Frighthouse Station – Full Review

Frighthouse Station is a Haunted Attraction located in Tacoma, WA.

626 East 25th Street, Tacoma, WA 98421
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Haunt Type(s):

Escape RoomHaunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, You will NOT be touched, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 15, 2021 by Team Terror Techies.

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Final Score: 7.16

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The Frighthouse Station serves up scares this season in the basement of the historic Freighthouse Square. Once the street lights turn on, the creatures crawl from the underground to haunt the sidewalks of downtown Tacoma. The group that produces the Frighthouse Station also offers an online experience and the Haunted Seattle Chocolate Factory Tour. For this review, we only covered the Frighthouse Station.

The story starts at the Tacoma underground where Handstitch Addy performed her experiments in reanimating the dead. These reanimated experiments became monstrous stitchers, whispering and laughing in the night. Eventually, the Federal Emergency Response Legion (FERL) came to stop Handstitch Addy and her stitchers and protect the local community from falling prey to their machinations.

Cast: 6.2

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We were pulled into a briefing room by a masked agent wearing full tactical gear. He briefed us on the ongoing situation and what horrors awaited us ahead. He insisted that we needed to keep together and our masks to survive. Even though the first few creatures that we encountered were bashful, things changed once we reached the bedroom of two little girls. The bunny girls wanted us to stay as they filled up the entire room with their movement, but we found our way out through the closet. One of the girls managed to slip through the hanging clothing to get one of our teammates.

We don’t want to give away everything. However, as we continued, the actors started to get more in our faces. None of the actors were particularly chatty with our team. Their energy was hit or miss, with about half the cast focused on quiet stalking and randomly hitting the walls and the other half getting good scares. There are a few scenes that would have benefited if there were other characters to interact with and add to the story.

Costuming: 8.28

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Across the entire cast, costuming was well done. We didn’t catch any actors in any noticeable street clothes. Almost every costume had multiple layers that added to the complexity of the character. In the chemical containment scene, the nurse character seemed out of place but that is the only place where the actor didn’t match the scene.

There was one creature that we encountered that made us stop in our tracks. When we first approached, a medical assistant was fussing with a slouched creature that was covered with portals and valves. The creature was kind of reminiscent of a vintage deep sea diver that mutated into a heavy-shouldered monster. Just when our entire team thought the creature was an amazing prop, the creature stood and started to lumber towards us, catching us all off guard.

Customer Service: 9.57

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Frighthouse Station is located at Freighthouse Square in downtown Tacoma. The signage for the haunt can be easy to miss if it is your first time visiting the area. However, the crowd lined up on the sidewalk indicated that we had arrived at the correct location. There is some free street parking available on the nearby streets. However, we parked in the transit parking structure across the street. (The parking structure was also free.) The queue line was split into timed ticketing groups with good signage indicating which queue line we needed to join. This entrance is something like an old-school movie theater where you have to pass the ticket booth before you enter.

We didn’t encounter too many staff. The couple of staff that we did were helpful and made transactions quick and easy. There was a staff person who walked along with our group while we waited in line about their mask policy and, if anyone needed a mask, they would be available for purchase at the ticket booth. The staff in the ticket booth asked for my name and was able to pull up our tickets without me having to pull out my phone.

The website is straightforward and the haunt is attentive to their social media channels. There are helpful tidbits on the website, like parking on the parking structure and a robust FAQ. They have attractions at other locations listed on the website as haunts, which can be confusing if you quickly skim the site.

Atmosphere: 6.33

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From the outside, it wasn’t immediately obvious that we were at a haunted house. Frighthouse Square is a structure painted Northwest teal with wood siding. The location has a lot of history but currently has shops upstairs during the day and the haunt downstairs. Being a historic site, there are limitations on what they can do with the exterior to make it more haunted house-like. There were a couple of queue line actors hitting the groups waiting outside and occasionally saying hi to people passing by.

After we passed the ticket booth, three selfie stations were set up for attendees to take photos. These stations were set up well. We particularly enjoyed the dramatic lighting that made it feel like we were a part of the scene. After the selfie scenes, it started to look like a theatrical set of an alley to the underground tours. There was a monitor that looped through a montage of quick cuts that was interspersed with messages to build our anticipation.

Special Effects: 7.66

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We first were escorted into a briefing room that looked like it was the library of an eclectic collector. There was a reading chair in the corner surrounded by dusty books. On the shelves, there was an assortment of oddities displayed. The dramatic lighting on the shelves highlighted the book titles. There was a second monitor that looped through the rules of the haunt, similar to what we experienced at the front of the line.

As we continued through the haunt, the detail in the scenes varied in quality. Some scenes had many wonderful details like fully furnished orphanage scenes that felt like we were walking through an old residence. The transitions were not particularly startling from the more detailed scenes. It was just noticeable. The thematic lighting, however, was consistent and helped these transitions.

When we passed into the bunny girls’ room to the closet, there was a crudely painted message that we were heading into Nibbles’ hideout. The hideout was lined with masked, robed figures set up for a mannequin scare. We moved slowly through the room while expecting one of the figures to pop out as us. Just when we let our guard down, one of the robe figures did. There was a single animatronic that we noticed that wasn’t particularly scary. Their laser bog also didn’t have enough fog to get the proper effect.

Theme: N/A

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There wasn’t an overarching theme for this haunt. It was hard to relate the Tacoma underground to the FERL agents to the orphanage and the medical facility into a cohesive story. The online experience was supposed to be a prequel to the haunt that might create more of the story for those interested.

Scare Factor: 6.18

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The Frighthouse Station is an attraction where attendees can purchase a “wand of courage” for those who are looking for milder scares. Our team opted out of the “wand of courage” and found the attraction to be on the more tame side. There was an attempt at a couple of low scares. However, most of the scares that we encountered were at eye level which made it easy for us to visually anticipate most of the scares.

Despite this, everyone in our team was startled at some point in the haunt. A few call-outs were the bunny girl in the closet, the actor in the blackout hallway, as well as, the nurses in the medical facility. As we mentioned earlier, the scares started to pick up part of the way through the haunt.

In the finale, a FERL agent rushed us through a smoke labyrinth into a dark room. On the opposite side of the room, we were able to see an exit sign. Crossing the room, electricity started buzzing and crackling. Between the flashes of light, we could make out a Frankensteinesque wall with switches, dials, and a mummy twitching to life. We exited through the door into the sidewalk, wondering if we accidentally took an emergency exit.

Entertainment & Value: 6.4

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From the time that we were escorted into the briefing room to when we escaped the mummy, it took us a total of 10 minutes. General admission costs $18 and there is no VIP upgrade. The time and cost total to .56 minutes of entertainment per dollar spent.

The location doesn’t lend itself to allow for a midway or other entertainment options. If you are planning a visit to the Frighthouse Station, be prepared to find food or concessions elsewhere. However, we found the timed ticketing accurate to be able to make plans accordingly.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 6.5 out of 10

Megan C – 9/10October 31, 2021
My husband and I believe this is the best haunted house in the area. The props, decorations, special …show more effects and paintings on the wall were done extremely well and the actors are very spirited. You can tell that a good portion of them are very good at improv. We had several creepy conversations with them, and some would follow us for quite a while, after we thought they had gone away. Also, the length of it is really nice. We went to another haunted house that seemed to be over in minutes. But with Frighthouse, you get quite a journey and it actually has a story you can follow. Going here was the perfect way to start Halloween night. We will be back next year!!

Mike – 4/10October 5, 2019
Went opening weekend of 2019. I drove an hour to get to Frighthouse Station because I was on a …show more haunted house tour with my friends. I might be somewhat of a critical critic because I work at a haunted house, but the experience was not great. Most of the effort went into the entrance of the attraction. Not a surprise because they want to bring foot traffic into the attraction from the street. The major problem was the lack of actors. It was opening weekend so I would expect energy and employment to be up, but it just wasn’t there. Maybe things improved in the coming weeks. The theme was also incoherent. The first half of the attraction was themed to rabbits (as in bunnies) while the second half was themed to mechanical machinery and hospital-like monsters. Something of a deranged doctor. Even if the actors improved throughout the month, the story (in all likelihood) did not. It is a shame that it felt like all of the theming and money was put into getting you into the door, then once you paid and entered, the experience decreased. However, there was great entertainment outside of the attraction and many good photo ops. Obviously not worth driving an hour to see. Only visit if you live within the city limits of Tacoma and you really like haunted houses.

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