Thursday, October 30, 2008
Devil's Night Incubates Juvenile Pranks and Misdemeanors
Tis the night before Halloween, commonly referred to as "Devil's Night." Who among us will be surprised to wake up tomorrow morning to find smashed pumpkins, toilet paper on trees or broken eggs on your property? Some call it Mischief Night. Others just call it hell. The night before Halloween incubates mischief and misdemeanors unlike any other night of the year. So are they just pranks of rambunctious youths or are they crime attributable to punks and thugs?
Devils Night or Mischief Night is more common in the northeastern United States, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom. Keep in mind that it is not always kids. Who can forget Orson Welles' broadcast of "War of the Worlds." broadcast over the airwaves on the eve before Halloween? While Orson Welles prank may have been entertaining, such acts can get carried away. In the 1970s, Devil's Night escalated into a night of arson and mayhem in Detroit. It got so bad that the name was changed in 1995 to Angel's Night to discourage violence. In the Midwest, fires are rare. Corning cars not so rare.
Parents beware. Keep your teen age ghouls and goblins home on the night before Halloween and juvenile court will have a lighter load then usual on Monday.