Night before Halloween

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Thu Oct 31 17:28:12 UTC 2002

The custom of marking the night before Halloween in any way at all is not
universal.  In the places where I lived when I was trick-or-treating
age--So. California and Oregon--kids did their trick-or-treating on
Halloween, and the night before was like any other night.

However, I do remember as a small child in Oklahoma City being asked by my
parents if I wanted to "go with them on Handout Night or Halloween Night."
I didn't know who "they" were, didn't have a clue what I was "going with
them" to do, and had never heard either word, but I chose "Handout Night"
because it sounded somehow friendlier.  On the night in question, some
friends showed up and we went around the neighborhood with paper sacks
knocking on doors and saying "Handout!" whereupon people would drop goodies
in our paper bags.  I don't think we wore costumes.

Peter Mc.

--On Thursday, October 31, 2002 6:27 AM -0800 Ed Keer <edkeer at YAHOO.COM>

> I'm curious to hear what the night before Halloween is
> called in your neck of the woods. I grew up in SE
> Pennsylvania and we called it "mischief night". My
> wife, from Bergen county, NJ, calls it "goosie night".
> I've also heard "hell night" and "cabbage night"
> (again, North Jersey).  Any others?
> Ed
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                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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