Putting Out The Fire: Devil’s Night

I actually had never heard of Devil’s Night before watching the 1994 movie THE CROW. A sociologist’s wet dream, worthy of an endless number of doctoral dissertations, Devil’s Night, “celebrated” on October 30th, was—Is it safe now to refer to it in the past tense?—a cultural happening confined geographically to Detroit, Michigan, characterized by the setting of fires. An outgrowth of the old tradition of Halloween night prank-playing (in itself worthy of sociological scrutiny), mostly innocuous stuff like rolling yards or the slightly more hostile egging of cars, in Detroit this activity took on a sinister life unique to itself and seen nowhere else on such an advanced scale. Starting in the 70s and going on for two decades, with each Devil’s Night, Detroit burned. Parts of it, anyway.

The citizenry of the city, finally having their fill, took up the challenge of filling in the gaps which law enforcement was spread too thin to cover. They took to the streets, organizing community watch-type endeavors, and their diligence paid off. Devil’s Night is now a flicker, a fading ember of the conflagration it once comprised. They even changed the name, officially, to “Angels Night.” The weapons may have changed, but there are still demons, it seems, that must needs be exorcised.

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless. Denn die totden reiten schnell!

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