Haunted House of Cleveland bars marks 20th year with tomghoulery (photos)

Egads -- a lair full of goblins, crazy clowns, psychotic beasts, zombies and lunatics.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Larry Moran hardly seems like a Parmaniac with a ghoulish streak. He's affable and has a welcoming demeanor, a regular guy - hardly the type you'd imagine being hell-bent for mayhem and on the prowl for dark shadows.

Then a devious smile covers his face as he pushes a button...

Egads, there's a demented psychopath popping out of the wall. And there's Moran, snickering like the devil.

Welcome to the Post and Beam.

Or, as the zombies and geeks like to call it this time of year, the Monster's Lounge. You know, that happy-go-lucky neighborhood bar where you can have a beer and a burger and party with a pack of deranged wolves, some twisted freaks and a guy who just had his face smashed by an ax.

Every Halloween, Larry his wife Sue Moran retrofit the bar -- 11790 Snow Road, Parma; 440-888-6303; tinyurl.com/h7nalzr - into a celebration of tomghoulary that culminates with a Halloween soiree at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

Every foot of the joint is covered with hundreds of ghosts, goblins, crazed clowns, rusty weapons of mayhem, psycho beasts, cannibals, zombies and other lunatics.

"It gets bigger and bigger every year," says Larry Moran, surveying his bar like a warlock lording a witches' lair. "Did you see the spider over the side door?"

Um, yes, that hairy thing sure is big and creepy - though not as sprawling as the guy perched on the roof looking out over the front door.

Yeah, that's him - the 30-foot dude.

"I made the guy in front - took about two weeks, with PVC and tape and spray paint," says Moran. "I used solar lights for the eyes and made the body by stuffing trash bags with pillows."

The fence around the lair is lined with skulls and adorned with a creepy dying tree and black crows. If it weren't for the Budweiser sign you might think you were trapped in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds."

"Funny you say that because Sue is so scared of birds that she wanted to have them out there," says Larry Moran.

I've always been a bit spooked by sick-and-twisted-and-sadistic children. But that didn't stop me going up to the bar - until that cretinous child started shaking like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist."

Her voice started cooing some girly sing-song only to transform into something much more ominous: She said she wanted to eat me.

Uh, hey little girl: Why not check out the Halloween menu at Post and Beam instead?

The Post and Beam, you see, rolls out themed treats such as the Hallo-Weenie, Hair Raising Bat Wings and, whoa, the Screamer Beamer.

"We started really small with witches and clowns and ghosts," says Sue Moran. "And we had so much fun with it that we kept it going."

Where it'll stop nobody knows - least not Larry Moran.

"We've always loved Halloween and doing this stuff," he says.  "Last year, someone told us there was a bar in Pennsylvania that almost had as much so we drove out about three hours to find the place. But nope, we have them beat."

Having the biggest haunted house of a bar this side of hell has provided a jolt to business.

"We're always getting new people in," says Moran. "Even people that don't go out to bars."

They come for a variety of freaks and creeps. The most popular remain the nine ghosts that like to hang out at the bar like the most loyal of regulars.

"People love those guys - along with that army over there with the red eyes," says Larry Moran, pointing to a pack of wolves that look like they haven't eaten for a while. "Oh, and also the skulls between the TVs that follow you with their eyes as you walk past the bar."

I was too busy snapping photos for this story to notice -- until a bushy-haired black spider popped out at me.

Then I looked over at the bar and saw those eyes. Except they weren't sunken in skulls; they were alive, on the faces of real-life patrons who were laughing at me like goblins.

So was Larry Moran, like the snickering li'l devil he transforms into every October.

"Hey, now come over here and check this out," he says. "I have another button for you."

Yikes...

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Article Haunted House of Cleveland bars marks 20th year with tomghoulery (photos) compiled by www.cleveland.com

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