Four Bizarre Ways Halloween Is Celebrated Around The World

Under the cool darkness of night, teenagers emerge from homes the night before Halloween dressed in all-black and armed with spray paint, toilet paper, and sometimes eggs.

In hushed giggles, they go around playing pranks on neighbors, TPing the trees in their lawn, throwing eggs at houses or cars, and spray-painting profanities on the asphalt. All while dodging the police and adults.

For most people, this may sound like a weird one-time decision with ill intent.

But for people who have grown up in parts of the US like New Jersey or Michigan and parts of the UK like Liverpool, they know it well.

It's Mischief Night.

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It's the night before Halloween when teenagers and young people go around their town pulling semi-harmless pranks on their neighbors. Often it includes throwing toilet paper on trees and bushes (also known as TPing) and vandalizing random things.

Some parts of the US call it “Goosey Night” others call it “Devil’s Night”. In the UK, it's sometimes referred to as Mizzy Night.

Mischief Night has a long, not-well-understood history. It originated in the UK, supposedly because a school teacher encouraged students to play harmless pranks on each other.

But it's unclear if the original Mischief Night was on 30 October or Guy Fawkes Night (5 November).

Regardless, it seems the US adopted it sometime during or after the Great Depression and it rose in popularity in the 60s and 70s.

The night allows teenagers to unleash their inner rebellion, within reason, of course. Whether it's smashing pumpkins or playing ding-dong ditch, it's the one night a year it's socially acceptable to be annoying.

Nowadays Mischief Night is filled with silly antics by rebellious teenagers but during the 20th century, it was of real concern to people.

Pete Price wrote for the Liverpool Echo last year that recalling the days of Mischief Night makes him break into a cold sweat as he remembers kids setting off fireworks and causing major damage.

Timemagazine reported how Mischief Night became a violent arson-filled evening in Detroit in the 1980s with over 400 small fires set.

Although parts of the UK still experience some unexpected firework displays, it seems both versions of Mischief NIght have calmed down into a night of harmless pranks.

That being said, maybe take any beloved carved pumpkins inside before 30 October.

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