Forgotten Mischief Night
By M.P. Pellicer | Stranger Than Fiction Stories
Nearly 75% of American do not know that the day before Halloween has a special name all its own. It's not surprising that a day when tricks, treats and pranks are the order of the day and what better name than Mischief Night?
Just like other holidays, the eve before gets its own special celebration. The same holds true with Halloween, even though many Americans are not aware this exists. It's known as Mischief Night. It is especially popular in the northeast states. This Halloween eve celebration has other names such as: Devil's Night, Cabbage Night, Devil's Eve, Gate Night and Goosey Night.
Mischief Night though has been celebrated all over the USA.
On October 30, 1930, police in Santa Rosa, California banned Mischief Night in order to curb destruction. Special patrols were under orders to bring in any youths caught in "destructive acts" and lock them up until morning.
Mischief Night originated in the United Kingdom and reference is found to it as early as the 18th century. There are mentions made to a date in May or to November 4, the eve of Guy Fawkes Day which was also known as Bonfire Night.
It's no mystery that on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday where the market crashed on Wall Street, was right before Halloween. There is no doubt the date is tied to tension and uncertainty about the future, which is also coupled with a desire to forget your woes and go trick-o-treating.
The problem started when instead of harmless but irritating antics, vandalism escalated to the point of destroying property.
In 1977, in Wisconsin there was report of a police squad car that had its tires slashed. Eggs were thrown at houses, and there was a report of a body hanging which turned out to be prank. Mailboxes were knocked down.
Mischief Night took on a reputation as a time of mindless destruction, or as an "autumnal rites of ruin and ravage."
In 1978, one newspaper reporter from Connecticut compared it to when the Vandals sacked Rome. Emperor Justinian stopped their raids after 100 years, by raiding them instead, and it worked.
It was proposed that as a solution to the damage being wrought, another holiday to be called "4-ANight" with the four As standing for Adult Avenging Angel Atrocities, which would started for one month starting on All Hallows Eve until November 30.
Strategies would be:
During the 1980s Detroit was plagued by fires. In 1984, there over 800 of them set, and in 1986, a curfew was imposed to any minor person. The city government got desperate and even enlisted the help of volunteers.
Some wonder, when did bobbing for apples become boring?
Leave a Reply.
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer