New Jersey family celebrates mischief night with fun, decades-old tradition

Mischief night is an informal holiday the night before Halloween, where kids and teenagers often celebrate with pranks or parties.

Bryanna Gallagher Image
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
New Jersey family celebrates mischief night with decades-old tradition
New Jersey family celebrates mischief night with decades-old tradition

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- What started as an incentive to keep kids out of trouble on "mischief night" has since turned into a multi-decade tradition in South Jersey.

The Bush family moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey in the 90s. That's when their idea first came about.

"This is the 31st year and we have six kids. We wanted to keep them off the street," said Kathleen Bush.

Mischief night is known as the night before Halloween when kids and teenagers celebrate with pranks or parties.

Rather than worrying about their kids going out and getting into trouble, parents Kathleen and Joseph Bush thought, 'Why not let them target their own house, toilet paper and all?'

"The kids said, 'We want to go out on mischief night.' And my wife said, 'No way, but all your friends could come here,'" explained Joseph.

And that's how the long-standing tradition started.

"At first, I thought this was a little weird. Why am I, at a couple of years old, outside toilet papering my parent's house?" questioned their daughter Nicole Dougherty.

But six kids, 11 grandkids, and 31 years later, the Bush family is still causing mischief in the house they grew up in.

They're chucking 200 rolls of toilet paper up at the house this year.

"It's full circle. Never did I think my parents would still be here, one, or still toilet papering now with my kid," said Dougherty.

The cleanup process will begin in the morning and will take at least half of the day to gather all of the toilet paper.