Halloween Eve -
October 30, 2002 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Halloween Eve - Growing up in the seacoast-area of NH we called it Beggar's Night because that's when we went trick or treating. But many of my colleagues from Massachusetts call it Cabbage Night or Mischief Night (also, Top 10 Things to Do on Mischief Night). In Detroit, the call it Devil's Night. Another friend called it Door Bell Night. How do you refer to Halloween Eve?
posted by MediaMan (35 comments total)
In my neighborhood we called it "the night before halloween."
posted by zekinskia at 12:06 PM on October 30, 2002

I have no word for this, like 69.35% of those responding to the Harvard survey featured in a couple threads here.
posted by whatzit at 12:12 PM on October 30, 2002

This year it is called Thursday night. Now get the hell off of my porch!
posted by a3matrix at 12:14 PM on October 30, 2002

In our hood, we call it Official Boy Leg-Shaving Night.

Detroit, man, what a mess. A 6 p.m. curfew to prevent mass arson. Sometimes I think they're right, they should just burn it down and start over, with Tina Turner as mayor of Thunderdome, Michigan.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:15 PM on October 30, 2002

Drunk night.
posted by rocketman at 12:19 PM on October 30, 2002

Wait a sec, today is Wednesday, DOH!!

I am on Halloween duty at the house tomorrow, MUWHAHAHAHAA !!
posted by a3matrix at 12:22 PM on October 30, 2002

Here in UK, we get kids knocking on the door for about a week before Halloween, but we dont have a name for the eve of halloween.
posted by theda at 12:23 PM on October 30, 2002

a3matrix, it's tonight, Wednesday.

Goes to a3matrix house puts brown bag on door step, lights bag, rings bell, then runs..................
posted by thomcatspike at 12:23 PM on October 30, 2002

Darn it, you caught me..........................
posted by thomcatspike at 12:24 PM on October 30, 2002

HOLY !!! What the hell, a burning bag!!! (stomps on bag to put it out)


(Grumbling goes back inside)

DOH !!!!
posted by a3matrix at 12:26 PM on October 30, 2002

This is interesting... in Yorkshire, Mischief Night is on the evening of 4th November, the evening before Bonfire Night. A little bit about this here
posted by plep at 12:31 PM on October 30, 2002

"Detroit, man, what a mess. A 6 p.m. curfew to prevent mass arson. Sometimes I think they're right, they should just burn it down and start over, with Tina Turner as mayor of Thunderdome, Michigan."
Um, it's called "Angel's Night" now. from the same brilliant overpaid folks who brought us the underwhelming civic slogan "It's a Great Time In Detroit."
We don't need another hero, damnit!!!
posted by chandy72 at 12:37 PM on October 30, 2002

here in montreal, it's called matt night. i don't think they named it after me.
posted by xmattxfx at 12:47 PM on October 30, 2002

In my neck of the woods (Southern Ontario) its also called Devil's Night. Unlike our neighbours in Michigan, we spend the evening pranking on neighbours (firecrackers, tp, etc.) rather than lighting fires. Much luck to my American friends though, and keep those fire extinguishers handy!
posted by pooligan at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2002

All All Hallow's Hallow's Eve Eve.

I saw a hundred trick-or-treating 2 year olds last Sunday. No mass arson, though.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:48 PM on October 30, 2002

"October 30th" works for me.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:57 PM on October 30, 2002

Sorry Matt, In Montreal it's called Mat Night, because hooligans used to steal Welcome Mats from doorsteps.
posted by Officeslacker at 12:59 PM on October 30, 2002

Growing up in Windsor Ontario, right across from Detroit, I can understand why they called it Devil's Night. You used to be able to see the flames shooting up from across the river. The news reports that night and the next day would be insane, even for Detroit.

I seem to recall that prior to the Devil's Night lock-in the then mayor, Coleman Young, first enacted a media blackout on arson coverage. Anyway, my Devil's Night plans tonight include about an hour on my Nordic Track.
posted by substrate at 1:01 PM on October 30, 2002

All I had to say on this subject
posted by tj at 1:02 PM on October 30, 2002

Each municipality in my home state of Ohio chooses the night for trick-or-treating for its residents. We call that night trick-or-treat.

A common question in October is, "What night is trick-or-treat for you?"

Trick-or-treat was always on October 31 when I was a child. This changed in the late 1980s as part of the poisoned candy, tainted Tylenol, predatory teen scare that swept through the midwest at the time. Trick-or-treat is almost never on the 31st now, so as not to invite the misdeeds -and I'm not making this up- of "Devil Worshippers."
In other words, we're rubes.
posted by putzface_dickman at 1:04 PM on October 30, 2002

in my town it's called Find A Damn Costume Quick night.
posted by tsarfan at 1:20 PM on October 30, 2002

I believe the official term for it in Detroit now is "Angel's Night", in honor of all the people who patrol the streets to prevent arson.

But it will always be Devil's Night to me. Not that I actually participated in any devilish activities when I was of a tick-or-treating age.

Even outlying communities have curfews; in my hometown, Clarkston (about 50 miles north of the city proper, on the northern edge of the suburban sprawl), the curfew is 7 pm. Of course, that's more due to fear of the bad people from the city coming up and wreaking havoc. Oh, the stories I could tell about the weird paranoia that pervades Clarkston...
posted by eilatan at 1:48 PM on October 30, 2002

I too grew up in the midwest putzface. Ah, razor blades and dirty syringes...makes me all nostalgic. Things just aren't like they use to be...
posted by foxyfoxinsox at 1:54 PM on October 30, 2002

I don't get it. Is it supposed to be on the 30th or the 31st of October?
I only went trick or treating once in my life, so what do I know?
I think I was 11 and my parents dressed me and my sister as hookers.

Don't Ask.

Anyway, I'm all about giving the kiddies their candy and not getting my house egged.

And I've always called it Halloween.
posted by mayalucia at 2:08 PM on October 30, 2002

When I lived in Pittsburgh we called it "Devil's Eve".

I also call it my birthday. Bulging eyes abound around me today.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:12 PM on October 30, 2002

I also call it my birthday.

Damn, that's my joke. HB,PST.
posted by claxton6 at 2:16 PM on October 30, 2002

And you Claxton6.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:21 PM on October 30, 2002

mayalucia: the original post was asking what people called the evening of the 30th of October.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:23 PM on October 30, 2002

RJ Reynolds: Detroit has been burnt down - twice and this is still what we're left with! Check it out - once in 1763 and then again during the riots in 1967.
posted by whatzit at 3:17 PM on October 30, 2002

I think we're all confused, MediaMan because that first post is a song called "Walking Round on Halloween Eve" but the lyrics say:

Our costumes are bright, we're ready for tonight,
Were(sic) walking round on Halloween night.(my bold)

And the song goes on to talk about Trick or Treating, and counting up candy, and "making a pumpkin look like Parson Brown." But always with that strange refrain:
Were walking round on Halloween Night.

What a weird song.

Anyway the night before Halloween is obviously the night you run down to the store to replace the bag of trick or treat candy that you have already eaten. This year-- no joke-- we have just about polished off a bag of Starburst lollipops. As my partner puts it, "Well they are not real great, but it's something to eat at work when you're bored."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:19 PM on October 30, 2002

Detroit is for Lovers, Right? It was in this.
posted by geekyguy at 4:26 PM on October 30, 2002

In our house, it's now called "the night I'm up until the early wees finishing our daughter's Halloween costume." Now I remember why I got more organized about this stuff. Luckily I have a bag of candy to see me through(unless Secret Life of Gravy snuck into our home and polished IT off too! ;-) )
posted by Dinzie at 10:40 PM on October 30, 2002

I grew up in southern Ohio during the fifties and sixties. My memory is that we also called the night before Halloween, Beggar's Night. The idea behind 'Trick or Treat' was 'Treat' me tonight or I'll come back tomorrow night (Halloween) and 'Trick' you. We begged on Beggar's night and on Halloween night, the bad kids went out and egged people's cars and houses and smashed pumpkins, and the good kids (sadly, I was always one of those) stayed home.
posted by marsha56 at 12:20 AM on October 31, 2002

For some of us, every night is Mischief Night. ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:56 AM on October 31, 2002

If you're under 16 in Detroit after 6 on Devil's Night/Angel's Night, you get picked up by the cops and given a $500 fine. A lot of those fires were started by residents who were sick of having a crack house across the street from them or right next door to them so they used the night as an excuse to get rid of a problem that no one else wanted to take care of. I didn't have anything to worry about growing up though since I was on the other side of 8 mile.
posted by Degaz at 5:25 AM on October 31, 2002

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