By Katie Moosbrugger

We share a special Halloween tradition in our neighborhood and perhaps you do too! A week or so before Halloween arrives, a growing number of houses start posting the sign “We’ve Been BOO-ed!” on their front doors. It starts our slow, but by the time Halloween arrives it seems like every other door is sporting this sign.

This tradition is also sometimes called “Ghosting” or “The Phantom,” but BOO’ing is basically the Fall equivalent of “Secret Santa.” This is a fun – and easy – activity to start in any neighborhood. You can even do this at work or with a select group of friends who don’t necessarily live near one another.

To start out you can either do it yourself or enlist a few neighbors to get the BOO’ing going. We have four streets in our neighborhood, so we designate one BOO’er for each street and each BOO’er is asked to BOO at least two other neighbors on her street.

To BOO a neighbor, all you need to do is compile a small basket of Halloween goodies and include an official BOO poem and BOO sign for the front door that says “We’ve Been BOO-ed”. You can easily find several different Halloween-themed baskets, buckets and bags at any Dollar Store along with candy and fun trinkets. This time of year McDonalds usually provides Kids’ Meals in cute Halloween trick-or-treating buckets and they make for perfect BOO-grams! My kids and I also plan out who we want to BOO and we tailor our BOO-gram accordingly. The sky is the limit on how creative you can get with your BOO-grams, and here is a link with more Halloween BOO-gram ideas!

Then you need to secretly deliver your BOO to your neighbors without being caught. This is the part my kids LOVE. We try and go after it gets a little dark and before the neighborhood kids go to bed. We creep up to our target house in my extremely obvious mini-van…the kids jump out, run to the front door, drop the BOO’gram, ring the doorbell, and high-tail it back to the mini van. Sometimes they have to hide behind bushes and wait for the neighbor to collect the BOO-gram before jumping back in the mini-van.

It’s so simple it’s silly. But my kids talk about it for weeks leading up to the big 15-minute BOO event (that’s literally how short it takes!) and for weeks afterward. And now I am obligated (by my kids) to do daily drive-bys to see if our BOO victims – and others in the neighborhood – hung their BOO sign saying “We’ve Been BOO-ed.” (You are supposed to post your BOO sign so others don’t BOO you.)

Do you share the same tradition? What other Halloween traditions do you look forward to?

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