Are you afraid of the big, bad wolf? Your fear is largely unfounded and is likely a product of the myth and ignorance which have contributed to the species' endangerment (unless you fear the variety of canid you find yourself avoiding in nightclubs). Centuries of human encroachment into natural habitat and the widespread, systematic slaughter of wolves have led to the very real possibility of their vanishing from the planet. And we don't want that, do we?
The Wild Canid Center (a.k.a. the Wolf Sanctuary, on Antire/Beaumont Road just north of I-44) seeks to set the record straight as far as Canis lupus is concerned, and their Halloween campfire will do just that. You'll be thrilled and re-educated by positive wolf stories around a blazing fire in the wilds of Eureka, howl at the moon in an attempt to get the wolves to do the same and receive a special bag of treats to enjoy (uh, that's for the wee ones). The campfire starts at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $9. Costumes are encouraged and reservations are required. Call 636-938-5900 to save a seat by the fire. -- John Goddard
No Return From Tombstone
The haunted town, not the pizza
How do you spell scary? Might that be C-O-W-B-O-Y-S? No? How about D-E-A-D C-O-W-B-O-Y-S? Bwah-hah-hah!
This Halloween season the chaps are going to do a lot more than chafe, and the ten-gallon hat is filled with blood. The Tombstone Haunted Ghost Town in Imperial/Kimmswick (7-10:30 p.m. weekdays and 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. weekends through November 1, $10-$13, 314-631-8000, www.scarefest.com) is designed to scare the dungarees off you, with visits to its own version of Boot Hill, where the dead don't stay down, and a real live (real dead?) hangin' judge calls the shots.
Avoiding horse patties is the least of your worries in this creepy cow town. -- Andrew Schubert
The Great Outdoors
Will kick your lazy butt
The athletes who compete in adventure races are different from the rest of us. Most of 'em probably didn't stuff themselves so full of delicious peanut-butter cups last night that they woke up in a puddle of congealed chocolate sweat this morning. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it's just hard to accept for the vast (little pun, there) majority of us who only watch adventure races on TV so we can mock the team bringing up the rear.
If, however, you're one of those nutrition-bar-eating, make-your-own-carrot-juice-after-you-run-a-half-dozen-miles people, have we got an event for you: Adventure Sports Promotions is sponsoring a challenging yet completable three-part race at 9 a.m. at Castlewood State Park (1401 Kiefer Creek Road, $65 entry fee). Teams of two will compete in a 2-to 3-mile run, a 7- to 12-mile bike course, and a 1- to 2-mile kayak sprint. "Any team with reasonable physical conditioning should be able to complete a race," according to the Web site (www.havingfuninc.com); quickly, to the TV! -- Paul Friswold
Have a Slice of Piasa
Since it's America's most haunted small town, you might worry about ghosts at Alton's Annual Halloween Parade. Nah -- save your fear for the Piasa, a dragon-like bird that once snacked on Indians and may just ransack the parade's 50 floats looking for food. Yeah, it's mythical, but one sighting could change all that. The parade is free and begins at the corner of Washington and Main streets at 7:30 p.m. For info, call 618-462-7527. -- Niles Baranowski