The Firebird
Richard Ellis/Alamy

October Facts & Stats
Average high/low temperature: 72/49 degrees Fahrenheit | Average rainfall: 3.40 inches
Sunset on Oct. 31: 6:29 p.m.

SCREAMIN’ THEME PARK: During the Halloween season, Carowinds theme park — aka the “Thrill Capital of the Southeast” — adds a chill factor on weekend nights with SCarowinds Halloween Haunt, when the park is taken over by zombies, psycho clowns, creepy music and twisted attractions, including seven haunted houses.

GHOSTLY GROUNDS: Charlotte’s Historic Rosedale Plantation is the town’s oldest surviving frame-style home open to the public and is reputedly inhabited by ghosts of former residents stalking the 200-year-old antebellum property. Get acquainted with them on a Spirits of Rosedale tour (Oct. 25-26) through the grounds — or even closer during a late-night Spirit Encounter session inside the darkened house.

URBAN LEGEND: Founders Hall is said to be haunted; employees at the property’s McGlohon Theatre (formerly a church) have reported hearing inexplicable singing in the building.

MOST AMBITIOUS CIVIC-PRIDE COSTUME:  The Firebird, Charlotte’s iconic statue by Niki de Saint Phalle outside the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art at the Levine Center for the Arts, reportedly has been attempted by ambitious locals with mixed results.

BONUS LATE-OCTOBER EVENT: Charlotte’s 11th annual Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship (Oct. 18-19) is the largest Memphis Barbecue Network–sanctioned competition in the Southeast and features live music, craft beer and 100 teams competing to be named the scariest good BBQ around.

JORDAN RANE writes regularly for American Way and the Los Angeles Times. His favorite time and place to celebrate Halloween was the Toronto ’burbs in the late ’70s.