What is the night before Halloween called? Devil’s Night, Mischief Night, Or Cabbage Night. Which is the right name? Halloween is just around the corner. While Halloween is traditionally a night of treats, the night before Halloween has been known for its tricks. Here, we’ll make you clear about the actual name of the night before Halloween.
History of Mischief Night
A few Americans don’t have a particular name for the day before Halloween. It’s often called Mischief Night in most parts of the country, Devil’s Night in Detroit and the Upper Midwest, Cabbage Night in Vermont and New Hampshire, and in some communities. But not many Americans truly know when this holiday began.
The roots of Mischief Night can originate from the late 18th century in Great Britain. It was first time mentioned as an incident that took place at Oxford in 1790, but the night wasn’t October 30th but it was the day before May Day instead.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the day before May Day was called Mischief Night in Britain. On that day, kids often played harmless pranks including stealing or switching shop and road signs and reversing tubs of water. During the late 19th century, Mischief Night in Britain often mentioned November 4th or Guy Fawkes Day Eve. Young ladies and men also performed various pranks on this holiday.
It was not clear when Mischief Night jumped across the Atlantic and was changed to the night before Halloween but in the 1930s and the 1940s, Mischief Night was mentioned in U.S newspapers. These newspaper articles referred to series of pranks performed by kids and tried to separate the day from Halloween.
During the late 1930s in Boston, one newspaper article mentioned the pranks and rampant vandalism throughout that city on that night. These pranks and vandalism included setting fires, breaking windows, ringing somebody’s doorbells, and then running away and ringing false alarms.
History Of Devil’s Night
From World War II until the late 1970s, Mischief Night was considered a nuisance that sometimes required police intervention. But that fastly changed during the 1980s. At that time in Detroit, it was not a night marked by pranks and harmless vandalism, but it was also marked by violence and arson.
By 1984, there were nearly a thousand fires in the city, and the number of arson in the city was becoming increasing over the next few years. It was so bad that the media named the night Devil’s Night. By 1986, a curfew was forced for anyone under 18 years old from 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. on the three nights before Halloween.
Detroit also must mobilize volunteer fire departments from adjoining communities to support them with the arson epidemic. A tradition that remains to this day. Each year, roughly 40,000 volunteers patrol the streets of Detroit from October 29th to October 31st.
Mischief Night As An Act Of Peaceful Resistance
These volunteers seek vandals and arsonists and thanks to their efforts as well as the efforts of the Detroit Police Department, fires have been reduced to a more controllable level during this time, and Mischief Night has been renamed in Detroit to Angel’s Night.
Devil’s Night was fictionalized in the 1994 film, The Crow. In this movie, the main character and his fiance are killed on Devil’s Night. In 2006 and 2013, there were films named Naughty Night released in the United Kingdom and the United States.
What is the night before Halloween called?
What is the night before Halloween called? Mischief Night is an informal holiday on which kids and teens take part in pranks and harmless vandalism. It is also known by a wide variety of names such as Devil’s Night, Gate Night, Goosey Night, Moving Night, Cabbage Night, and Mat Night. So when it comes to what is the night before Halloween called, you can call one of these names that your area usually uses.
The night before Halloween is known as “Cabbage Night” in Vermont and New Hampshire because of old Scottish fortune-telling tradition. According to Holiday Calendars, young ladies would pull cabbages to check them and try to figure out who their future husbands will be. Once the cabbages told these young girls all they could, they would throw the cabbages against someone’s door and run away.
Devil’s Night got that special name after anti-police riots in Detroit, which cause a tradition of setting fire to local buildings and dumpsters year to year.
If you have never heard of Goosey Night, then you’re in the American majority. This pre-Halloween night supposedly happens in western Bergen County and Passaic County. Local people believed that the name originates from a letter written to parents in the area by Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox. “Goosey” apparently implies “flighty” or “irresponsible”. That’s why children go out and perform mischief on this night in New Jersey.
Mat Night, Gate Night, and Devil’s Eye
The Harvard University Linguistics Department has explored these particular nights and found that small parts of the country have their own pre-Halloween rituals. For example, Washington State calls October 30 “Devil’s Eye,” while English-speaking Quebec honors “Mat Night” by stealing their neighbor’s doormats and swap them out.
There’s also “Gate Night”. Do you have ever heard “Gate Night”? It’s when local farmers’ gates are open for their livestock to roam free.
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Hopefully, this post helps you to distinguish the origins of different names on the night before Halloween. For more interesting Halloween traditions, fun Halloween facts, or Halloween history, check out our Halloween Guide. If you have any questions or want to share cool things about Halloween with us, feel free to leave a comment below. We’re happy to listen to you.