When Cecile Scarsella boos her neighbors on East Park Drive in Huntington Station, it’s not because she’s annoyed at them.
It’s because she’s participating in a popular game leading up to Halloween. Friends or neighbors across Long Island are all conspiring to leave an anonymous goody bag on someone else’s doorstep in a tag-like game that goes on throughout the month of October.
Here’s how boo-ing works: A participant makes a goodie bag or a plastic orange pumpkin filled with candy or trinkets such as Halloween stickers. Then, usually after dark, they choose a home they want to “boo” and sneak over.
They drop off the loot in front of the door along with instructions about how the game works and a sign for the "boo-ed" homeowner to place on their door to show they’ve already been struck. When the homeowner opens the door and finds the gift, they have fun trying to figure out who might have left it there, and they choose someone else to “boo” that night.
Scarsella, 59, says her block of about two dozen homes has been “boo-ing” each other for at least 10 years. “We all partake,” she says. It’s also fun to see each day who was boo-ed the night before, she says. It's not just entertaining for the kids, Scarsella says: “Everybody in the household enjoys it.”