In the blink-and-you'll-miss-it burg of Bolivar, outside Canton, the police department's telephone lines light up whenever the Nightmare Society snaps photos of its members dressed as vampires and zombies. "Last month, there had been six calls about the dead walking around my house," laughs Staci Swain, the horror club's president. "The police asked me to contact them in advance when we plan our next shoot."
Since April, a motley crew of members has been gathering for monthly workshops on everything eerie -- from making mummy masks to learning how to walk like the dead. "Although they might be labeled freaks, we don't find them freaky at all," says Swain.
The chills pay off in August, when members audition for the Trail of Terror, a haunted forest of swampland, muddy footpaths, and fog that frightens the bejesus out of folks at Halloween. "With our creative touch, it becomes sinister and horrifying," says Swain. "It's a tremendous backdrop for scaring people." The Nightmare Society meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Canton Museum of Art, 1001 North Market Avenue in Canton. Materials fee is $5; call 330-874-3591. -- Cris Glaser
Water fest features all kinds of big boats.
Anyone in Mentor can tell you that the Festival on the Lagoons is the city's major summer draw. By the end of the day, as many as 7,000 landlubbers will have built sand castles, kayaked the lagoons, and boogied to Caribbean calypso by the Rolando Pizano Group. While the main attractions are the 30-minute Lake Erie cruises aboard a 72-foot U.S. Navy landing craft, Paul Hegreness concedes that it's anyone's guess whether other big boats will be able to dock on the lakefront. "You're kind of at the mercy of what boats happen to be around to handle the draft," says Hegreness, supervisor of the Mentor Parks and Recreation Department. "So many of those boats need seven to eight feet." Festival on the Lagoons is from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina, 8365 Harbor Drive in Mentor. Admission is free; call 440-974-5720. -- Cris Glaser
Lord of the Ring
Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby comes to DVD.
Million Dollar Baby plays like a typical boxing flick (albeit with a woman in the lead) at first: Crusty trainer takes on unskilled but determined fighter. He makes her a contender; she thaws him. But halfway through the movie (which comes out Tuesday on DVD), it takes a wide left turn, becoming a morality tale that's even more relevant in the wake of the Terri Schiavo case. And that's the beauty of Clint Eastwood's Oscar-hogging film: It never lets you forget the brutality that's always lurking beneath those wonderfully choreographed dances in the ring. The two-disc set includes a James Lipton-guided roundtable discussion with stars Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman, recorded the day after the Academy Awards. -- Michael Gallucci
Jerry Schmidt, one of 150 artists at the free Cain Park Arts Festival, learned from the best. "My father was the Picasso of metal-sculpting," he says. He'll be displaying super-huge metal spiders at the fest. "I'm arachnophobic," he says, "but I built [them] anyway." See 'em from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Cain Park (Superior and Lee roads in Cleveland Heights); call 216-291-3669. -- Lucy McKernan
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