Portland’s Best Halloween Entertainment for the Scare-Averse

Not into buckets of blood or strangers chasing you down darkened hallways? Still want to get in on the season's festivities? Look no further.

By Conner Reed October 18, 2022

Love a crisp fall day, but hate running through a hell-maze full of makeup-clad strangers pretending to murder you? Spend weeks picking out the perfect wig for your Halloween costume, but refuse to set eyes on anything scarier than the Wikipedia summary of The Exorcist? We see you. We hear you. We've got you covered. Behold: five perfectly unscary ways to celebrate Halloween in the Rose City, from the family-friendly to the drunken and beyond.

Ginger Minj's Hocus Pocus Halloween Bash

8 p.m. Tue, Oct 18,  Aladdin Theater, $50

The two-time Drag Race runner up is full of seasonal spirit (having brought her holiday show to town last winter), and this October, she's back with an elaborate Halloween offering. Following her appearance in the streaming-exclusive Hocus Pocus sequel that dropped last month, Minj will bring an original, hourlong drag stage show to the Aladdin that pays tribute to both films in the franchise. Expect groaner jokes, eye-popping looks, and more than a few musical numbers from the decorated theater queen. 

Hocus Pocus in Concert

7:30 p.m. Sat & 2 p.m. Sun, Oct 29–30, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $35–135

In case you were unlucky enough to miss the Fashion in Film screening of this 1993 family classic at the Hollywood Theatre (hosted by former PoMo style editor Eden Dawn, no less), the Oregon Symphony has granted you a second chance. Take in all the witchy, Salem-set goodness a body can handle—all of it firmly on the "silly" side of the silly-scary continuum—with live musical accompaniment from a full orchestra in the Schnitz's grand, historic digs.

Little Shop of Horrors

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun through Oct 30, Winningstad Theatre, $27–47

Musical-focused company Stumptown Stages is putting on one of the stage's great Halloween offerings all month. Little Shop, with its indelible score by Alan Menken and endlessly rewatchable film adaptation by Frank Oz, heads to some pretty dark places in its tale of a schmuck who unwittingly buys a flesh-eating plant and is forced to kill to keep it fed. But the delightful cartoonishness of the proceedings—not to mention one of history's great "I Want" songs with the ironic/sincere "Somewhere That's Green"—renders the evening more sweet than sour.

The Lost Boys: Live!

7:30 p..m Fri–Sat through Oct 5, Siren Theater, $15–28 
Old Town’s comedy-focused Siren Theater has put on many a musical parody in its day, and this year, it's reviving an old favorite: The Lost Boys: Live!, which pilfers one of history’s great homoerotic vampire texts. Prepare for big hair, blood (of the definitely fake variety), and a healthy heap of ’80s nostalgia, all without enduring any of the film's deliberate scares. 

Murder Mystery Machine

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat through Nov 5, Funhouse Lounge, $13–80
Clown-themed comedy bar Funhouse Lounge (pausing here to relish the beauty of our fair city) has brought back its Scooby-Doo-indebted improv show for another spooky season, providing safe, drunken laughs without the faintest threat of nightmare fuel. Each night, audience suggestions lead the members of Mystery Incorporated into an invented-on-the-fly slasher; it’s good Halloween fun, especially with a stiff drink.

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