PoMo Halloween Guide 2014

Haunted houses, theater of the macabre, and freaky dance parties—Portland has it all for this thrilling holiday. We break it down by ghoulish delights.

By Sarah Ostaszewski October 21, 2014

For a guide to children-friendly events, see our Family-Friendly Halloween Happenings
and our Guide to NW Pumpkin Patches.

A doll-woman at Baron von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors


FrightTown 2014
Thru Nov 1, Weds–Thu & Sun from 7–10pm, Fri–Sat 7–11pm, Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, $17–22

Three haunted houses lurk beneath the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, promising some of the season’s biggest scares and a "cacophonous cornucopia of creepies and crawlies." Baron von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors and the Madness, based off H.P. Lovecraftt’s chilling worlds, both return with mazes of ghosts, ghouls, killer clowns, werechickens, and other bloody creatures. This year’s new fatal attraction is the Witch House, where demon-worshipping cultists are rumored to mutilate and murder any outsider who dares trespass. For its 10th anniversary, FrightTown will also hold a juried art show, curated by Sequential Art Gallery.

Doll Asylum
Oct 25–26, 31 & Nov 1, 5–9pm, 6315 N Michigan, free

If this month’s Annebelle release did not satiate your appetite for fright, welcome to the Doll Asylum, home to the forgotten, the decaying, and the insane figurines. German doctor Hermann Reinhardt founded the “asylum” back in 1867, aiming to provide shelter for abandoned souls or those displaying murderous intentions. Adults must accompany children through the open house, but even they may experience the aftereffects of encounters within the asylum’s walls.

MAiZE & The Haunted MAiZE
Thru Nov 1, 16511 NW Gillihan Rd, $5-17

Exploring the two miles of Portland’s original maize maze is tradition at Sauvie Island’s famous Pumpkin Patch. The whole family can lose itself in the cornfields by day, but after night falls, the mazes come alive as haunting corridors of fright. For more corn mazes, see our see our Family-Friendly Halloween Happenings.


Blowpony’s 7th Annual Homoween
Saturday, Oct 25, 9:00pm, Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave, $5, 21+
The city’s biggest queer dance party throws a death disco for Hella Queens and Headless Kings.  Drag queen Gula Delgatto and her ghouls and gals will wake the dead with their performances. Just because you’re undead doesn’t mean you can’t still look fierce.

Bollywood Horror XII Costume Dance Party
Oct 24 at 9, Holocene, $5–8, 21+

Hosted by DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid, this ghoulish dance party features a curated collection of five South Asian horror films, music, and a costume contest with prizes from local businesses.

Installation at Howl 2012 by Narayani Matson and Michael Wayne Miller

Oct 31 at 9, Rotture/Branx, $35–40, 21+

With four dance floors both indoors and out, this benefit for the City Repair Project is hands down the biggest Halloween party in Portland, drawing hundreds of revelers dressed in their freakiest, creepiest, and sexiest best. The lineup mixes electronic DJs with live performers, and installation art transforms Rotture/Branx into a space of devilish dance floors and chill zones.

The Midnight Serenaders 5th Annual Halloween Bash
Oct 31 at 6pm, The Secret Society, $15–20, 21+

This year’s Halloween Bash will please swing-dancing, old-timey tune-loving attendees with wild music, food, and drink. Casey MacGill, a 1920’s/1930’s jazz troupe, and the Portland Rhythm Shakers will accompany the Midnight Serenaders. Costumes, though not required, are highly encouraged.

Portland Spirit Halloween Boo Cruise
Oct 31 at 11pm, 1020 SW Naito Parkway, $20, 21+

How many ghouls can one boat fit? Find out on the Portland Spirit with live music by Dear Drummer, a quintet that oozes cool, jazzy vibes with vocals by Justin Odom. We suggest looks  from Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Vagabond Opera’s 8th Annual Day of the Dead Bash: The Transylvanian Voodoo Ball
Nov 1 at 8pm, Star Theater, $17–20, 21+

This Day of the Dead ensemble is a witch’s brew of dance, music, art, and ritual featuring Vagabond Opera, Chervona, and Lesley Kernochan. Come out in costume for a dark night of gothic burlesque, belly dancing, tarot card reading, ancestor worshipping, and more.


Dancing BloodyVox mummies

BloodyVox: Nightmare on Northrup
Oct 23–Nov 1, Thu–Sat at 7pm, BodyVox, $30

With that name, it was probably inevitable that this Halloween tribute show would become a biannual tradition for one of Portland’s pillar movement ensembles, BodyVox Dance. This year’s installment of spooky dance theater will include new work as well as past favorites. 

Dial “M” for Murder
Oct 17–Nov 2, Thu-Sat at 7:30pm, Venetian Theater, $20-30
For its second annual Halloween-themed show, Bag&Baggage Productions takes on Frederick Knott’s crime thriller, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 screen adaptation starring Grace Kelly. 

The Last Days
Oct 1–26, Thu-Sat at 7:30pm, Post5 Theatre, $15
This upstart company falls prey to the undead zombie trend with the story of four people struggling to survive a brain-hungry apocalyptic outbreak. But in place of CGI, they have an intimate theater—which isn't to say there isn't still gore and an amputation scene.

Masque of the Red Death
Oct 24–Nov 22, Thu-Sat at 7:30pm, Shaking the Tree, $5–10
From Playwrights West writers, this show reimagines the tales of Edgar Allan Poe through a performance in which audience members are the invited guests of a prince who entertains them while a deadly plague rages outside the castle walls. 

¡O Romeo!
Oct 16–Nov 9, Thu-Sat at 7pm, Sun at 2pm, Miracle Theater, $16–24

Portland’s premier Latino theater asks: what if Shakespeare rose from the dead to unite with some of his characters on Día de Muertos? 

The Rocky Horror Show
Thru Nov 8, Thu-Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 2pm, World Trade Center, $25–35
This take on the cult classic pays homage to both its musical theater and film versions, with a stage-within-a-stage designed to look like a ’40s movie house. If you’ve never experienced the unique cultural phenomenon that this show has spawned, this version might be less shocking (but better acting) than a Saturday-night viewing at the Clinton Street Theater.


Back Fence PDX: Day of the Dead/All Souls Storytelling
Nov 1, 6:30–10pm, Disjecta, $20, 21+
The Portland story-telling mavens at Back Fence PDX gather some if their best storytellers to spin haunting tales to benefit the Dougy Center, Portland's support center for grieving children and families. Guests include Emmy-Nominated writer from the Ellen Degeneres Show/Moth Radio Hour performer Brian Finkelstein, actor Vin Shambry, Oregon Book Award–winner Matthew Dickman, and author Karen Finneyfrock. 

Down Among the Dead Men
Oct 24, 25 & 31 at 7:30pm, Hipbone Studio, $15–20

Spine-chilling storytelling for adults and mature teens, this three-night event features performances by Anne Penfound, Duo Artemisia, Diana Tracy, and Kathleen Wilkins, as well as a costume contest each night.

Murder Mystery Machine
Oct 17–Nov 1, Thu–Sat at 7pm, Funhouse Lounge, $10, 21+

Watch an explicit new slasher film every night improvised on stage by Funhouse actors with suggestions by the audience. Scooby Doo snacks will be available for the munching as participants mull over clues, formulate conclusions, and hunt monsters.

Scary Movie
Oct 25, 31 & Nov 1 at 7:30pm, Brody Theater, $9–12

For over 10 years, Scary Movie has been entertaining Portlanders with its audience suggestion-based improvisations, which highlight the classic Halloween archetypes and plot devices we love.

FOR FILM fiends

Monster Squad
Oct 24 at 7pm, Hollywood Theatre, $8
Directed by horror legend Fred Dekker, The Monster Squad is a Halloween classic about a motley crew of middle schoolers defending their town from invasions by beloved Universal monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy and more. Drekker will speak at Portland State University’s Studio Theater at Lincoln Hall on Oct 23 at 6pm.

The Rocky Horror Pastie Show
Oct 30, 8pm, Star Theater, $15-25

Going on four years, this burlesque-inspired production features dialogue from the original but with a whole lot more T&A. Show up in a costume for a chance to win the Rocky Horror costume contest.

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