Here's a 1907 newspaper article from The Daily Notes, found on Newspapers.com, that explains these nights a little more:
"'Chalk night' is a rather new one and until last night had been but little observed here. However, many youngsters, liberally supplied with chalk, which perhaps the Canonsburg school board paid for, were out, and marks were left all over town. Many a pedestrian went home with the back of his overcoat or raincoat bearing a liberal supply of hieroglyphics which resembled, somewhat, the handwriting of Horace Greeley or a Chinese laundry check.
Tonight, 'corn night,' has long been associated with Hallowe'en, and the rattle of corn on window panes will have a familiar sound."
|The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, Pa.),|
October 30, 1907
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