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The Gift of a Haunt

Portland almost didn't get a 13th season of Fright Town.

The 2016 season looked like it'd be the last, due to a bunch of factors; the show advertised it as such. People who've worked at Fright Town were happy and impressed earlier this year when they learned that Fright Town's founder Baron Von Goolo (yes, I know his real name; I won't use it here) figured out how to bring back the show.

I hadn't been to Fright Town since my first time there, in October 2009. That time was a fun, needed break during a frustrating month for me — I was wrapping up a bad temp job that was bad solely because of one asshole co-worker, and later that month people I like got mass-fired from the radio station where they all worked, which bothered me (though they're all doing fine and the station that fired them NO LONGER EVEN EXISTS, how you like them apples?!) — where was I — oh yeah, Fright Town in 2009. Of course I blogged about it. (Check out the second and third of the entries at that link.) I was annoyed with myself for missing it last year, and why not make me less likely to be annoye by going this year? SO I DID.

I grinned a lot.

Also I startled, sometimes yelled, and (thanks to one particular effect in the last haunt I went through) got dizzy and wobbly, which are effects Fright Town and other good haunts aim for.

I might be a little hard to scare, to really scare, in a haunt — I might be too likely to see the mechanics of each scare, as I know people who work at haunts so I've learned some behind-the-scenes details — but in one particular haunt I lucked into being behind a group of (I think) high school girls. Maybe they were younger, like junior high-age, but I'm not a good judge of age. Anyway, I wound up behind them — in fact I let them pass me — and watching THEIR reactions helped my reactions! THEY GOT INTO IT. They were a good audience!

There was a good vibe in Fright Town. I was there early in the night, and stayed for a bit after doing the three main different haunts in the hall. I'm really especially fond of an actor who was shuffling through the queue area in a large costume that's kinda like a Skeksis from The Dark Crystal. That actor seemed to be having a good, good-natured time, interacting with people including me. So did people on stilts, like an aggressive clown and a very tall scarecrow. (I really want to learn how to walk on stilts. Cool.)

Fright Town has other experiences I didn't pay extra for: a sensory-deprivation haunt, a coffin you and a friend can climb into that then shakes and shakes and shakes, a photo wall, and a palm reader. I probably would have reacted badly to the sensory-deprivation haunt, so it's probably good I didn't spring for that, but I was tempted by the coffin.

I saw and briefly thanked the Baron, presiding over the queue area with his frequent big grin. Thank you, again, Baron, for making this happen.

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