4) Cellar Stairs
This game involved walking backwards down a flight of stairs using a hand held mirror as your only guide. Supposedly the features of your future mate would appear in the mirror, but it seems more likely that you would just fall down the stairs.
5) Candle and Apple Game
Sometimes called snap apple, the game was so popular in the 18th and 19th centuries that Halloween was often referred to as snap apple night. Candles and apples are hung from the ceiling and the goal is to get a bit of apple without consuming any wax or getting burned. In modern times the apples on strings without candles is the version that has persisted and for good reason!
Once upon a time, just for fun, people used to melt lead and then pass it through a key or other object into a vessel of cool water. The resulting free-form shapes could then be “read” in a fashion similar to reading tea leaves. This fun party game was popular across Europe in the 19th century and could often be found around New Year’s as a way to predict what the next year held in store.
7) Jumping Over Candles
We’ve all heard the nursery rhyme of “Jack Be Nimble” but in the 1800s this was a game that was played often by both children and adults. We have to wonder how many fires were started this way.
It’s hard to imagine any of these games being played at a modern event, especially one with children in attendance. It’s amazing that, in a era in which fire claimed so many lives, that these games encouraged people to literally play with fire. But, perhaps the danger of it all was simply irresistible.