We are part of a fun new tradition in New Jersey. Ghosting.

It isn’t new to this area, but it is the first year we are part of it.

When I grew up, I recall “knicky knicky nine doors.” Kids knocked on a door while yelling this chant, then ran away, hoping not to get caught. I recall it was more of a prank than a fun activity, at least for the family in the house. When I was young it felt scary to have some strange kids running around our house and hiding.

Not fun.

Ghosting is different. Friends of my children choose a few houses to deliver a small bag of candy to the front doorstep, often with a note such as, “YOU’VE BEEN GHOSTED!! Roses are red, violets are blue. Ghosts are white and they scare you! Pass this message on and we’ll spare you!”

They quietly approach the door, while their parent waits in the car a house or two away. They leave the candy, ring the doorbell, and RUN!

The next day, children giggle and whisper, wondering who did the ghosting, and who was ghosted.

After we were ghosted a couple times, our children begged us to do the same. So this past weekend, all four of us dressed in black, and delivered four bags of candy, with a note, to four friends’ houses. Each of our children took turns sneaking up to their friend’s door, ringing the bell, then running as fast as they could (except if there were stairs) back to the car.

All four of us giggled and whispered as we drove away, four “kids” having a good time, delivering smiles and more giggles to new friends.

And there was nothing scary about it. Just fun.

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