Bring the Halloween Phantom to Your Neighborhood


My daughter and I were walking in her neighborhood when I noticed many of the homes on one block had a flyer posted on their front door. My curiosity got the best of me and I went up to one of the doors to read the flyer. It was a poem about a “Halloween Phantom” who secretly dropped goodies at a neighbor’s house with a request to pass along the poem and goodies to two more neighbors.

The Phantom Ghost has come to call, but was not seen
To haunt you happily from now through Halloween.

The Phantom has left some goodies for one and all.
And was delivered by a friend who also answered his call.

The spirit of the neighborhood has come to wish you well.
Someone, somewhere, selected you to receive this happy spell.

It’s now your turn to have some fun,
To play the Phantom for someone.

Copy this message and leave a treat,
At two neighbors’ houses along the street.

You must display the Phantom on your door so all can spy
That you’re already haunted by this happy haunting guy.

You have 24 hours so don’t delay,
Or the Phantom’s curse will come your way.

Fix two sacks with goodies like the one given to you.
Ring someone’s bell and leave a bag to make them happy too.

Go — in secret, therefore you won’t be seen,
Continue this tradition until Halloween.

Remember: post this message on your door,
So the Phantom won’t haunt you anymore…..Maybe……

I thought it was a creative way to build community in your neighborhood. I knocked on a door where the flyer was posted to ask about it. The woman explained that it was a Halloween tradition someone had started on their block many years ago. All the neighbors had fun surprising each other and building holiday spirit together. She graciously offered me a copy of the flyer.

I wanted to bring this Halloween tradition to my neighborhood. Our cul-de-sac is already a tight-knit little community that watches out for each other. We’ve been having block parties  for over a decade. I printed out two copies of the flyer and made a batch of pumpkin spice cookies. I placed a dozen cookies in a brown lunch bag and taped the poem to the bag.

After dinner, I made my first “phantom call” to my neighbor. I rang her bell, left the bag of cookies and note on her doorstep, then sprinted off into the darkness. Within a week I noticed fliers on several more doors. As Halloween approached, the fliers increased and so did everyone’s curiosity about who started this game. I just shook my head and said I had no idea. Inside, I was smiling as I watched my neighbors try to figure out the mystery.

Don’t wait too long to get the Halloween Phantom started in your neighborhood!


  1. Susan Adcox says

    They do this in my oldest granddaughter’s neighborhood, although they had a different name for it. I’m blanking out on what they call it. Is it being “boo-ed”? Maybe so.