "Don't you want to hear me speak my piece?" Then he'd hold out his arm straight an' tell how nobody never heerd a drum nor a fun'ral note the time they buried somebody in an awful hurry. Again he'd start off speechifying about its being a real question arter all whether you hadn't better be, or hadn't better not be. An' there was a loud one where he just insisted that our chains is forged. "Their clankin'," he says, "may be heard on the plains o' Boston." I b'lieve 'twas in one that he kept raying: "Let it come; I repeat it, sir, let it come. Gentlemen may cry peace, peace, but there ain't no peace," an' so on. Real eloquent 'twas. An' I growed proud o' that boy.

I never's long's I live shall forgit the day I found out he wa'n't a boy, a common, ord'nary boy, but a ghost! Well, you can't understand anything I went through then; nobody can't. When I found it out, I was determined to take on me the hull religious trainin' of a ghost. I was busy all day preparin' for it. Our folks was Congregationals, an' as my ghost didn't seem to have any partikiler leanin' to any belief, I meant to bring him up as I'd been brought; so for quite a spell arter the pepp'mint scent come into the room I wouldn't turn my head. He stopped and said so mournful, "Don't you want to hear me speak my piece?" I said, "Yes, deary." He begun in a shaky voice:

"Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to fortin' an' to fame unknown."

Then I begun my religious teaching. My startin' pint was the fall. But o' course I had to allude to Adam an' Eve, an' all that. Then I learnt him verses out of the New England Primer, and then the tears come agin, an' I turned away to sop 'em up. When I looked around, he was gone. I was a mite nervous next time. But I needn't a worried, for I hadn't hardly time to answer that same old question, "Don't you want to hear me speak my piece? " afore he started off:

"Oh, what a fall was there my countrymen!
When me an' you an' all on us fell down."

The real catechism doctrine you see, "all mankind by the fall," an' so on.

So it went on day arter day, I didn't allers keep to the doctrines. Seein' he was so fond o' pieces, I learnt him pretty verses out of the Primer, like:

"Vashti for pride
Was set aside,"

"Elijah hid
By ravens fed."

He was so tickled with that piece about

"Good children must
Fear God all day,
Parents obey
No false thing say,"

An' so on.

But the days was slippin' by, an' I begun to worry. 'Twas gittin past the middle o' December now. Then I remembered Christmas was comin' on. So one day arter my boy had left, I begun to think why I couldn't make a Christmas for him. I was jest hungry for a stockin' to fill. The next time he come I led up to the subject an' found out that he'd never heerd o' Christmas or Santy Claus in all his life. So I told him about it an' he was so interested. The stockin' was easy enough, for I had one of Peleg's. Then I wanted a partikiler specie o' apple, big an' red. They calls 'em Boardman reds. The hick'ry nuts I got easy enough and the maple sugar. I was goin' to get .some pepp'mint lozenges, but I thought that was too personal. I got a big stick o' ball lick'rish, an' some B 'gundy gum. Then o' course there must be a jack-knife. I set up late o' nights an' riz early o' mornin's to knit a pair o' red yarn mittens, an' I wound a yarn ball, an' covered it with leather. I had a diff'cult time findin' fish-hooks an' sinkers. Right on top I was goin' to put Peleg's leather-covered Bible. Every day I talked Christmas to him, tellin' about the diff'rent Christmases I'd knowed.

The last night but one come—the 23rd. Ev'ry time I spoke o' father's houses or families goin' home for Christmas, I see he looked kind o' sorry. That arternoon when he asked in a shaky, still voice, " Don't you want to hear me speak my piece?" he follered up with the dear old hymn,

"Airth has engrossed my love too long,
'Tis time to lift my eyes."

He went on with all the verses, an' when he come to

"O let me mount to join their song,"

I was all goose flesh, an' so choky.

All the next day I went about my work very softly. I'd filled the stockin', an' there it laid in my room, never to be hung up, all bulgy, onreg'lar an' knobbv. I knew what ev'ry bulge meant. That one by the ankle was the jackknife, and that queer place by the knee was the stick o' lick'rish got crosswise. I didn't empty it. Folks will keep sech things, you know, an' it's up in my bedroom now.

Well, Christmas eve come too quick for me that time. So when my boy come in, I begun fust, the fust time since I knowed him.

"Norvyle," I says, " I've had a real nice visit with you, an' I wish I could ask you to stay longer. But it's Christmas Eve, an' people orter be with their folks to-night. You know where your folks is, leastways your father an' elder brother. So I'm dreffle sorry to seem imperlite, but I really think the best thing for you to do—is—to go—home!" I got it out somehow.

Norvyle looked right at me, kind o' mournful, an' 's I live, that boy opened his mouth an' begun to sing. An' oh! what do you s'pose he sung? "Home, sweet home!" He'd never sung before, but his voice was like a wood-robin's, an' when it stopped—why, he stopped. He didn't go, he jest wasn't there.

Well, I've got along somehow. I'm an old woman now. I'm failin' lately pretty fast, an' it makes me think o' goin' home to join pa 'n' ma 'n' the boys. When I says boys, I mean four on 'em, for besides my three, I'm cert'n there's goin' to be another one, a little chap, with rough reddish-yeller hair, an' lots o' freckles. Course, I know it's all diff'rent up there, an' things ain't a speck like what they be here; but somehow it won't seem exackly nat'ral if that little feller don't somewheres in the course o' conva'sation bring in that fav'rit remark o' his'n, "Don't you want to hear me speak my piece?"

De Wood Hants.

By Anne Virginia Culbertson.

[By permission of the Author.]

When de moon scrouch down behine de hill,
An' de dark fole roun' you, clost an still,
Keep outer de wood,
Ef you knows whut's good;
Fer deys tings in dyah dat nuvver show
'Tel de dark come on an' de daylight go;
An' dey races an' runs, an' dey flaars an' fla'nts,
An' de namer dem creeters is Hants, chile, Hants!

When de squinch-owl's hootin' roun' de place,
An' de bats fly low, an' slap yo' face,
Keep outer de wood,
Ef you knows whut's good:
Fer de li'l wa'm gus'es thu de trees,
An' de li'l cole ones what mek you freeze,
Is de bref o' dem creeturs what flaars an' fla'nts,
An' de name dat we calls 'em is Hants, chile, Hants!

When you see lights trab'lin' up an' down,
Widout no pusson to cyar' dem roun',
Keep outer de wood,
Ef you knows whut's good.
Foller dem tings an' dey 'stroy you, sho';
You earn' kotch up, an' you go an' go,
An' las' dey swamps you, an' flaars an' fla'nts,
Fer dey's jacky-my-lantums, dey's Hants, chile, Hants!

When biggity chillun, 'long to'des night,
Gits cross an' norty, an' doan do right,
Dey bettah be good,
An' membah de wood;

Fer deys tings in dyah dat nuvver show
Tel de dark come on an' de daylight go;
An' dey races an' runs, an' dey flaars an' fla'nts,
An' dey hone fer bad chilluns, dey does, dem Hants!

When De Folks is Gone.

By James Whitcomb Riley.

[By permission of the Author.]

What dat scratchin' at de kitchin do'?
Done heah'n dat foh an hour er mo'!
Tell you, Mr. Niggah, das sho's yo' bo'n,
Hit's might lonesome waitin' when de folks is gone!

Blame my trap! how de wind do blow!
An' dis is das de night for de witches, sho!
Dey's trouble goin' to waste when de ole slut whine,
An' you heah de cat a-spittin' when de moon don't shine!

Chune my fiddle, an' de bridge go "bang!"
An' I lef ' er right whah she alius hang.
An' de tribble snap short an' de apern split
When dey no mortal man wah a-techin' hit!

Dah! Now what? How de ole j'ice cracks!
'Spec' dis house, ef hit tell plain fac's,
'Ud talk about de ha'nts wid dey long tails on
What dasn't on'y come when de folks is gone!

What I tuk an' done ef a sho-nuff ghos'
Pop right up by de ole bed-pos'?
What dat shinin' fru de front do' crack?
God bress de Lo'd! hits de folks got back!


By Madison Cawein.

It was down in the woodland on last Hallowe'en
Where silence and darkness had built them a lair,
That I felt the dim presence of her, the unseen,
And heard her still step on the ghost-haunted air.

It was last Hallowe'en in the glimmer and swoon
Of mist and of moonlight that thickened and thinned
That I saw the gray gleam of her eyes in the moon,
And hair, like a raven, blown wild in the wind.

It was last Hallowe'en where starlight and dew
Made mystical marriage on flower and leaf,
That she led me with looks of a love that I knew,
And lured with the voice of a heart -buried grief.

It was last Hallowe'en in the forest of dreams,
Where trees are eidolons and shadows have eyes,
That I saw her pale face like the foam of far streams,
And heard like the leaf -lisp, her tears and her sighs.

It was last Hallowe'en, the haunted, the dread,
In the wind-tattered wood by the storm-twisted pine,
That I, who am living, kept tryst with the dead,
And clasped her a moment and dreamed she was mine.


Oh, dem wuz happy Hallere'ens we had in ole Virginny,
W'en me an' Chloe wuz co'htin' long ago;
W'en ebery one emong us toe de smallest pickaninny
Would huddle in de chimbley cohnah's glow
Toe listen toe dem chilly win's ob ole Novembah's
Go a-screechin' laik a spook aroun' de huts,
'Twell de pickaninnies' fingahs gits to shakin' o'er de embahs
An' dey laik ter roas' dey knuckles 'stead o' nuts.
An' once w'en Chloe cum skittin' frough de do'-way ob de shanty,
Her face ez white ez any sheet—a'most,
She done skeered all dem niggahs inter feelin' mighty ha'nty
Bah 'lowin' dat she bin kissed bah a ghost!
'Twell m'dnight by de fiah all dem coward niggahs tarried,
Expectin' ebery minute sumfin orful fo' ter see;
But Chloe she nebah 'spicioned 'twell long arter we wuz married
Dat de niggah spook w'at kissed 'er den wuz me!


By Frank L. Stanton.

I hopes de Lawd'll help me—I hopes de Lawd'll save,
Kase I feels de graveya'd rabbit des a-runnin' 'cross my grave;
De new moon shinin' on him des ez ghostly ez kin be,
En I feels him—Oh, I feels him, des a-scratchin' over me!

Good Lawd help me—
Stretch yo' han' en save;
Kase de graveya'd rabbit
Is a-runnin' 'cross my grave!

 I kin tell it by de creepy kind er feelin' dat I got,
Dat he foun' my grave out yander in de cemetery lot!
En I sees de new moon shinin' des ez skeery ez kin be,
En I feels him—Oh, I feels him des a-scratchin' over me!

Good Lawd lissen—
Hear my pra'r en save;
Kase de graveya'd rabbit
Is a-runnin' 'cross my grave!


By L, Fidelia Woolley Gillette.

To-night—'tis said the dead come back to-night—
They who once made our earth so bright,
Who filled life's morning with a golden glow
That all its darkness did o'erflow—
To-night, to-night, they cross the dark-flowing tide
That doth our land from their fair land divide.

And her dark eyes, so soft and large and deep—
Eyes that God meant should never weep—
Looked all the richness of her heart to mine,
Till round me heaven's light did shine,
And we at last had found the gift divine
That turns life's bitter draughts to richest wine.

The moonlight glimmers o'er my study walls,
Silence within the wide, old halls'
Holds watch, shrouded in sombre black;
And all the past comes flooding back
Upon my heart, with waves of incense sweet
And so I watch the coming of her feet

Across the prairie grasses and upon the stair—
The flowing of her raven hair;
The baby dimple in her rounded chin
That love, sweet love, was cradled in.
With her tender voice and her face of light—
Will she come? Oh, God! may she come to-night!

And will she know me? Ah! the cruel years
Have beat my heart with rain of tears
Since she went out to mysteries unknown;
The glory of my youth hath flown
Beneath the heavy bruises and the wild, sharp pain
Oh! will she know me if she comes again?

Ah, will she see the heart that loves her so?
And will she say, "I know—I know,
My dear, the lone dark way your feet have trod;
I tell it every day to God,
And he has sent me with the olden peace,
That your forebodings and your pain should cease."

Aye, she could not forget; and she could be
But wise and tender unto me;
And she would brighten all this lonely woe
With her sweet smiles of long ago.
I watch and pray. The path of stars is bright.
Will she come? Oh, God! may she come to-night!


By Carrie Stern.

The glowing coals within the grate
With pictured tales foreshadowed fate;
For she who watched with tender eyes
The glowing phantoms fall and rise
Within her breast the wizard bore,
To whom alone such fairy lore
Will yield its tale of coming days.
The elfin light about her plays
With waving lines in shining maize;
With danqe fantastic weaves a charm
To blind her eyes to shades of harm.
Her hand her rounded chin supports,
The flickering gleams her soft hair courts;
And bright curls vagrant from their place
Throw flitting shadows on her face;
But light sinks deep in her sweet eyes,
Where happy love a-dreaming lies.

The Elf-Child.

By James Whitcomb Riley.

Little orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board an' keep;
An' all us other children, when the supper things is done,
We sets around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you

Onct they was a little boy wouldn't say his pray'rs —
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His mamma heerd him holler, an' his daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down he wasn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' everywheres, I guess
But all they ever found was thist his pants an' roundabout!
An' the gobble-uns' ll git you
Ef you

An' one time a little girl 'ud alius laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one an' all her blood-an-kin,

An' onct when they was "company," an' ole folks was there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They was two great, big, Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

An' little orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-00!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin' bugs in dew is all squenched away —
You better mind yer parents, an' yer teachers fond an' dear,
An' cherish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the po' an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the gobble-uns' ll git you
Ef you

The Enchanted Shirt.

By John Hay.

The king was sick. His cheek was red,
And his eye was clear and bright;
He ate and drank with a kingly zest,
And peacefully snored at night.

But he said he was sick—and a king should know;
And doctors came by the score—
They did not cure him. He cut off their heads
And sent to the schools for more.

At last two famous doctors came,
And one was poor as a rat;
He had passed his life in studious toils
And never found time to grow fat.

The other had never looked in a book;
His patients gave him no trouble;
If they recovered they paid him well,
If they died their heirs paid double.

Together they looked at the royal tongue
As the king on his couch reclined;
In succession they thumped his august chest,
But no trace of disease could find.

The old sage said, "You're as sound as a nut,"
"Hang him up!" roared the king, in a gale—
In a ten-knot gale of royal rage;
The other leech grew a shadow pale;

But he pensively rubbed his sagacious nose,
And thus his prescription ran:
"The king will be well if he sleeps one night
In the shirt of a Happy Man."

Wide o'er the realm the couriers rode,
And fast their horses ran,
And many they saw, and to many they spake,
But they found no Happy Man.

They found poor men who would fain be rich,
And rich who thought they were poor;
And men who twisted their waists in stays,
And women that short hose wore.

They saw two men by the roadside sit,
And both bemoaned their lot;
For one had buried his wife, he said,
And the other one had not.

At last they came to a village gate;
A beggar lay whistling there;
He whistled and sang and laughed, and rolled
On the grass in the soft June air.

The weary couriers paused and looked
At the scamp so. blithe and gay,
And one of them said, "Heaven save you, friend,
You seem to be happy to-day."

"Oh, yes, fair sirs," the rascal laughed,
And his voice rang free and glad;
"An idle man has so much to do
That he never has time to be sad."

"This is our man," the courier said,
"Our luck has led us aright;
I will give you a hundred ducats, friend,
For the loan of your shirt to-night."

The merry blackguard lay back on the grass
And laughed till his face was black;
"I would do it, God wot," and he roared with fun,
"But I haven't a shirt to my back."

Each day to the king the reports came in
Of his unsuccessful spies,
And the sad panorama of human woes
Passed daily under his eyes.

And he grew ashamed of his useless life
And his maladies hatched in gloom;
He opened the windows and let in the air
Of the free heaven into his room.

And out he went m the world and toiled
In his own appointed way;
And the people blessed him, the land was glad,
And the king was well and gay.

Uncle Dan'l's Apparition.

By Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner.

Whatever the lagging, dragging journey from Tennessee to Missouri may have been to the rest of the emigrants, it was a wonder and delight to the children, a world of enchantment; and they believed it to be peopled with the mysterious dwarfs and giants and goblins that figured in the tales the negro slaves were in the habit of telling them nightly by the shuddering light of the kitchen fire.

At the end of nearly a week of travel, the party went into camp near a shabby village which was caving, house by house, into the hungry Mississippi. The river astonished the children beyond measure. Its mile-breadth of water seemed an ocean to them, in the shadowy twilight, and the vague riband of trees on the further shore, the verge of a continent which surely none but them had ever seen before.

"Uncle Dan'l " (colored), aged 40; his wife, "Aunt Jinny," aged 30; "Young Miss" Emily Hawkins, "Young Mars" Washington Hawkins, and "Young Mars" Clay, the new member of the family, ranged themselves on a log, after supper, and contemplated the marvelous river and discussed it. The moon rose and sailed aloft through a maize of shredded cloud-wreaths; the somber river just perceptibly brightened under the veiled light; a deep silence pervaded the air, and was emphasized, at intervals, rather than broken, by the hooting of an owl the baying of a dog, or the muffled crash of a caving bank in the distance.

The little company assembled on the log were all children (at least in simplicity and broad and comprehensive ignorance), and the remarks they made about the river were in keeping with their character; and so awed were they by the grandeur and the solemnity of the scene before them, and by their belief that the air was filled with invisible spirits, and that the faint zephyrs were caused by their passing wings, that all their talk took to itself a tinge of the supernatural, and their voices were subdued to a low and reverent tone. Suddenly Uncle Dan'l exclaimed:

"Chil'en, dah's sumfin a-comin'!"

All crowded close together, and every heart beat faster. Uncle Dan'l pointed down the river with his bony finger.

A deep coughing sound troubled the stillness, away toward a wooded cape that jutted into the stream a mile distant. All in an instant a fierce eye of fire shot out from behind the cape, and sent a long, brilliant pathway quivering athwart the dusky water. The coughing grew louder and louder, the glaring eye grew larger and still larger, glared wilder and still wilder. A huge shape developed itself out of the gloom and from its tall duplicate horns dense volumes of smoke, starred and spangled with sparks, poured out and went tumbling away into the further darkness. Nearer and nearer the thing came, till its long sides began to glow with spots of light which mirrored themselves in the river, and attended the monster like a torchlight procession.

"What is it? O! what is it, Uncle Dan'l?"

With deep solemnity the answer came :

"It's de Almighty! Git down on yo' knees!"

It was not necessary to say it twice. They were all kneeking in a moment. And then, while the mysterious coughing rose stronger and stronger, and the threatening glare reached further and wider, the negro's voice lifted up its supplications:

"0 Lord, we's been mighty wicked, an' we knows dat we 'zerve to go to de bad place, but good Lord, deah Lord, we ain't ready yit, we ain't ready—let dese po' chil'en hab one mo' chance, jes' one mo' chance. Take de ole niggah if you's got to hab somebody. Good Lord, good deah Lord, we don't know whah you's a-gwine to, we don't know who you's got yo' eye on, but we knows by de way you's a-comin', we knows by de way you's a-tiltin' along in yo' charyot o' hah, dat some po' sinner's a-gwine to ketch it. But, good Lord, dese chil'en don't 'blong heah, dey's f'm Obedstown, whah dey don't know nuffin, an' you knows yo' own sef, dat dey ain't 'sponsible. An', deah Lord, good Lord, it ain't like yo' mercy, it ain't like yo' pity, it ain't like yo' long-sufferin' lovin' kindness, for to take dis kind o' 'vantage o' sich little chil'en as dese is, when dey's so many grown folks chuck full o' cussedness dat wants roastin' down dah. Lord, spah de little chil'en, don't tar de little chil'en away f'm dey frens, jes' let 'em off, jes' dis once, and take it out'n de ole niggah. Heah I is, Lord, heah I is! De ole niggah's ready, Lord, de ole—"

The flaming and churning steamer was right abreast the party, and not twenty steps away. The awful thunder of a mud-valve suddenly burst forth, drowning the prayer, and as suddenly Uncle Dan'l snatched a child under each arm and scoured into the woods with the rest of the pack at his heels. And then, ashamed of himself, he halted in the deep darkness and shouted (but rather feebly):

"Heah I is, Lord, heah I is!"

There was a moment of throbbing suspense, and then, to the surprise and comfort of the party, it was plain that the august presence had gone by, for its dreadful noises were receding. Uncle Dan'l headed a cautious reconnoissance in the direction of the log. Sure enough "The Lord" was just turning a point a short distance up the river; and, while they looked, the lights winked out, and the coughing diminished by degrees, and presently ceased altogether.

"H'wsh! Well, now dey's some folks says dey ain't no 'ficiency in prah. Dis chile would like to know whah we'd a ben now if it warn't fo' dat prah? Dat's it. Dat's it!"

"Uncle Dan'l, do you reckon it was the prayer that saved us?" said Clay.

"Does I reckon? Don't I know it! Whah was yo' eyes? Warn't de Lord jes' a-comin' chow! chow chow! an' a-goin' on tumble; an' do de Lord carry on dat way 'dout dey's sumfin don't suit him? An' warn't he a-lookin' right at dis gang heah, an' warn't he jes' a-reachin' for 'em? An' d' you spec' he gwine to let 'em off 'dout somebody ast him to do it? No, indeedy'"

"Do you reckon he saw us, Uncle Dan'l?"

"De law sakes, chile, didn't I see him a-lookin' at us?"

"Did you feel scared, Uncle Dan'l?"

"No, sah! When a man is 'gaged in prah, he ain't 'fraid o' nuffin—dey can't nuffin tech him."

"Well, what did you run for?"

"Well, I—I—Mars Clay, when a man is under de influence ob de sperit, he dunno what he's 'bout—no, sah; dat man dunno what he's 'bout. You mout take an' tah de head off'n dat man, an' he wouldn't scasely fine it out. Dah's de Hebrew chil'en dat went frough de fiah; dey was burnt considable—ob course dey was; but dey didn't know nuffin 'bout it—heal right up agin: if dey'd ben gals dey'd missed dey long haah, maybe, but dey wouldn't felt de burn."

"I don't know but what they were girls. I think they were."

"Now, Mars Clay, you knows better'n dat. Sometimes a body can't tell whedder you's a-sayin' what you means or whedder you's a-sayin' what you don't mean, 'case you says 'em bofe de same way."

"But how should I know whether they were boys or girls?"

"Goodness sakes, Mars Clay, don't de good book say?

'Sides, don't it call 'em de He-brew chil'en? If dey was gals wouldn't dey be de she-brew chil'en? Some people dat kin read don't 'pear to take no notice when dey do read."

"Well, Uncle Dan'l, I think that—My! here comes another one up the river! There can't be two!"

"We gone dis time—we done gone dis time, sho'! Dey ain't two, Mars Clay — dat's de same one. De Lord- kin 'pear eberywhah in a second. Goodness, how de fiah an' de smoke do belch up! Dat mean business, honey. He comin' now like he fo'got sumfim Come 'long, chil'en; time you's gwine to roos'. Go 'long wid you—ole Uncle Dan'l gwine out in de woods to rattle in prah—de ole niggah gwine to do what he kin to sabe you agin."

He did go to the woods and pray; but he went so far that he doubted, himself, if the "Lord" heard him when he went by.

Hallowe'en Cheer.

When the apples are all gathered,
And the chestnut trees are bare;
When there's frost upon the garden,
And a chillness in the air,
While a breath of early winter
Finds the meadows brown and sere,
Comes the welcome time for keeping
Glad the Halloweven cheer.

I recall when I, a laddie,
With a band of comrades bold,
Played such pranks as older people
Little less than crime would hold.
Gates there were that wanted owners,
Signboards scattered far and hear,
After we had kept at midnight
Thus the Halloweven cheer.

'Twas an autumn night and cloudless,
With a full moon in the sky,
That I won love's precious promise
From my sweetheart, fair and shy.
She had heard the mystic wisdom
Of the waters of the meer;
There she sought her lover's picture
'Mid the Halloweven cheer.

Seeing her I quickly hastened
From the shadow of the wood
And, reflected in the water,
She beheld me where I stood.
Then I told the olden story
In love's language, low and clear;
Asked the hand the fates had pledged me
'Mid the Halloweven cheer.

We were married when the holly
Bloomed the Christmas greens among;
Still love's tokens are as precious
As they were when we were young.
Once again we walk together
Down the path to memory dear,
And I kiss her by the lakeside
'Mid the Halloweven cheer.

The Ghosts.

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

[From " Hiawatha."]

Never stoops the soaring vulture
On his quarry in the desert,
On the sick or wounded bison,
But another vulture, watching
From his high aerial look-out,
Sees the downward plunge and follows;
And a third pursues the second,
Coming from the invisible ether,
First a speck, and then a vulture,
Till the air is dark with pinions.

So disasters come not singly;
But as if they watched and waited,
Scanning one another's motions;
"When the first descends, the others
Follow, follow, gat hering flock-wise
Round their victim, sick and wounded,
First a shadow, then a sorrow,
Till the air is dark with anguish.

Now, o'er all the dreary Northland,
Mighty Peboan, the Winter,
Breathing on the lakes and rivers,
Into stone had changed their waters.
From his hair he shook the snow-flake
Till the plains were strewn with whiteness,
One uninterrupted level.
As if, stooping, the Creator
With His hand had smoothed them over.

One dark evening, after sundown,
In her wigwam Laughing Water
Sat with old Nokomis, waiting
For the steps of Hiawatha
Homeward from the hunt returning.
On their faces gleamed the firelight,
Painting them with streaks of crimson,
And behind them crouched their shadows
In the corners of the wigwam,
And the smoke in wreaths above them
Climbed and crowded through the smoke-fluec

Then the curtain of the doorway
From without was slowly lifted;
Brighter glowed the fire a moment
And a moment swerved the smoke-wreath,
As two women entered softly,
Passed the doorway uninvited,
Without word of salutation,
Without sign of recognition,
Sat down in the farthest corner,
Crouching low among the shadows.

From their aspect and their garments,
Strangers seemed they in the village;
Very pale and haggard were they,
As they sat there sad and silent,
Trembling, cowering with the shadows.
Was it the wind above the somoke-flue,
Muttering down into the wigwam?
Was it the owl, the Koko-koho,
Hooting from the dismal forest?
Sure, a voice said in the silence:
"These are corpses clad in garments,
These are ghosts that come to haunt you.
From the Kingdom of Ponemah,
From the land of the Hereafter!"

Homeward now came Hiawatha
From his hunting in the forest,
With the snow upon his tresses,
And the red deer on his shoulders.
At the feet of, Laughing Water
Down he threw his lifeless burden;
Nobler, handsomer she thought him
Than when first he came to woo her,
First threw down the deer before her,
As a token of his wishes,
As a promise of the future.

Then he turned and saw the strangers,
Cowering, crouching with the shadows;
Said within himself, "Who are they?
What strange guests has Minnehaha?"
But he questioned not the strangers,
Only spake to bid them welcome
To his lodge, his food, his fireside.

When the evening meal was ready
And the deer had been divided,
Both the pallid guests, the strangers,
Springing from among the shadows,
Seized upon the choicest portions,
Seized the white fat of the roebuck,
Set apart for Laughing "Water,
For the wife of Hiawatha;
Without asking, without thanking,
Eagerly devoured the morsels,
Flitted back among the shadows
In the corner of the wigwam.

Not a word spake Hiawatha,
Not a motion made Nokomis,
Not a gesture Laughing Water;
Not a change came o'er their features;
Only Minnehaha softly
Whispered, saying, "They are famished;
Let them do what best delights them;
Let them eat, for they are famished."

Many a daylight dawned and darkened,
Many a night shook off the daylight
As the pine shakes off the snow-flakes
From the midnight of its branches;
Day by day the guests unmoving
Sat there silent in the wigwam;
But by night, in storm or starlight,
Forth they went into the forest,
Bringing fire-wood to the wigwam,
Bringing pine-cones for the burning,
Always sad and always silent.

Once at midnight Hiawatha,
Ever wakeful, ever watchful,
In the wigwam, dimly lighted
By the brands that still were burning,
By the glimmering, flickering firelight,
Heard a sighing, oft repeated,
Heard a sobbing, as of sorrow.
From his couch rose Hiawatha,
From his shaggy hides of bison,
Pushed aside the deer-skin curtain,
Saw the pallid guests, the shadows,
Sitting upright on their couches,
Weeping in the silent midnight.

And he said: "O guests! why is it
That your hearts are so afflicted,
That you sob so in the midnight?
Has perchance the old Nokomis,
Has my wife, my Minnehaha,
Wronged or grieved you by unkindness,
Failed in hospitable duties?"

Then the shadows ceased from weeping,
Ceased from sobbing and lamenting,
And they said, with gentle voices:
"We are ghosts of the departed,
Souls of those who once were with you.
From the realms of Chibiabos
Hither have we come to try you,
Hither have we come to warn you.

"Cries of grief and lamentation
Reach us in the Blessed Islands;
Cries of anguish from the living,
Calling back their friends departed,
Sadden us with useless sorrow.
Therefore have we come to try you;
No one knows us, no one heeds us.
We are but a burden to you,
And we see that the departed
Have no place among the living.

"Think of this, Hiawatha!
Speak of it to all the people,
That henceforward and forever
They no more with lamentations
Sadden the souls of the departed
In the Islands of the Blessed.

"Farewell, noble Hiawatha!
We have put you to the trial,
To the proof have put your patience,
By the insult of our presence,
By the outrage of our actions.
We have found you great and noble.
Fail not in the greater trial,
Faint not in the harder struggle."

When they ceased, a sudden darkness
Fell and filled the silent wigwam.
Hiawatha heard a rustle
As of garments trailing by him,
Heard the curtain of the doorway
Lifted by a hand he saw not,
Felt the cold breath of the night air,
For a moment saw the starlight
But he saw the ghosts no longer,
Saw no more the wandering spirits
From the Kingdom of Ponemah,
From the Land of the Hereafter.

The Colored Dancing Match.

By Frank L. Stanton.

'Twuz in de dancin' season w'en de fros' wuz layin' roun'
En de rabbit wuz a-gwine lak a gray ghos' 'cross de groun'—
W'en de lazies' er niggers wuz a-comin' to de scratch—
Dat we took de whole plantation wid de cullud Dancin' Match.

De prize wuz—lemme see now: Two hams, a side er meat,
Sack er flour, en a jimmyjohn what had a mouth ez sweet
Ez a hive a-drippin' honey — ez a red rose, w'en de dew

Sorter tilts it, 'twell it's leanin' ter de bees what drinks ter vou.
De flo' wuz smooth en sanded, de fiddler in his place —
De lively music ripplin' 'cross de wrinkles in his face
En lightin' up de eyes er him, en tinglin' ter his feet:
"Good Times in Ole Verginny," en "Kentucky's Hard ter Beat!"

De schedule fer de dancin' wuz "All get in de ring!"
En "Who'll hoi' out de longes' whilst dey got a foot ter fling! "
Dey wuz twenty answer roll-call, lak a sojerin' brigade,
En dey never wuz sich dancin' sence a fiddle-string wuz made!

En couple after couple—fagged out en short er breath—
Went reelin' f'um dat dancin' 'fo' dey dance deyse'f ter death!
All of 'em 'cept Br'er Williams: he wuz in de ring fer sho',
Entiis foots des kep' a-kickin' er de white san' f'um de flo'!

De fiddlestick a-flyin', de lights a-gittin' low,
De music in a gallop, en Br'er Williams on de go!
"You wins de prize, Br'er Williams!"—But still de fiddler played,
En lightnin' wuzn't nuthin, ter de steps Br'er Williams made!

He dance so fas', I tell you he paralyze dem folks;
Lak a wagon-wheel a-gwine 'twell ycu des can't see de spokes!
Wid shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, en many a turn en twist,
His form a-gittin' misty, en de fiddler in de mist!

De lights gone out; de owl hoot; de dogs begin ter bark,
En Br'er Williams lookin' ghos'-like wid dat dancin' in de dark!
Out do winders jumped de people; de mules commence ter prance,
En 'twuz, "Good Lawd, he'p Br'er Williams, fer de devil's in de dance!"

Dey galloped 'cross de country — de wagons rattlin' 'long;
But still heerd dat fiddle gwine in a mos' ondyin' song!
En lookin' back, dey sighted in de skeery-lookin' light
Br'er Williams still a-dancin' lak a shadder in de night.

En in de dancin' season, f'um de valley en de hill
Dey kin see Br'er Williams dancin'—heah de fiddle playin' still,
En heah de night owls hootin', see de ole ha'nts stan'in' roun',
Whilst Br'er Williams' ghos' is movin' ter de fiddle's squeaky soun'.

En dar he'll dance ferever, w'en de fros' is fallin gray;
En dat terrifyin' fiddler makes de same ol' fiddle play;
You kin heah de no' a-creakin', en de win' all mo'nful sighs;
En we don't want no mo' dancin' whar de devil wins de prize!

The Courtin'.

By James Russell Lowell.

God makes sech nights, all white an' still
Fur 'z you can look or listen,
Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill,
All silence an' all glisten.

Zekle crep' up quite unbeknown
An' peeked in thru' the winder,
An' there sot Huldy all alone,
'Ith no one nigh to hender.

A fireplace filled the room's one side
With half a cord o' wood in—
There warn't no stoves (tell comfort died)
To bake ye to a puddin'.

The wa'nut logs shot sparkles out
Towards the pootiest, bless her,
An' leetle flames danced all about
The chiny on the dresser.

Agin the chimbley crook-necks hung,
An' in amongst 'em rusted
The ole queen's arm that gran'ther Young
Fetched back from Concord busted.

The very room, coz she was in,
Seemed warm from floor to ceilin',
An' she looked full ez rosy agin
Ez the apples she was peelin'.

'T was kin' o' kingdom-come to look
On sech a blessed creetur,
A dogrose blushin' to a brook
Ain't modester nor sweeter.

He was six foot o' man, A 1,
Clean grit an' human natur';
None could n't quicker pitch a ton
Nor dror a furrer straighter.

He'd sparked it with full twenty gals,
Had squired 'em, danced 'em, druv 'em,
Fust this one, an' then thet, by spells —
All is, he could n't love 'em.

But long o' her his veins 'ould run
All crinkly like curled maple,
The side she breshed felt full o' sun,
Ez a south slope in Ap'il.

She thought no v'ice hed 'sech a swing
Ez hisn in the choir;
My! when he made Ole Hundred ring,
She knowed the Lord was nigher.

An she'd blush scarlit, right in prayer,
When her new meetin'-bunnet
Felt somehow thru' its crown a pair
O' blue eyes sot upon it.

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked some!
She seemed to 've gut a new soul,
For she felt sartin-sure he'd come,
Down to her very shoe-sole.

She heered a foot, an' knowed it tu,
A-raspin' on the scraper,—
All ways to once her feelin's flew
Like sparks in burnt-up paper.

He kin' o' l'itered on the mat,
Some doubtfle o' the sekle,
His heart kep' goin' pity-pat,
But hern went pity Zekle.

An' yit she gin her cheer a jerk
Ez though she wished him furder,
An' on her apples kep' to work,
Parin' away like murder.

"You want to see my Pa, I s'pose?"
"Wal. . .no. . .I come designin'"—
"To see my ma? She's sprinklin' clo'es
Agin to-morrer's i'nin'."

To say why gals acts so or so,
Or don't 'ould be presumin';
Mebby to mean yes an' say no
Comes natural to women.

He stood a spell on one foot fust,
Then stood a spell on t' other
An' on which one he felt the wust
He couldn't ha' told ye nuther.

Says he, "I'd better call agin";
Says she, "Think likely, Mister";
Thet last word pricked him like a pin,
An' . . . Wal, he up an' kist her.

When Ma bimeby upon 'em slips,
Huldy sot pale ez ashes,
All kin' o' smily 'roun the lips
An' teary 'roun the lashes.

For she was jes' the quiet kind
Whose naturs never vary,
Like streams that keep a summer mind
Snowhid in Jenooary.

The blood clost roun' her heart felt glued
Too tight for all expressin',
Tell mother see how metters stood,
An' gin 'em both her blessin'.

Then her red come back like the tide
Down to the Bay o' Fundy,
An' all I know Is they was cried
In meetin' come nex' Sundav.


Oliver Wendell Holmes.

[Used by special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Company, authorized publishers of the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes.]


LOOK out! Look out, boys! Clear the track!

The witches are here! They've all come back
They hanged them high, but they wouldn't lie still,
For cats and witches are hard to kill;
They buried them deep but they wouldn't die,—
Books say they did, but they lie! they lie!


A couple of hundred years, or so,

They had knocked about in the world below,
When an Essex deacon dropped in to call,
And a homesick feeling seized them all ;
For he came from a place they knew full well,
And many a tale he had to tell.
They longed to visit the haunts of men,
To see the old dwellings they knew again,
On their well-trained broomsticks mounted high.
Seen like shadows against the sky;
Crossing the tracks of owls and bats,
Hugging before them their coal-black cats.


Well did they know, those gray old wives,

The sights we see in our daily drives:

Shimmer of lake and shine of sea,
Brown's bare hill with its lonely tree,
(It wasn't then as we see it now,
With one scant scalp-lock to shade its brow;)
Dusky nooks in the Essex woods,
Dark, dim, Dante-like solitudes,
Where the tree-toad watches the sinuous snake
Glide through his forests of fern and brake;
Ipswich river; its old stone bridge;
Far off Andover's Indian Ridge,
And many a scene where history tells,
Some shadow of bygone terror dwells,—
Of "Norman's Woe" with its tale of dread,
Of the Screeching Woman of Marblehead,
(The fearful story that turns men pale :
Don't bid me tell it,—my speech would fail.)


For that "couple of hundred years, or so,"

There had been no peace in the world below;
The witches still grumbling, "It isn't fair;
Come, give us a taste of the upper air!
We've had enough of your sulphur springs,
And the evil odor that round them clings;
We long for a drink that is cool and nice,—
Great buckets of water with Wenham ice;
We've served you well on earth, you know;
You're a good old—fellow—come, let us go!"


I don't feel sure of his being good,

But he happened to be in a pleasant mood,—
As fiends with their skin? full sometimes are,—
(He'd been drinking with "roughs" at a Boston bar.)
So what does he do but up and shout
To a graybeard turnkey, "Let 'em out!"


To mind his orders was all he knew;

The gates swung open, and out they flew,
"Where are our broomsticks?" the beldams cried.
"Here are your broomsticks," an imp replied.
"They've been in—the place you know—so long
They smell of brimstone uncommon strong;
But they've gained by being left alone,—
Just look, and you'll see how tall they've grown."
—"And where is my cat?" a vixen squalled.


"Yes, where are our cats?" the witches bawled,,

And began to call them all by name:
As fast as they called the cats, they came:
There was bob-tailed Tommy and long-tailed Tim,,
And wall-eyed Jacky and green-eyed Jim,
And splay-foot Benny and slimlegged Beau,
And Skinny and Squally, and Jerry and Joe,
And many another that came at call,—
It would take too long to count them all,
All black,—one could hardly tell which was which,
But every cat knew his own old witch;
And she knew hers as hers knew her,—
Ah, didn't they curl their tails and purr!


No sooner the withered hags were free

Than out they swarmed for a midnight spree;
I couldn't tell all they did in rhymes,
But the Essex people had dreadful times.
The Swampscott fishermen still relate
How a strange sea-monster stole their bait;
How their nets were tangled in loops and knots,
And they found dead crabs in their lobster-pots.

For Danvers grieved for her blasted crops,
And Wilmington mourned over mildewed hops.
A blight played havoc with Beverly beans,—
It was all the work of those hateful queans!


Now when the boss of the beldams found

That without his leave they were ramping round.
He called,—hey could hear him twenty miles,
From Chelsea beach to the Misery Isles;
The deafest old granny knew his tone
Without the trick of the telephone.
"Come here, you witches! Come here!" says he,-
"At your games of old, without asking me!
I'll give you a little job to do
That will keep you stirring, you godless crew!"


They came, of course, at their master's call,

The witches, the broomsticks, the cats, and all;
He led the hags to a railway train
The horses were trying to drag in vain.
"Now, then," says he, "you've had your fun,
And here are the cars you've got to run.
The driver may just unhitch his team,
We don't want horses, we don't want steam;
You may keep your old black cats to hug,
But the loaded train you have got to lug,"


Since then on many a car you'll see

A broomstick plain as plain can be ;
On every stick there's a witch astride,—
The string you see to her leg is tied.
She will do a mischief if she can,
But the string is held by a careful man.,

And whenever the evil-minded witch
Would cut some caper he gives a twitch.
As for the hag, you can't see her,
But hark! you can hear her black cat's purr,
And now and then, as a train goes by,
You may catch a gleam from her wicked eye.


Often you've looked on a rushing train,

But just what moved it was not so plain.
It couldn't be those wires above,
For they could neither pull nor shove;
Where was the motor that made it go?
You couldn't guess, but now you know.
Remember my rhymes when you ride again
On the rattling rail by the broomstick train!


By Emma Dunning Banks.


Give opening lines in bright, lively, breezy manner, with something in voice suggestive of shout. Right-hand gesture of attention and serio-comic warning should also be made, swaying lightly forward at same time in animated manner, with weight on right foot. Ascending gesture would be appropriate on "they hanged them high." Especially emphasize "hard" in "hard to kill." With impressive solemnity in voice and manner make descending gesture on "buried them deep." Shake head negatively as you describe incorrigible stubbornness of witches, and say "but they wouldn't die." With right hand edgewise, as you lean forward to right, lay forefinger on left side of mouth, and in stage-whisper give first "they lie," then lean to left and place hand on right side of mouth, and whisper words a second time.


Drop now into easy conversational tone and manner. After "in," in line 2, make very suggestive pause filled in with equally suggestive descending gesture, as you point to supposed location of regions below, then say "the world below." Emphasize "Essex deacon," also "homesick." On "mounted high" make ascending right-hand gesture, merging gesture into one of waving hand, as with forward attitude, head upraised and eyes uplifted, you speak of the "shadows against the sky." While hand is still in ascendant, depict imaginary "crossing the track of owls and bats." "Hugging" suggests double gesture, if one wishes so to finish stanza.


Consisting, as it does, mainly of description, this stanza may be omitted if the recitation is likely to take too much time. A spiral, serpentine movement of hand will serve to describe "sinuous glide of the snake." Use gestures of location as you say "Ipswich river," "its old stone bridge," "Far off Andover's Indian Ridge." Backward gesture will emphasize fact that the "terror" was "bygone."


Again point downward as you again say "the world below." Now comes manner of voice to be employed in characterization of witches' complaining. The one most appropriate is most fitly described by "catty." It should also be slightly cracked and tremulous as to be aged. This is commonly supposed to be an attribute of a witch. Pause after "you're a good old—" and stutter out a "D," if you so desire.


During line 1 shake head negatively. Bring out line 4 in confidential stage-aside, and make strong point of it. If you must impersonate his Satanic majesty, give him a stentorian voice and do it well.


Bring hands together, then swing them widely apart as you say "the gates swung open;" then fling both hands forward in manner descriptive of "out they flew." Always remember to merge one gesture into another, whenever possible. The "catty" voice of the witches is answered by thin, piping squeak when "imp" replies, taking care to articulate every word distinctly. In place of dash after "they've been in—," introduce an "ahem," followed by downward pointing gesture.


For witch who first cries "and where is my cat?" adopt "squalling" voice, as poem indicates. Then use voice first employed, the "catty" voice, for the united cry, "yes, where are our cats?" By being especially vivacious and animated, enumeration of cats may be made quite a telling point. There are ten of them, so poet has given just as many cats to talk about as we have fingers on our hands. In sprightly, airy manner, use forefinger of right hand to tap fingers of left, commencing with thumb, tapping lightly one finger after other for each cat named. When you come to "slim-legged Beau" you will have used up all fingers of left hand, and must reverse action-work by using forefinger of left hand to enumerate upon right; as you finish by saying "Joe" and tapping little finger of right hand, hands should spread apart, at same instant making little movement indicative of fact that there were too many for any more attempts at enumeration. Little, impressive shakes of forefinger will emphasize "But every cat knew her own old witch," and also line following. Particularly knowing nod of head should accompany another shake of finger as you say "Ah, didn't they curl their tails and purr." Before saying "purr" pause and imitate contented purring of cat. Use phonetic sound of p followed by prolonged trilling of "r."


"Out they swarmed" suggests double gesture consisting of little spreading motion. Decidedly negative shake of head finds place in line 3, and "dreadful" is brought out with especially sympathetic emphasis. Swaying alternately forward right and left, relate impressively tales of mischief done by witches.


Pause after "now," and show by manner and voice that somthing was done when "the boss of the beldams" rose to the occasion. Infuse strong meaning in emphasis employed upon "called." Make "twenty miles" full distance by far-pointing gesture, and equally far-pointed glance in forward direction. Backward left-hand gesture will place "Chelsea beach" in rear, and it may be separated widely from "Misery Isles" by locating latter well forward with right-hand gesture. Stentorian voice, before mentioned, now demands coloring of indignation and authority.


Enumerate on fingers "the witches, the broomsticks, the cats;" then separate hands, as you say "and all." Point out "railway train." Negative nods will render emphatic "don't" found twice in line 8. Finish stanza by bringing right fist determinedly down upon left palm as you say "you have got to lug."


These concluding stanzas demand little action-work, but very much of particular attention to explanatory emphasis, given in bright, conversational manner, taking care not to lose a point. Little twitch may be used when you say "he gives a twitch;" also another negative nod, when you say "you can't see her." Introduce after "hark!" imitation of sound made by electric car.


Impetuous forward movement will describe "rushing," letting hand remain extended, but turning it supinely during next line. This gesture merges into ascendant as you say "it couldn't be those wires above," and finishes by movement of hand descriptive of alternative pulling and shoving. Shake forefinger and nod head impressively on "but now you know." Conclude in bright, easy, natural manner.


Rosa Mulholland (Lady Gilbert).

HUSH! hear you how the night wind keens around the craggy reek?
Its voice peals high above the waves that thunder in the creek.

"Aroon! aroon! arouse thee, and hie thee o'er the moor!
Ten miles away there's bread, they say, to feed the starving poor.

"God save thee, Eileen bawn astor, and guide thy naked feet,
And keep the fainting life in us till thou come back with meat.

"God send the moon to show thee light upon the way so drear,
And mind thou well the rocky dell, and heed the rushy mere."

She kissed her father's palsied hand, her mother's pallid cheek,
And whirled out on the driving storm beyond the craggy reek.

All night she tracks, with bleeding feet, the rugged mountain way,
And townsfolks meet her in the street at flushing of the day.

But God is kinder on the moor than man is in the town,
And Eileen quails before the stranger's harsh rebuke and frown.

Night's gloom enwraps the hills once more and hides a slender form
That shudders o'er the moor again before the driving storm.

No bread is in her wallet stored, but on the lonesome heath
She lifts her empty hands to God, and prays for speedy death.

Yet struggles onward, faint and blind, and numb to hope or fear,
Unmindful of the rocky dell or of the rushy mere.

But, ululu! what sight is this?— what forms come by the reek?
As white and thin as evening mist upon the mountain's peak.

Mist-like they glide across the heath—a weird and ghostly band;
The foremost crosses Eileen's path, and grasps her by the hand.

"Dear daughter, thou hast suffered sore, but we are well and free;
For God has ta'en our life from us, nor wills it long to thee.

"So hie thee to our cabin lone, and dig a grave so deep,
And underneath the golden gorse our corpses lay to sleep —

"Else they will come and smash the walls upon our mould'ring bones,
And screaming mountain-birds will tear our flesh from out the stones.

"And, daughter, haste to do thy work, so thou mayst quickly come,
And take with us our grateful rest, and share our peaceful home."


The sun behind the distant hills far-sinking down to sleep;
A maiden on the lonesome moor, digging a grave so deep;

The moon above the craggy reek, silvering moor and wave,
And the pale corpse of a maiden young stretched on a new made grave.


Carroll Prescon.

YEARS and years ago it happened,
On the farm where I was born,
But it all comes back as clearly
As the things of yestermorn.
You boys living in the city
Don't know half the fun we had
Every Hallowe'en at husking,
When your grandpa was a lad.
I remember how your grandma
Husked an ear and found it red;
How I claimed the red-ear forfeit—
Kissed her—and she hung her head.
When the corn had all been garnered,
And the husks were cleared away,

Old Jim Johnson tuned his fiddle —
Sakes alive! How he could play
"Money Musk" and old "Sir Roger"—
I can almost see them now,
In the minuet's courtly circles,
Sweeping low with stately bow.
How your grandma's golden tresses
Glittered 'neath the lantern light!
Forty years—but I remember—
Just as if it was to-night.
Then the farmhouse—such a supper-
Apples, nuts and gingerbread;
How we sang until the shouting
Shook the rafters overhead.
Ducked for apples, "threw the blue yarn,"
Sought the apple's magic spell;
Snuffed the candles, sowed the hempseed,
Tried more tricks than I can tell;
Near to midnight, when the magic
Of the Fates had potent grown,
All we boys had left the kitchen,
So the girls might be alone.
Scattered all about the farmyard,
"Hide and Seek" in haste we tried,
When I noticed that the outside
Cellar-door was open wide.
Slipping down the steep old stairway,
Quick I dropped the door behind;
There among the apple-barrels,
Thinking vantage safe to find.
Munching on a "Ribstone" pippin,
I had found a seat at last,
When the house-door to the cellar
Opened to let some one past;
And my heart went all a-tremble
When I saw your grandma there,

With a mirror and a candle,
Walking backward down the stair.
So I tiptoed gently forward,
Like a thief about to steal;
Wondered would she take affright at
What her mirror would reveal.
Step by step she slow descended,
Faltering—till, but one step more,
And at last she found her footing
On the creaky cellar floor.
Laughing in the little mirror,
Straight I looked her in the eyes;
"I'm so glad," I heard her murmur,
Not a least sign of surprise.
And, without a glance behind her,
Up the stair she straightway fled,
Eager to rejoin the others
In the kitchen overhead.
So 'twas Hallowe'en that told me
What I long had hoped to know,
And that's why my heart clings closely
To those days of long ago.
For you boys here in the city
Don't know half the fun we had
Every Hallowe'en at husking,
When your grandpa was a lad.


Martha S. Gielow.

HYAR, honey, take this littl' gif
An' place it nigh yo' heart,
'Twill keep erway dat littl' rif
What causes folks ter part.

Hit's only des er rabbit-toe,
But den, de luck it brings
Is wuf er million dimes an' mo'
An' all de weddin'-rings !

Be sho' yo' wear it in yo' bre's',
Pertic'lar on de day
De preacher come ter pray an' bless
An' jine yo' han's ter stay.
Des' keep it, honey, an' yo'll fine
Hit hoi's er magic spell
Ter make yo' lover true an' kine
An' han'some, des es well

Er rabbit-foot what's congered right
Lak dis un is, I know,
Will make yo' always glad an' bright
An' good an' putty, sho'.


Frank L. Stanton.

DEE screech-owl, screech f'um de ol' barn lof :
"Yo' drinked yo' dram sence yo' done swear off.
En yo' gwine de way
Whar' de sinners stay,
An' satan gwine to roas' yo' at de Jedgemint-Day !"

Den de ol' hant say f'um de ol' chu'ch-wall:
"Yo' des' so triflin' dat yo' had ter fall!
En yo' gwine de way
Whar' de brimstone stay,
An' satan gwine to roas' yo' at de Jedgemint-Day !"

Den I shake en shiver,
En I hunt de kiver,

En I cry to de good Lawd, "Please deliver!"
I tell 'im plain
Dat my hope is vain,
En I drinked ma' dram fer to ease ma' pain.

Den de screech-owl screech f'um de north to south:
"Yo' drinked yo' dram en yo' smacked yo' mouth!
En yo' gwine de way
Whar' de brimstone stay,
An' satan gwine to roas' yo' at de Jedgemint-Day!"


Josephine Merwin Cook.

DON' yo' b'lieve in signs, Mah Sophie?
I does, an' so mus' yo'.
When yo' spills de salt,
Don' yo' alius th'ow
It obber yo' lef shoulder, so?
Cose yo' does it, don' I kno'?

An' when de rooster crow, Mah Sophie,
On de do'-step, don' yo' kno',
Dat's de sign dat folks is cumin';
Den it is dat yo' go fixin',
While sum li'l' lub-chune hummin';
'Ah, yo' wuz a li'l' vixen.

Kase yo' think dey's all fer yo', Mah Sophie.
Dat is whut yo' alius do,
An' when de stars shine bright,
Yo' gwine lissen all yo' might,
Fo' de footstep, drawin' nigh;
Dat is me; do yo' kno', Sophie?


Josephine Merwin Cook.

WHEN I wuz a li'l' black mite,
I uster lissen out at night,
Kase de ol' grey-owl, in de sycamo' tree,
Used ter hoot, an' hoot, at me:
"Whoo Whoo', ah, Whoo' cooks fo' yo' all?"

He uster skeer me mos' ter deaf,
Twell I foun' out who wuz wastin' his bref;
Mah mammy said, tain't nuffin, chile,
But de hoot-owl, callin' all de while:
"Whoo', Whoo', ah, Whoo' cooks fo' yo' all?"

Do Ise growed up now, I tell yo' true,
Dat same ole soun' meks me shiver clean th'oo,
When I goes down de road, in de dark, yo' kno',
I trimmel all obber, ah suahly do:
"Whoo', Whoo', ah, Whoo' cooks fo' yo' all?"


J. W. Foley.

OHO! Mr. Ghost, with your raiment of white,
Come to frighten me out of my wits in the night!
With your eyes flaming forth like two coals, and your breath
Bearing fire that would scare a poor mortal to death;
With your rows of great teeth grinning widely at me
And your loose-hanging gown flapping under the tree
In the orchard out there—oh! I know how you're made,
And the youngsters who made you, so I'm not afraid.

Oho! Mr. Ghost, I am waiting for you;
You're an old friend of mine, both trustworthy and true;
For that big head of yours that near gave me a fright
Was in somebody's pumpkin-patch only last night.
And out of my window not two hours ago
I saw your head scooped out by Bill, Jack, and Joe;
And I saw you stuck up on the end of a lath
Before you were stationed right here in my path.

Oho! Mr. Ghost, with your garments so fine!
I know what became of that sheet on the line
In the neighbor's back yard, newly washed and alone.
It is hiding that lath that you use for backbone,
And the candle that burned in the kitchen last night
Lights those cavernous eyes that near gave me fright;
Indeed, you are made from such odds and such ends
That I feel we're the warmest of very old friends.

And those sepulchral groans you are making at me,
I know whence they come—from that big apple-tree
That is right behind you—I have heard them before;
They were begging for cake at the side kitchen-door.
So you see, Mr. Ghost, with your pumpkin and lath,
With your candle and sheet, when I came up the path
I heard a boy chuckle up there in the tree,
And that is the reason you can't frighten me!


Frank L. Stanton.

DE gray owl sing f'um de chimbly top,
"Who-who-is you-oo?"
En I say, "Good Lawd, hit's des' po' me,
En I ain't quite ready fo' de Jasper Sea,
I'm po' an' sinful, ez yo' 'lowed I'd be ;
Oh, wait, good Lawd, twell to-morrer."

De gray owl sing f'um de cypress tree,
"Who-who-is you-oo?"
En I say, "Good Lawd, ef yo' look, yo'll see
Hit ain't nobody but des' po' me,
En I lak to stay twell ma' time is free;
Oh, wait, good Lawd, twell to-morrer."


THEY sat on the limb of a crabapple-tree,
A Bogy, a Spook and a little Banshee.
The wind blew north and the wind blew free—
Oh, 'twas a* merry meeting
The Bogy had eyes as big as a plate,
The Spook had feet number twenty-eight,
While the Banshee had covered her horrible pate
With the ghastliest kind of sheeting.

Said the Bogy at last with a dismal wail,
"To frighten folks now I always fail;
They laugh instead of becoming pale
When they at midnight meet me.
Our business is falling in disrepute,
It's neither productive of fame nor loot;
Back to the shades I think I'll scoot—
There the ghosts will be glad to greet me."

"Not far from here," croaked the grim Banshee
"Lives a lonely man of low degree;
Pale and sad and sickly he,
And 'twould be funny, very,
To frighten him into a fearful fit,
Just to liven us up a bit
Before we take our final flit
Over the spectral ferry.

"We'll descend on him in a baleful bunch,
Grinning as if we'd like him for lunch:
I'll howl while the Bogy his teeth may scrunch;
The Spook can be sadly singing."
"Agreed," cried the ghastly, ghostly pair.
They sped away through the midnight air,
Routed the recluse out of his lair,
By their howls and growls and ringing.

Courteously he invited them in,
In vain did the Spook grimace and grin,
And the Bogy raise a horrible din;
Their host smiled more than any.
He didn't turn pale nor his blood cdngeal,
But considerately asked, "Well, how do you feel?"
And spread them out a bountiful meal,
While his welcome words were many.

"Do you not- stand," said the Bogy, "aghast
At the terrible trio who join your repast?
We, whose business it is to cast
Mortals in misery dumb!"
"Afraid of spectres!" he laughed. "Not much!
I make my living by dealing in such—
Black and white, Danish and Dutch.
Sweet spooks, I'm a medium!"


Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.

UNCLE NOAH CLAYTON, with promise of bettering his condition, moved his goods and chattels and family to a great old house on the outskirts of the village, and not until the house had been hired and his furniture deposited therein, was it told to him that it was haunted.

The first night passed off quietly and pleasantly; and so did the second; but, on the third night, just after midnight, there was a ghostly alarm. It came from the direction of the kitchen, and there was the sound of breaking glass, and the shuffling of feet upon the loose floor-boards. Both Mr. Noah and Mrs. Noah sat up and listened.

Yes—there was somebody in the pantry! Pieces of tin and crockery ware were heard to tinkle and jingle.

"That's the way these new-fangled ghosts always do, Nancy. They're great for knocking around crockery and table-ware !"

"What'll you do, Noah?"

"I'm goin' to see what's up; I never heard of their hurting anybody, did you?"


"Then I'll take my pistol and investigate, sh! don't make any noise!"

By the time Noah was ready, the two children were up.

"Hush! don't make a bit of noise, children."

"Is it a ghost, papa?"

"That's what we want to find out. Now, mark, if you follow me, look out and don't get in the way of the pistol. You bring the lamp, Nancy."

And so the procession was formed, Noah in the van, with his pistol firmly clutched; Mrs. Noah next, with lamp in her left hand and a poker in her right; Master Tommy next, armed with a bootjack; while little Stephen brought up the rear, his chubby hands clutching one of his father's boots. In the hall they were joined by the hired girl and an apprentice boy.


Ah! the plates rattled again ! and the tin-pans clinked and clanged. The servant girl screamed and would have fainted, if Noah had not made a motion toward her with his pistol.

With slow and cautious tread, the head of the column reached the kitchen and halted before the door of the pantry. Ah! more rattling of plates !

"Who's there?" demanded Noah.

The only answer was a moaning of the wind—or, was it the moaning-of a ghost?

But Noah Clayton was not a coward, especially with such a backing; so he directed his wife how to hold the light; and then, having seen that his pistol was properly cocked, he placed his hand upon the latch.

Mrs. Noah grasped the poker more firmly, and raised it into ready position; Master Tommy, under cover of his mother, with bootjack valiantly advanced, stood side by side with his smaller brother, and papa's boot.

"Ah—sh!—There go the plates again! And—now—ha!—a leap upon the floor! How curiously they tread! Hold the light, mother. A little higher—ah—that's it. Now!"

And he threw open the door. The fresh breeze came in through a break in the window; the moonbeams struggled through the dingy panes, and from her place near the center of the floor straight to them advanced—the old cat, with a fear-dispelling meow!


I AIN'T afraid o' goblins, I should say;
You can't scare Sam an' me, not that a-way.
Do you know what goblins are? They're awful things,
Dressed all in white, or black. They don't have wings,
But they can fly right through the ceilin'; then
They have long arms, an' oo-oo! long claws, an' when
They grab a feller, off they fly, before
You've time to yell—'n' you don't come back no more.

We ain't afraid o' goblins, Sam an' me—
I ain't, when Sam's around, an' Sam says he
Ain't 'f raid o' nothing! Goblins like to keep
All night in lonesome graveyards—cre-e-ep an' cre-ep
So scarey like—a-listenin' in the dark

To owls that hoot an' cry, an' dogs that bark.
Some stay in garrets an' old houses, too;
N' you can't tell when they'll git you, till they do.

Most girls are 'fraid o' goblins. Sam an' me,
We ain't, because I'll tell you why, you see
That graveyard 'way off yonder on the hill?
Well, Sam he says, "Say, Bill"—Sam calls me "Bill,"—
"Let's go an' look for goblins;" so we did,
'Cause paw he'd told us how the goblins hid
Around among the tombstones cre-epin' sof,
Awaitin' jest to carry fellers off.

One night we sneaked up close, an' gee—mum-ee,
There stood a white one lookin' at Sam an' me.
We wasn't scared, not much. It shook its head,
An' we—we said our prayers, an' Sam, he said,
"'F 'e gits me first you tell maw what he done."
Then it came creepin' up—we couldn't run,
We felt so we-ak, an' shivered so—somehow—
An' then it "mo-o-ed"—'twas jist our old white cow.


Thomas Carlyle.

COULD anything be more miraculous than an actual authentic ghost? The English Johnson longed all his life to see one, but could not, though he went to the church vaults, and tapped on coffins. Foolish doctor! Did he never, with the mind's eye as well as with the body's, look round him into that full tide of human life he so loved? Did he never so much as look into himself? The good doctor was a ghost, as actual and authentic as heart could wish ; well-nigh a million of ghosts were traveling the streets by his side. Sweep away the illusions of time; compress the threescore years into three minutes; what else was he, what else are we? Are we not spirits that are shaped into a body, into an appearance, and that fade away again into air and invisibility? This is no metaphor; it is a simple scientific fact. We start out of nothingness, take figure, and are apparitions; round us, as round the veriest specter, is eternity; and to eternity minutes are as years and aeons. Come there not tones of love and faith, as from celestial harp-strings, like the song of beatified souls? And, again, do not we squeak and jibber (in our discordant, screech-owlish debatings and recriminatings), and glide bodeful, and feeble, and fearful; or uproar, and revel in our mad dance of the dead, till the scent of the morning air summons us to our still home; and dreamy night becomes awake and day? Where now is Alexander of Macedon? Does the steel host, that yelled in fierce battle-shouts at Issus and Arbela, remain behind him, or have they all vanished utterly, even as perturbed goblins must? Napoleon, too, and his Moscow retreats and Austerlitz campaigns! Was it all other than the veriest specter-hunt; which has now, with its howling tumult that made night hideous, flitted away?—Ghosts! .There are nigh a thousand million walking the earth openly at noontide; some half-hundred have vanished from it, some half-hundred have arisen in it, ere thy watch ticks once.

O Heaven! it is mysterious, it is awful, to consider that we not only carry each a future ghost within him, but are in very deed, ghosts! These limbs, whence had we them; this stormy force; this lifeblood with its burning passion? They are dust and shadow; a shadow-system gathered round our Me; wherein, through some moments or years, the Divine Essence is to be revealed in the flesh. That warrior on his strong war-horse, fire flashes through his eyes; force dwells in his arms and heart; but warrior and war-horse are a vision,—a revealed force,—nothing more. Stately they tread the earth as if it were a firm substance. Fool! The earth is but a film; it cracks in twain, and warrior and war-horse sink beyond plummet's sounding. Plummet's? Fantasy herself will not follow them. A little while ago, they were not; a little while, and they are not, their very ashes are not.

So has it been from the beginning, so will it be to the end. Generation after generation takes to itself the form of a body; and forth-issuing from Cimmerian night, on heaven's mission appears. What force and fire is in each he expends: One grinding in the mill of industry; one, hunter-like, climbing the giddy Alpine heights of science; one madly dashed in pieces on the rocks of strife, in war with his fellow:—and then the heaven-sent is recalled; his earthly vesture falls away, and soon even to sense becomes a vanished shadow. Thus, like some wild-flaming, wild-thundering train of heaven's artillery, does this mysterious Mankind thunder and flame, in long-drawn, quick-succeeding grandeur, through the unknown deep. Thus, like a God-created, fire-breathing spirit-host, we emerge from the inane; haste stormfnlly across the astonished earth; then plunge again into the inane. Earth's mountains are leveled, and her seas filled up, in our passage. Can the earth, which is but dead and a vision, resist spirits which have reality and are alive? On the hardest adamant some footprint of us is stamped in; the last rear of the host will read traces of the earliest van. But whence? O heaven, whither? Sense knows not; faith knows not; only that it is through mystery to mystery, from God and to God.

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep!"


Lu B. Cake.

THE barn's haunted loft is gloomy and still;
The spider-webs cover the mold
Where sun-arrows shoot through holes in the roof
And rafters are lined with gold.

Hist! harken to goblins' footsteps, or wing's I
I hear them so plain, don't you?
The ghoses us children find in the barn;
They flit around and cry, "Woo, woo !"

No, sir, it is not the rats in the mow,
Nor noise of the wind that moans ;
They're ghoses that's hauntin' the old barn loft
With awful screeches and groans.
We hide and we watch, all holdin' our breath,
We hear and we see them, too;
By day, or by night, when th' wind's blowin' right,
They dodge 'round and cry, "Woo, woo !"

At night they bewitch the horses' long manes,
They tangle the harness all;
They tie the halters in goblinses' knots,
They let loose a horse in a stall.
They swing in the rafters spider-web swings,
They dance, and they drink the dew;
They revel all night, and when it is light,
They flit 'round and cry, "Woo, woo !"


Charles J. Leland.

I SAW three witches as the wind blew cold,
In a red light to the lee;
Bold they were and over-bold,
As they sailed over the sea,
Calling for "One, two, three!"
Calling for "One, two, three!"
And I think I can hear
It a-ringing in my ear,
A-calling for their "One, two, three!"

And clouds came over the sky,
And the wind it blew hard and free ;
And the waves were bold, and over-bold,
As we sailed over the sea;
Howling- for their "One, two, three !"
Howling for their "One, two, three!"
Oh, I think I can hear
It a-howling in my ear,
Howling for their "One, two, three!"

And the storm came roaring on,
Such a storm as I never did see,
And the storm it was bold, and over-bold,
And as bad as a storm could be ;
A-roaring for its "One, two, three !"
A-howling for its "One, two, three !"
Oh, I think I can hear
It a-howling in my ear,
Howling for its "One, two ; three !"

And a wave came over the deck,
As big as a wave could be,
And it took away the captain, and the mate and a man;
It had got the "One, two, three !"
It had got the "One, two, three !"
And it kept the "One, two, three !"
Oh, I think I can hear
It a-rolling in my ear,
As it went with the "One, two, three !"

No sort of fun can compare with fun of Hallowe'en,
When boys and girls, all in a craze,
Run pell-mell as though chased by bears.
There's fun in other things, but Hallowe'en best suits me.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

THE sexton looked forth, at the mid hour of night,
O'er the tombs where the dead were reclining;
The moon, at its full, gave a great, ghostly light,
And the churchyard as day was shining.
First one, then another—oh, terrible sight!—
Each grave opened wide, and, in gowns long and white,
The dead all arose from their sleeping,
Round the tombs grimly dancing and leaping.
In a skeleton ring, then, together they hung,
While they danced as the waves of the ocean—
The poor and the rich, and the old and the young—
But their grave-clothes hindered their motion;
And, as here no modesty held its broad sway,
They all shook them off, and around them there lay
Their winding sheets, here and there scattered,
And they naked—but that little mattered.
In a frenzy of joy then they swung their long shanks,
Their long fingers in unison snapping,
And they clicked and clacked as they played wild pranks,
As though timber on timber were clapping.
At last it was o'er, and the skeleton crowd,
One after another, each slipped on its shroud;
Then into their cold graves they glided,
And silence once more presided.


Thomas N. Weaver.

HERE comes a jack-o'-lantern, to frighten us to-night,
Made from a hollow pumpkin, with candle in for light.
He sits there on our window, with eyes so large and bright,
Oh, if he's some big lion, that broke his cage to-night!
I'll go a little closer, just slip up, very slow;
Oh, there's a little bonnet and dress I surely know.
Come in, you little Jacko, and bring your pumpkin, too;
When you first came I trembled, but now I know it's you.