We’ve been “BOO’d” or actually in our specific case, we were “Phantomed”.
It was a quiet, dark night. All was calm. The kids were watching TV, Jim was taking a shower, I was in bed (sick with a nasty head cold).
Seems to me it was about 8:00PM and I was wondering why someone would be ringing our doorbell. The kids are freaking out because there’s no capable adult to come to their rescue. Trevor had peeked out the blinds and claims he saw something glowing red.
They know better than to open the door.
About three minutes pass.
Finally, after peeking out the window and not seeing anyone, they open the door.
Turns out- it was a “Phantom”. He left behind a plate of rice-krispie treats, some Halloween OREO’s, a picture of a ghost, and a note.
The note said that we needed to hang the Phantom picture in our window, and Pay it Forward by making a plate of treats (along with copies of the note and Phantom) and deliver them at night-time, unseen, to an unsuspecting family.
So the next day I made a plate of brownies, cut them out with a Christmas Bell cookie cutter (they looked like ghosts that way!), drizzled them with white chocolate and put red-hot eyes on them, put them on a platter along with snack-size M&M baggies and we waited. And waited. And waited.
It was finally dark.
We had all agreed on one of the families we wanted to “Phantom”. And it was going to be a big challenge. It’s a house that sits at the end of a short cul-de-sac. Flat on facing the street- no where for us to hide. Can’t hide on either side of the house because of the way it’s fenced, and if we hid in the adjacent neighbor’s yard, well, there was no place to hide.
So Trevor dressed in all black and put a scarf around his face and head so that only his eyes were visible. I also wore all black. We parked around the corner and walked to the start of the cul-de-sac.
Their garage door is up. The dad is in the garage. All the windows are open in their house. And it appears they are loading their camper. Darn! This is going to be even trickier than we thought. Do we abort the plan? Do we wait and come back later? Or do we accept the challenge?
We decided walkie talkies would be good. Oh well. We were going to give it our best shot.
I stood hiding behind a shrub at the stop sign. Trevor crossed the street to the “darker side” and started walking towards the house, knowing that at any moment he could be seen. But he wouldn’t be recognized, and that was key.
And then it happened. The dad walked out of the garage and onto the driveway. We both froze. Well, I was already frozen behing the bush. But Trevor froze, mid-step, on the sidewalk.
The dad then gets into his car and starts it. The headlights come on.
OH NO! Now what are we going to do? What if he starts driving up the street? Where’s Trevor going to go? Do I yell at him to hide behind the neighbor’s car? What if the dad hears me? Where am I going to go? Do I abandon my kid? All this running through my head in that split second.
Then he ….. backs the car up closer to the house. Whew!
Trevor remains frozen. I remain hiding behind the bush. The dad goes into the house finally and I can see he’s in the living room folding laundry. Trevor had made his way back to me, wondering if we should just come back later. I point out that the coast is clear for now- they are all inside. So we run up about 2 houses away and hide behind a row of arborvitae. Trevor gets the nerve and runs up to the door and puts the Phantom plate down, but there’s no doorbell!
He runs back to me- “what do I do?”
So he waits a bit…and suddenly a door opens behind us. It’s the neighbors! Here we are all dressed in black crouching in their yard behind some shrubs. So I put my finger to my mouth in the “shhhhh” formation and walk over to them. I explain that we are “Boo-ing” their neighbor- delivering treats in a knock-and-run-style and don’t want them to know it’s us.
So they get in their car and drive off. At that same moment, Trevor runs up and knocks loudly on their door and beelines it back to my hiding spot.
Problem is, my hiding spot ain’t that good. See the house behind me has security lights- blaring in our direction- so our shadows are cast out into the street a good 4 feet or so. Trevor and I have to get as close to the shrubs as possible and remain completely frozen. If we move, our shadows could be seen.
We hear them open the door, and close it, and I thought I heard her mutter, “You’re goooood” but that’s not what Trevor heard. We’re still disputing that.
His heart is pounding. We’re still frozen. We can hear the dad back outside and hope he doesn’t venture out into the street to see if there’s anything to see. And of course in this day and age you wonder if someone might have a gun on them, too! Ha!
It was a total rush.
We waited probably 10 minutes there. Long enough for the security light to go off, long enough that we didn’t hear anymore activity outside. Trevor crawled on the ground to peer around the bush and see if the coast was clear for us to run. He gave me the “LET’s GO!” and we quietly walked up the street, not looking back. Well, Trevor said he snuck a peek, but had the scarf up so there’s no way they’d know. Plus it’s dark, and hard to see out your windows when your lights are on.
The next house was easy because they were on a corner, and Trevor easily rang the doorbell and beelined it for my car and we sped off. We did a drive by minutes later and the goodies were gone, so we know they were home. That’s the key- they have to be home when you do it.
Trevor is hooked on the adrenaline rush and wants us to Boo more people- we’ll see. It WAS a lot of fun.