Get Ghosted This Halloween Season

If you want to start a ghoulishly new tradition in your neighborhood, try this fun idea known as "Booing" or "Ghosting" your neighbors, friends or family.   

Cheryl Butler
Read time: 3-min

Halloween has some long-standing traditions, like trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and costume parties.  But that doesn't mean that you can't do something special this year!  

If you want to start a ghoulishly new tradition in your neighborhood, try this fun idea known as "Booing" or "Ghosting."  We've been doing this in our neighborhood for over five years now, and it gets better every year because we add new twists every time.  It only takes one family to get the mysterious Phantom Ghost tradition started, and it's so easy to do!

Here's how it works:

Step 1:  Print two black and white "Boo" sheets.  Here's a link that you can use, or you can create something similar yourself.  Make sure to write something fun explaining how to "Ghost" someone, especially if you're just starting the tradition!  Here's an example of something you can write on your Boo sheets:


You've been ghosted!

During the night, we left you a treat.

This Halloween tradition is fun, and one we hope you'll repeat.

Take this ghost and tape it to your door,

to let others know you’ll be ghosted no more.

Now it's your turn to pass on the surprise

to two more families who would enjoy a ghostly door prize.

Step 2: Gather some inexpensive goodies and treats, from fake spider rings and colored pencils to bubbles and, of course, candy. The Dollar Store is a great place to visit for lots of inexpensive tricks and treats, and most stores sell bags of assorted candies and toys in bulk for a low price. 

Step 3: Fill two ghostly-themed goodie bags or inexpensive plastic pumpkins with treats, and add in copies of your poem and ghost picture.

Step 4: Choose at least two neighbors to “Ghost” that do not already have a ghost taped to their door. 

Step 5: Wait until it’s dark outside and walk through your neighborhood. Be careful of traffic, and young kids should have a parent or adult with them.  Quietly place the treats in a strategic spot and hide them somewhere safe, like on your neighbor's front porch or right beside their front door.

Step 6: Ring the doorbell of the two house you've chosen and make a quick run for it so no one sees you.  You can easily do this in apartment buildings, too! 

Step 7: Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the next house.  Your neighbors will open the door to find a spooky treat at their doorsteps!

In our neighborhood, we left the usual kids' treat goodie bags, but also left a parents treat bag with $5 gift cards to our local coffee place or a homemade treat like pumpkin bread inside.  I even received a lovely bottle of bubble bath this year! 

If you haven't had any visits from the "Phantom Ghost" or similar goblins in your neck of the woods, give this a try. And if you've already been "Booing" your friends and family, try adding a new spin to the treats you leave. Gift certifcates for carpooling or babysitting are always much appreciated. You won't believe how much fun you and your kids will have being so tricky together!




All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.