Wicked BlueWicked Blue's Journal
It's the night before Halloween, when kids and teenagers roam around soaping windows, ringing doorbells and then hiding, throwing toilet paper into trees and so on. Here's some information about it.
Excerpts by permission of the author, from her blog offeringstone
"If you grew up anyplace in the U.S. other than Passaic or Sussex (and possibly Bergen) counties in northern New Jersey, youve probably never heard of Goosey Night. Goosey Night always takes place on the night before Halloween, October 30.
When I went to college some 40 miles south, in Middlesex County, I found out that Central Jersey folks called October 30 Mischief Night, and had never heard of Goosey Night. Some years later, in 1977, a magazine called N.J. Monthly published an article about the many localisms that distinguished the speech of New Jersey residents. Among other things, the article said you could tell what part of New Jersey someone grew up in by what they called the night before Halloween. I dont recall the details, but in some parts of New Jersey it was called Cabbage Night (Bergen County) or Tick Tack Night (Trenton area). Years later I read that this was called Devil Night in Detroit. Goosey Night was confined to Passaic and Sussex counties, and maybe a few spots in Bergen County. And none of us had the faintest idea where the name came from, or what it means.
Other names for Goosey Night include Corn Night*, Doorbell Night, Mickey Night*, Trick Night*, Miggy Night*, Mischievous Night*, Egg Night, Moving Night, Beggars Night, Damage Night (Cincinnati, OH), Mat Night (Quebec, Canada), Mizzy Night (Liverpool, UK), and Hell Night. Those marked with asterisks come from Yorkshire, England, along with Tick Tack Night, mentioned earlier. Tick Tack Night has an interesting origin, having nothing whatever to do with tiny breath mints.
So where did the term Goosey Night come from? My best guess is that it evolved from the custom of guising or mumming, which dates back to the Middle Ages, when it usually took place during the Christmas season. Guising means dressing up in disguise."
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