A nighttime menace or kids having fun?
October 9, 2002 9:48 AM   Subscribe

A nighttime menace or kids having fun? Playing tag at night seems like a pretty harmless way of having a good time if you're a teenager. A group of my friends used to play Ghost in the Graveyard up at a lakeside cottage in the summer and it definitely got the adrenaline pumping on a dark night. For the kids of Bismarck, a rainy night alternative could be to make Ghosts in the Graveyard.
posted by MediaMan (12 comments total)
Ghosts in the Graveyard, Kick the Can, Flashlight Tag - they're all the same and they're all super fun. However, what I think this article speaks too is the further fragmenting of society in small microcosms like Bismark, North Dakota.

I don't want to sound like an old fart - especially because I'm only in my 20s, even though they are late - but in my day every parent knew every parent and child in our neighborhood. It seems now that people are afraid to get to know one another or feel irked that they need to know their neighbors and children.

Ah, it's a shame - harmless fun.
posted by bivouac at 9:55 AM on October 9, 2002

When I was in high school, we played a variation of T.A.G. (The Assassination Game). We had fun until this guy wanted to play, and then ended up pulling a real gun on his girlfriend. The sherriff came to our school and made us quit.
posted by RylandDotNet at 9:56 AM on October 9, 2002

Ah yes, we too used to play a very similiar game. Varying rules so players that were spotted became hostages that could be rescued by sneak attack. Cars for the lucky few (one actually) proved a distraction as it seems the neighbors would invariably invite the local police to play.

In up-state New York it all culminated with 'Mischief Night' - the eve before Halloween. This rite seems to have been recently rescheduled to the same night. Why?
posted by kodas at 10:19 AM on October 9, 2002

We called it "Bloody Murder", and then later on, Manhunt, which was played at night on the golf course in my suburban New Jersey town.

Doubt if anyone has seen the movie Gotcha! ( with a very young Anthony Edwards ), but a similar thing that Ryland describes happens, except Anthony gets mistaken for an East German spy, which is unlikely. I hope.
posted by remlapm at 10:22 AM on October 9, 2002

My little brother and his friends played kick the can well into the dying light at one of his birthday parties. After dark, two kids ran to the can at the same time, and one came away with broken teeth, the other with a nice gash in his forehead. I guarantee it's only a matter of time before someone gets injured in this game -- possibly run over by a searching car.

<voice class="cranky old man"> Damn fool kids! Don't they know they could get hurt?! </voice>
posted by me3dia at 10:25 AM on October 9, 2002

We played flashlight tag as kids, but no cars involved (because we were too young to drive). But we ran across lawns, through yards, climbed fences, etc. Most of the neighbors didn't mind (there are always a cranky one or two in every neighborhood). During one memorable game, I was cutting through yards, running behind garages, and hopping the fence as I went from yard to yard. I jumped down from a fencetop and felt a sharp pain in my foot. I tried to take a step, and found a long board was attached to my foot. Turns out this house was having aluminum siding installed, and had tossed the discarded boards (with nails intact) behind their garage. I ended up in the ER with a shoe full of blood, and got a tetanus shot out of the deal.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:31 AM on October 9, 2002

we called it "Spy Vs. Spy" (from the MAD magazine comics, of course); and it was basically tag, with a bit of capture the flag, and a lot of wrestling (the only way to get "freed" from a jail was to wrestle your way out, or have someone waylay the "jailer").

(please note that page has the original theme music from the C64 Spy Vs. Spy video game in the background, so, uh, you might want to turn down your volume. i wouldn't know why though -- that theme rocks.)
posted by fishfucker at 10:44 AM on October 9, 2002

except Anthony gets mistaken for an East German spy, which is unlikely. I hope.

At least since 1990.

Don't forget the variation called "Ditch'Em", which depending on player composition is either an elaborate version of hide-and-seek, or a means for a group of friends to actually ditch unwanted hangers-on.
posted by dhartung at 12:57 PM on October 9, 2002

We used to play bike tag when I was a kid in Nyack, NY. We had about six or seven kids in my neighborhood, we all had our BMX bikes (I had a Mongoose cuz I was sooper-bad), the "field" was about four square miles of town blocks, including hills, backyards, and lawns, and we'd play until well after dark during the summers. Wish I could find a gang to play that here in Seattle. Any takers?
posted by Ty Webb at 1:59 PM on October 9, 2002

We called it Release when I used to play in junior high. We'd play until we got tired and then all go wrap someone's house with TP. Good times.
posted by dreadmuffin at 2:39 PM on October 9, 2002

And German Spotlight. Can't forget German Spotlight.
posted by risenc at 10:14 PM on October 9, 2002

Ghost In The Graveyard! Back when I was young, every kid in the neighborhood used to play this at night. Fun times!
posted by SisterHavana at 10:52 AM on October 10, 2002

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