Beggars’ Night in Columbus Ohio

by Maureen McCabe on October 6, 2010

“Beggars Night, or more properly Beggars’ Night, is a regional term for the Halloween-related activity that is referred to in most parts of the United States as “Trick or Treat”. Specifically, the term is broadly but not exclusively used in Ohio, and in many parts of Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and western New York. “ is a quote from Wikipedia. The entry is dated October 2, 2010 and could obviously change…   I broke links to all the Wikipedia articles for the states and for Halloween and Trick or Treat.

Wikipedia:  “Beggars Night”

The term is broadly used in Ohio? I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee Wisconsin and we did Beggars’ Night there too, traditionally the night before Halloween…. Beggars’ Night is usually the night before Halloween in Central Ohio unless “Beggars’ Night” or” Trick or Treat”   is a different night.*  It is the night for “Trick or Treating.”  Other parts of the country the tradition is Devils Night the day before Halloween.  Or Mischief Night…

I was looking for an old Columbus Dispatch article about an older Halloween party which was the reason that Columbus did “Beggars’ Night” before Halloween when I found the Wikipedia article about Beggars Night.

The 2005 Columbus Dispatch had an article written by Debbie Gebolys titled  “Holiday, Halloween in sync this year” and was subtitled “Beggars Night will end in much of central Ohio”

Beggars’ Night… it’s back!  Central Ohio ‘Trick or Treat’ 2010*

The 2005 Columbus Dispatch article said:

“Beggars Night, which could fall as many as four days before Halloween, was started in Columbus at least 90 years ago, originally because a Downtown community party was held on Oct. 31. But the party got too rowdy, according to newspaper accounts, and Columbus police halted it in 1954.”

So Beggars’ Night is an old tradition, from the late 1800′s. We are no longer in sync with Halloween in Central Ohio.  MORPC suggested Thursday as the day for “Trick or Treat” or “Beggar’s Night” based on safety.

Lists of “Trick or Treat”  days and times are on Channel 4 and Channel 10′s sites as well as links to HighBall Halloween in the Short North.  The Shamrock Club in Columbus has a Halloween celebration…  There are a lot of haunted houses in Central Ohio…

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