"Ghosting" Is a Socially Distanced Alternative to Trick-Or-Treating (And Don't Worry, Kids Still Love It)

Like weddings, birthdays and simply going to school, Halloween is going to be anything but ordinary this year. With the CDC discouraging traditional trick-or-treating, many parents are scrambling to find ways to make the holiday feel special, be it erecting candy slides or staying at home and hosting pumpkin-carving parties for their pod. But one idea that’s gaining momentum takes the fun of trick-or-treating to the next level—while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

It’s called “ghosting,” and it has nothing to do with the dating term. In this version, your kids dress up and go door-to-door, leaving individually wrapped packages of treats at their friends’ houses. Then, simply knock on the door or call the friends’ parents so you can see their reaction as they uncover their surprise. (Some people refer to this as “booing” someone, since many people leave notes that say, “You’ve been booed!” along with the goody bag.)

Want to get in on the fun? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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1. "you've Been Booed!" Printables

You could spend an afternoon crafting homemade cards with your kids...but if your kids are likely to complain about cramping hands and ditch the project by the third card, well, this kit's got you covered. This digital download will let you trick out your treat bags with "you've been booed" signs, mini pennants and gift tags. All you have to do is hit print and cut them out (which is kinda crafty, in a way).

2. Festive Goody Bags

This 40-pack of goody bags should tide you over, even if your kid wants to ghost every single person in her class. (Whether you can handle hauling the goods to all those houses is another story.)

3. Halloween Bubbles

Stickers and candy are a given, but what other surprise-and-delight treats can you tuck into that bag—without adding to the cluster of tiny plastic toys overwhelming every parent's home? Bubbles, my friend. Bubbles.

4. Glow Critters

What's Halloween without a spooky surprise? This glow stick kit comes with 20 mini glow sticks, 10 creepy crawlies (ranging from spiders to lizards to rats) and 10 necklaces. So if you know one little guy on your list will lose his mind if he finds a glowing gecko in his treat bag, you can easily give him a necklace instead.


5. "you've Been Booed" Flock Of Ghosts

A goody bag is great and all, but if there's someone you really want to surprise this Halloween, you've got to go all out. We're talking Casper-caliber hijinks, like sticking a dozen 1-foot-tall ghosts all over a friend's yard. And when they're this cute, she won't even mind having to sage the place (or, OK, pick them up) afterward.


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Candace Davison

VP of editorial, recipe developer, kitsch-lover

Candace Davison oversees PureWow's food and home content, as well as its franchises, like the PureWow100 review series and the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle...
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