Thursday, October 30, 2008

Devil's Night

The encyclopedia history of Devil's Night dates back to the 1930s, as a mischief night especially destructive in Detroit MI where the vandalism escalated to yearly bouts of arson.

But Mischief Nights are cross-cultural although usually in other seasons and pre-date this particular tradition.

The Mischief Night is depicted in the Classic Movie directed by Vincente Minelli and starring Judy Garland "Meet Me In St Louis". Placed in 1904, St Louis, MO just before the World's Fair. Margaret O'Brien as Tootie dresses up and runs a muck on mischief night. Residents leave old furniture on the porches that the children pile in the street and burn.

The Halloween Tradition of Trick or Treat was not violent but more prankster, funny, silly or messy but not intentionally destructive. Candy beggars would ring the door bell and yell, "Trick or Treat" and with out the treat, they'd leave a trick.

Sometimes old men would come to the door and show kids magic tricks that produced candy usually out of thin air. This made for the joint occurrence of trick and treat, much to the delight of the scavengers.

April Fool's Day is another mischief day. Magic Tricks or Illusions are particularly welcome. Where the clever and bright folks use the mischief times to tell jokes and laugh at self or friends, the angry or the dense use the day as an excuse to destroy.

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