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Mischief Night: Your view

Children dressed up. Copyright PA
Dressing up for Halloween has perhaps taken over from Mischief Night

In Yorkshire, the traditional 'Mischief Night' of pranks takes place on the night before Bonfire Night.

The origins of the tradition are not known, different forms of Mischief Night take place in other areas of northern England, in Ireland and Northern Ireland and as far away as Canada.

But what actually happens? In North Yorkshire, activities range from knocking on people's doors, to putting sweet foodstuffs like treacle and honey on doorknobs and even removing gates.

One now grown up and contrite perpetrator of Mischief Night pranks told us that he believed that the police were powerless to arrest young people on the night itself.

"When I was a kid I actually thought it was legal - 'coppers can't arrest you on miggy night.' That was the folklore."

We asked for your views and here's some of them:

Edward Virtually

like "practical" jokes, pranks is a euphemism for harassment and vandalism. unless the prankster is going to clean up the mess, they have no right to force their idea of "fun" on other people, regardless of the calendar. thankfully, one of the few good side-effects of continuous public video surveillance is those who cause the mess can be forced to clean it up and thus remove the "fun" and hopefully the acts.

max titlesbaum

i think that it is legitimesd anti-social harmlesss fun

Nathan Pinnell

Mischievous night is mtheb most unharmful night of the year but still the most fun of he year and i go otu every mischievous night


I dont have a problem with micheif night, aslong as it is not taken too far. It only becomes anti-social when windows are smashed or cars ar vandilsed foe example .Eggs and flour are just a bit of harmless fun.


there is a big difference between eggs on your doors and smashing your windows... even paint on your car could cost you a few hundered pound to fix... im sure most people can put up with minor mischief but when it turns to vandalism its too far, if the kids are allowed to smash your windows and the police cant do anything surely that means you can smash something of theirs and are equally exempt from the law does it not?


I dont agree with mischief night. I blame the parents letting their children cause damage to peoples property. Can we no longer educate children to respect people and their property.You may think I am a boring old women but in fact im a 19 yr old and cant believe the youths of today


What day is mischeif night? I am sooooo sure it is the day before haloween!?!?!?!?!?!?


I'm 14, and from Doncaster, and I HATE mischief night because it gives young people a bad name-everyone thinks EVERY SINGLE young person is out there causing mischeif, including a lot of people who have commented on here. I am a straight-A* student and I am deeply offended by some of the comments on here. Well, let me tell you what I did this 'miggy' night. I went to a rehersal for the play Oliver Twist that I'm in from 6-8 (after coming home from school of course) and then went to KFC on the way home and bought something to eat, and when I got home, I did my homework and came on the computer. There have been posters up in shops saying they won't sell eggs or flour to anyone under 18. I was worried about my education. About my catering practicals. I normally buy my ingredients on the way home from school to save my mum the trouble. Good job I didn't have to cook anything with eggs or flour in this week.I have never taken part in mischief night, and I never plan to.


Tonight I was nearly put in hospital by a stupid immature little girl who thought it funny to stand on a roundabout, throw an egg at a car in front of me and cause a near accident while I was riding a motorbike. Result - I have a sprained wrist and the silly little brat thinks she's funny.... needless to say I don't think its funny at all.


i was allowed out to go "Michieving" but it usually took the form of knoocking on doors and running away, opening shop doors (when a bell would summon) the shopkeeper, and of cours, it was another hoax call. Door handles were tied together on terraced houses, then both doors knocked on. We did nothing harmful...that wouldn't have been funny and I would have been in serious trouble at home. This was in South Yorkshire mining village in the late 50's.

aftab, Bradford

its time to let it all out and then behave rest of year. it can be seen positive, maybe, i hope


Mischief Night is not fun. What is the point in it. It should be banned. Gone are the days of knocking on doors. Now its stones or eggs at your window. Last year my dad got hit in the face by a stone as someone knocked on his door and when he opened it some kids threw stones at him.


I sealed up my letterbox on 31 October and will be sealing it again tonight. I will also be padlocking the front gate. Mischief Night is another excuse for antisocial/criminal behaviour by louts with nothing better to do other than annoy the neighbours and vandalise their property. Such actions should not be seen as "harmless fun".


After halloween (trick or treat) this was the night for the trick if a house didn't give you the treat. The trick should be knocking on doors and running away, jam/sticky stuff on door handles, tying up doors so people couldn't get out, removing washing lines. Our best year was removing all the gates in the street and swapping them with someone else's people were walking up and down for weeks after.


i think mischeif night is all fun and games but kids take it sometimes to extreme its harmfull some times they reck ya car and some people carnt afford to pay for the cost of the damage.


Hey there, fellow Doncastrian! Sorry to hear about your windows! Last year, I had to deal with my neighbour having a street lamp tunble into his garden, after youths had blown it to smithereens with fireworks...when I went out to investigate, turned out the next street lamp down was in the road - had done the same thing to that. Then, the following night, had to call fire brigade as there was a wheelie bin on fire, next to a row of trees, along the A638 turn-off. Emergency services were loving me! And we expect all the crime to be in London?!?!?! Most of us can take a joke but these acts go beyond that! Are we breeding a society of social degenerates?


Hi,I remember living in the village of Kirmington in North Licolnshire. One year on Mischief Night we got virtually every gate in the village (Including Copper Stuarts)and piled them all in the middle of the playing field. It took days before everyone had collected their gates back and we even earned a few bob bringing them back for people.


I think it's fun!

Johny Figeroua

I do Ding dond ditch. That is when you ring adoorbell and run

Margaret Clayson.

Much better harmless fun on Mischief Night than the Mumboo Jumbo of Hallowe'en

Liam Reynolds

I think kids should be able to do do it but if it gets too anti-social they should get a fine. Flour bombs is alright and so are eggs but not smashing windows...


When I was 10-14 in Liverpool mizzy night was the night before Halloween. We used to buid rocket lanchers from gutter pipes and fire rockets at cars. I knew people who used to brick peoples windows. We'd set fire to doors when doing knock and run. Pretty scary stuff. Im an upstanding memeber of the community now. Im thinking of applying for Prime Minister.

good naughty

mischief night is definitely 4th november


Mischief night is an American thing surely, well in short mischief/miggy night was knocked on the head in my neighbourhood, after last years carry on, as was trick or treat, another American thing. Lets stick to our own British traditions.

a.n. other cas lad

woke up this morning to find my car egged and floured! Kids, what goes around comes around! in ten years its going to be your own cars and houses that are the targets:-)


What was once a night of mild misconduct, has sadly become a night of wanton vandalism in too many places.


I remember reading about the old customs of Wythenshawe (Cheshire, now a suburb of Manchester)(19th century) and they had it there - and it was rather like trick or treat because the neighbours could bribe you to be good


Missy Night Was and Still Is A Great Night For Kids. Yes It's Annoyying And Anti-social but thats whats sooo good about it. It's all fun. You all need to chill out and take it on the chin. egg on your windows or paint on your car its all fun for kids


Those of you who are proud of participating, obviously dont have any morals or respect for others around. Nor do you realise the misery it causes... I find it disgusting to say the least!

Cas Lad

Now i'm older and in London I look back on terrorising the streets of castleford on 'mizzy night' with great nostalgia (everyone i tell down here looks aghast at our excuse for mindless vandalism). i do, however, find it worrying that all the younger folk posting on here about 'hw gd mzzy nite is, prper mint etc..' sound like cretinous idiots. it's like looking at your childhood self in the mirror and not liking what you see.Still, my best acheivement was nicking a wheely bin, setting it alight and putting the green puddle of molten plastic back exactly where we found it...


im from middlesbrough and our mischief night is usually 30th of october not novermber 4th


It is the parents at fault,they do not know what their brats are doing at night. They give them money to buy noisy bangers to anoy people.Fire works should not be sold until bonfire night, organised only.Should also have a licence to buy them, as the same as guns, fireworks have gun powder they are dangerous.

Dinga B

Them were the days, when us kids knew our place and for 1 night a year could get away with a bit of mischief. Not vandalism, mugging or intimidation like the little varmints get away with nowadays but just a bit of good, not so clean and almost harmless fun..


we also have mischief night in the north west or mizzy night as we call it. we'd go out with a bag each full of eggs, flour, tomato sauce, shaving foam, toilet paper etc... and go around our neighbourhood causing pure mischief

A concerned observer

surely there should be a polite society equivalent to mischievous night, something like borstal evening perhaps. All I can hope for is a good example of vigilante justice gracing the BBC news pages over the next few days, hopefully with elements of quasi-Dickensian disciplinary methods thrown in for good measure.


All treat and never a trick, eh? In the states, Halloween is preceeded by "Moving Night", when anything not tied down might end up elsewhere, and "Soap Night" or "Chalk Night", when young people run through town writing graffiti using chalk or a cake of soap. Annoying, but harmless for the most part.


my mum told me that years ago every village(north riding)had a bonfire and mischief night was the night that rival villages would try to set light to each others' bonfire.


Sounds like an excuse for anti social behaviour, vandalism and crime - slap some ASBOS about I say.


My Mum actually used to supply us with eggs to throw at the neighbours' front doors! she denies it now of course! We used to get wet loo roll and put it in door locks. Very bad kids, bad parents too.


What the hell is this 'Mischief Night'? I moved from London to Doncaster last year and had all my windows smashed, paint thrown over my car, and racial abuse. What does the police/council do? Nothing! All the street lights went off and the police didn't do f-all! This year I've had to cover up my windows, and still, the police say they can't do anything - pathetic!!

The Guide: Bonfire night 2009
28 Oct 09 |  Things to do
Who was the real Guy Fawkes
30 Oct 09 |  History
Watch out... it is Mischief Night
03 Nov 09 |  Magazine


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