Dangerous Vintage Games

There were once very popular games played by our ancestral adults and other by children that appeared then as harmless fun but over the years have been looked at as dangerous.

Looking at Victorian Era (1840-1900) our ancestors thought it was popular for parlor games to involve fire, chemicals and blindfolds. Some of these will really sound strange but are true.

There was a game called ‘hot cockles’ where individuals took turns placing their head in someone’s lap as they were seated. The person with their head down also places their hand flat behind his back. Then the others in the parlor took turns either hitting, kicking or spanking the person with his head down and his butt out. The person who just got kicked had to guess who kicked them. If so, they won.

Then there was ‘bullet pudding’ where a mound of flour is on a plate, and someone sticks a bullet on the very top of the flour mountain. Everyone would take turns removing some of the flour with a knife, until the bullet finally fell. The person who made the bullet fall had to get the bullet out of the flour with their teeth.

A very dangerous game that both children and adults played was ‘snapdragon’ where brandy was poured into a wide bowl. Then raisins or almonds were scatter into the brandy. The liquor brandy was set on fire. Very quickly each person placed their hand in the flaming bowl to get a raisin or almond which they then eat. Other types of fruit were also used. The person who eat the most fruit won.

In ‘cellar stairs’, one person at a time walks backwards down a flight of stairs using a hand held mirror as their only guide. The winners are those who can do it without falling down.

Using lit ‘candles and apples’ in this game, those items were hung from the ceiling and the goal was to get a bite of an apples with getting any wax in your mouth or getting burned.

A game for children and adults was ‘jumping over candles’ It was just like is sounds, jumping successfully over a lit candle.

Some crazy and dangerous fun had by your ancestors decades ago.

Photo: Snapdragon game.

Related FamilyTree Blogs:

Dice Games

History of Dominoes

Playing ‘Old Maid’

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