Once the crisp snap of fall arrives in the Holy City, the spooky decorations come out of the closet and organizations around town begin throwing costume parties in anticipation of Halloween. Last Thursday, we got a chance to dig through our costume bin thanks to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, which hosted a Circus Spectacular fundraiser. “Circus Chic” was the dress code for the evening, and we picked out our finest top hat and whip to pull together a lion tamer outfit. Roar. That night at the museum, the entrance was decorated to look like a vintage circus ticket booth, and folks were handing out tokens for the carnival games. Once inside, we were flanked by luxury vehicles and trays of champagne. (As a VIP guest, we had the privilege of attending the Lexus preview hour. While we weren’t in the market for a new vehicle, we appreciated the complimentary bubbles.)

As we strolled through the Children’s Museum, we saw guests already partaking in the carnival games while the scores of vintage big-top posters and volunteers in bow ties and suspenders lent a carny feel to the festivities. Though we didn’t see any fire breathers or high-flying acrobats, we did get to take in a thrilling show from a young breakdancing group, D.O.A. Shortly after D.O.A. completed their routine, the DJ began playing the ubiquitous “Gangnam Style.” We haven’t yet perfected our horse trot, so we left this one to the more coordinated among us.

Taking a break from playing dress-up, we decided Saturday was a good night to get the living daylights scared out of us, so we headed to the Legare Farm haunted maze on Johns Island. It’s rare that we get out to Johns Island, so we were taken aback at the darkness of the sky once you get away from the city lights; we could actually see stars. However, driving out to the farm on a pitch-black dirt road reminded us of every horror movie we’ve seen. At any given time, we expected Michael Myers or Jason to stumble out of the forest. At the farm, families were gathered around a small bonfire in a clearing while a few kids took their turn on the tire swings. Judging by the number of elementary school-aged children who were freshly exiting the haunted maze, we assumed we could handle whatever scares it had to offer. And we are happy to report that we somehow managed to survive, despite being unable to see two feet in front of us and running away from a guy in a hockey mask screaming our heads off.

Since we’d had enough of wandering around in the dark, we thought we’d be more comfortable at a gathering of ghouls that took place during the day. On Sunday, we went to the annual Charleston Zombie Walk, an event benefiting Camp Happy Days, Soles for Souls, and MUSC’s pulmonary hypertension program. With the popularity of zombie television shows, comics, and movies we knew the turnout was going to be big, but we never imagined that we’d see Marion Square completely packed with the living dead, from zombie doctors to zombie brides, cheerleaders, surfers, babies, and even dogs covered in fake blood and rotting skin makeup. We saw a few people staring at us mumbling something about “braaaaiiinnns,” but there were zombie hunters in attendance to keep everything in check. As the group paraded down King Street, we were impressed by those who refused to break character and scared onlookers with their dead-on zombie walks. We found a few false limbs and pools of blood left behind, but we think downtown survived the deluge of the dead.