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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Your search for PRANKS returned 13 results.

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOM

THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN' OCTOBER 30, IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS DEVIL,S
NIGHT. ON THAT NIGHT CHILDREN ARE SUPPOSED TO GO ABOUT THEIR
NEIGHBORHOODS RINGING DOORBELLS, SOAPING
WINDOWS OR STREAMING TOILET TISSUE ON TREES. IT IS A HARMLESS
DIVERSION.

Submitter comment: IN RECENT YEARS DEVIL'S NIGHT HAS NOT BEEN HARMLESS. IT HAS TURNED
FROM A NIGHT OF PRANKS TO A NIGHT OF DESTRUCTION. BREAKING WINDOWS,
THROWING STONES AT CARS OR PAINT AT HOUSES IS NOT UNCOMMON. WAX
HAS BEEN SUBSTITUTED FOR SOAP. THE CHANGE IN CHILDREN'S PRANKS
COULD VERY WELL BE RELATED TO THE SICKNESS IN RECENT HALLOWEENS.
IN RECENT YEARS RAZOR BLADES, POISON AND NEEDLES HAVE BEEN PLACED IN
TRICK OR TREATER'S CANDY AND APPLES. THIS COULD VERY WELL HAVE A
DIRECT CORRELATION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CRUEL PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: CA00001962

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GOOD FRIDAY

IN ITALY, ON GOOD FRIDAY, IT WAS A CUSTOM FOR THE PEOPLE TO TAKE
NOISEMAKERS TO CHURCH. AT A PRESCRIBED TIME DURING THE SERVICES,
EVERYONE WOULD BEGIN MAKING NOISES. SOMETIMES THIS WOULD BE A PIECE
OF WOOD AND A HAMMER AND NAILS--ANYTHING THAT WOULD MAKE NOISE.
ALSO IF SOMEONE IN FRONT OF YOU HAD A COAT ON AND LAID IT ON
THE PEW, YOU MIGHT NAIL THE COAT TO THE PEW AS A TYPE OF PRANK.

Submitter comment: AS RECOUNTED FROM MRS. BENESTELLI, A NEIGHBOR, ON TAPE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC ; PRANKS

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

Date learned: 11-01-1970

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DEVIL'S NIGHT

OCTOBER 30, THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN, IS DEVIL'S NIGHT.
THE KIDS WHO ARE TOO OLD TO GO BEGGING SOAP OR WAX WINDOWS, THROW
EGGS, OR RING DOORBELLS.
ANOTHER TRICK IS TO WRAP FRESH DOG CRAP IN NEWSPAPER, PUT IT ON
SOMEONE'S PORCH, IGNITE THE NEWSPAPER, AND RING THE DOORBELL. THE
OCCUPANT USUALLY TRIES TO EXTINGUISH IT BY STAMPING ON THE NEWS-
PAPER.
SOMETIMES FIRECRACKERS ARE PUT IN MAILBOXES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 10-30-1968

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A FOLKTALE ABOUT A HALLOWEEN CUSTOM

WHEN I WAS JUST A LITTLE FELLOW, JUST ABOUT SO TALL, ME AND THESE
FRIENDS OF MINE WENT OUT ON DEVILS NIGHT AND DECIDED WE WAS GONNA
HAVE US SOME FUN. WELL WE TOOK US AN OLD TIRE, TIRES WAS HARD TO
GET IN THOSE DAYS, AND WE FILLED THAT OLD TIRE WITH COW MANURE.
THEN WE TIED A LONG ROPE TO IT AND PUT IT OUT IN THE ROAD. NOW
TIRES WAS HARD TO GET IN THOSE DAYS AND THERE WAS SURE TO BE
SOMEONE WHO WOULD STOP TO PICK IT UP. WELL WE HID IN THE BUSHES
AND WAITED AND SURE AS YOU MAKE HEAD CHEESE FROM PIGS A CAR STOPPED
TO PICK IT UP. AND WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT TWO FELLAS, ALL DRESSED
UP 'CAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO TOWN, STOPPED THEIR CAR AND WAS
GANNA PICK UP THAT OLD TIRE WHEN WE GIVE IT A GOOD PULL. WELL
THEY WEREN'T GONNA LET US KIDS OUT SMART THEM SO THEY PICKED UP THAT
OLD TIRE AND GAVE IT A GOOD PULL AND WE LET IT GO AND THEY FELL
WITH THAT TIRE ON TOP OF THEM AND GOT ALL MESSED UP AND THAT OLD
TIRE WASN'T NO GOOD ANYWAY. (SIC)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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HALLOWEEN PRANK

ON HALLOWEEN, THE YOUNG BOYS AROUND THE FARMS IN PENNSYLVANIA
PLAY A JOKE ON THE FARMER. AT NIGHT, THEY TAKE HIS BUGGY APART
AND TAKE THE PIECES UP TO THE ROOF OF THE BARN. THEY PUT THE BUGGY
TOGETHER AND LEAVE IT PERCHED ON THE FARMER'S ROOF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 02-25-1970

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOMS

ON HALLOWEEN THE INFORMANTS MOTHER AND HER FRIENDS USED TO GO
"WINDOW-RATTLING." A WINDOW RATTLER IS MADE BY CUTTING NOTCHES
AROUND BOTH ENDS OF A SPOOL, AND WRAPPING STRING AROUND IT.
THEN YOU PUT A PENCIL THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE SPOOL. WHEN YOU HOLD
THE RATTLER AGAINST A WINDOW AND PULL THE STRING A LOUD NOISE IS
PRODUCED, SCARING THE OCCUPANTS OF THE HOUSE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S MOTHER IS 45, IRISH-AMERICAN, LIFE-LONG RESIDENT OF
LITTLE FALLS, NEW YORK

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 09-18-1969

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOM

IT IS THE CUSTOM IN CZECHOSLOVOKIA ON HALLOWEEN FOR THE BOYS TO
DUMP A BUCKET OF ( WATER ON ? ) UNSUSPECTING GIRLS AS A TRICKSTER
PRANK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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HALLOWEEN TRICK

PUT DOG MANURE INTO A PAPER BAG; THROW IT ONTO SOMEONE'S PORCH,
THEN LIGHT THE BAG AND KNOCK ON THE DOOR. RUN BEHIND SOME BUSHES AND
WAIT FOR SOME LAUGHS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: CHILDHOOD

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HALLOWEEN

ANOTHER GAME IS BLIND FOLDING YOUR PARTNER AFTER HE PICKED OUT A
PICTURE OF A PRETTY GIRL THEN ASKING HIM TO KISS THE PICTURE
AFTER THE BLINDFOLD IS ON. IN THE MEANTIME A SAUCER OF FLOUR IS
SLIPPED OVER THE PICTURE AND HE ENDS UP WITH A WHITE FACE.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; PEORIA

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-01-1971

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HALLOWEEN

ANOTHER TRICK IS TO TELL SOMEONE THAT YOU CAN PIN A CUP OF WATER INTO
THE TOP OF A DRAPE.
WHILE YOU ARE STANDING ON A CHAIR TRYING TO PIN THE CUP OF WATER YOUR
AUDIENCE ACCIDENTLY GETS A CUP OF WATER ON HIS HEAD.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; PEORIA

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-01-1971

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOM

UPON THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF HALLOWEEN CHILDREN USUALLY WOULD GET
IN TROUBLE SIMPLY BY HAVING FUN. IN THE OLD DAYS CHILDREN WOULD
DISASSEMBLE HORSE'S CARRIAGE AND THEN REASSEMBLE THE CARRIAGE ON
THE ROOF OF THE OWNER'S BARN.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID THAT HE AND OTHER CHILDREN OFTEN PERFORMED THIS
ACT TO SOMEONE ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 10-31-1971

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HALLOWEEN

IT WAS A CUSTOM IN PLYMOUTH, INDIANA 20 YRS. AGO TO KNOCK DOWN
FARMERS' OUTHOUSES ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT. A GROUP OF FOUR OR MORE
TEENAGERS WOULD DO THIS EVERY YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 10-10-1971

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Prank

In LeRoy, N.Y. a common prank would be to call a person on the telephone and tell him you were from teh water department. You would ask him to fill up his bathtub, since the water was to be off for the next day. The pranksters had no connections with the water department, and people would be without use of bathtubs for the night.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Bathtub ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; PRANKS ; TELEPHONE PRANK ; Water Department

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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showing 13 items

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