Allantide apples - Camel Valley, North Cornwall. Pic: © Alex Langstone
In Cornwall, as in other parts of England, many charms were tried on Hallowe'en to discover with whom you were to spend your future life, or if you were to remain unmarried, such as pouring melted lead through the handle of the front door key. The fantastic shapes it assumed foretold your husband's profession or trade.
Rolling three names, each written on a separate piece of paper, tightly in the centre of three balls of earth. These were afterwards put into a deep basin of water, and anxiously watched until one of them opened, as the name on the first slip which came to the surface would be that of the person you were to marry.
Tying the front door key tightly with your left leg garter between the leaves of a Bible at one particular chapter in the Song of Solomon. It was then held on the forefinger, and when the sweetheart's name was mentioned it turned round.
Slipping a wedding-ring on to a piece of cotton, held between the forefinger and thumb, saying, "If my husband's name is to be let this ring swing ! " Of course, when the name of the person pre- ferred was spoken, the holder unconsciously made the ring oscillate.
From: The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 4 1886, p 111