October 21st, 2012 | by MATTHEW SINGER Features |

Creeper Crawl: The 13th Door

The warehouse rave of haunted houses

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Who's the weird old person hanging around the packs of high school kids at Portland-area haunted houses? The one who reeks of good coffee and cheap gin? Yeah, that’s a Willamette Week writer out reviewing local haunts for Creeper Crawl 2012.


The 13th Door
8805 SW Canyon Lane, Beaverton, 222-5554

The scene: Flashing lights! Hydraulic platforms! A nonstop chorus of high-pitched screams! Mutated humans! Eviscerated aliens! Animatronic demons! All inside a building in a random Beaverton strip mall! It’s like the warehouse rave of haunted houses!

Cost: $20, which might seem exorbitant, but the money is evident in the production value (something had to pay for all those puppets, after all) and it takes approximately 30 minutes to get through, so in that way, it’s not a ripoff.

The backstory: A covert military research facility is overrun by a virus of some sort, mutating the human scientists, unleashing the alien lab rats, and causing the building to transform into an approximation of a Skrillex show.

Biggest scare:
The five or so minutes of wandering through dark hallways, which has the least amount of sensory overload in the entire experience and actually allows your imagination enough space to let a sense of fear to creep in.

Blood spilled:
A good amount. 13th Door is “rated” PG-13, so there are operating rooms and laboratories smeared with blood and body parts and alien fetuses and decimated carcasses and actors with oozing sores and open wounds—though there’s often so much going on in each set piece, between the smoke and noise and strobe lights, that a lot of those details are easily missed.

Lamest moment: My friend hid behind a column in one particularly seizure-inducing room and managed to startle an actor. If an actor is that easily scared, that’s a bad sign.

Grade: C. While the amount of work put into 13th Door is admirable, there is just way too damn much going on to conjure up many legitimate scares. I spent most of my 30 minutes in the building disoriented and trying to distinguish between an exit and the entrance to the next room, and my ears were ringing afterward. If a traditional haunted house is the original Friday the 13th, 13th Door is Jason in Space: Maybe it cost more to make, but is it really better?

Read more Creeper Crawl:
Milburn Manor
Scream Portland
The Haunted Maize
FrightTown
The 13th Door
 
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