With A Christmas Carol coming up, we’re feeling very Victorian here at Creation. To get a sense of Dickens’ world, we’ve gathered up a few Victorian parlour games, perfect for both these long winter evenings and Mr Fezziwig’s Christmas party.
Blind Man’s Buff
A great game, though make sure you clear a space! One player is “It”, and blindfolded – they have to catch another player. The game was originally called Blind Man’s Buff, with the word buffused in its older sense of a small push. At some point, the name Blind Man’s Bluff came into use.
Are you there, Moriarty?
A game for two players (and several amused spectators)
The players are blindfolded and given a rolled up newspaper, then lie on their fronts, head to head with a metre or so gap between them. The starting player says “Are you there, Moriarty?”. The other player, when ready, says “Yes”. The starting player then tries to hit the other player with their newspaper, by swinging it over his head – after their attempt, it’s the other players turn.
Once hit, you’re out and someone else takes your place.
The Minister’s Cat
No newspapers involved in this one! All players sit in a circle, and the first player describes the minister’s cat with an adjective beginning with the letter ‘A’ (for example, “The minister’s cat is an amazing cat”) Each player then does the same, using different adjectives starting with the same letter.
The game is featured in the 1970 film Scrooge – have a watch.
Reverand Crawley’s Game
Who the Reverand Crawley was and how he created this game has been lost to history, but his legacy is this excellent. game for eight or more players
Stand in a circle, and then hold hands with two people, but not with the people on either side of you, and not both hands with the same person. This creates a huge human knot. Working together you have to untie the knot, by stepping over each other, crawling under people’s arms, climbing through gaps etc – all without letting go of the hands you’re holding.