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Richie Moriarty (right) with Rowan, who dressed up as Moriarty's character Pete in the new CBS sitcom "Ghosts."
Richie Moriarty (right) with Rowan, who dressed up as Moriarty's character Pete in the new CBS sitcom "Ghosts."Courtesy Richie Moriarty

Imagine dressing up as Captain America for Halloween and ending up at Chris Evans’s house. Or putting together your best Harley Quinn — and surprise — Margot Robbie is doling out candy on the trick-or-treat circuit.

What sounds like a never-in-a-lifetime occurrence became a reality this Halloween for a New Jersey girl and an actor with Boston roots.

Rowan was trick-or-treating in a neighborhood in Maplewood, N.J., dressed as Pete from the new CBS sitcom “Ghosts” — a character played by actor, comic, and writer Richie Moriarty. She donned a Boy Scouts uniform complete with a makeshift arrow punctured through her neck — a depiction of Moriarty’s character, Pete, who is one of the ghosts featured in the show, which debuted in early October.


Unbeknownst to Rowan, her Halloween muse was right around the corner.

Moriarty, a Boston College grad and a longtime Massachusetts resident (Moriarty got his start in comedy at the Improv Asylum), meanwhile, was having dinner with his family in the same neighborhood.

“We put a bowl of candy on the front steps for people to help themselves while we ate,” Moriarty told the Globe. “Almost right away, the doorbell rang, and I was like, ‘What’s the deal?’”

Moriarty opened the front door, and there Rowan was — dressed as him.

“My first reaction was, ‘Am I being pranked?’” Moriarty said. “She had no idea it was my house and we both almost passed out when I opened the door.”

Rowan, accompanied by her mother, had been clued in by a neighbor that Moriarty — the “real” Pete — was only a few doors down.

“[The neighbors] were like, ‘Oh, you’re dressed up as Richie!’ And she’s like, ‘No, I’m dressed up as Pete from ‘Ghosts,’” Moriarty recounted, adding that the neighbors then walked Rowan and her mother over to the Moriartys’ house to witness the chance encounter.


“She was stunned to silence,” Moriarty said. “It made both our nights.”

Inspiring a Halloween costume was a first for the actor, whose past television appearances include Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “House of Cards,” and FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows.”

“What’s funny is the show hasn’t been out that long,” Moriarty reflected. “There was a joke among the cast: Wouldn’t it be funny if people started dressing up as us? The general consensus was it’s a little too early. But people that love it, really love it — they’re ‘Gang Busters’ about it. And Rowan is one of those people.”

The exchange also coincided with a timely “Ghosts” episode airing this Thursday.

“I told [Rowan] about the upcoming episode that’s all about my character’s backstory,” Moriarty said. “She started jumping up and down, so excited. It was very sweet.”

The encounter has garnered tons of attention on social media, with Moriarty’s post generating more than 13,000 likes on Twitter as of Tuesday morning.

“I think it’s the wholesome content we need right now — the element of, ‘I can’t believe this happened,’” Moriarty said.

And he must have loaded up Rowan’s trick-or-treat bag with all of the best candy, right?

“I got so wrapped up in the moment, I don’t think I gave her candy,” Moriarty admitted. “Rowan, if you’re out there and you come back to the house, I’ll literally give you all of our leftover candy.”


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker.