HOMEVideo
Production
Son of
God-zilla
Your
Brain
LinksAwardsCreditsHalloween
Eyeball
Museum™
Broccoli
Man™
Toilet of
Terror™
Gift
Shop
HalloweenFun with
Food
Music
History
Fun &
Games
Contact
Submenu   Shopping · Haunts · Fast Food · Gross Food · Music · Masks · Hearse · Projects

2001 Portland, Oregon Haunted House guide

Explanation of ratings

Click on the title for review details.

Terror World
Monster Factory
Dr. Saito's Screamland - Psycho Path in 3D
Field of Screams - Dungeon of Doom
Dr. Saito's Screamland - Xscream Freak Show
Hoffman's Haunted Barn
Halloween Town
Dark Domain - maze 2
Dark Domain - maze 1
Nightmares
Catacombs of Darkness
Field of Screams - Triple Maze of Terror


Click on the name for info on each house.

Terror World
Portland: Jantzen Beach Mall
Overall Rating: .
The best design work and technology of all the Portland haunts. It also has some original ideas not seen in other houses. This is the only house that cleverly uses misdirection to surprise you. The main flaw is it's short, though it also has a lower price tag than others. The "touch the green skull" story element was hokey. The main creator of this house used to work on Hoffman's Haunted Barn. His absence from that haunt has been noticed, as you will soon read.


Monster Factory
Portland: 6517 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, on the East side of the strip mall
Overall Rating: .
A small home-brew house in its third year, the best thing going for it is the enthusiasm of some of the actors. You can tell they really enjoy what they're doing. This is the best of the low-tech houses and has more original stuff than any of the "canned" haunts. I wish they didn't cast 8 year olds as monsters, though. As scary as children can be, they just aren't convincing as "real" monsters. At least they had a real snake and rats!


Dr. Saito's Screamland - Psycho Path in 3D
Portland: Oaks Park
Overall Rating: = .
Nice artwork by Extremo the Clown is the highlight of this haunt. Not a lot of scares, though, with too many underage actors. A 10-year-old Hannibal Lector is neither scary nor funny. At $10 per haunt, Dr Saito's gets credit for being the most expensive of all the houses. Be sure to get the discount coupon from Albertson's if you go.


Field of Screams - Dungeon of Doom
Portland: PGE Park
Overall Rating: .
Standard fare with the usual canned gimmicks like the rolling barrel, rotating tunnel, etc. Not much in the way of originality, but ok for a cookie-cutter house. Some actors missed their cues and spoiled the surprise. Some static scenes looked like the actors were missing. All but one actor just jumped out and went "AHHHHHH". More variety (and creativity) would be nice.


Dr. Saito's Screamland - Xscream Freak Show
Portland: Oaks Park
Overall Rating: = .
Some creativity but overall fairly average. This haunt has the best use of a moving tunnel I have seen, but the worst use of pop-up ghosts. A styrofoam wig stand popping out of a barrel just isn't scary. What did they think - we would go "oh no! it's STYROFOAM! AHHHHHH!"? I thought maybe a mask had fallen off but they had more than one of these. Some of the electronic mechanisms did not work at all. Many underage actors were not convincing in their roles.


Hoffman's Haunted Barn
Canby: 6815 S Knights Bridge Rd at Hoffman's Dairy Garden
Overall Rating: .
This used to be one of the better haunts but has declined to average in the past couple years. For the most part they rearranged their old gimmicks but didn't add much in the way of new things. It includes a decent 3D section, but the passages are so narrow that you don't get the full effect. The cast of entirely teenage actors did a decent job, but they weren't scary.


Halloween Town
Hillsboro: Movies on TV parking lot
Overall Rating: .
Put on by a film production company, this haunt is packed with stunts and fire effects. Like much of what comes out of Hollywood, the story is a tad lacking and appears to be aimed for younger audiences. Two of the actors were not at their stations, causing the guide to give away the surprise while trying to get the hidden actors to do their jobs. Entertaining effects and stunts, though more of a stunt show than a haunted house, even with mummies and vampires. Despite the name, there is nothing in it relating to "The Nightmare Before Christmas".


Dark Domain - maze 2
Vancouver: Van Mall Cinemas behind Vancouver Mall
Overall Rating = .
Pretty much a cookie-cutter house with some of the standard gimmicks, but not enough. The break between the two haunts seems fairly arbitrary. There is no theme or change in style that differentiates one from the other. It has the feel of being split in two for the purpose of charging more money, not giving us twice the fun.


Dark Domain - maze 1
Vancouver: Van Mall Cinemas behind Vancouver Mall
Overall Rating = .
More of the same as part two. Part one contains a 3D portion.


Nightmares
Beaverton: 13281 SW Canyon RD, next to China Bay
Overall Rating: .
This is a small home-brew haunted house in it's first year. It has a lot of the faults you might expect to find in a new haunted house. It's short, low tech, and things don't fit well as a cohesive unit. Very loud noises were more annoying than scary. In the best scene, you may recognize the crazy scientist from several years at the much missed Haunted Graveyard at The Crypt.


Catacombs of Darkness
Salem: Salem Center Mall, corner of High St. and Center St.
Overall Rating = .
Basically a home brew house even though it's located in a mall. Way overpriced for what you get since there is not a lot going on. It's short and has no memorable scenes. Some of the actors were not ready or had bad timing.


Field of Screams - Triple Maze of Terror
Portland: PGE Park
Overall Rating: .
This haunt is an embarrassment. It really is nothing more than sheets and walls, barely even painted, with two actors that try to get you to go in circles. That's it. My bathroom has more Halloween decor.


EXPLANATION OF RATINGS

Great
Good
Fair/Average
Weak
Bad

What makes a haunted house good or bad? Here are a few things:
GOODBAD
Good acting with real characters that don't just jump out and scream.10 year olds in Freddy Kruger masks going "AHHHH!"
Cool electrical and lighting effects.Oh boy, a strobe!
Convincing gore.A bottle of ketchup and some rubber limbs.
Cool mechanical effects and surprises.Someone shaking a can of beans.
Surprise and misdirection.That thing that looked like it was going to jump out at us just jumped out at us!
Original ideas and design.Oh look! A rotating tunnel! I've never seen one of those!

Copyright © 1995-2011 Mad Martian® All Rights Reserved.