The “Boo” Initiative

Remember chain letters? You know, those letters that were sent to a number of people asking each recipient to send copies with the same request to a specified number of others. These evolved into chain emails pretty much requesting the same thing usually promising some great fortune or misfortune as it were. Well, my friends, it is time to discuss a Halloween tradition in the Arden/Carmichael area known as “boo”-ing.

Boo-ing is, and I quote from myfolsom.com (what the…you say? me, too):

A Boo-Gram is a mysterious note, left on neighbor’s doors in the middle of the day. The note is usually a poem of sorts, and a large “Boo!” decoration for their front door. The decoration serves as a means of communicating to other neighbors that this house has already been “hit”. By Halloween, it is not uncommon to see Boo-Grams lining up and down the street on all the doors in some neighborhoods!


Now I understand the intent of these offerings, I guess, to spread cheer and warmth throughout one’s neighborhood and to get everyone in the spirit. You know, of a holiday based on death and evil spirits and fears of all sorts. But that’s for a different post.

What really got me going, however, was this:

Accompanying the Boo-Gram is a collection of goodies, determined by the giver. The goodies may vary from small Halloween treats, to kid’s toys. The magic of these Boo-Grams is the reciprocation of this gift, as it is expected that when you are “Boo’d”, you must “Boo” 2 other neighbors as well (after all, if you don’t like your “Boo” gift, you can always re-gift to another neighbor!).

Adventurous types “Boo” their neighbors in the broad daylight or early evening hours, as it increases the possibility of getting caught… those familiar with the famous “doorbell ditch” prank of their childhood years will be happy to know that this tradition lives on, though the recipient gets a fun gift in the process.

You mean, rather than a flaming pile of dog feces? Hmmm. Still seems like I’m trespassing, but ok.

Now don’t get me wrong, the OnTopofIts will be walking the neighborhood with their little one just like the rest of you come 10/31, but I can’t help but draw a correlation between those chain letters I mentioned earlier and these Boo-grams. Are we being experimented on? What happens to me if I don’t “Boo” two of my neighbors? What if I forget the code? 4, 8, 15, 16…

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

13 thoughts on “The “Boo” Initiative”

  1. I just received a boo-gram last night, I think it’s the strangest thing but yet kind of cool. I have only lived in the neighborhood for about 6 months and don’t really know any one so it’s a big mistery. A bit nerve racking, sort of scared to eat the candy but it’s a cool idea.

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  2. Believe me, Patty, I understand what you’re going through. Now you’re probably going to be stuck in the “Why me?” phase for a few more days, but don’t worry, it’ll pass. Just try to convince yourself that nothing bad will happen if you don’t “Boo” someone else right away…well, most likely, stranger things have happened…no, you’ll be fine, yeah.

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  3. we were boo-gramed yesterday! in natomas – it’s spreading. initially we were going to ignore it, but then realized the unidentified neighbor who “boo”-ed us might be offended if we didn’t put up our boo-we’ve-been-hit sign. so, i doubt i’ll get around to “boo”-ing anyone but now i feel pressure to since 1) i’ve eaten the bag of candy from my boo-gram and 2) i put up my boo sign (altho just to be polite). you’re right – it’s an experiment, i feel used.

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  4. I was first “boo’d” when we moved to Rocklin 3 years ago. The tradition has continued and it’s really fun. Neighbors are bummed if they’re not getting boo’d.

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  5. Only the cool kids get booed on our block. Since the Rontopofit’s were already booed (naturally), I set out to boo all of the folks that were undoubtedly last to be picked for dodgeball as children. Booing has never felt so good, or been so rewarding. Too bad none of the bastards booed anyone else once they got theirs. Boohoo.

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  6. I taught my children to “boo” and they LOVE it, they are addicted. We get the neighborhood started by “booing” at least five houses and then see what happens… of course they themselves can’t wait to be “booed” back now. (If the neighbors don’t come thru, I’ll be booing my own children!!! ha ha ha)
    I agree with the previous post, I do “Boo” the houses that I don’t think will get “booed”, couples with no children or older children… even if they don’t “boo” back at least they know somebody was thinking of them too.

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  7. WE LOVE TO BOO!
    Back in 2001, we moved to Elk Grove and received our very first BOO-gram. Halloween has ALWAYS been the most enjoyable holiday in our home, as I am from England and they did not celebrate in the fashion the US does. I was so thrilled to have a new and fun way to start the celebration early. We continued to be a part of the boo’ing until we moved to Rio Vista… nobody here Boo’s. I took for granted we would be boo’d and would need to complete our 2 ‘hits’. So we decided to start the tradition here. It didn’t go over so well… and we try every halloween to get the boo tradition going strong. We select 4 homes EVERY weekend in hopes that someone else will follow the instructions. Last year we got a group of kids together and went boo-ing to try to get more families in on the fun. I have had more kids come to me this year and ask about it.. so hopefully soon it will be a new tradition in Rio Vista.

    I mentioned this to one of my children’s teachers. She is going to have the Kindergarten class BOO other classes at school to get in on the action. I thought that was a GREAT idea!

    Kids love it and it is a much more enjoyable form of ‘door bell ditching’.

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  8. Sorry but I do not share the JOY of being Booed. I think its quite inconsiderate actually, especially of folks in the neighborhood who are elderly or who don’t have children. If you get a Boo bag you are expected to go out and buy 2 or in some cases 3 sacks of gifts for neighbors, run around at night leaving them on doorsteps and then stick paper ghosts to your front door. Lets face it, its a chain letter, only much more expensive. And this is the time of year in my neighborhood that the copperheads are active because they are going back into hibernation for winter, so folks booing people aren’t the only ones running around at night.

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  9. i dont agree with the lasy post, it is fun for kids, and keeps them from doing other…stuff…such as toilet paper, fire dog bige, soap on car, egged house, or just plain doorbell ditching, besides, most people wont BOO gram people they dont know!! and about the snakes, do it during the d**m day!!!

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  10. I don’t want to be booed. It sounds like work. I also never liked to trick-or-treat. Sounds like an insane version of scrapbooking. Scrapbookers-gone-wild perhaps.

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