It would seem that the Halloween season has once again sneaked up behind us, wrapped its clammy, awful hands around our necks and slowly choked the life out of us, cackling with wicked glee in the sinister moonlight as we gasp in vain for air, the howl of a lone wolf the final sound to pass our ears.
But unfortunately, Oct. 31, 2012 falls on the decidedly un-sinister day of Wednesday, meaning many of us 8-5 working stiffs will celebrate this weekend. Anyway, here's a handy roundup of some of the haunted houses, hayrides, trick-or-treating, concerts and and costume contests going down.
And hey, maybe this year, everybody could have an actually scary or clever costume, and not a "sexy" version of some cliched thing like a nurse or a devil or a bunny? Please? Can we do away with that tired crap just once? What's that? No? We can't?
Maybe next year. Oh yeah, if I missed anything, please put the details in the comments section.
Here we go:
FRIDAY OCT. 26:
The 19th Annual Knights of Columbus Haunted Halloween Hayride takes place at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, through Oct. 27, 7 p.m., $4-$7, free for 5 and younger.
The Peabody Hotel's Boo Bash has music from DJ Brandon Peck, a costume contest, prizes and more, 9 p.m., $10-$25.
Up in Bentonville, there's Artinfusion's "Halloween in the Hollow," which includes a costume contest, music, dancing, food and ghost stories, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 8 p.m., $15 or free for Artinfusion members.
Boo at the Zoo keeps rolling, with trick-or-treating, carnival rides, concessions, a haunted house and more, Little Rock Zoo, through Oct. 31, 6 p.m., $7-$15.
"The Haunted Evening Tour" offers a tour of some of the city's "most haunted locations," starting at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 7 p.m., $30. It'll run again Nov. 2.
The Haunted Cathedral is not recommended for people who are pregnant or have a history of seizures. Sounds spooky and probably strobe light-y, EMOBA Museum, daily through Oct. 31, 7:30:55 p.m., $10-$20.
Market Street Cinema screens "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and on Halloween, and at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday. Participation is encouraged, so you Rocky Horror buffs can let your freak-flags fly.
For a live musical version, check out "The Rocky Horror Show" from The Petite Roche Players. Audience participation is encouraged, but outside props are a no-no, and you shouldn't be bringing any children. There are shows at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Monday through Halloween, with a late-night performance that night at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, call 501-563-1600 for more info or buy them online here.
For kiddos, Arkansas Arts Center's Children's Theater has "Bunnicula," 7 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays, through Nov. 11.
SATURDAY OCT. 27:
Up in Eureka Springs, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge hosts its 17th Annual Howl-o-ween Party, with viewings of more than 100 exotic cats, a hayride, children's costume contest, prizes, concession stands and more, 7 p.m., $10-$15, call 479-253-5841 for more info.
Magic Screams continues this weekend at Magic Springs, with several haunted houses, including one made for younger kids. There will also be trick-or-treating, a hay maze, face painting, music and more. It's open from 4-11 p.m. Saturday and 4-10 p.m. Sunday, $20-$30.
SUNDAY OCT. 28:
Trunk or Treat, at Christ Lutheran Church and School, includes a hayride, cupcake walk, treats, games and more, costumes welcome, 4 p.m., free.
TUESDAY OCT. 30:
The Old Haunted Warehouse is a haunted house tour, with a portion of proceeds to benefit the Spirit of Children Program and the Watershed Project, through Oct. 31, 8 p.m., $10-$20, 3400 Brown St.
UALR's Haunted Hall has a haunted house for kids, with candy, prizes, arts and crafts, and more, at UALR's East Hall, 3101 S. Taylor St., 6:30 p.m., free.
WEDNESDAY OCT. 31:
Midtown's Halloween Bash has live tunes from Cadillac Jackson, as well as a costume contest at 2 a.m. and drink specials all night, Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5.
The Museum of Discovery showcases the science behind spooky illusions with Science After Dark: “The Science of Sorcery." It's a 21-and-older event, with cash bar available, 6 p.m., $5.
Bobby’s Fright Hike: Bike Ride & Costume Party is a free bicycle ride around the city's most haunted locales. The Post Party is after the ride is for ages 21 and older, $12 with beer, wine, music, dancing and a costume contest. Ride starts at River Market Pavilions, 6 p.m., free.