Fall is in the air. The wind has a bite to it, corporations have added pumpkin and ghost emojis to their Twitter bios and your dad has inevitably begun forwarding you and all your family members that humor piece about autumn from McSweeney’s. And as the world emerges from an event far scarier than any haunted house, plenty of fun Halloween opportunities have started opening up. For your reading pleasure, I have compiled a list of four of the best things to do in Portland this October.
1. Check out The Fear PDX
No Halloween activity can rival a good haunted house. Billing itself as “the scariest haunted house in the Pacific Northwest,” The Fear PDX sprawls out over a shopping center in east Portland, where visitors can nervously tiptoe (or run screaming) through a series of four themed haunted houses: first, a haunted factory full of shrieking, maimed workers; the obligatory Victorian mansion with creepy twins reminiscent of “The Shining;” next, a circus patrolled by evil clowns; and finally, a labyrinth of blinding lights, checkered patterns and tilted floors, which, while more surreal than scary, is also the most unsettling of the four themes.
An extreme haunted house called Layers of Darkness is also a part of the site, whose guests are given latex gloves “due to the nature of the attraction.” The Pioneer Log is too afraid to investigate further.
Know before you go: Tickets cost $29.99 per person for the main attraction, though the Layers of Darkness house costs less, at $10 for a ticket. Please do not attempt any of these haunted houses if you have a sensitivity to flashing lights.
2. Get pumpkins on Sauvie Island
If you are in search of a less heart-pounding fall activity, look no further than The Pumpkin Patch located on Sauvie Island. Visitors can pick their own pumpkins, shop for produce grown on-site at the Farm-Fresh Market and attempt the massive corn maze. This year the MAiZE, as it is punningly known, has the theme of “Bridgetown” and incorporates footbridges into its design.
Know before you go: Transportation is limited. TriMet bus line #16 connects downtown to Sauvie Island, but the pumpkin patch is still a substantial walk from there and taking a pumpkin on a bus may be logistically challenging. Lewis & Clark’s Campus Activities Board is running a bus trip to the MAiZE on Oct 16 and tickets are $7-12.
3. Eat at the “Rimsky” House
A Portland staple since 1980, the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House is not exactly a Halloween-themed attraction, but it does have a similar aesthetic to the holiday. Even if Halloween did not exist, this café, located in a former Victorian mansion, would still be every bit as deliciously spooky. In the dimly-lit dining rooms, tables sometimes rattle or rotate without anyone touching them. You can convince yourself it was just your imagination while sipping elaborate coffee concoctions or choosing from an array of outrageously rich cakes and pies. Some nights, a live string quartet or classical pianist adds to the atmosphere. In all, it feels like being invited into the parlor of a mad noblewoman in a 19th-century Gothic novel, or perhaps stepping into the set of a Laika or Tim Burton movie.
Know before you go: The Rimsky, as locals call it, is only open for a few hours in the late evening, and hours tend to be erratic. Make sure to check its hours before you go and bring cash since they do not accept credit cards. Also, beware of the surprise in the bathroom.
4. Discover underground tunnels
Lastly, there is a spooky adventure to be had on our very own campus. If you have been at LC for a year or more, chances are you have heard the rumor about mysterious tunnels winding under the campus. A few students I talked to doubted their existence, but popular wisdom holds that a door near the IT service desk in the Aubrey R. Watzek Library, with signs warning that an alarm will sound if it is opened, leads down into their depths.
Know before you go: Unfortunately I have to warn you that the tunnels are off-limits. With that out of the way, bring a flashlight.
Happy Halloween from The Pioneer Log.