Halloween Tradition


During October, before Halloween, neighbors will “boo” each other. To “boo” beach other, they leave baskets of candy or other Halloween-themed treats on each other’s door steps with a sign that says “You got Bood!” They will then ding-dong-ditch the recipient of the boo-ing and run away to make the catch anonymous. Then, the recipient of the boo-ing must boo someone else in the neighborhood, and it goes on and on as an anonymous chain until Halloween.


The informant knows about this traditional catch from her hometown neighborhood, where all of the neighbors participated in the tradition while she was growing up. She knows it to be a common tradition that is done often in suburban neighborhoods where lots of kids live to help keep the holiday festive and fun for them.


Traditions like boo-ing neighbors are very common within different communities, because they do a very good job of creating a fun and festive atmosphere that brings neighbors together. This tradition, in particular, exemplifies very well how we revel so much in the festivities of our traditions and holidays, as those who celebrate each different holiday often like to decorate in their own ways and be in the spirit of the season. When we have celebrations, they bring us together, and neighborhoods who participate in “boo-ing” clearly have a very strong inclination for togetherness.

Suburban neighborhoods, in general, make strong efforts to create their own senses of community by hosting events like potlucks, playing outside together, and sometimes, having neighborhood parks that only each neighborhood’s residents have access to. Boo-ing traditions in these neighborhoods are the perfect way to show these inclinations towards celebration, festivity, togetherness and community.