Underhill Haunted House – Full Review

Underhill Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Portland, OR.

300 N Winning Way, Portland, OR 97227
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsHaunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 1, 2021 by Team Terror Techies.

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Final Score: 5.7

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The Underhill Haunted House started in 2018 as The Beneath, so named for its location under the Veterans Coliseum at the Moda Center in Portland, OR. After taking a hiatus last year, 2021 marks the Season of Screams, the third season for this haunted attraction.

The Season of Screams is a collaboration with Fearlandia complete with fresh new themes: Fear’s Gate, Night Terrors, and Underhill Manor. The Underhill Haunted House takes you through a 40,000 square foot basement, old-school show with characters that are eager to entertain.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a visit during a special event before opening to the public. The queue/midway was not yet completely set up and this was a rehearsal for the cast. Some of the things in this review can be easily adjusted through the season as the show starts to congeal.

Cast: 5.4

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At Fear’s Gate, we were first greeted by an uncomfortably optimistic, if not stressed, HR lady that explained that we will be going through orientation shortly once she is finished checking out our paperwork. Our paperwork was a mass of crumpled forms reinforced with packing tape that we didn’t remember filling out. Apparently, our resume made some kind of an impression and she waved us through into the next room.

As we continued on through the path, we ran into a variety of lurking characters. However, they yelled common phrases such as ‘Get out’ and ‘You don’t belong here’. In addition, they relied a lot on hitting the plywood walls with clacker gloves to get scares. The cast was spread out and there were areas where we didn’t seem to encounter any actors. We did see many opportunities where actors could play, so it is possible that this was just a result of our visiting during the pre-season.

The characters matched the theme of the haunt well like in Night Terrors where a silent doll came alive after we passed and caused the group behind us to run through. Although most of the cast we encountered were not talkative, there were a few characters that interacted with us. Most notably, the undertaker at The Underhill Manor was quick with quips that kept us engaged while our group was held up in the chapel.

Costuming: 5.35

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There were two actors in really stand-out costumes that we noticed: a gargoyle on stilts that came at us from behind a curtain, and an actor in a large bird skull mask with an accompanying outfit. We all stopped to take a closer look when we noticed them and they looked quite good.

Most of the costumes we saw ranged from adequate to feeling incomplete and looked like they were purchased and thrown on an actor with minimal to no customization. There were a few masks and the makeup appeared very simple. However, since a lot of the haunt is really dark, the characters were hard to see.

Customer Service: 6.45

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Our GPS took us to the correct location, though selecting the correct parking lot to park in was challenging. Be sure to check out their website for more details on where to park if you plan on visiting. There are three lots that are at the Moda Center near the haunt, but in the end, we just parked in the first lot off the drive in.

For those who are new to The Underhill Haunted House, it might be tricky to figure out where to take the stairs down to the haunt. However, the Moda Center staff itself was quite helpful in pointing you in the right direction. There was no signage until we were downstairs but that also might be a limitation of the Moda Center.

The website is well designed. Again, be sure to read the information on their website on their ticket page if you are planning to visit. Their FAQ page is a bit sparse but covers the major questions you might have.

Atmosphere: 4.87

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Initially, we saw very little other than a sign posted to indicate that we were at a haunted house. However, upon entering, the atmosphere changed by quite a bit. Though we didn’t encounter anything to help build up anticipation during our visit, the large, industrial space has plenty of room to allow for queue line actors and other entertainment. Be sure to take advantage of the photo ops at the graveyard and the gate at the entrance.

Special Effects: 6.67

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The sets were of variable quality, but mostly consisted of painted plywood panels. The start of each section was noticeably detailed and well lit which helped sell the theme. A couple of our favorites were the outside of an old stone chapel with a graveyard complete with headstones and rusting vehicles and the cave within Night Terrors where a ghoulish hand reached out at one of our teammates. However, other scenes were quite basic, with lots of black plywood walls and a few set pieces to suggest what section we were traveling in.

There were also lots of black corridors between the scenes. It was also very unfortunate that many behind-the-scenes access points were left open, letting us look through to where actors are meant to traverse. We did appreciate that there were a large number of illuminated exit signs, but they oftentimes would distract us from where we were supposed to go.

Since this is an old-school haunt, most of the sounds came from the actors and (screaming) customers that traveled well throughout the space. They had a laser fog room that was well executed, but the laser was set up so close to the ground that there was no way for the actor to use it to enhance their scares. We were really hoping to have some overhead scares and it seemed like a great opportunity given the space, but they didn’t seem to have any of that setup.

Theme: 6.3

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The pathway is segmented into three themes: Fear’s Gate, Night Terrors, and The Underhill Manor. Night Terrors was the weakest theme. It was easy to tell when you entered a different section by the direction that the path took. The two standout sections were Fear’s Gate, some sort of medical facility that went awry, and The Underhill Manor, an old, fading mansion with more than just human residents. We would have liked less dead space between the scenes. The scenes that were there were well constructed and did adhere to the section that we were going through.

Scare Factor: 5.2

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There were a number of actors that did well in timing their scares, but for the most part, the experience was on the tame side. We did want to give a special shout-out to the haunted doll for their ability to sneak up on our group, both in her setup in acting like a mannequin as well as her ability to move silently. As well as, the headlights that popped out of nowhere. The cast was well set up to slip in and out of scenes and provided a large number of drop panels all throughout. However, most scares consisted of simple lurking or sudden loud noises before disappearing into the dark. Overall, we would recommend Underhill for those looking for a spooky but not intense haunted house experience.

Entertainment & Value: 5.7

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General Admission to The Underhill Haunted House is $25.00 per person. They have a group discount for 13 or more and offer VIP tickets during the last two weekends of October. From the time we entered Fear’s Gate to when we escaped the large dragon’s maw at The Underhill Manor took us 20 minutes. The price is comparable to more established haunts in the area. At 0.80 minutes per dollar, it ends up being below the average of 1 minute per dollar for most haunted houses nationwide. However, it is around average for other haunted attractions in the Pacific Northwest.

At the end of the haunt, they had some branded merchandise for sale as well as a palm reader. Since it was before the haunt opened to the public, it is difficult to determine how this space will be used once the show goes live but there is potential.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Destiny Wilson – 10/10October 26, 2019
Amazing job!! I remember being delightfully scared and coming out of the haunted house drenched in …show more sweat because of my own antics, lol. We had an absolute blast and will definitely go every year from then on out!!

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