It’s trick or treat time—or rather Beggars Night as the locals call it. In between handing out fun sized versions of your favorite cheat day treats, you may wonder why Dayton, and broader central Ohio, uses this alternate name for Halloween fun. The handle isn’t just a Buckeye State label, however. Beggars Night is commonly used in several Midwest and Northeast states.
History of Beggars Night
Des Moines, Iowa actually claims the fame to this name. In the late 1930’s the director of the Des Moines Playground Commission, Kathryn Krieg, is said to have instituted the night to curb mischief on Halloween Night and make activities more family-friendly.
Why is Beggars Night Different?
So what’s in a name? There’s a bit more than you think. In addition to commonly landing on an evening before October 31st, Beggars Night often requires participants to “earn” their treats by telling jokes, riddles, or other amusements. For example:
- What type of music do mummies listen to? Wrap music!
- Why couldn’t the ghost see his parents? They were trans-parents!!
- Why did the Jack-O-Lantern cross the road? He had no guts!
Beggars Night in Dayton
Can’t wait to get the kids out and participate? Be sure to remember basic Beggar’s Night etiquette:
- Lights on means the house is participating. If your house isn’t participating make sure your porch light and lights in rooms at the front of the house are off.
- Use walkways. Don’t walk across someone’s lawn or flower beds.
- Walk, don’t drive, through neighborhoods. With so many little ones running around it’s safer for everyone to park and enjoy the night. In addition, walking may burn off any candy that is sneaked before the night’s end.
- Since this is Beggars Night make sure you have your jokes and riddles ready for the candy givers! And always say “Thank you!”
The city of Dayton’s official Beggars Night is on Halloween this year, October 31st, from 6 to 8 pm. You can find a full list of all area communities on Dayton Local. Enjoy your Halloween everyone!