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Monster March 

Wander with the wraiths in the evening

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WED-SAT 10/27-30

Ancient Europeans believed that the souls of the dead returned to walk the Earth at Halloween time, so perhaps you'll see a spectral shade this week if you brave the creepy dusk and attend one of three nighttime ghost-spotting strolls. The first, San Francisco City Guides' "Ghost Walk at City Hall" (Wednesday, free), leads amblers around the beaux-arts Civic Center, once the site of a cemetery and some very notable assassinations. City Guides also leads "Ghost Walk at the Palace" (Friday, free), an introduction to the many deaths and spirit sightings that have rattled the corridors of the grand inn. But perhaps the most menacing of all is the Chinese Historical Society's "Chinatown Haunts" (Saturday, $5-15 per person), a ramble into the neighborhood's dimly lit alleys and reputedly haunted areas that's so scary no one under 14 is allowed along. All three start at 6:30 p.m. at various downtown locales; call 557-4266 or visit www.sfcityguides.org for the City Guides walks, and 391-1188 or www.chsa.org for the Chinatown excursion.
-- Joyce Slaton

Live Boats

SAT-SUN 10/30-31

Some people get all the breaks: How many hobbyists have their own Golden Gate Park clubhouse and a specially designated lake? Lawn bowlers come close with their exclusive fields, but only model boat enthusiasts get a whole lake. Wooden Boats on Parade IV is a noncompetitive display organized by the 206-year-old San Francisco Model Yacht Club, which, as you might imagine, is the envy of modelers all over the country. As a result, folks come from near and far for this event, which features sail-, steam-, electric-, and gasoline-powered craft -- all kinds of miniature boats, as long as they're made of wood. None of that snap-together plastic stuff, no sir. Past years' parades have seen warships, double-decker "excursion boats," even a version of the Titanic, which performed better than its life-size namesake. Set sail at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Spreckels Lake, 36th Avenue & Fulton in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free; visit www.sfmyc.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Heavy Metal
Might Makes Art

SAT 10/30

Be careful where you stand at the San Francisco Center for the Book's "Roadworks: Steamroller Prints" event, a party at which artists ink carved hunks of linoleum and then pulverize them with giant steamrollers to create prints. Come see normally gentle people operate heavy machinery at the daytime soiree (which also features kids' activities and handmade books for sale), or stay late to bid on the day's output. Just watch those outstretched fingers! Things get rolling at noon at Carolina & 15th Street; evening activities begin at 4 at SFCB, 300 De Haro (at 16th Street), S.F. Admission is free-$20; call 565-0545 or visit www.sfcb.org.
-- Joyce Slaton

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