Adults who want to raise their Halloween spirits have plenty of options this year. The downtown office crowd, for instance, can get a jump on things by watching the carved pumpkins contest '' slated for Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at Charles Plaza at Charles and Saratoga streets.
The dinner-time crowd along restaurant row in Mount Vernon may want to consider Gampy's special menu Wednesday night. It features a Black Cat special (actually blackened catfish), which co-owner Don Friedman insists is a recipe handed down by a great-grandmother who was burned at the stake. He adds that this special may be washed down with a witches' brew, made from a formula that includes "bat tails, devil's root, and the heart of a pure virgin, so you know how rare it is." There is also a contest to guess the weight of a pumpkin, and another contest for the best costumes. Call 837-9797.
Not surprisingly, the arty crowd will be found at the Maryland Institute College of Art's annual Halloween party and costume contest. It takes place tomorrow from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Main Building. Possessing an abundance of materials and imagination, students have come up with some real winners in the past. Among the most notable was the couple dressed as white-gloved hands; they ran into each other in what could be interpreted as either applause or slam dancing. This year's party features music by DJ Doug Harth and the live band Funkyard. Beer, wine and soda are for sale. The party is free for MICA students with ID and $5 for the rest of us. Call 225-2300.
Also on the odd side, an Elvis Halloween party is planned for Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Miss Bonnie's bar, at 2422 Fleet St., which bills itself as an "Elvis Shrine and Literary Salon." That evening's open poetry reading takes place amidst a wealth of Elvis and Halloween decorations. Only in East Baltimore . . . Call 276-9046.
Trendies who in goblin fashion only go out really late at night can head to the midtown nightclub Cignel, which has a Halloween party tonight from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. featuring Junky Musik with Miss X. Costumes or masks are requested. Admission is $6 for members, $8 for guests. Late-night parties are also planned for Saturday and Wednesday. Call 727-1003.
If there is attitude at Cignel, there is altitude at the party starting Wednesday at 9 p.m. on the 13th floor of the Hotel Belvedere. Featured are a DJ, pumpkin-weight guessing and costume contests. Last year's costume contest included one guy dressed as an eight-foot-tall headless horseman -- carrying his head under one arm. No cover. Call 332-1000.
For the athletic crowd, the Baltimore Original Sports Bar on Market Place encourages sports-themed costumes for its Wednesday party from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Events include a howl at the moon contest, a mummy wrap with toilet paper, and a bobbing for baseballs competition. Admission: $5, with a portion going toward the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Maryland. Call 962-1000.
If you find hard rock delightfully scary, the place to be is Hammerjacks on Saturday, for a costume ball with categories that include "sexiest" and "ugliest." Call 752-3302.
In Fells Point, Max's on Broadway has a Wednesday night party with music by Obstructed View. Everyone wearing a costume will get prizes that include CDs and tapes. Call 675-MAXS. Also in that neighborhood, the Wednesday night parties include a costume contest at Sanctuary. Call 327-8800.
If you missed last night's Halloween-inspired pimps and hookers ball at Christopher's in Cockeysville, there are more parties at the nightspot, where owner Marc Lounda has decorated the lobby as a funeral parlor. On Tuesday night there is a mummy wrap contest; all that's needed is a guy, a gal, rolls of toilet paper, and a liberated fantasy life. A costume party will be held Wednesday. Call 252-8181.
At The Barn in Parkville, Tuesday night means a costume contest and music by the DJ Batman. With a decade's worth of costume contests under its belt, The Barn has seen some wild contestants: streakers in what might be termed non-costume costumes, a guy done up as a french fry, and somebody else who upholstered himself as a sofa bed. Call 882-6182. At Hummers, a sporting cafe in Fallston, there is a Wednesday night party that includes a costume contest, the band Never Never, and a DJ. Call 893-2034.
The Waxter Senior Center will host a "Fright Night for Lights" party tomorrow from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with music by Mambo Combo. Dress is black-tie or costume. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and proceeds will be used to help improve public lighting in the Mount Vernon-Belevdere area.
And finally, for those who truly want to roam the night, there is the Halloween Insomniac Tour sponsored by Baltimore Rent-A-Tour. Starting at 9:30 p.m. tomorrow from the driveway of the National Aquarium, it bops around town and is expected to end about 2:30 a.m. Stops include the Top of the World observation level of the World Trade Center, the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, the grave of Edgar Allan Poe and adjacent Westminster catacombs, and a light meal at an Inner Harbor restaurant. Costumes are encouraged for this tour. The $37.50 cost is all-inclusive and requires pre-registration. Call 653-2998.