Old-school Halloween party table decorations & menu ideas from 100+ years ago

Old-school Halloween party table decorations & menu ideas from 100+ years ago

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How did people celebrate the spookiest holiday many generations ago? Look here for some very vintage — but hauntingly creative — old-school Halloween party table decor ideas & menus from 1912.

The Halloween party table – Winnifred Fales shows how to entertain twelve persons at small cost (from 1912)

In planning these inexpensive Halloween parties, the prices have been estimated to cover the materials for decorating, the favors and the food served.

Antique Halloween decorations with witches and magic books

Vintage Halloween party table decorations: Pumpkin Blossom Table

To the attractiveness of the paper Hallowe’en tablecloth, and the Jack-o’-lantern paper plates, shown, is added a running pumpkin vine — and out of tissue pumpkin blossoms, the candles rise.

The favors are jaunty little figures with pumpkin faces and tendril arms, dressed in pumpkin blossoms and carrying tiny baskets filled with salted almonds.

Vintage Halloween party table decorations Pumpkin Blossom Table

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Food and drink for this Halloween party menu

NIGHTMARE (Welsh rabbit)

JACK O’LANTERNS (Waldorf salad in apple shells with boogie faces carved on one side)

SPINSTER’S THIMBLES (Hot thimble-shaped biscuits)

BROWNIES (Gingerbread cookies)


ALSO SEE: DIY Halloween decorations on a budget: Fiendishly clever ideas from the days before party supply stores (1919)

Halloween party table decor: Silhouette Table

Solemnly circling around a diminutive box tree hung with Jack-o’-lanterns are seven sable owls (seven being a magic number) with staring yellow eyes.

Around the edge of the table, as favors, are ranged a procession of taper holders in the form of black witch cats. A flight of bats hangs from the chandelier.

Halloween party table decor Silhouette Table from 1912

Food and drink for this Halloween party menu

ASTROLOGER’S BROTH (Bouillon containing carrots cut in the forms of stars, crescents, triangles, etc.)

FAIRY WANDS (Breadsticks)

MYSTERIES (Chicken patties)


HOBGOBLIN SALAD (Individual fruit salads decorated with goblin heads on toothpicks)

TALISMANS (Cakes cut out in symbolic forms, as shamrocks, horseshoes, etc.)

OWLS’ NESTS (Ice cream formed into nests containing peanut owls)

FORTUNE CUPS (Tea containing a few grounds for telling fortunes)

The crepe paper vegetable mask adds a grotesque touch to the masquerade costume.

MORE: Meet ‘n Treat Halloween party: A kid-friendly retro ’70s alternative to trick-or-treating

Halloween party table decorations: The Witch Table

In the center of the table is the mystical figure known as Solomon’s Seal, cut from cardboard, with a taper burning at each point. Upon this figure stands a triad supporting a black cauldron above a “fire” of twigs.

Concealed in the cauldron — from which rises a cloud of “steam” — the new curled wool used on Christmas trees — are walnut shells containing humorous “fortunes.” These are tied with narrow orange ribbons, which extend to the various places, where they are fastened to toy insects, lizards, frogs, etc.

Around the centerpiece is a ring of grotesque paper witches, and the Halloween tablecloth is decorated with weird figures performing incantations over caldrons from which grinning specters rise.

Antique Halloween party table decorations The Witch Table (1912)

Food and drink for this Halloween party menu

GHOSTLY DOSE (Cream of celery soup served in witch cauldrons made by covering custard cups with black crépe paper and adding wire handles)

SAND WITCHES (Rolled bread and butter sandwiches)

MAGIC RINGS AND FAIRY UMBRELLAS (Filet of beef served in circular slices with mushrooms)

DRIFTED SNOW (Riced potato)

BLOSSOMS IN DISGUISE (Creamed cauliflower au gratin)

SORCERER’S SURPRISE (Mixed vegetable salad served in green peppers)

HOCUS POCUS (Pineapple trifle with whipped cream)


Pumpkin and Vegetable Table – Strange antique Halloween decor from 1912

Hung from the chandelier are trailing wisps of gray crepe-paper fringe, representing Florida moss, and a number of grotesque vegetable lanterns.

Beneath, in the center of the table, is a vegetable figure rising from the heart of a huge head of lettuce. Smaller heads of lettuce are heaped with miniature waxed vegetables containing “fortunes.”

The place-cards are held by pumpkin men painted in water-colors. Candy boxes representing absurd little vegetable figures form the favors. Around the edge of the table are Jack-o’-lanterns cut from decorated crepe paper.

ALSO SEE: Trick or treat, retro-style: See the sweetest vintage Halloween candy from the 50s & 60s

Pumpkin and Vegetable Table - Strange antique Halloween decor from 1912

Food and drink for this Halloween party menu

DEMON’S DRAUGHT (Cream of spinach)

PIGEON WINGS AND CAPERS (Squab on toast, with caper sauce)

PUFF BALLS (Potato puffs)

MAGIC MOLDS (Molded tomato jelly in lettuce cups with mayonnaise)

CONJURER’S CAKES (Small fancy cakes with the signs of the zodiac drawn on the icing)

MOONSHINE (This is the regular name of a delicious dessert)


Halloween party ideas & antique place cards from 1911

Placecards that may be cut out for the use of the hostess

Halloween party ideas and antique place cards from 1911

The Halloween party table - Winnifred Fales - Vintage holiday decor from 1912

ALSO SEE: How did Halloween start? The strange history of Halloween – including trick or treating & carving jack-o’-lanterns – goes way, way back

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