Body Parts is a scary Halloween story game to play at parties. The story is also known as “Poor Joe”, “Tragic Sam”, “The Miserly Man”, “The Dead Man”, “Dead Man’s Guts” and “A Man Named Brown”. You tell a ghost story about a dead man whose body was chopped up into pieces. Then, using different foods for props, like grapes for eyeballs and spaghetti for brains, you get the kids to touch and feel them in the dark. It is always great fun.
To play the Body Parts game, you turn out the lights and have the kids gather around in a circle. To begin, you tell them a short scary story about an old man who was murdered in a field not far from where you live. When they found his body, it was chopped up into tiny pieces. Ever since then, his ghost has haunted the area. Then you tell them they are going to feel the chopped up body parts.
Using food for body parts, you pass them around to the children. You can use grapes for eyeballs, spaghetti for brains, a tomato for a heart, dried peaches for ears, corn silk for hair, sweetcorn for teeth, sausages for fingers and a stuffed glove for a hand.
The truth it is, and not a myth
There once was a man named Joe Smith,
And it became his mournful lot
To be murdered very near this spot.
Now we will pass out his remains,
First you’ll handle poor Joe’s brains.
His head, once crowned with locks so fair
Now here comes poor Joe’s hair.
Sweet music Smith once loved to hear.
It fell upon this gentle ear.
When Joe would smile at boys and girls
His teeth gleamed out like whitest pearls.
The next you soon will understand
Is simply poor Joe’s cold, dead hand.
Smith’s vision once was keen and wise,
You’ll know it when you touch his eyes.
Now listen to Poor Joe’s dreadful groans
You can hear the rattle of his bones.
Some people even set up a cardboard box and cut a hole in it so the kids can put their arms through it. They touch and feel the food without being able to see it. Have them line up and take turns putting their arm through the hole and feeling whatever you have placed in the bowl inside the box.
You could also use cauliflower for the brain, a piece of meat for the heart, boiled eggs or olives for eyes, popcorn for the teeth, carrots for the fingers, figs for the ears, a pickle for the nose.
Here are some additional rhymes you can use:
Long ago in this very town
Lived a miserly man whose name was Brown
It was years ago on Halloween night
That he was murdered out of spite
And ever since he has roamed the earth,
To warn and haunt the place of his birth.
Tonight we have his earthly remains
You can get acquainted with his brains.
While he rotted in the groud below
His stringy hair continued to grow
His hand is clammy, cold and still,
No longer can it fight and kill.
His eyes were small, but very keen
No-one knows just what they’ve seen
He talked a lot when he was young
Until someone pulled out his tongue.
Fresh from the grave, wet and cold.
Squishy and slimy and very old.
All that’s left is bones and skin
And the slimy worms that crawl within.
His body may be cold and dry
But teeth remain, they never die.
Poor Joe got such an awful scare
He lost his head with all his hair.
Then, to his complete surprise,
The killer plucked out both his eyes.
His remains are not a pretty sight,
Here are his eyeballs, left and right.
As Poor Joe shook and shivered with fear
They took a knife and cut off his ear.
And here we have the final part
Can you feel the beating of his heart?
At the end, you can reveal that what they were feeling was only different types of food. Then they can have fun guessing which food was used for each of the body parts.
Ray Bradbury wrote a classic short horror story about this game called “The October Game”.