Mischief night

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Mischief night is a tradition in some parts of the world; a night when people do mischief to their neighbours. This is usually 30 October, the day before Halloween night.

Traditional practice[change | change source]

Traditional mischiefs:

  • Knocking and tapping on doors and windows
  • Throwing paint
  • Putting treacle on door handles
  • Tying door handles together to stop them opening
  • Moving gates
  • Egging houses
  • Toilet papering houses

Current Day Practice[change | change source]

Sometimes combined with Trick or Treat.

In Detroit and other parts of Michigan, October 30 is called Devil's Night and includes vandalism and arson.[1][2]

In northern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region, October 30 is referred to as "Mischief Night," where mischievous teens soap car windows, egg houses, adorn trees with toilet paper, and run away after ringing doorbells. In other parts of New Jersey, October 30 is also known as "Cabbage Night" or "Goosey Night." [3][4] In Camden, New Jersey. Over 130 arsons were committed in that city on the night of October 30, 1991.[5]

It is known as "Gate Night" in Trail, British Columbia, Winnipeg, Canada and as Mat Night in Quebec, Canada, always on the 30 October, the eve of Halloween.[2] It is also commonly known as "Devil's Night" in many places throughout Canada.

In Yorkshire, it is also known as "mischievous night", "Miggy Night",[2] "Tick-Tack Night", "Corn Night", "Trick Night" and "Micky Night". In Liverpool, it is known as "Mizzy Night"(but unlike in Yorkshire, where it is celebrated on October 30th).[source?] It was celebrated on Nov 4 in Merseyside during the 1970s, as well as in Manchester after the war.[source?]

Mischief night is becoming popular in Ireland, where teenagers get the week around Halloween off school. This means that many of the nights before 31 October are used by teenagers for vandalism.[source?]

Modern mischief includes toilet papering gardens and buildings, flouring and egging of cars, people, and homes, "forking" gardens, setting off fireworks and smashing pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns.[2] Local shops do not sell eggs to chavs around the time of Halloween. Sometimes the damage includes spray-painting of buildings and homes.[6]

People play "Ding-Dong Ditch": in this 'game', people knock on doors and then run and hide.[7]

Media[change | change source]

A 2006 film Mischief Night is based on a night in Leeds, UK.[8][9]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 'Devil's Night' Fires Decline By More Than Half in Detroit Retrieved on 30 October 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Live Science: October 29, 2008-Devil's Night: The History of Pre-Halloween Pranks by Heather Whipps
  3. Cracking Down on Cabbage Night[permanent dead link]
  4. You say, "Goosey night" and I say "Mischief night" Retrieved on 30th October
  5. Firehouse.com News: Fire and Police Departments Extinguish Pre-Halloween Arson Sprees Retrieved on 30 October 2008
  6. Jackson Citizen Patriot: October 21, 2007-Halloween blow-ups vandalized in Springport by Jake May
  7. ""11 Favourite Regionalisms Within Canada" © 2005 Katherine Barber from The Book of Lists by David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, Ira Basen and Jane Farrow: Knopf Canada-Paperback, 528 pages November 2005, 0-676-97720-0". Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  8. Mischief Night film review Retrieved on 31 October 2008
  9. imdb ref Retrieved on 31 October 2008

References[change | change source]