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corn night

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corn night n chiefly N Midl; also Appalachians Cf corn v 4, mischief night n

A night near, usu before, Halloween, when children fling dried corn against houses and sometimes play other pranks.
1882 Wellington Enterprise (OH) [8 Nov 3]/4, Hallow ’een celebrations are a relic of the dark ages, and ought to be abolished. November 9th or “corn night” which consists of ringing door-bells and of throwing a shower of corn into the face of the one who opens them, we trust will not be a very paying business in Wellington. 1883 Wheeling Daily Intelligencer (WV) 1 Nov [4]/6, “Corn night,” as the boys have dubbed it—the evening preceding Hallow E’en—was very appropriately observed by the boys here Tuesday evening. 1901 Morning World–Herald (Omaha NE) 31 Oct 5/2, “Rice night,” one of the heralds of Halloween, was celebrated even more rapturously by the youth of the city Tuesday night than was “corn night,” which came the night before [=28 Oct]. 1907 Coshocton Age (OH) 14 Nov [6]/7 (newspaperarchive.com), Hallowe’en is gone. . . On “Corn Night” a crowd of girls, all friends of Miss Mabel Shaw, gathered at her home and enjoyed a taffy pulling. 1909 Decatur Daily Rev. (IL) 30 Oct 6/7, Corn night was observed here Friday [=29 Oct] night. Corn was thrown all over the city and the windows in the business district were marked up with soap. 1914 Lebanon Patriot (IN) 29 Oct 1/2, Corn Night Friday [=30 Oct]. According to the mayor there will be no restrictions this year on “Corn night” so long as the participants do no harm. 1926 Altoona Mirror (PA) 23 Oct 8/3, Originally, the Hallowe’en season was ushered in with what was known as corn-night. That comes on the 29th of October. . . On corn night, it has been the custom to throw corn against windows and doors and on people on the streets. 1940 Eve. Democrat (Ft. Madison IA) 30 Oct 4/4, The youngsters are encountering a bit of confusion on celebrating the days that lead up to Hallowe’en. Last night was supposed to be “corn” night when they shower shelled corn against windows. . . Many youngster’s [sic] were out begging on corn night. 1947 Altoona Mirror (PA) 29 Oct 1/3, According to local custom, tonight is Corn night, tomorrow night is Cabbage night and, universally, Friday is Halloween. 1976 Daily Times–News (Burlington NC) 24 Oct sec D 2/1, Looking back, Halloween meant one thing for this mountain boy—Corn Night. Corn Night happened on the eve of Halloween. 1980 DARE File neOH, When I was . . living near Ashtabula, Ohio, in the late 1930’s, we had a custom with which we celebrated the night before Halloween. We called it “Corn Night,” and pelted the porches or doors of future Halloween “victims” with dried, shelled corn. a1987 in 2017 DARE File—Internet PA (as of c1905), Those days Hallowe’en was a succession of nights starting with corn night, then gate night, then privy night, and ending with Halloween proper when all Hell broke loose. On corn night the boys threw corn against the windows. 1991 Still Wolfpen Notebooks 124 sAppalachians, I don’t mind April Fool’s Day. That’s a lot of big fun fooling people. . . But Corn Night, now, no. Too much chicanery goes on and sometimes people get hurt. [DARE Ed: The glossary (p 161) identifies corn night as March 31st. That is prob an erroneous deduction from the juxtaposition with April Fools’ Day in this passage.] 2009 in 2017 DARE File—Internet csMN, While October 30 is a fearful Devils Night of arson in Detroit, Michigan, the evening was the more mild Corn Night of teen pranks when I was growing up in the St. Peter area in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

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