European immigrants poured into our county in the 1800’s and the 1900’s, and brought their Halloween customs with them. For many, harvest was a last ditch effort for young maidens to find a husband. This is the strangest and funniest custom I have read.
At midnight on Halloween, the unmarried lady would walk upstairs BACKWARD. She carried a lighted candle, a thimble full of salt, and a mirror. She counted the strands of her hair as she went (with what free hands?!) At the top landing, she swallowed the salt, and looked over her left shoulder into the mirror. If no male face stared back at her, she would not marry till next Halloween.
“After the dead are raised up, we’re past the marriage business. As it is with angels now, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God.”