Over at Halloween Tree, a site "dedicated to the fun, creative, family aspects of Hallowe'en," there's a list of Halloween program instructions from a brochure put out in the 1930s in Delaware, OH. It made its way to a Works Progress Administration program in Fresno, CA, so it must have been pretty popular around the country at the time. (Delaware, OH, is now one of the further-flung suburbs of Columbus, but it was a little more isolated 75 years ago.)
The selected parts of the brochure that have been posted include a section on superstitions and another on fortunes. The superstitions might be good inspiration for decorating your house or creating a party theme. The fortune activities would make good party games, at least for younger guests (the whimsy means they might be a hard sell for adults).
Catch some details, suggestions, and a word on bobbing for apples, all after the break!
For example, you can draw letters on a pumpkin, and have blindfolded guests poke a pin (maybe with a name-tag flag on it) through the pumpkin: the letter can represent something about the player's future (spouse, college, employer, etc). The "boats of fortune" -- hollow nut shells made into tiny boats -- aren't a game, per se, but they sound like a lovely, evocative idea.
The "Games" portion of the brochure hasn't made its way to the site yet, but I suspect that bobbing for apples was probably one of the ideas on the menu. Get a bunch of apples... and skip bobbing. It's pretty unsanitary. If you want to play that kind of game, you can hang apples on strings from the ceiling and have party guests try to eat them hands-free, instead. (Then everyone won't be sticking their faces into the same smallish tub of water.)
Halloween Tree also has a "Weekly Tip Countdown" page which, while seldom updated, has some useful ideas for parties and decorating. If you're planning to throw a party this Halloween, make sure to stop by.