Appalachia Games

Did You Ever Play Blind Man’s Bluff?

blind man's bluff

According to the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, the game Blind Man’s Bluff is as old as the 16th Century. It was a game I never liked playing as a kid. I was always afraid someone would get hurt-namely me! Its one of those games that makes grown-ups yell things like “Somebodys going to put an eye out!”

Frank C. Brown tells us the various names used for the game throughout the world:

  • Germany: Blinde kuh, blinde maus, blinde eule, piep maus, and blinde katze
  • Denmark: Blinde-momme, lege Mus i Morke
  • France: Mouch, colin-maillard
  • Italy: mosca, mosca cieca
  • And other english names: billy blind, blind harie, blind hob, blind bucky davy, and hoodman blind

The game begins with a person being chosen to be blindfolded from the group of game players-typically by a counting rhyme or by drawing straws. Once the person is blindfolded, they try to touch or tag one of the other players. If the blindfolded person tags another person-that person has to be ‘it’ and the blindfold is switched to them.

The other players generally tease the person who is ‘it’ (blindfolded) and try to force them to run in their direction-then quickly move out of the way before they can be tagged.

All the games of Blind Man’s Bluff I participated in as a kid ended up in total chaos until everyone decided to play something else and some of the games ended up with someone bawling their eyes out after they got hurt somehow during the game.

Did you ever play blind man’s bluff?

Tipper

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    quinn
    February 26, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    I remember the game, but I don’t recall ever playing it, so maybe it was forbidden for safety reasons. I winced reading about Ron Stephens’ poor brother!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 24, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Tipper,
    Learned this game in school….along with pin the tail on the donkey…Didn’t like either one of them.
    We had more fun playing “kick the can” from dusk until parents begin calling us in! In the dark of just one nightlight that scattered about, made the simplest places easy to hide in or behind. Which in the daylight would show you off like a sore thumb..
    Rolly-bat was another favorite, Mother May I as well as Annie Over…
    Thanks Tipper, great post that brought back memories.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    February 23, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Yes, and I never liked it either — and for the same reason you give, Tipper!

  • Reply
    TimMc
    February 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Yep, always ended with an adult saying ” I told you someones gonna get hurt”.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 23, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Did you ever jump on a trampoline? When it’s black dark? You know something disastrous is going to happen, you just don’t know when.
    Yes, I played Blind Man’s Bluff a few times but mostly I just sat and watched. I soon learned that seeing other people get hurt is more fun than experiencing it for yourself. Hee! Hee! Hee!

  • Reply
    Ken
    February 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Tipper,
    I played a game where someone was blindfolded when I was a kid, but never cared much for that. I never liked not seeing where I was, hoopie-hide was more fun. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 23, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I am not as disappointed as some folks might be by the loss of the playlist. I had long since stopped listening to it anyway. I found youtube to be a better option. I find the sound quality from youtube is better in my system. Plus, I am also able to watch the videos. And in full screen if I want to. You can’t beat that with a stick.
    All one needs to do is sign up for youtube then type in blindpigandtheacorn and thepressleygirls and subscribe. Most, if not all, of my favorites are there.
    From there I went on to create my own playlist of the songs I liked and in the order I wanted to listen to them. I can still run it in the background like before while I do something else.
    Maybe the best part is when a new video comes out you get an email. In my case I watch and listen every day anyway so I see the new stuff before I even get the email just as with Tippers blog. I don’t rely on email, I go directly to the site.
    Us backwoods boys may look, act and talk like we just dropped out of “Deliverance” but that’s from choice not fate.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Yes we played it, but I didn’t care much for it. I liked corn cob fights at the barn or Annie Annie Over the best.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Yes we played it, but I didn’t care much for it. I liked corn cob fights at the barn or Annie Annie Over the best.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Yes we played it, but I didn’t care much for it. I liked corn cob fights at the barn or Annie Annie Over the best.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Yes we played it, but I didn’t care much for it. I liked corn cob fights at the barn or Annie Annie Over the best.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I played it a few times and it’s only fun if you’re not the one blindfolded. I was more of a hide and go seek kind of kid. That was more of a challenge.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 23, 2017 at 9:32 am

    We were playing that once. My brother was it. He caught the red hot coal stove with both hands I don’t recall playing it any more after that. I felt so sorry for him.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    February 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Tipper: Blind man’s Bluff was a game my Daddy had played up on Tusquittee, when he was a boy! But I never liked to play it. Mama thought it was not safe to play – in the house or out doors. I doubt that my grandsons have even heard of the game. I think you have to be brave or have really nice friends to even consider playing the game.
    Hope you day is sunny.
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Yes, I always seemed to be the blind man. It was only fun if you were not the one blind

  • Reply
    Tamela
    February 23, 2017 at 8:44 am

    When we played blind man’s bluff, part of the chaos was from the “runners” trying to force or push another runner into the “blind man’s” path. Also, we usually played outside so boundaries were established and the yelling to keep the “blind man” in the boundaries was another part of the commotion.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (misplaced Southerner)
    February 23, 2017 at 8:37 am

    I sure did! Those were the days when everyone played outside until dark or momma rang the dinner bell to come on home. Most of the kids I grew up with were excellent at dodging the “blind man.” The game could go on for a long time before poor “it” could tag someone. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in times that were so simple, healthy, and trusting.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 23, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Yes Tip, I remember playing Blind Mans Bluff when I was a kid. I didn’t like games so I didn’t play much. I remember that it usually ended in confusion just as you described. That was a long time ago!

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