Thursday, October 7, 2010
Devil's Night was traditionally the night before Halloween, October 30. In the 1930s, it began as general mischief, but escalated to arson and serious crime by the 1970s. From the 1970s through the 1990s, hundreds of arsons and vandalisms were reported each year on the days surrounding Devil's Night.
The crimes prompted the organization of Angel's Night in 1995. In 1995, more than 30,000 volunteers patrolled the city. Devil's Night crime began to decline from then to the present day.
In 2009, groups such as Blight Busters and New York's Guardian Angels gathered volunteers to patrol Detroit's neighborhoods, concerned that the economic downturn that has struck the city will fuel more crime. The real estate crisis has left thousands of homes abandoned, which may be fuel for further arsons for opportunistic or insurance fraud purposes.
I'm hopeful that history will remain just that - history - and that there will be a quiet night this year. Fire makes wonderful fodder for fiction, in terms of fire salamanders and dragons...but no one wants to see it come to life.
Laura Bickle is an urban fantasy writer, tech nerd, and feral cat rancher. She’s the author of Embers and Sparks for Pocket-Juno Books in 2010.
More information is available at www.salamanderstales.com
If you've read Sparks already you should check out this article and photo slide show of the Michigan Central Depot- the same train depot featured in Sparks.