St. Helens embraces the growing 'Halloweentown' craze


For a growing number of millennial movie fans St. Helens, Oregon easily tops Hollywood.

“’Halloweentown’ is like my favorite movie ever!” said Samantha Kassem.

By Sunday morning, hysteria had reached the point that the annual appearance by the movie's star, actress Kimberly Brown, left some spell-bound.

“Like kids meeting Miley Cyrus, that was my reaction to that,” said Janae Dills.

For those not familiar, Brown played "Marnie Piper," the main character in ‘Halloweentown’ a Disney Channel original movie and a holiday favorite since the late 1990s.

It was filmed in St. Helens, and every October the town hosts a month-long festival celebrating it.



Two years ago, the attention spiked after Buzzfeed and MTV took notice.

Now the place attracts thousands of fans.

“It's pretty amazing! I can't believe after all these years that people not only still talk about the movie but they still want to see it, want to watch it every year. It's incredibly flattering,” Brown said.

Brown said she understands the appeal.

“I can say this because I'm over 30 years old now, but like technology has sort of consumed our lives in so many different ways,” she said.

“It's sort of nice to take it back old-school a bit and be reminded of like the simple things of life and in different times of the year and it invokes certain memories.”



Still, Oregon has seen examples in the past when cult film notoriety gets scary.

The most famous example is the 'Goonies' house in Astoria.

Once a welcome magnet for fans, it was recently tarped off and shut down as a tourist attraction.

The owner said people showed up at all times of night, got rowdy and broke things.

Officials here say they're not worried.

“Last year, there were some people concerned about the crowd and having space for everything,” said city administrator John Walsh. “Now we have a big parking lot over here, that we cannot block everyone's driveways. It's much better.”

So fear not, movie buffs. ‘Halloweentown’ will live on, and fans are quick to thank the city of St. Helens.

“They put the pumpkin up in the middle of the town square, which is the biggest part of the movie,” said Ashley Versteeg, a fan of the film.

“Like all the little details that were in the movie they've tried to put on, which is amazing to me.”



To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment