10/23-25: Haunted Yard in Parma

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Everyone knows that metalheads love scary, threatening things — loud guitars, lyrics about monsters and killing, chains and spikes on their leather jackets, T-shirts with illegible death-metal logos. So getting involved with the Haunted Yard — a Halloween-season attraction started by a group of Parma kids in their backyard in 1988 — was a natural. Each year, a gang of metalheads from Cleveland (well, Parma really — everyone knows Parma is the metal capital of Ohio) get together to dress and act really scary to raise money for charity. Organizer Shaun Vanek — who plays guitar with Eternal Legacy and Cellbound — rounds up friends to construct a haunted attraction in several adjacent Parma backyards. That might sound cheesy, but it’s not — the group assembles elaborate props, costumes and masks, and prepares scripts for their amateur actors, drawn from their circle of local metal musicians and others. The group has garnered a reputation for being totally dedicated to scaring the pants off people. The event has grown to the point where it now attracts hundreds of people each night (luckily, the neighbors are supportive!) and takes place for two weekends. This weekend is the second. The Haunted Yard will be open from 7:30-10 p.m. tonight through Sunday. It’s located at 5900 Rousseau Drive, just south of Parmatown off Ridge Road. A donation of $3 (or more if you can) will benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. More info and a photo here. — Anastasia Pantsios

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