Autopsy—Popular Halloween presentation, performed in many variations. The version referred to as “Autopsy” involves setting up a back-lit sheet, behind which a “doctor” performs either an operation or an autopsy, removing various “body parts” which are handed around to the onlookers. In the variation often known as “Witch’s Cauldron,” a witch passes the parts down a line of partygoers; these parts would typically include an old glove filled with mush for a hand, a peeled grape for an eye, a soup bone, corn kernels for teeth, a wet sponge for the brain, a raw oyster for the heart, etc.

Other scenarios were also presented behind backlit sheets: For example, a 1938 book on the early art of home movie-making suggests staging a Halloween scene in which children glimpsed as silhouettes behind a sheet are chased by WITCHES and by their own toys.


The Halloween Encyclopedia Second Edition written by Lisa Morton © 2011 Lisa Morton. All rights reserved