A Real Halloweentown Exists in Oregon

Calling all Cromwell descendants: Halloweentown is a real place. The fictional town popularized by the beloved 1998 Disney film “Halloweentown” is located in the city of St. Helens in Oregon—and it’s also the location where the Halloween movie filmed. “Halloweentown,” which culminated in three more sequel films, follows a teen named Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) who discovers that she comes from a line of witches. With the help of her grandmother Agatha (Debbie Reynolds), she undergoes witch lessons at Agatha’s magical hometown of Halloweentown, inhabited by creatures and accessible via magical bus. 

Well, “Halloweentown” fans can transport to the magical town, too (magical bus probably not included). Each year since the film debuted, St. Helens has hosted an annual Halloween festival called Spirit of Halloweentown. A celebration that spans September, October, and November, the festival celebrates the beloved Disney film with fun events, haunted tours, pumpkin patches, and costume contests. And, yes, a photo op with the giant pumpkin in the town square, erected every Halloween, is a must. (Hopefully the warlock Kalabar does not emerge in all his wicked glory.) It’s a can’t-miss attraction for “Halloweentown” fans once the COVID-19 pandemic is far behind us and it’s safe to travel again.

And what’s witches without some vampires? St. Helens, Oregon was also the filming location for several scenes in the first “Twilight” film. As such, stars of these films often make appearances at the Spirit of Halloweentown festival. Last Halloween, actor Peter Facinelli, who played Dr. Carlisle Cullen in “Twilight,” lit the city’s giant Halloween pumpkin to kick off the festival for its 10 year anniversary. Rino Romano, the actor who played the eccentric skeleton taxi cab driver Benny in “Halloweentown,” also made an appearance at the event—in the flesh, that is.

Halloweentown now holds a spot on our must-visit locations post-COVID-19. Until then, we’ll be streaming “Halloweentown” on Disney+ until October.

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