In “Folk-Lore From Adams County, Illinois,” Harry M. Hyatt recorded an assortment of love divinations to be performed on Halloween. Many of these are derived from folk customs also recorded in Ireland and Scotland. Here are just a few, with Hyatt’s reference numbers included.

Give a name to an Apple that is suspended from a string on Halloween Eve, and if you succeed in biting it, you are loved by the person named. (6717)

Drop apples into a tub of water at a Halloween party and the one who succeeds in biting an apple will be certain to marry. (6787)

On Halloween Eve place stemless apples in a tub of water; the first person, who by bobbing can lift an apple from the tub with his teeth, will be the first one in the group to get married. (6788)

Put a glass of water beneath your bed on Halloween and go to bed backwards, you will dream of your future husband. If he hands you a drink of water in a glass, he will be wealthy; if in a cup, he will be poor; but if he does not offer you a drink, you will be an old maid. (7137)

On Halloween put a basin of water at the side of your bed, turn off the light and go to bed; then raise up quickly and look into the water, and you’ll see the face of your prospective mate. (7139)

Put a handful of chestnuts on the fire on Halloween, you can tell how many beaus will pop the question; for every chestnut that pops, a beau will pop the question. (6818)

On Halloween lay a row of chestnuts in the ashes along the edge of the fireplace and name the nuts after boys and girls. When the nuts become hot they will hop. Any two nuts named for a boy and a girl, jumping towards each other, indicates that they will marry; if the two nuts jump away from each other, the boy and the girl symbolized will not get married. (6878)

On Halloween pour melted lead (molybdomancy) into a pan of water by letting the lead pass through the handle of a key. Whatever tool is formed by the molten lead will disclose that tool with which your future husband will work. (7191)

You can discover your future mate by looking into a mirror on the cellar steps. Do this on Halloween. (7005)

You can discover your future husband by looking into a mirror on Halloween. (7061)

On Halloween hold a candle in one hand and a mirror in the other hand, and walk down the stairs backwards. You will see in the mirror the one you are to marry. (7006)

Lay a mirror upside down under your pillow on Halloween, and as the clock begins to strike midnight, get up and look into the mirror. You will see your allotted mate. (7062)

Lie down on your back by a well on Halloween and hold a mirror over your head so that you can see a reflection of the bottom of the well. If you are to marry, the picture of your future married partner will appear in the mirror. (7144)

Put in a pan of water on the table with a button, coin, nut, ring and stone. Blindfold yourself and with a spoon attempt to scoop out one of the articles from the pan. Three tries are allowed. If you lift out the button, you will live in single blessedness; The coin, you will acquire wealth; the nut, you will toil for a living; the ring, you will marry; and the stone, you will travel a rocky road. This divination is usually tried on Halloween. (6979)

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