The Monsters are in the Band at Ballroom of Horror in Somerville (4 stars)

 

by Johnny Monsarrat

 

First they scare you in the haunted maze on the first floor. Then they take a break to go upstairs and play raucous, upbeat rock music. The members of Garbage Point were out in force at the Ballroom of Horror in Somerville. It's deliciously close to Boston, one only three haunted attractions within the Rt 128 beltway.

 

Ballroom of Horror takes place in Once Ballroom, which hosts live music and other stage shows, such as their Day of the Dead Feast coming November 1, The Moth: True Stories Told Live, on November 9, and Kaiju Big Battel on November 12, a sort of wrestling with anime characters.

 

This also makes Ballroom of Horror one of the very limited Halloween attractions where you can get a real, sit-down meal. And the only one with live music. The $17 price includes not just the haunted maze but also a cover charge for the live music and restaurant on the second floor. Both floors have a bar.

 

The Ballroom of Horror is unique in having a blackboards theme. As you walk through their dark maze, you'll find chalk art on the walls, sometimes insane graffiti and sometimes well-drawn scenes of horror. Actors in costume jump out to scare you in the spooky laboratory.

 

Although you'll find venues with bigger budgets if you don't mind driving out an hour or more to get to them, there's a creative bliss in small productions because they come with such passion. When you are squeezed on budget, that's when your creativity comes out. Actors run around to scare you more than once in different locations.

 

Ballroom of Horror is a brand new attraction, in a sense, having moved from the Somerville Armory which was their location last year. You'll find ghosts projected onto the walls, a spooky laboratory, and hanging chunks of what could be butcher's meat... from people?

 

The maze is short but you can spend as much time as you like enjoying the live acts. Garbage Points played a horror punk set on forceful guitars that put some in the room dancing, and then other bands came on when Garbarge Point went back into the maze. Get dinner, have some drinks, and watch through the windows overlooking the first floor to see new victims come through the maze. And you can do it all without leaving the metro area! 4 stars.

 

See www.armoryofhorror.com.