Ohioans have long celebrated Halloween which, according to Scottish and Irish legend, marked the culmination both of the Celtic calendar year and the harvest season.
In October 1879, students at Hiram College opted for tricks over treats to honor the occasion: They festooned the college halls with pumpkins and wagons (then stole a cow from a farmer’s field to enliven the décor). Others climbed the belfry and rang the college bells “for the benefit of the faculty” throughout the wee hours of the night.
The Mahoning Dispatch, rife with details of “destroying property of every description,” covered the campus shenanigans.
– Hannah Van Sickle, The Ohio 100