Angels v. Demons

As Angel’s Night quickly approaches, billboards illuminate the message of the Angels of Halloween (Photo Credit: Simone Rhodes).

Simone Rhodes, Staff Reporter

Devil’s Night originally started as a night of mischief carried out by teens. Over time, a night of soaping neighbors’ windows and throwing toilet paper became a dangerous three-day arson spree in Detroit.

The New York Times said that in 1984 a record number of 810 fires were reported in Detroit during the three days leading up to Devil’s Night and Halloween. In 1990, 281 fires were reported.

The behavior became dangerous and destructive in a city that was (and still is) facing enough challenges, especially crime within the city. Many Detroit residents and residents of the surrounding community agreed and set out to change these dangerous three nights from hell.

It was in 1990 that Detroit named the terror-filled night before Halloween Angel’s Night.  A group of “angels” set out to defend the city against the destructive behavior that the “devils” ignite.

Volunteers who set out to help stop this destructive behavior really are making a difference. Some of the better known volunteer organizations for Angel’s Night are: Watch Your Block Patrol Program, Adopt-A-House Program, Porch Light Program, and the Eyes and Ears Program. It is through these volunteer programs that my faith is restored in not only the comeback of the city, but in its people as well. It is amazing seeing such large groups of people band together in hopes of making a difference; they put their efforts into a greater good.

But who are these people? Anyone willing to volunteer their time from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Oct. 29 through Oct. 31 can help the cause.

The first year that Angel’s Night officially took place, the number of fires reported dropped 44% from the year before in 1990. This percentage continues to fall as more and more volunteers stand up for the City and set out to deter arsonists from destroying it.

However, one thing I would disagree with in regard to Angel’s Night is the curfew and hefty restrictions placed on minors. Instead of subliminally sending the message that everyone needs to stay inside, the older teens/young adults should be encouraged to get involved in participating. They should help clean up the communities and prevent the destruction during Angel’s Night. There should be role models in the communities who young people can look up to and learn that this type of destructive behavior is unacceptable by any means.