There are several games traditionally associated with Halloween parties. The most common is bobbing for apples, in which apples
float in a tub or a large basin of water; the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. Another
common game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; these must be eaten without using hands while they
remain attached to the string, an activity which inevitably leads to a very sticky face.
Some games traditionally played at Halloween are forms of divination. In Púicíní (pronounced "pook-eeny"), a game played in
Ireland, a blindfolded person is seated in front of a table on which are placed several saucers. The saucers are shuffled
and the seated person then chooses one by touch. The contents of the saucer determine the person's life for the following
year. A saucer containing earth means someone known to the player will die during the next year, a saucer containing water
foretells travel, a coin means new wealth, a bean means poverty, etc. In nineteenth-century Ireland, young women placed slugs
in saucers sprinkled with flour. The wriggling of the slugs and the patterns subsequently left behind on the saucers were
believed to portray the faces of the women's future spouses.
In North America, unmarried women were frequently told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween
night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror. However, if they were destined to die before they married,
a skull would appear. The custom was widespread enough to be commemorated on greeting cards from the late nineteenth century.