Happy Devil’s Night!

Devils Night 2013“Here’s to Devil’s Night, my new favorite holiday.”  – T-Bird “The Crow” (1994)

Being from Michigan we thought we’d offer up a little information on our beloved Devil’s Night.

Taken from Wikipedia:

Devil’s Night is a name associated with October 30, the night before Halloween, particularly in Detroit, Michigan.

Devil’s Night is a long-standing tradition predating World War II, with anecdotal incidents occurring as early as the 1930s.  Traditionally, youths in Detroit engaged in a night of criminal behavior, which usually consisted of acts of vandalism (such as throwing eggs at the homes of neighbors, scribbling on windows with bar soap, or stringing toilet paper in trees) .  These were almost exclusively petty vandalism acts, causing little to no property damage other than perhaps a damaged mailbox or eggs hardening on windows.  These acts still go on today.

However, in the early 1970s a dark side of this holiday emerged and the vandalism escalated to more severe acts such as arson.  This primarily took place in the city but surrounding suburbs were not entirely immune.  Property owners unable to sell in the rapidly declining Detroit city housing market would use this night as an excuse to burn down their homes to collect insurance money.  These incidents were blamed on Devil’s Night hooligans, greatly adding to the notoriety of the night.

The crimes became more destructive in Detroit’s inner-city neighborhoods, and included hundreds of acts of arson and vandalism every year.  The destruction reached a peak in the mid- to late-1980s, with more than 800 fires set in 1984, and 500 to 800 fires in the three days and nights before Halloween in a typical year.

The above “Devil’s Night” trading card is available in our Artfire Shop in the Shadowed Michigan Series No. 2.

Published by Jack

Graphic designer fixated on retro video games, horror movies, trading cards, bootleg action figures and professional wrestling.

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