This is a Halloween tradition that I, personally, have never participated in.  However, I did get to see it in action a few Halloweens ago while I was delivering newspapers once.  So, this year, I found a number of websites, of which this is one, and my daughter and I made up three BOO-bags and four BOO-signs and, tonight, we plan to start up the BOO game here in our own neighborhood.  If all goes well, this may turn out to be a fun new family tradition for us.  We even decorated the BOO bags with pictures of Jack O Lanterns and black cats.  Just for laughs.

Here are some basic instructions for how to start up the BOO game in your neighborhood.

1.  Get together some kind of treat.  It can be anything from a single piece of candy to a whole handful of candy to even a cool kind of cheap Halloween toy.  You can even make your own BOO gifts if you feel up to it.  My recommendation, if you plan to do this, is not to make anything edible.  Some people are REAL suspicious.  Be sure to make a few, since some party-poopers don't think of this as any kind of fun and, so, won't pass it on.  😛

2.  Come up with some kind of container for your BOO gift.  We are using decorated paper lunch bags, but you can come up with all sorts of different things.  One person, whose blog I read, made a number of decorative cones and suggested in her note that the neighbors pass the cone around.  Be aware that, if you decide to do something like that, there's a good chance that your neighbor may decide to keep the container.  That's why we are using lunch bags.  Then again, if you're feeling particularly cheap, you can always wrap your gift up in Saran Wrap.  Some of the neighbors on my newspaper route did that and I never heard any complaints about it.

3.  Make up a BOO sign.  It should be fairly simple.  Any scary picture you like is good or just something funny along with the words "We've been BOO-ed" or "Too late!  The Halloween Phantom has already been here" or something of that nature.  Make enough copies to go with each of your BOO-bags so that everyone gets one.  Then make an extra one, so that you also have one and no one suspects that you're the one that started it all.  After all, half the fun in this game is wondering who BOO-ed whom.

4.  Make up a BOO note.  The best idea I ever read was to put your BOO note on the back of your BOO sign.  Most people like to come up with some kind of clever poem that introduces their neighbor to the game.  You don't have to do that, but, if you want to, you can.  If you decide to do that, you will want to include instructions for passing on the BOO.  Like so:

  1. Make two to four copies of the BOO-sign and BOO-note
  2. Make a treat to go with it, any kind of treat will do, from a toy to a handful of candy.
  3. Attach your BOO-sign and BOO-note to your treat.
  4. Put your original BOO-sign on your door.
  5. Leave your treat anonymously on the doorstep of a neighbor who doesn't have a BOO-sign.
  6. You have one day to do all this.

Then again, you can always borrow someone else's idea.  Here are some good places to look if you're not feeling terribly creative: 

5. Attach a BOO note and sign to each of your BOO bags.  Remember that you'll want to have one BOO sign left over to post on your own door.

6.  Choose some night reasonably close to Halloween, your discretion there.  Then all you have to do is leave them.  There are a number of really good ideas about how to do this.  Most people go for the "Front Door Drop, Ring and Run" method.  However, you can also leave the BOO somewhere that your neighbor will be likely to find it in the morning, like, for example, their car.  It's up to you.

7.  Sit back and watch the fun.  If you like, you can count the number of people who end up with your sign on their door.

There, I think I have everything.  Then again, I highly doubt I'm the first person in the world to do this, considering the large number of results I got when I Googled the thing.  Still and all, it was new to me, so…

Anyway, Happy Halloween.