Frightened at Frighttown

Both sides of a chilling experience

Opening just at the start of the Halloween season, Frighttown, has been a fun seasonal tradition for years. Referred, by the company, as “the scariest haunted houses in PDX,” my experience scary, fun, and entertaining on many levels.

Three haunted houses were set up; The Witch House, Baron Von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors, and The Madness, each with different themes and story lines. The Witch House was definitely the most intriguing. It contained an enticing storyline, and possessed exhilarating and creative scares.

For this house, the Portland Police and S.W.A.T team are trying to solve the mutilated murders from a cult hiding in a warehouse. In the Museum of Horrors, you will experience strange and creepy attractions such as werewolves, and paranormal figures. The Madness, inspired by the stories of the writer, H.P. Lovecraft, takes you through the small town of Port Howard.  This particular house was based off of his most famous work, Cthulhu Mythos, where creatures rise from their graves and search for the living

Though there weren’t a ton of moments where I was considering running for my life, the overall acting, costume and makeup design was very impressive. To learn more about the process that went into the whole set up, Kylie Norris, senior, let me into some interesting details.

To apply for a role in Frighttown, it is required that the volunteer is 16 or older for liability reasons. If the applier is accepted, they arrive early and check off the part they want on a white board. It’s first come first serve every day. After choosing the part, there’s a room full of costumes and makeup artists who do all the FX effects.

Luckily for volunteers, the schedule is very relaxed. This provides some wiggle room for regular jobs, school, and anything else that may overlap.

“I’ve never done any acting,” said Norris, who’s been a cannibal and a cultist at the Witch House, “I literally jump on fences and scare people.”  

Norris works her regular job as a lifeguard on the weekdays, and volunteers at Frighttown on weekend nights.

“The best part is when you see people you know there. Then I can whisper their names and they get super freaked out!” said Norris.

All the actors are fun, scary, and always stay in character. It’s rather surprising how put together, yet casual, the whole setup is. There were many actors running from one haunted house to another, and using the restroom, but it still felt purposeful and in character.

Frighttown uses horror and humor to connect with the viewers and strike a chord of personal fear with each person who enters. Like Norris says, “If you don’t scream on Halloween, you’re not doing it right.”

Become a volunteer for next year’s attractions, or be sure to experience all three haunted houses for yourself. Check out their website at