If it’s not already a tradition in your neighborhood, then you’re in for a treat: “Booing” offers you a fun opportunity to sneak a few treats to your friends and neighbors leading up to Halloween.
What exactly is booing? There’s no exact point of origin for the practice—the best estimate we could give you is that it started 20-30 years ago, most likely in the midwestern United States. In many neighborhoods, it’s such a long-standing tradition most people can’t remember where it started.
In some areas, it’s called “Booing,” and in others, it’s called “Ghosting”—clearly the latter phrase was adopted long before “ghosting” meant ignoring someone’s attempts to communicate with you. There’s even an adult version called Boozing too!
The idea is simple and the only part that could be complicated is how overboard you want to go with decorating your bag or what you’re stuffing in it. Here’s how it works.
Grab some Halloween candy or small non-food treats if you know the recipient has food allergies or dietary restrictions. Speaking of making Halloween safe and fun for kids with allergies, if you haven’t heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project now is a great time to check it out.
Stuff some goodies to share with some of your neighbors in little paper bags or another festive container. If you like getting crafty feel free to start with the blank slate of a plain paper bag and go from there but there are tons of adorable Halloween “treat” bags like this 40-count pack and 60-count pack, both of which come with handy (and cute!) stickers to seal the bags.
Finally, the most important part and what makes the Boo Bag, well, a Boo Bag: attach a copy of this little booing poem, and leave it on their porch.
After you stealthily leave the boo bag, your friends and neighbors enjoy the treats, stick the “We’ve been BOO-ed!” sign in their window, and, if they want, pay it forward. (We recommend including a few extra printouts to make it easier for your neighbors to participate if they wish.)
In our neighborhood, it’s a fun tradition to see the little BOO-ed! signs slowly multiply across the neighborhood as Halloween approaches—and with a little candy packing and printing, you can see it in your neighborhood, too. And, of course, if there’s a lack of kiddos to Boo in your neighborhood and you’re not sure if your adult neighbors really want a bag of candy and trinkets, there’s always boozing!