mischief night


  1. Halloween or, in some areas, the night before Halloween, as an occasion for pranks and minor vandalism by young people.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of mischief night1

First recorded in 1860–65


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More About Mischief Night

What is Mischief Night?

Mischief Night is used in some places as the unofficial name for the night before Halloween, which is known as a night for pranks and other mischief, usually by kids and teens. In some other places, the name is applied to a different day.

Mischief Night is most commonly associated with pranks like egging or toilet papering houses, but some people use it as an opportunity to engage in more dangerous activities and acts of vandalism, such as lighting fires or setting off fireworks.

The night is well-known in some areas of the U.S. and England, but largely unknown in others.

In some places, the night before Halloween is called by a different name, such as Devil’s Night, Mizzy Night, Trick Night, and Cabbage Night.

When is Mischief Night?

Mischief Night most commonly refers to October 30, the night before Halloween. In some places, it’s used as another name for Halloween itself.

In some places in England, the name is applied to the night of November 4, which is the night before Guy Fawkes Day.

More information and context on Mischief Night

The origin of Mischief Night isn’t certain, but the tradition of playing pranks on the night before Halloween dates back at least hundreds of years. The first records of the name Mischief Night come from around 1800. Early uses of the term in England referred to April 30, the night before May Day.

Some of the pranks associated with Mischief Night, such as toilet papering and egging, are also somewhat common on Halloween night, when they are sometimes considered as the “trick” part of trick or treating.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Mischief Night?

How is Mischief Night discussed in real life?

Mischief Night is associated with minor pranks, but is sometimes used as an occasion for people to engage in serious vandalism. It’s well-known in some areas of the U.S. and England, but largely unknown in others.


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True or False? 

The name Mischief Night only ever refers to October 30.