This, the last evening of October, is All-Halloween, when any young maiden who is desirous of seeing her future husband must, as the clock strikes the midnight hour, go alone and backward down the cellar stairs, holding a lighted candle and a hand-glass, and eating an apple. What peculiar charm the nocturnal repast posses over the spiritual world we are unable to tell, but tradition says that after descending the last step, and as the last stroke of twelve dies away, the courageous maiden will be rewarded by the reflection in the glass of the face of the husband fate has in store for her, who will peep slyly over her shoulder. The custom of this observance has been extensively practiced for several generations in the eastern portion of this country and Europe though it has been gradually falling into disuse for a number of years past. To-morrow is the festival of All Saints, an observance which takes its origin from the conversion in the seventh century of the Pantheon at Rome into a Christian place of worship and its dedication by Pope Boniface IV to the virgin and the martyrs. The festival is observed by both the Roman and the Anglican churches and the beautiful custom of visiting and decorating the graves of the dead is one of its symbolic features. Death and sorrow are the common lot of humanity, and to all of us, the memory of loved ones we have lost, like the memory of joys that are past, is pleasant and mournful to the soul. The day is full of religious ceremonies among devout people, practiced as an eloquent expression of that faith which robs the grave of visitors and takes the sting from death.
Originally posted in the Public Ledger, October 31 1879.