The Halloween partying of more than a century ago was quite different.
A couple of excerpts from the Nov. 4, 1908 issue of the Red Bank Register tell the story of Halloween festivities in the area ...
First of all, the decor was much more staid. OK, boring. It was boring. All this hunting for haunting Halloween decorations these days, and all it took to get into the spirit of the day back then, apparently, was a house decorated with "flags, bunting and jack-o’-lanterns.” Bunting?
And the parties sounded even more like they took the chiller right out of the thriller of the season.
Get this ...
“A number of Navesink young folks gave Miss Florence Sickles of that place a Hallowe’en surprise visit Saturday night. The evening was spent in playing Hallowe’en games, and refreshments were served. During the evening, Miss Sickles got a bad bump over the eye while playing in one of the games.”
Now what kind of “game” exactly was Miss Sickles playing; and could it be that those "refreshments" caused her to get a bump over her eye? Did Miss Sickles indulge in a few adult beverages or did she bump her head on an apple while bobbing?
Then another crowd went to church to party on ...
“There was a large crowd present at a Hallowe’en masquerade sociable given by the Belford Methodists in the M.P. Yard’s hall at that place Saturday night. An admission of twenty cents was charged and additional five cents was charged those who were unmasked.”
I just love how they charged them for not dressing. Yet, according to the archives, the costumes were questionable at the very least — one woman wore a "fancy white costume," another "represented a pumpkin" and a man "wore a woman's costume."
Say what? Just how does one "represent" a pumpkin — by curling up in the fetal position and sucking their thumb? Got me on that one. And what the heck was this fancy white dress? Bride? Nurse? And the guy ... well, some things never change.
There's always one. And that one guy is always the one who seems to get tips shoved into his hairy chest and doesn't spring for drinks with all that sweaty dough. Oh, right, that was my date in 2006. Some traditions die hard.
And 20 cents for admission?? Now that’s a cheap date! That won't even buy you a
glass of water at a tavern Halloween party nowadays.
Hey, they made $30, according to the story. That’s about three cocktails’ worth today.
Cheers! And Happy Halloween partying season. Don't forget to find yourself a nice pumpkin outfit or a dress or grass skirt, guys. Hey, the economy's bad.