Parties are fun — as long as you don’t have uninvited guests. “The Hosting Game” goes by the title “Don’t Look Back” for reasons that will become evident as you read onward. Oh, and it is not mine.
Casting Instructions for ‘THe Hosting Game’
1. Begin at night. Keep your timekeeping apparatus and the matches on your person at all times.
2. Turn of all possible sources of noise in your dwelling. This includes telephones, televisions, computers, alarms, etc.. Be thorough. If your hosting room requires it, then draw the curtains or block the windows so that no light could be viewed from within the room.
3. Enter your hosting space and turn on the light. If the room includes no lamps or overhead lighting, use a flashlight, lantern, lit candle, or other portable light source. Candles, although correct concerning atmosphere, may pose a fire hazard, so proceed with caution.
4. Place your writing implement and piece of paper on your hosting room.
5. Leaving the light source, depart your hosting space. Proceed to the furthest point in your house from the area and call, “I’ll be ready soon!” Move from room to room of your house, repeating this phrase in each room, moving closer to your hosting space with every call.
6. When you arrive back in your hosting room, use the writing implement to write the next message on the piece of paper: “You’re invited! A gathering, hosted by [Your Name]. Takes place from [the present time] to [an hour from the current time]. Bring friends and family!”
7. Put the piece of paper in the center of the hosting room.
8. Stand in the door of the hosting room facing into the room and telephone, “I’m ready! Come in!”
1. Switch off the light and turn around. The open door to the hosting space should be at your back: you ought to be facing the shadow of your dwelling. Take out your three matches.
2. After a few moments of silence, begin counting out loud, starting at one and ending at 10. Do not look back.
3. When you get to the count of 10, strike the first match.If the first game lights on the first attack: Hold it as it burns and greet your guests by saying, “I’m so glad to see you! Thank you for coming!” Hold the match until it burns down as low as you can bear.
If the match doesn’t light on the first strike:
Drop it and immediately proceed to the next step.
4. Do not look back. Strike the second match. If the next game lights on the first strike:Hold it as it burns and greet more of your guests by saying, “I am so glad to see you! Thank you for coming!” Hold the game until it burns down as low as you can bear.If the second match does not light on the first strike:Drop it and immediately proceed to the next step.
Do not look back. Strike the third match.
5. Do not look back. Strike the third match.
If the third game lights on the first strike:
Say, “Now everyone is here!” and count from one to 10 once more. If you have done this correctly, you’ll be able to hear and/or feel whispering, rustling, or a silent “thank you” behind you.
Do not look back.
When your timekeeping device indicates the gathering’s finishing time, say out loud, “Thank you for coming. Goodbye.”
Walk to the nearest light source and turn it on. The gathering is finished and your guests have gone.
If the third match doesn’t light on the first strike:
You’ve got uninvited guests. Do NOT look back. Do NOT turn around. Do NOT pause to close the door. Run as quickly as you can to the nearest light source and turn it on.
This game is best played alone. Your visitors may not feel welcome if they feel there is already a bunch present.
Once the gathering has begun, do NOT, at any stage, turn around or look behind you.
Concerning Uninvited Guests:
Although turning on the nearest light source will end the gathering, do not automatically think that your guests have gone. It is recommended that you perform a purifying or cleansing ritual — as well as that you avoid dark rooms in your house from then on.