As the streets begin to overflow with mothers in Ugg boots and pets in costumes, delinquent children across the country wander throughout local grocery stores on a mission to stock up on excess toilet paper and egg cartons. Though for the rest of us, money is spent on candy by the pound in order to spare ourselves visits from little angry, sugar-deprived deviants.
Whether it be carving pumpkins or watching “Scream” for the seventh year in a row, Halloween rituals are different among every family. For the most part, the nation collectively uses this time to binge eat and decorate. There are just some things that are too deep-seated to remove from history.
Aside from the mundane festivities that we all take on, there are a selective few who have different ideas of halloween fun. These children find immense joy from the despair of others, and it just so happens that they are finding ways to become more creative. Haven’t you heard, yolked windows are out and fork-stricken lawns are in.
Though highschool class clowns and middle school bullies are creating entire works of art in the matter of one night, it’s unfair to give them all of the credit.
Holiday pranking initially gained popularity in the early 19th century due to the influx of Irish, Scottish and English immigrants who were quite the jokesters. While their pranks were harmless, over time their traditions stuck which inevitably encouraged Oct. 31 to be a worldwide day of havoc.
Shortly after, these once wholesome tricks quickly became the epicenter for mass destruction at the onset of the 20th century. As various areas increasingly committed acts of terror during Halloween night, Michigan’s city of Detroit earned infamy for patterns of arson during the night beforehand. Steve Neavling for Detroit times wrote in an article that “The worst year was 1984, when firefighters responded to more than 800 blazes that covered the entire city in an eerie, smoky haze on Halloween morning.”
Similarly, Kansas City residents reap their own damage brought on by the chipper holiday spirit. In the sunflower state, instances of these so-called pranks were not only publicly destructive but also physically violent. In a History article, Christopher Klein writes that, “one year, youths in Kansas City waxed streetcar tracks on a steep hill causing a vehicle to slip and crash into another streetcar, seriously injuring a conductor.”
With that said, there are measures you can take to ensure your home stays mess-free. Simply don’t turn your lights out earlier than 8. p.m. — grandmothers I’m talking to you. Aside from that all you can do is stray away from handing out raisinets or veggie straws and hope for the best.
Regardless, if you complain about an egg thrown against your door, look on the bright side, it’s not like there’s any permanent damage and at least you learned something new!
Sophia Sipe is a writer for The Express. Follow her @SophiaSipe