Alphabet Game— A method of FORTUNETELLING at Halloween parties involving letters cut from a newspaper and then floated in a container of WATER; the letters might form the name of a future spouse. An elaborate variant of this comes from Newfoundland: As the clock strikes MIDNIGHT on Halloween, a girl puts 26 letters of the alphabet, cut from paper, into a pure-white bowl which has been touched by the lips of a new-born babe only. She then recites: Kind fortune, tell me where is he Who my future lord shall be; From this bowl all that I claim Is to know my sweetheart’s name.
Then she puts the bowl into a safe place until morning, when she is blindfolded and picks out the same number of letters as there are in her own name; from these letters she spells the name of her future husband. In an American version, two complete alphabets are cut up and placed face down in water on Halloween night at midnight; those that have turned face up in the morning are the initials of the one you will marry.
The Halloween Encyclopedia Second Edition written by Lisa Morton © 2011 Lisa Morton. All rights reserved