All my life the night before Halloween was referred to as Devil’s Night. In some places it is called Mischief Night. Other places call it Goosey Night, Mat Night, or Cabbage Night. Whatever you called it, it was usually a night that kids/teens would go out and prank people. Usually those pranks were pretty harmless. Recently, Devil’s Night in Michigan (Detroit, in particular) became a night that folks would go out and set fires to abandoned house and buildings. It is now referred to as Angel’s Night as many patrol neighborhoods in hopes of stopping those fires.
I was not an innocent little teenager, as I would occasionally go out on October 30th and cause mischief. In discussing with a friend the many pranks associated with Devil’s Night, I did many of them, but not all of them. How many of these were you involved with?
Of all the pranks we came up with, I admit, this was my favorite. We TP’d houses even when it wasn’t Devil’s Night! You can read about that in a past blog. We had a group in high school called the TP Bandits. I swear we bought hundreds of dollars in TP in 1988! When we were done, we left works of art! The sheer beauty of TP blowing in wind …. ah, what a sight!
Probably one of the cheapest and least menacing pranks was soaping windows. You’d go into your bathroom and home and swipe a bar of soap and go up and down the street drawing smiley faces on car windows. Sometimes we’d write “hello” or draw things on home windows, but not usually. I can see where this might not be so harmless today. I have a feeling that most kids today would write hateful things on car windows. The nice thing about this prank was a car wash or rain would take care of the soap.
Ding Dong Ditch
I’ll be honest, I never heard it called “Ding Dong Ditch” until recently. We would usually just say, “Hey! Wanna go ring doorbells?!” This prank is more annoying than anything and if you were slow, you’d get caught. Basic idea – ring the doorbell and run. I would imagine that the Ring Doorbells with cameras make this not as fun. It really is a dumb prank. This is almost the same thing as …
Knock and Run
This prank is basically the same thing, except you knock on the door and run. I have a feeling this came about because of homes that had no doorbell! I’m not sure I’d have the guts to do this, but when I saw this picture I laughed. Imagine doing this to your own home!
He probably needs a longer hockey stick…..
A bit more expensive and a lot messier, this was a prank I only did a couple times. A buddy of mine busted a window by whipping an egg at it, and I think that was when I decided that “egging” was not my favorite prank. Most people just egged cars, but some threw them at doors and houses. It was always messy and I remember my dad hating having to clean that up. Some people took this prank in another direction and used tomatoes!
This is a prank I never really understood. Forking a lawn is just what it sounds like – someone puts a bunch of plastic forks in a lawn. I would think you’d need a whole lot of people to pull off this prank in a hurry, otherwise, it is gonna take you a while to get it done. I don’t know about you, but if I am pulling a prank like this or TPing, I wanna get it, get it done, and get out before I get caught! This is one of those pranks I never really understood.
The Flaming Bag of Poop
This is probably the cruelest of all the pranks. It is gross. Someone puts dog poop in a paper bag and lights it on fire. Then, they knock on the door or ring the doorbell and run away. The home owner comes to the door and stomps on the bag, getting poop on their shoe. This prank has shown up in Adam Sandler movies, on Saturday Night Live (in Matt Foley and Martha Stewart sketches), and on the Simpsons.
For the record, I never did this prank. I can’t even imagine wanting to pick up a piece of dog poop!
I guess this prank is pretty mean, too. I know how hard my son worked on carving his pumpkin. If he woke up Halloween morning and found it busted up, I can only imagine how upset he’d be. I am not sure that this is really a Devil’s Night thing, as I think most pumpkin smashing happens after Halloween when the gourds are a bit more … mushy.
Did I miss any pranks? Let me know!
I hope that when I walk out to my car in the morning it is egg and soap free!