The fair has arrived, ghost tours are packed and the chill in the air (measuring 80º) is here to stay. Get on your pumpkin party pants because it’s Halloween in Charleston. But forget the same old pumpkin patches and decorating tips. Here are our best bets for you to have a terrifyingly fun Halloween:

Adult Fun:
Two great parties for the 20′s-40′s crowd:
-The Dark Arts Ball. Eye Level Art’s giant warehouse is the perfect spot for a spooky bash and that’s exactly what it will become, transformed by “interactive” art installations and haunting murals. The party comes equipped with music, a burlesque show by the spicy sounding Red Hot Rebelettes, food and an open bar. $50, 10pm.
-Haunted Harborfest. The Vue puts on a concert for the books with Soothsayer, Manic Motion, Chronicles of Landsquid and others. Derek Vincent Smith of Pretty Lights will be performing 3-4am or later. Red bull is a must for this rager. $30 ($10 off with a Pretty Lights Music Farm stub), 10pm-4am.

Pet Costume Contest
Nothing is funnier than a cat in a toupee. Except maybe a dog in a hot dog bun. Or a pig in a [insert Halloween costume here]. You get the point. Pets in costume are hilarious. From noon-7pm on the big day, bring your pets to King Street Studios (157 King) for a costume contest. Each participant gets a free 5×7 print of their furry friend, and the winner (voting will be open to the public online) gets a 16×20 signature canvas print.

Gourmet Trick-or-Treating
Sugar Bake Shop and Mac & Murphy are teaming up to host a trick-or-treating extravaganza in Cannonborough from 4-7pm. They’re working with neighborhood shops and homes to create a safe, mapped out progressive style candy hunt. No telling exactly how this will shape up, but if Sugar Bake Shop is handing out their heart shaped cookies with pink frosting, you’ll want to be the first in line. Maybe stand on you

r knees under a ghost sheet to blend in.

Nathan Durfee HalloweenRocky Horror Picture Show
For all you Rocky Horror Picture Show fanatics out there, you’re likely already in line for the Terrace Theater’s midnight screening and Halloween party. And don’t miss the final performance of the Charleston Ballet Theatre’s adaptation of the cult classic. Costumes on.

Food Can Be Scary
Our top three haunted restaurant picks are:
– Home Team BBQ’s Album Showcase at 10pm. Come to hear your favorite album “in costume,” as a band recreates it in its entirety. On Sully’s, The Sundogs put a country twist on Nirvana’s Nevermind ($5); in W. Ashley, Jamie McLean Band dresses up Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever ($8).
– Blu’s all-things-Michael-Jackson bash from 8pm – midnight. Prizes for best costume include: Most Original, Sexiest (blech) and Scariest.- Predator & Prey dinner at Fish. Horror movie meets fine dining, each course will highlight a predator and its prey (think crab & shrimp, triggerfish & squid). A host to Charleston Ballet’s Rocky Horror after parties, expect to see some over-the-top costumes and decor.

Costumes of 2009
We’ll leave you with the top Halloween costumes/themes thi

s year (gathered from Tweet-stalking). May it help spur some ideas for you procrastinators. What will you be this year? Leave a comment and let us know!

#5. Miss Swine Flu 2009 (gown, tiara, box of tissues, pig snout)

#4. Celebrities: Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Patrick Swayze

#3. Balloon Boy

#2. Movies: Alice in Wonderland, Where The Wild Things Are, Twilight

#1. And the top theme is…Homemade! The rotten economy will likely result in the best Halloween costumes ever. Creative and made from scratch. Get out your needle and thread.

Happy Halloween from all of us at CHARLIE!

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