YE OLDE CHARM: Most old towns or historic city sections, it seems to us, are plenty picturesque. You have the horse-drawn carriages and the gaslamps and candy shop that always, always sells horehound penny candy. (Er, we know what horehound is, and yet, the flavor always remains something of a delightful mystery to us when we meditate upon it too long.) But few places hold a gaslamp's flame to Old Sacramento for true cheek and charm. The cheek comes from the variety of dress-up events the storied burg stages through the years, including Old West Days, and the charm comes from the vintage buildings, the excellent museums, and the nature. You've seen a swoop of evening crows -- sorry, a murder of crows -- caw over the neighborhood, yes? Memorable. So when the spookiest season arrives, Old Sacramento stirs up lots of to-dos, or becomes a setting for a few outside to-dos to ramble in. (See: zombies below.) We're looking at...
UNDERGROUND TOURS: Nope, the subterranean stroll through our capital's past isn't just in October -- it's more of a warmer weather thing -- but going below on a fall night is a real treat. Also a treat, at least for grown-ups looking for slightly bawdier tales? There are adults-only evening tours, and a few more have just been added. But, book fast: They're only on through November.
ZOMBIE WALK: It's actually called an "invasion" and it's headed for Old Sacramento on Saturday, Oct. 5. Yep, 'tis the season for moaners to shamble about and look with empty eyes into shop windows. We're only hoping some zombies go truly thematic and don 19th-century garb.
AND MORE CREEPY FUN: There are several scary (nice scary) happenings in the area throughout the month, including train rides, a brew crawl, and more, more more. Just don't the the zombies chase you, is all we're saying.