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Mischief Night

A tradition that has been largely absorbed by Halloween and the Trick or Treat culture from America.

The tradition was strongest in Scotland and the North of England and was a night when children were given a degree of freedom to do mischief to their neighbours. The mischief would not be damaging or threatening. Removing Gates and moving them next door, swapping door numbers, tying door handles together, dangling spoons from branches near windows so that they would tap incessantly, knocking on doors and running away, putting honey or treacle on door knobs were the kind of expected activities. Latterly, the mischief has become more vandalistic - egg, flour and paint damage, soaping windows etc.

Often celebrated on October 31st (Halloween), it was also celebrated in Yorkshire on the night before Guy Fawkes (November 4th). Other known dates include May Eve and Shrove Tuesday Eve.