History To-Go: Halloween

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Did you know that Halloween used to be about young love? In the Victorian Era young adults threw elaborate parties filled with games designed to show them what their future held - especially who they would marry. The festivities began with special, often handmade invitations. Guests would gather after dark, sometimes in early versions of Halloween costumes, to begin the haunted night. Spooky stories might be told while partygoers ate fall treats like roasted nuts and candied apples. Superstitious games would be played throughout the evening, with special emphasis on the midnight hour. Perhaps the most popular legend said that if a single woman looked in a mirror at exactly midnight on Halloween, the face of her true love would appear. Another legend, started in England and carried to America, said that whoever caught the first apple when apple bobbing would be the first person at the party to marry. If the person slept with the apple they caught under their pillow, they were supposed to dream the face of their true love. By 1910 Halloween costumes became a cornerstone of the holiday for adults and children alike, and by the 1920s children were playing Halloween pranks. Some cities had such a tough time keeping youngsters pranks from getting out of hand, they had to hire extra helpers for Halloween night! Desperate to keep kids from causing mischief, parents started making sweets that kids could collect around town instead. They had to choose... Trick or treat?

October's "History To-Go" box features Halloween! You can come by the museum starting Tuesday October 4, 2022 to pick up a box (limit 2 per family). Limited supplies, so come early! You can select the links below to access the box contents if you cannot get to the museum to pick yours up!

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Thanks to funding from the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation Inc, and the Arts Council of Fayetteville we are offering FREE "History To-Go", take home craft kits.