As It Was: 1892 House Party Displaces Halloween Tricks
The rather destructive pranks of the 1800s’ Halloween revelers, like hoisting buggies on top of barns, tipping over outhouses and putting gates in the nearest lake, gave way to more genteel parties later in the century. These house parties had decorations of jack o’ lanterns, sheet ghosts, paper witches, fortune-telling, popcorn, and pumpkin pie.
One such party was given in October 1892 by Mr. And Mrs. G. M. Grainger of Ashland, Ore., in honor of Miss Carrie Beekman. Their invitation read as follows:
As herein will be seen,
The pleasure of your company
On the eve of Halloween
At a little social party
At their home on Granite St.
At eight you’ll form a merry circle
That will around true friends meet.
They would also kindly ask you
A favor so please do not decline,
And that is this; be sure and send
Your acceptance or regrets in rhyme.
And to the one whose verse is best, In rhyme and meter as the judges shall deem,
There will be given a dainty prize.
With the kindest regards of Halloween.”
Source: The invitation is in MS 137 at the Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library and in their Halloween Vertical File.