Dunking For Apples at a Halloween Night “Spooks’ Party”

by Paula Bosse

halloween-party_dallas-parks_portalKids used to really have to WORK for those treats!

by Paula Bosse

In an effort to steer young revelers to safe Halloween festivities, the Dallas Park and Recreation Department organized parties in community centers around Dallas in the 1930s and ’40s. One of those parties (in an unidentified location) can be seen above, in a photograph titled “Dunking for Apples — Hallowe’en Night — October 31 at Spooks Party.”

The party’s apple-bobbing is in full swing. All eyes are on the dunker, who has obviously been hard at work, dunking down well past his shoulders. A couple of young hobos appear to be in attendance, both with prominent five o’clock shadows. Even though the party is for children, the adults seem to be having more fun than the kids, but perhaps this is early in the evening. And the party’s not just for the small-fry — there’s a pool game going on in the background, providing dunk-free entertainment for dads (and other men who might have wandered in).

Happy Halloween! Dunk responsibly!

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This photograph comes from the Dallas Municipal Archives, accessed through the Portal to Texas History, here. The photographer is Harry Bennett. The photo is undated, but it looks like it is from the early 1940s. These city-sponsored parties appear to have started in the late-1930s as a way to keep children out of mischief and away from the riotous celebrations downtown (which I wrote about previously, here).

More Halloween photos from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department collection, taken by Harry Bennett — perhaps taken the same year, perhaps at the same location — can be seen here.

Click picture for larger image.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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