The earliest reference to Mischief Night is from 1790 when a headmaster encouraged a school play which ended in "an Ode to Fun which praises children's tricks on Mischief Night in most approving terms".
In the United Kingdom, these pranks were originally carried out as part of May Day celebrations, but shifted to later in the year, dates varying in different areas, some marking it on October 30, the night before Halloween, others on November 4, the night before Bonfire Night. According to one historian, "May Day and the Green Man had little resonance for children in grimy cities. They looked at the opposite end of the year and found the ideal time, the night before the gunpowder plot."
However, the shift only happened in the late nineteenth century and is described by the Opies as "one of the mysteries of the folklore calendar".
In Germany, Mischief Night is still celebrated on May 1.
In the United States and Canada
In most of New Jersey, as well as in Philadelphia, Delaware, parts of New York State, and Connecticut, it is referred to as "Mischief Night" or, particularly in the Great Lakes region, "Devil's Night". In some towns in Northern New Jersey and parts of New York State, it is also known as "Goosey Night".
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Maryland, it has traditionally been referred to as "Moving Night" due to the custom of exchanging or stealing porch furniture and other outside items.
In rural Niagara Falls, Ontario, during the 1950s and 1960s, Cabbage Night (French: Nuit de Chou) referred to the custom of raiding local gardens for leftover rotting cabbages and hurling them about to create mischief in the neighborhood. Today, the night is still celebrated in Ontario but is commonly known as "Cabbage Night" in parts of Vermont; Connecticut; Bergen County, New Jersey; Upstate New York; Northern Kentucky; Newport, Rhode Island; Western Massachusetts; and Boston, Massachusetts.
It is known as "Gate Night" in New Hampshire, West Kootenay (British Columbia), Vancouver Island, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay (Ontario), Bay City (Michigan), Rockland County (New York), North Dakota and South Dakota; as "Mat Night" in Quebec; and as "Devil's Night" in many places throughout Canada, Michigan, and western Pennsylvania.
In the United Kingdom
In some parts of the country, "Mischief Night" is held on 30 October, the night before Halloween. The separation of Halloween tricks from treats seems to have only developed in certain areas, often appearing in one region but not at all nearby.
Mischief night is known in Yorkshire as "Mischievous Night" or the shortened "'Chievous Night" "Miggy Night", "Tick-Tack Night", "Corn Night", "Trick Night" or "Micky Night" and is celebrated across Northern England on 4 November the night before Bonfire Night. In some areas of Yorkshire, it is extremely popular among thirteen-year-olds as they believe it to be a sort of "coming of age ceremony".
In and around the city of Liverpool, Mischief Night is known locally as "Mizzy Night"; trouble spots were being tackled by Merseyside Police in 2015.
Mischief Night tends to include popular tricks such as toilet papering yards and buildings, powder-bombing and egging cars, people, and homes, using soap to write on windows, "forking" yards, setting off fireworks, and smashing pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns. Local grocery stores often refuse to sell eggs to pre-teens and teens around the time of Halloween for this reason. Occasionally, the damage can escalate to include the spray-painting of buildings and homes.
Sounds dreadful....we don't have stuff like that in London, nor down south.
Surely it should be banned, and the perps banged up for a timely spell for criminal damage?
Love bears all things,believes all things,hopes all things,endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians: 13