Art of the Scare


If you want to scare the bejeezus out of most kids, threaten them with a Saturday-afternoon visit to an art museum. ("Culture! Education! N-o-o-o-o!") If you want to frighten their fathers, an evening at a fund-raiser for an art museum usually works. ("Black tie! Canapés! N-o-o-o-o!) So it makes sense that one of the most popular Halloween haunted houses in the area is Dungeon of Doom Texas in the basement of the Arlington Museum of Art, a scare fest that raises money for children's art programs. Whoever came up with that idea is really evil, which ya gotta love. It is, after all, Halloween. The Evil One is Kay Kuser, a former museum board member who 16 years ago persuaded fellow board members to turn the museum's basement into a haunted dungeon, loaded with gore and actors re-creating everything from the Bates Motel to The Phantom of the Opera to The Wizard of Oz. If you're wondering what Dorothy and her singing pals are doing in a Dungeon of Doom, you obviously don't realize how creepy those flying monkeys are. Kuser does, hence the addition of the Yellow Brick Road. "Of course, Dorothy is dead" is the museum's take, she adds. Sometimes flying monkeys just aren't enough for a fright. (We're lying. Yes, they are.) So, this is not your typical museum benefit, but nevertheless Kuser promises plenty of shudders. (Small children and the monkey-phobic who arrive early can take a lit tour where the ghouls don't menace.) "It's very intense," she says. "Everywhere you go [someone's] jumping out from an unexpected place." Cool--just as long as they're not holding a tray of hors d'oeuvres. Regular admission is $12, but a $2 discount coupon is available at The museum is located at 201 W. Main St., Arlington. Call 817-273-5308. --Patrick Williams

Sixth Floor Live

Those who lived through the 1960s don't know how lucky they are; they had Vietnam, Woodstock and a homegrown presidential assassination. The latter's magic-bullets conspiracy is better than this year's mystery-bulge theories. Relive the golden days from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday when Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer, George Phenix and Wes Wise, the four journalists whose collected experiences and thoughts make up the new book When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963, sign their book. JFK's murder all but made television essential for media communications, and this book signing is the perfect way to wax nostalgic, learn more or introduce oneself to better days. The event takes place at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, 411 Elm St. Admission is free. Call 214-747-6660 or visit --Matt Hursh

Masked Mutts

Dogs never think up very inventive costumes. They always want to be something trite--a "bonehead," a hot dog or a firefighter (better access to hydrants). So, it's up to us owners to devise brilliant costumes like...well, we're not sharing our ideas. We're hoping for some fabulous prizes at the Howloween Mutt Masquerade, where $30 provides a three-course lunch, T-shirt, dog bandanna, goody bag and entry into the costume contest. Raffle tickets for prizes, including a trip to Westminster Dog Show, will also be on sale. All proceeds benefit Operation Kindness. Get your dog duded up and head to Stratos, 2907 Northwest Highway, onOctober 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 972-418-PAWS. --Michelle Martinez

Wish You Were Here

We've always found postcards a little frustrating. With so much to say and so little space, every word is precious. But in this era of e-mail, the anticipation of waiting for a postcard is somewhat exciting. In Had a Good Time: Stories From American Postcards, Robert Olen Butler takes snippets from antique postcards he's collected over the years and turns them into a collection of 15 short stories, making the words precious in a whole new way. Butler will sign, discuss and read from Had a Good Time on October 28 at the Barnes & Noble in Arlington, 3909 S. Cooper St., at 7:30 p.m. Call 817-557-1171. --Rhonda Reinhart

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