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SunOct 30

Mischief Night – October 30, 2022

Mischief Night is on October 30, and we are ready to play pranks on folks around us in a healthy way. Enjoy it, have fun, and share a healthy laugh with everyone, even the subjects of your pranks. Entertain your neighborhood with silly, funny, and innocent pranks, strictly for laughs.

History of Mischief Night

Mischief Night, an informal holiday, is celebrated by kids and teenagers in many parts of the United States, Canada, and the U.K. The night before Halloween, children play harmless pranks on neighbors or family members, to spread mirth. Steeped in folk tradition, the origins of the holiday are unclear. A legend has it that it started in England in the 1700s where kids used to play pranks on people a night before May Day. The earliest known reference to ‘Mischief Night’ was recorded in 1790 when a school play, which concluded with an ode to fun, mentioned Mischief Night in glowing terms.

An amusing thing about the holiday is the many names it is known by in various parts of the world. In Vermont and New Hampshire, it is traditionally called ‘Cabbage Night’ as, on this night, people would throw cabbages at each other’s homes as a prank. In Detroit and its adjoining areas, it’s infamously known as Devil’s Night. Some communities call it ‘Devil’s Eve’ or ‘Goosey Night.’ However, it is known as ‘Mischief Night’ in most locations in the United States.

The holiday started as a fun activity for kids and teenagers engaging in pranks and harmless practical jokes, but it came to be associated with severe vandalism and even arson in some places. This brought the holiday into disrepute, and soon, grown-ups started dreading the day as society started downplaying or even disowning it. Despite the mixed feelings about Mischief Night, it offers grown-ups an opportunity to bond with their young ones.

Mischief Night timeline

1790
The Earliest Reference

A school play concludes with an ode to fun and mentions Mischief Night in glowing terms.

1980s
Mischief Night Takes on Devilish Proportions

The holiday is marked by severe acts of vandalism and arson, leading to the media dubbing it Devil's Night, and on that night in 1986, Detroit imposing a curfew for anyone less than 18 years of age.

October 30, 1991
New Jersey Suffers on Mischief Night

Over 130 instances of arson are committed during Mischief Night in New Jersey.

October 2015
The British Experience

In 2015, the Merseyside Police step in to tackle known trouble spots in Liverpool city on Mizzy Night, as the holiday is known there.

Mischief Night FAQs

Is Mischief Night celebrated on the same day across the world?

America, Canada, and the U.K. celebrate Mischief Night on October 30 every year, while some parts of Northern England celebrate it on November 4. May 1 is Mischief Night in certain places too. 

Does Mischief Night still happen?

While other parts of the world have other versions of the holiday, Mischief Night is predominantly still celebrated in New Jersey, Delaware, and around Philadelphia. However, most Americans do not recognize Mischief Night.

Is Mischief Night the same as Halloween?

It is a pre-Halloween celebration that can sometimes be seen as a preparation for its more popular counterpart or a separation of the Halloween tricks from the treats.

Fun Pranks for Mischief Night

  1. Serve salted cookies and watch them squint

    Prepare delicious-looking homemade cookies and add salt instead of sugar. Package them in attractive tins and send them to your neighbors, saying that you won a prize for the recipe in a cookery contest. Watch the epic expressions on their faces when they have a bite of the salted cookies. Don't forget to capture it on your smartphone!

  2. Tape the remote

    Tape the sensor of your neighbor's TV remote with a thin piece of transparent tape. Stick a similar one on the TV sensor. Then, just sit back and watch them struggle to turn on their favorite shows, change the batteries, and finally give up in exasperation.

  3. Surprise them with pillows

    This prank will light up the faces of the old couple who live down the road. Visit them on some pretext and leave the front door ajar. While you have their attention, have a friend create a ruckus by placing some pillows on the top of the door. Your 'victims' would open the door to check the scene outside and end up with pillows on their heads.

5 Times Mischief Night Was Used In Popular Culture

  1. "The Crow"

    In this 1994 film, as a ghost, the protagonist exacts revenge on Devil's Night for his and his fiancé's murder precisely a year earlier.

  2. "Rocket Power"

    In this animated series made for American television, an episode titled "The Night Before" explores the joys of Mischief Night.

  3. A horror movie

    Richard Schenkman directed a horror movie titled "Mischief Night".

  4. "Orange Is the New Black"

    Throughout episode five of season six of this American comedy-drama television series, the main characters are subjected to pranks on Mischief Night.

  5. "Are You Afraid of the Dark?"

    Mischief Night is a pivotal occurrence in episode four of season one of this horror anthology series aired on Nickelodeon.

Why We Love Mischief Night

  1. We can play harmless pranks on grown-ups

    If done harmlessly, a prank can bring a smile to everybody's face. On Mischief Night, we can get away with a prank or two without offending anyone.

  2. It is the perfect opportunity to let our hair down

    Since the next day is Halloween, Mischief Night is the best time to get into a spooky mood. It is that time of the year when we can let our hair down a bit and indulge in some harmless tomfoolery.

  3. It is an excellent way to mend broken bridges

    Play a prank on that relative with whom you have fallen out and see the ice thaw. If you were wondering how to mend bridges with someone, play an innocent and funny prank, and see the grudge disappear behind a good laugh. Perhaps you could achieve something more with your simple gesture than you could with an intense discussion.

Mischief Night dates

YearDateDay
2021October 30Saturday
2022October 30Sunday
2023October 30Monday
2024October 30Wednesday
2025October 30Thursday

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