Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Return of Halloween: Devils Night is Back

Trick or Treating. Halloween movies for kids. The ‘ghost’ costume and Halloween fraternity parties. McDonald’s old-school celebration of Halloween. Barack Obama costumes.

Is there a date that plays to the memory of Pre-Obama America with greater emotional power and iconography then Halloween? No.

Halloween evolved into a celebration of community, where neighbors would open their doors to children on the prowl for candy. Only in cities where a sense of identity, cooperation and civic pride converged could such a holiday mature.
Those cities with high rates of volunteerism seem to provide a window into the areas where Halloween flourishes., a popular real-estate Web site, took on the task of identifying the top 20 cities for Trick or Treating and came out with an interesting list:
We theorized that homes in more expensive neighborhoods would give out bigger, better candy. However, wealthy neighborhoods are not always the best for harvesting the most Halloween candy. For parents and kids alike, the walkability and density of a neighborhood is key to covering the most ground, in the fastest time, to collect the most candy. Safety, of course, is also a primary concern for parents on Halloween, thus adding crime data to the Index was a no-brainer.
Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Washington DC, Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix and San Diego are on the list, though Zillow then breaks down the data further offering the top five neighborhoods to Trick or Treat.
In every major city, gentrification is underway. SWPL whites have created enclaves that ward off undesirable elements from contaminating their sociological experiments. Zillow profiles the top neighborhoods in Atlanta to Trick or Treat and trust us; these are some of the whitest areas in the city:
Top 5 Atlanta Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat in 2010
  1. Virginia Highland
  2. Morningside / Lenox Park
  3. Inman Park
  4. Brookhaven
  5. Garden Hills
Odd that the Atlanta neighborhoods labeled the most dangerous in America recently aren’t environs profiled by Zillow as highly conducive locals for collecting candy.
Even worse, the failure to include Detroit into this list of top places to Trick or Treat makes us question the legitimacy of this study. Devils Night in Detroit is the type of community building exercise that one normally associates with civic-minded individuals:
Devil's Night in Detroit dates as early as the 1930s. Traditionally, city youths engaged in a night of criminal behavior, which usually consisted of acts of vandalism (such as egging, soaping, or toilet papering). These were almost exclusively acts of petty vandalism, causing little to no property damage.

However, in the early 1970s, the vandalism escalated to more devastating acts, such as arson. This primarily took place in the inner city, but surrounding suburbs were often affected as well. In addition, property owners unable to sell in the city's rapidly declining housing market would use Devil's Night as an opportunity to burn down their homes, collect the insurance money, and claim that an arsonist was at fault.

The crimes became more destructive in Detroit's inner-city neighborhoods, and included hundreds of acts of arson and vandalism every year. The destruction reached a peak in the mid- to late-1980s, with more than 800 fires set in 1984, and 500 to 800 fires in the three days and nights before Halloween in a typical year.
While some people bemoan Devils Night as a sign of decline in Detroit, we believe it exemplifies and embodies the true character of Halloween as practiced by Black people. This year, Halloween celebrations in Detroit are being stymied with the institution of a city-wide curfew to off-set any potential conflagrations started by young Black arsonists:
This weekend, Detroit could feature a rivalry between angels and devils. However, the team of angles is working hard to make sure the good guys win this battle.

Plenty of Detroit neighborhoods have really embraced the idea that Devils' Night is now Angels' Night. The Detroit Police and Fire Departments are working to make sure it stays that way.

"We like to turn around and make it into something positive," said Detroit Police Sergeant Daniel Williams.

A night that once prompted fear is being transformed one year at a time. For years, Devils' Night was marked by flames, but today Angels' Night has a far different purpose…

Normal curfew hours for Thursday, October 28:
For minors age 15 and younger: begin at 10 p.m. on Thursday and end at 6 a.m. on Friday.For minors ages 16 and 17: begin at 11 p.m. on Thursday and end at 6 a.m. on Friday.

Emergency curfew hours for Friday, October 29:
Minors 18 years of age and younger: begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and end at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday

Emergency curfew hours for Saturday, October 30:
Minors 18 years of age and younger: begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday and end at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday

Normal curfew hours for Sunday, October 31:
For minors age 15 and younger: begin at 10 p.m. on Sunday and end at 6 a.m. on Monday.For minors ages 16 and 17: begin at 11 p.m. on Sunday and end at 6 a.m. on Monday.
Halloween. A holiday that should indelibly showcase the great divide that exists in America between incompatible cultures.

With this, let us reinstitute Halloween week at Stuff Black People Don’t Like.


Sheila said...

For the third year in a row, I will not be giving out candy at my Texas home. Why? The neighborhood is almost entirely Chinese/Indian, and either the entire family goes out trick-or-treating elsewhere, leaving their home dark, or they consider it a strange American practice they don't want to participate in. The last two years I tried to leave my house lit and give out candy, the only ones to ring the bell were groups of Hispanics driven in from poorer neighborhoods. I'll pass on giving any more largess to them, thanks.

When I was a kid, Halloween was truly for children - we got to line up at our public school in our costumes, we had a classroom party, and the only decorations most homes sported were home-made pumpkins and construction-paper black cats. Now, housewives go all out buying Halloween merchandise as though it were Christmas, adults buy more costumes than kids, and what was once a fun time for kids to dress up and go out at night to get candy from their neighbors is a contest to see who can frighten little ones the most with the grossest-looking masks possible.

To add insult to injury, most Christian schools have condemned a formerly-innocent holiday as "demonic," and while some have "fall festivals" at the school as a substitute, many more have no observance at all. I'm well aware of the Celtic origins of the "Day of the Dead," just as I am of the church's linking that to "All Hallow's Eve." Can't we have some sort of middle ground? Despite the historical underpinnings, the American post-WWII observance of Halloween was a fun children's holiday, without demonic or adult influence. Now kids can't even play dress up or get candy without it becoming a political football. One more example of White America's decline and fall.

Anonymous said...

In my Detroit suburb, passing out candy on Halloween feels a lot like charity work. Many black families from the inner city travel to the white burbs to procure free goodies, often without costumes, and often utilizing their mothers (and/or other adult relatives) as extra pillowcase carriers, to maximize treat intake. I may spend my time doing something more exciting this year, like doing the laundry.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the miseries of passing out candy to those you don't like or how they act? It's a stupid holiday, one I despise and don't celebrate. Anyway, it's all about the kids and not about the politics or racism. So let's just leave it at that and focus more on how you can make this upcoming holiday memorable for kids.

Even though I am for one a pentecostal christian so I don't celebrate the holiday, and think it's ridiculous that we stress so much over a stupid holiday that is really the DEVIL'S HOLIDAY.
Honest Crusader

Anonymous said...

"Who cares about the miseries of passing out candy to those you don't like or how they act?"

If you don't care about the topic, don't comment.

And then, fuck off.

Anonymous said...

Lying Crusader

Cry me a river bitch
How can you make the holiday memorable if you "despise" it and think It's "stupid".

Yes Halloween (originally known as "Hallows Eve") has pagan roots. So what! As long as people aren't casting spells and reciting pagan chants, there's nothing wrong with it. Most people just goof off, dress up and have a good time while ignoring the origins.

Quite being such a prom queen.

Anonymous said...

Halloween for me was a wonderful time. kids out at night, having fun, the crisp fall air and the smell of candles burning inside of freshly carved pumpkins. Just another thing we have lost to black criminality.

Anonymous said...

Another interesting article, I'm a foreigner & learning quite a bit from this site. A by-the-by about Halloween: in the old country there was a tradition of 'trick and treat'. The kids would sing a song, recite a poem or what-have-you, and then get their goodies. So more like carolling.

Anyway the trick OR treat thing is dying here too, mainly through loss of community, partly child safety concerns.

re the above posts & pagan roots, most things have pagan roots. Christianity has pagan roots actually, hard to see what other roots it could have.

Anonymous said...

And what, exactly, is wrong with casting spells and reciting pagan chants? Isn't that basically what Christians do at church?

Anonymous said...

Blacks do not understand why whites love Halloween so much.

When I was a kid, it lasted all week, parties at school, preparing costumes, orange and black cupcakes, carving pumpkins, hayrides, rustling leaf piles, graveyard tours, scary sounds music, ghost stories at night around the fire, bobbing for apples, Haunted House, Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin show, and the finale....a neighborhood Trick or Treat where everyone participated.

This is one holiday that was completely devoid of minorities when I was a kid, and quite enjoyable.

I have never know a black family or neighborhood to do any of these things. Blacks are unable to comprehend why whites would enjoy this sort of tradition in a family or neighborhood because blacks do not care about tradition (or neighborhoods for that matter), have fragmented families and communities, they are superstitious and afraid of each other, and do not have a true family structure.

If they try to participate in the celebration, they just can't seem to get it right and end up excluding themselves.

Halloween is racist!

Anonymous said...

Wrong! Blacks don't like Halloween because people dress up in white sheets! Boo I'm a ghost!

Anonymous said...

"Cry me a river bitch"

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't post or comment. You'll be doing us all a favor. And it's my religion. If you don't agree with it then don't follow it. I'm perfectly fine with that, but when you start talking about or implying how stupid my beliefs are, that's when you cross the line.

Honest Crusader

Anonymous said...

"And what, exactly, is wrong with casting spells and reciting pagan chants? Isn't that basically what Christians do at church?"

Not exactly.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't post or comment."

Keep your advice to yourself.

Then fuck off.

Anonymous said...

Lying Crusader

Cry me a river bitch

You didn't have anything nice to say with your It's a "stupid holiday, one I despise and don't celebrate".When did I imply that your beliefs are stupid.IF you Halloween so much than don't celebrate it.Be a holier than thou Christian and led by example.

Anonymous said...

Pentecostal Christian? Sorry, But you and your beliefs should be held up to ridicule and scorn if you follow religion.

Anonymous said...

On three....


Anonymous said...

Cry me a river

Hey Sheila I also live In Texas.Hispanics do drive to white suburbs to trick or treat.Probably because It's safe,clean, and well lit.Some of them don't even wear costumes.They just go with their regular cloths.And they use grocery bags from Carnival and Festia to carry their candy.They're very opportunistic.

Maximus Bud said...

As a Catholic school kid, I used to love Halloween. Always got the next day off because of All Saints Day. Unless it fell on a Friday or Saturday then I was screwed.

Anonymous said...

"You didn't have anything nice to say with your It's a "stupid holiday, one I despise and don't celebrate".When did I imply that your beliefs are stupid.IF you Halloween so much than don't celebrate it.Be a holier than thou Christian and led by example."

You and Honest Crusader sound like bickering siblings! Shut up already! We don't want to see those kind of ridiculous comments. And I agree, "Cry me a river b**** is old. Honest Crusader, your not as honest as you make yourself look like either.

Only being honest,
So cry me a river if you disagree,


Anonymous said...


Cry me a river bitch
I'm just proving Crusader's comments wrong.I'm not the only one taking shots at Crusader.Just don't read the comments IF they bother you so much.IF my comments were ridiculous they wouldn't have been approved.Cry me a river b**** is old Huh.Oh yeah that's original.That's just my pseudonymously.I can't cry you river because I'm not whining.

Anonymous said...

My own opinion on the love of Halloween by my Folk is that it's largely genetic. Sure,the roots of Halloween are pagan. Surprise!-the roots of my Folk are pagan as well. We've always marked this time of year,and as Edgar Steele has remarked,"Genetics is behavior gone to seed."

Halloween can also be thought of as a "Last Gasp" celebration. Winter is almost here,but the crops are harvested and stored,the new calves and foals are weaned,the hogs have been butchered and preserved,and there should-with any luck-be plenty of food to last through the winter. The weather is cool enough to be pleasant,and the backbreaking work of the harvest season is over.
There's just a little bit of a window of leisure time for celebration and contemplation,so what better excuse for a much needed festival?

I wouldn't expect blacks to understand or enjoy Halloween,although they seem to enjoy burning buildings down around this time of year. Why would anyone expect them to grok this occasion? It isn't in their blood or bones-they originate in Africa where the seasons are different and the yearly cycle of life is different.

And a question for all the practicing Christians out there-

Was Lucifer's sin pride? Or could it be fairly described as simple curiosity?