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Halloween Boo: A How-To

You’ve Been Boo’d! A How-To for Halloween Booing

By Melissa Summers

On Monday night, I came home to find two packages on my porch. Enclosed were some treats for the kids, a printed picture of a ghost and a little poem explaining we’d been “boo’d.”

A Halloween boo is a little gift or treat left anonymously by a friend or neighbor. Once you’ve been boo’d, you hang a ghost picture on your front door, to let everyone know you’ve gotten your Halloween surprise. But there’s more! Booing is a pay-it-forward game: Once you are boo’d, it’s your turn to choose two neighbors and deliver treats to their house. Anonymously. Of course.

I didn’t think I could love Halloween (or my neighborhood) any more, but this whole booing thing has made me insanely happy. Here’s how to organize your own Halloween boo. It’s absolutely worth the effort.

Boo Basics

Different neighborhoods and friend groups have different traditions for Hallowing booing. Our package included a photocopied picture of a ghost and some simple instructions for what to do next.

You’ve Been Boo’d!

Now it’s your turn to boo two other people in the neighborhood. Here’s what you do:

1. Fill two bags with candy and treats. Make two copies of this letter and the ghost picture. Choose two neighbors who have not already been boo’d and make a boo bag for them. Include treats, this letter, and the ghost picture in their bag of goodies.

2. At a time when you’re sure your neighbors aren’t around, leave your treats near their front door. You can ring the doorbell if you like — but be sure to run so they don’t see you!

3. Hang the picture of the ghost on your front door so everyone can see that you have already been boo’d. And look for the ghost when you’re deciding who to boo next — one boo per house, please!
Keep your eyes peeled to see how many ghosts will appear in our neighborhood by Halloween!

Our instructions also recommended delivering the treats within two days, to make sure everyone in the neighborhood has a chance to be boo’d. Of course, my kids wanted to boo someone IMMEDIATELY, like RIGHT THIS MINUTE WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE HAVE TO EAT DINNER FIRST LET’S GO NOW! When I asked my friends, they said this is a common reaction. So you might want to prepare for this and get your boo bags ready ahead of time.

How to Boo

Halloween Boo

Since we were boo’d early in the month, we had almost the entire neighborhood to choose from when we got ready to do our own boo. We’re also lucky enough to like almost every one of our neighbors enough to gladly send them a treat. All except that one lady … every neighborhood has to have at least one.

(Be sure to boo her, too. Because you never know.)

Since we’re new to booing, we didn’t have supplies on hand. Fortunately, you don’t need much. I bought plain orange bags and little candy boxes at the dollar store, and the kids picked out some seasonal candy and a couple of small toys. We also grabbed some Halloween stickers to decorate the packages and some black and orange tissue paper and ribbon to make it all look pretty.

We filled the boxes with candy and tied them with a ribbon. We put the toys and the instructions and ghost picture in the bags and filled them with tissue. Add a few stickers and we’re done!

Super cute, and super easy.

Cindy at Skip To My Lou has a slightly different take on how to boo. She creates one fairly elaborate treat container that travels from house to house — once you’re boo’d, you refill the container and pass it on. (She does make extras, though, in case someone refuses — er, forgets to pass it on.) You can download Cindy’s free printables for a boo’ing poem with instructions for how to boo and a “we’ve been boo’d” ghost door hanger. This booing strategy probably works best for a small group of families who know each other pretty well and can be trusted to participate. And also not steal the cute container.

Since our boo is a neighborhood tradition, the goal is to boo as many houses as possible, so we keep the actual treats pretty simple. But if you’re booing a smaller group (your playgroup or your kids’ best friends or just a close group of neighbors) you can get a little fancier — maybe replace the candy with a batch of homemade skull and monster sugar cookies, or a couple of ghost and boo cupcakes. You could also substitute Halloween-themed books instead of toys. Whatever works for your family and your neighbors — the real fun is in surprising people with treats. And also sneaking through their yard to deliver them without getting caught.

See Other Halloween Treats Here:

Photo source: Depositphoto/FamVeldman

Published October 11, 2007. Last updated August 30, 2018.
Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

...

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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