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"O thou! whatever title suit thee,—
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie!
Wha in yon cavern, grim an' sootie,
Clos'd under hatches,
Spairges about the brunstane cootie
To scaud poor wretches!"
~ Address to the Devil, Robert Burns, 1786
Do your friends consider you a jokester? A prankster? Or worse ... a punster? Might you be prone towards small mischiefs or minor devilments? Mischief Night is an informal traditional holiday on which children and teenagers historically engaged in pranks and minor acts of vandalism which in the past took the form of stealing gates, ringing doorbells and hiding out of sight, moving outhouses, or throwing cabbages! The eve before Hallowe'en has been known variously as Devil's Night, Gate Night, Goosey Night, Moving Night, Cabbage Night and Mat Night with its origins in the ancient belief that goblins and spirits came out to play pranks and tricks on humans on the nights near Samhain! This year, don't get carried away by Mahoun, Auld Clootie, Auld Nick, Auld Hangie, or the infernal name of your choice, and yield only to hot temptations such as Fireball Whisky, a Cherry Apple Bomb Cocktail, or the ubiquitous "Red Hots" cinnamon candies as your Hallowe'en treat! 👺🍬🔥😈🔥🍬👺
Thomas Theodor Heine, German, ca. 1896–1897
Mischief Night, also sometimes known as Devil's Eve or Devil's Night is an informal holiday in which historically, children and teens engage in pranks and minor devilment, and is commonly held the night before Halloween - a night for tricks instead of treats.
In the past in the United States, this holiday was mostly an East Coast or North East phenomenon and included children ringing false alarms, ringing doorbells and leaving before someone answers, stealing gates, setting fires, breaking windows, and doing their best to annoy people.
Instead of an evening of mischief, thoughts of devilment can be turned culinary ones! The hot and spicy often merit a nod to the heat of the devil's domicile.
Deviled eggs, which requires "deviling" or mixing the cooked yolk with mustards and spices and replacing the filling in the cooked egg white, are a classic party food.
Devil's Food Cake (a 1930s invention and its newest incarnation, Red Devil's Food Cake - a cross between the classic chocolate and a Red Velvet Cake) is an exception to this rule and invented as a counterpart to the light and airy Angel's Food Cake.
Click the vintage German magazine cover showing the devil running 'awa' with a lady in a bit of tartan, for a beautifully illustrated recipe for spicy Deviled Scotch Eggs.