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How to Start the Halloween Boo in Your Neighborhood

Lela Davidson is a mother and writer who is passionate about healthcare and education for women and children.

An example of a boo-gram—a fun Halloween basket to give to your neighbors!

An example of a boo-gram—a fun Halloween basket to give to your neighbors!

How to Make a Halloween Basket (AKA Boo-Gram)

If you haven't been boo'd, you're missing out on a fun Halloween tradition. This is such a fun way to start off the whole fall holiday season and strengthen ties with your neighbors.

There are some variations on how people do it, but the basics are the same: Put together a goodie basket of Halloween treats for a neighbor, and then they do the same for another neighbor. You need to get started by the middle of October, so let the Halloween booing begin!

What Is a Boo-Gram?

A boo-gram is a mysterious note you leave on a neighbor's door, usually with some kind of treat for the kids in the family (or for everyone). The note is usually a poem.

You also leave a large "Boo!" sign with the note and bucket/basket. Some people use a ghost or other decoration to designate the boo. The sign or decoration tells other neighbors that this house has already been hit. If people participate, you'll see boos lining the street on all the doors in the neighborhood by Halloween!

How Do You Create and Deliver the Basket?

You choose whatever you want to give for treats. They usually vary from small candy and small kids' toys to hand towels and magazines for Mom. To keep the chain going, when you get boo'd, you need to boo one or two other neighbors.

Half the fun is ringing the doorbell and running away! Kids love to get in on this, and it's even more fun when they choose which neighbors to boo and pick out some of the treats.

How to Start a Boo

Don't wait for someone else to begin the boo! It's easy to start your own, and your neighbors will thank you!

  1. Make up two boo buckets/baskets.
  2. Print a boo-gram.
  3. Choose a cute poem from below (or write your own).
  4. Deliver, ring the doorbell, and RUN!

Bonus: Here is a pre-made poem and boo sign you can simply print off!

Sample Boo Poems

It's easy to start the boo when you have a cute poem! Write your own or copy and paste one of these:

First Poem

The air is cool the season fall

Soon Halloween will come to all

The spooks are after things to do

In fact, a spook brought this to you

"BOO" is a shield from witching hour

Just hang it up and watch its power

On your front door is where it works

It wards off spooks and scary jerks

The treats that came with crypted note

Are yours to keep, enjoy them both

The power comes when friends like you

Will copy this and make it TWO

Then others here among our friends

Will give warm fuzzies that do not end

We'll all have smiles upon our faces

No one will know who "BOO"ed whose places

Just one short day to work your spell

Or a big ZAP will strike your tail

And don't forget a nifty treat,

Like something cute or something sweet

Please join fun, let's really hear it

And spread some "BOO"s and Halloween spirit.

Second Poem

This treat is for you, we hope you enjoy.

The idea is simple, one we hope you employ.

You pass "BOO" along to two other neighbors.

Along with any kind of Halloween favors.

If we all do our part, and spread the good cheer,

By Halloween night it will be very clear,

We're a friendly bunch, we like to share fun

So please do your part to keep "BOO" on the run!

Leave a "Boo!" sign on your neighbor's door so everyone knows their house has already been boo'd.

Leave a "Boo!" sign on your neighbor's door so everyone knows their house has already been boo'd.

© 2007 Lela Davidson


Beth on October 26, 2010:

thanks for also including poems that do not have witches, ghosts & goblins. Halloween is fun, but those things are too much for this mama!

Kay on October 25, 2010:

Correction on the above poem:

We are all so busy from day to day,

and barely have a moment to say,

Kay on October 25, 2010:

We have always focused on harvest celebrations this time of year and have taken our kids to harvest parties instead of halloween parties. But this year instead of not returning a well intentioned halloween boo from a neighbor as I have done in the past (to my shame), I returned a holiday blessing instead. Here's the poem I made up in case anyone else likes the idea and wants to use it.

The holidays are drawing near, they begin at halloween each and every year. We're all so busy from day to day, and barely have a moment to day, that we appreciate you as neighbors and friends, so pass this on so it will not end. Fall is a great time to count your blessings, and I won't go on or keep you guessing.

Enjoy these treats, they are given to you. It's not exactly a halloween boo. It is a surprise which you can do as well, pass on goodies to a neighbor; they'll think it is swell.

Whether booed or blessed, please continue this trend, and pass it on so it will not end. Mark your home because that is part on the fun, ring their bell, leave the treat and then you are done.

I included a picture of a pumpkin and under it I typed BLESSED, which they could put in their window if they want to.

Enjoy the season!

Leslie Jo Barra on October 20, 2010:

Sweet, fun idea. Thanks!

alyssa on October 27, 2009:

omg im using that!!! oh also happy holloween:D!! Boo!!

Mel on September 15, 2009:

Great idea! I love Halloween and if I didn't just move to this area I would be ringing all the doorbells on my block! I think this year I'll just settle on making the baskets and wishing them a Happy Halloween! :)

Carolyn Augustine from Iowa on October 23, 2008:

We've done this quite a bit but we call it the Halloween Phantom, or just The Phantom, though the idea is just the same. Usually we leave a plate full of home-baked cookies, such as pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Usually we make up secret code names for each other and giggle quite a bit. It's important to remember to park your car about half a block away and run like heck. Kids get a big kick out of ringing he doorbell and running.

C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on October 21, 2008:

Very Interesting about the Boo. Sounds like a good thing to do in a neighborhood to encourage community togetherness. Sort of bringing the area together like family. I have never heard of this either. Thanks for sharing.C.S.

Prosperity66 on October 15, 2008:

Great ideas... Belgian young generations start to celebrate Halloween, the more tips we have, the better our celebration will be!

Jess on October 12, 2008:

We do this every year! It's a great way to spread the halloween spirit!

Teeny Tots from USA on October 09, 2008:

Near Halloween already. Great the informations. I'll try.


Misha from DC Area on November 10, 2007:

It's a pity I just run into this hub :( I have to wait the whole year now!

ForTheLove from Godforsaken, Iowa on October 24, 2007:

This is such a fantastic idea! If I weren't new to the neighborhood and knew more people I'd certainly try it. What a cool thing to share, thanks a ton :)

I wish more people would do it up big for Halloween this way, too

Tracy on October 21, 2007:

Thanks so much for this info we are going tonight to boo 3 off your great friends and neighbors.

Julie Fletcher on October 20, 2007:

Great ideas! Can't wait to Boo my neighbors.

glassvisage from Northern California on October 17, 2007:

Cute poem!

Lyn Bell from Christchurch on October 04, 2007:

Very timely and appropriate.

euchrefreak55 from Sault Ste. Marie on October 03, 2007:

Good ideas to start off the hallooween season! One of my favourite times of the year, and it will keep the kids happy!