Some suggestions for a Halloween Festival with details taken from an article which I believe was written in the year 1904 from the New York Tribune newspaper.
Witch Party with Ghosts and Weird Observances
A Halloween party should not be large, no more than twenty party guests whom should be true friends rather than mere acquaintances. One can go with the Old Fashioned style party which is devoted to burning chestnuts and bobbing for apples or one can go with something new like a witches' party where guests can come clothed in traditional witches' garb. The men can wear costumes that suggest wizardry.
Halloween Party Invitations
Invitations for the Halloween party should be cut in the form of a witch or the invitation can be sketched with the image of a witch, or if desired several witches flying on broomsticks. The drawings can be made by tracing the outline over carbon paper on the card and then marking over the tracing lines with pen and ink. You can make things interesting by having the invitation cards be different from each other. If invitation is made by word of mouth, the same method of creating invitation cards can be applied to creating supper cards which in turn can be held by tiny witch dolls that can be given to the guests as unique souvenirs.
Cake of Fate
The party should take place in a room that has an open fire and be held into the wee hours of the morning when ghosts and astral bodies are travelling about. One of the first things that needs to be done is to make the cake of fate so that it may be baked for supper. Each of the trinkets should be wrapped in oil paper and there will be a ring to show who will first be married, a thimble for the spinster, a wheel for the traveler who is never to rest in a home, a pen for an author, a sixpence or dime for the individual who is know riches. Any trifle suggestive of an occupation may be baked into the cake which would indicate the occupation of a future spouse. The items that are to be placed in the cake should be small enough as not to be found so easily. One person may put together the ingredients, but each individual must give a stir to the dough. When the cake is to be placed into the oven, not a word must be spoken or the spell will be broken.
Halloween Candle Trick
Here is a certain trick of a candle that is intended to reveal what the coming year has in store. Arrange half sized candles some distance apart from each other on the floor. Each candle represents a month and the trick is to jump over them in turn without extinguishing any of them. If one successfully performs the trick, the year in store will be a good one, however each light that does go out represents an unlucky month.
The guests of the Halloween party will pay a visit with the oracle, a man or women who is unknown to them. The costume of the oracle should be the weirdest as possible, with their face being veiled. The oracle should be in a room not seen until the guest is ready to consult with the oracle. There should be no lights in the room with the exception of candles. To heighten the effect of the room, a green or blue shade can be placed over the candle to produce an unearthly light. Cabalistic symbols should be hung around the closet or tent that is to be used as the room for the oracle. Only one guest at a time may enter the room of the oracle whom should speak to each guest in a deep, hollow tone in the most spooky manner possible. It does not matter if the oracle uses cards, the hand, crystal gazing or other method to look into the future, what matters is that the oracle will not tell of horrors even in jest, for many of those who openly scorn all matters of superstituions are in reality deeply influenced thereby.
Halloween Supper and Ghost Stories
The supper of the evening will contain a menu that consist of nuts, apples, nut sandwiches, nut and apple salad, nut cakes and the cake of fate. Apple Cider should be the drink of the night and plenty of it for the thirsty guests. After supper is ended, all will go into the room with the open fire and it is here where the guests will soon find themselves sitting meditatively about the fire, and then someone will begin to tell a story. There will be no other light in the room, and when the fire begins to flicker and become low, this will give great effect to the ghost stories. It is suggested to the host of the party to use beechwood for the fire which will produce beautiful blues, greens and gold flames, and if beechwood is not available, there are chemical imitations that can produce nearly similar brilliance for the flames which will enhance the telling of the ghost stories. As there will be twenty guests sitting in the room, if by chance the teller of the ghost stories does not become scary, it will not be too severe a strain upon the most nervous of the guests, but it will produce an effect out of the ordinary for your guests who are disguised in their costumes sitting in the low light of the fire.
If desired, the oracle may be introduced at this point of the evening when the party is at its highest point of nervous tension. The oracle should enter the room silently and unexpectedly, clothed in shapeless white sheets, a pointed cap on head from which long drapery should hang and arms outspread. After the oracle announces their entry, they should leave the room as silently as they had entered.
Halloween Party winds down to a close
As the evening comes to a close and the lights go back on, this is a good time to remove the nervous tension of the evening. This can be done by participating in old fashioned games such as "roll the cover". The games will dispel the nervousness, cause laughter and thus put everyone in a cheerful frame of mind while blotting out any remaining terror left by the ghost stories.