As seasoned trick-or-treaters know, strategy is everything Halloween night.
You want a neighborhood with as many homes as possible giving out those king-sized candy bars. Get in, get out, get that sugar high.
"So if we can get the most bang for our buck with the closest house walking, then that just makes it a lot easier,” said Carlsbad resident Diana Hagerty, who will be spending Halloween with a 2-year-old.
Local news from across Southern California
The yards and costumes may be spooky, but for parents, there’s another layer of fear: their children’s safety.
Users can go on and say whether they are offering candy or if their place will be transformed into a haunted house. If the former, the app will place a little candy corn at the address; if the latter, a little, purple haunted house will pop up at the correct spot.
"This is something that when you go onto the map, only people who have been authenticated to live in your neighborhood can see, so you've built up a trust of your community," said Hagerty, an avid user of Nextdoor.
The app verifies neighbors by asking them for a credit card billing address, social security number or postcard sent to your address. That way, each user has to prove they actually live in the area.
So with the candy corns and haunted houses mapped out, parents can plan their routes ahead of time: a nifty time-saving tool if you want to be first to that cauldron of candy.
Hagerty said the app also helps residents keep an eye out for each other, especially if they’re listed as a no trick-or-treating spot.
“Or we've got some people who are across the street. They're not going to be there. We can watch out for them," she said.
Nextdoor only allows users to see participating homes directly in their neighborhood, but for those looking to venture into the eerie night, the app has its Trick-or-Treating Heat Map. It shows hot spots where many homes say they’re giving out the goods.