Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

It’s an annoyingly warm and muggy October evening in Gainesville, Florida. Without a spooky chill in the air, you don’t know how to get in the mood for Halloween. The mosquitos are ruining your spooky season spirit. Alas, never fear — the Halloween ghosts are on your side.

Growing up in my Gainesville hometown neighborhood, every October, a neighbor would begin something we call “spooking.” They would tape a picture of a ghost to another neighbor’s front door with text saying, “you’ve been spooked.” They would also leave Halloween goodies, such as costume pieces, Halloween decorations and candy. After placing the goodies on the front porch, they would ring the doorbell and run away. The “spook” would then continue to the next house and the next, filling the whole neighborhood with Halloween spirit!

Participating in spooking is a super simple and fun way to build up to Halloween. All you need are four simple things to make college edition spooking a tradition in your apartment complex or dorm:

A White Piece of Paper (and Halloween SPIRIT)

You can either print out a ghost image or draw one yourself onto a white sheet of paper. After you make the ghost, you are all set to spook! Don’t forget to write “you’ve been spooked” on your paper. The ghost is one of the most important symbols of the Halloween spirit, so be sure to be creative with your handmade ghoul.


You need something to paste your ghost to your neighbor’s door. Make sure he is sturdy and does not fall off. You want him to be floating in the doorway when your neighbors open their door rather than rolling on the floor. You can use tape, or you can even use string to tie him around the door handle.


If you are starting the “spook” in your neighborhood, make sure you have the best goodies picked out! If you are ghosting the residence of someone you know, you can get them candy or a fall candle scent you know they like. What goes around comes around, so if you give people good surprises, hopefully, good surprises will find their way back to you.

Some good suggestions from goodies I have gotten over the years are devil horns, spider web, glow-in-the-dark spiders, Halloween-themed window clings, Halloween stickers and, of course, candy. My neighbors typically gave a whole basket of treats, but, as a student, you might only want to give a couple of items — and that’s just fine! It’s the thought of tricks and treats that counts. The dollar store is a great place to buy more affordable Halloween decorations and goodies you can leave when you spook.

Knowledge of the Rules…or You Will Be Sent to the Dungeon…

Okay, not really. But you do need to know that you MUST spook after dark, and you MUST continue the spook if you have been spooked. Don’t be a spoilsport! When spooking, knock on the door or ring the doorbell to alert your neighbors there’s a ghost in their vicinity. Be sure to also keep your ghost hanging on your door after you have been spooked, so your neighbors know you have already had a ghostly presence and take their goodies to someone who is not yet filled with Halloween spirit.

When you spook, you must run away or hide after giving the goodies like you never went to your neighbor’s door. It was all the ghosts. If you want, it can be fun to hide and watch their reactions to your gifts!

If your complex, neighborhood or dorm has a group chat or Facebook page, you all can decide on your specific parameters for gifts together. You could even break your neighborhood down into groups by floors to make sure everyone gets spooked by Halloween. Plus, if everyone agrees to give decorations as gifts, your floor could be the coolest in the building and your dorm the spookiest building on the block. If you do not have any social media connections for your residence, just start the spook, and see if it builds. Your home should be feeling spooky in no time.

The time to spook is now! Happy haunting, and happy Halloween!

Thea Miller is a junior at the University of Florida majoring in English with a creative writing focus. This is her second semester as a Features Writer. She has a background in dance and theatre, and now loves using writing as her main creative outlet. Previously having tried her hand in writing short stories, novels, lyric poetry, and screenplays for her own personal enjoyment, she is excited to be a part of this supportive and empowering platform that is Her Campus UFL where she can share her words with the world. Traveling is her favorite form of recreation and the most enthralling place she has gone thus far is Stockholm, Sweden. After college, she plans on attending graduate school to further develop her craft of screenwriting.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️