Haunted Palouse: Frights and Fun

Haunted Palouse is back this year with haunted houses, fortune-telling


CODY COTTIER | The Daily Evergreen

An actor prepares to scare Haunted Palouse “victims” in 2017.

SAYDEE PHOTHIVONGSA, Evergreen news editor

Each year around Halloween, the city of Palouse transforms from a quaint Washington town to a scene straight out of a horror movie. 

What once began as a fundraiser to repair historic structures after the flooding of the Palouse River in 1996, has now evolved into a full-fledged philanthropy event that provides four nights of spooky fun, said Alexa Beckett-Bonner, co-chair of Haunted Palouse. 

Haunted Palouse has been around for about 20 years and over time has grown to include two haunted houses, one in a museum and one in the police department, and an outdoor zombie hunt as well, she said. 

In addition, there is fortune-telling, local restaurants and food vendors selling cider, hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and more, Beckett-Bonner said. 

The saying “it takes a village” does not do the amount of hard work put into Haunted Palouse justice. There are around 1,000 volunteers from the Palouse region who help make this event happen, she said.

“You build a haunted house in less than a month, haunt for two weekends, and then tear it down in a single day, so that takes a lot of volunteer hands working together to accomplish that,” Beckett-Bonner said. 

From Palouse community members who offer up their time, resources and tools to businesses like Buffalo Wild Wings and Grocery Outlet sponsoring this event, there is a plethora of support from the surrounding area, she said. 

“Without community support, we couldn’t do it at all,” Beckett-Bonner said. 

A Palouse resident even donated old beat-up cars for the zombie hunt to give it more of a post-apocalyptic look, she said.  

One of Beckett-Bonner’s favorite things about Haunted Palouse is knowing that her work is benefiting the community. 

“Most of the fundraisers we do in these small towns are just kind of recirculating resources that already exist within our community,” she said. “Most of the people who come and spend their money are from Pullman, Moscow, Spokane, Colton, Uniontown, Lewiston and Clarkston and so we’re getting resources that don’t already exist here … it’s pretty huge.”

WSU senior Gabriella Durante visited Haunted Palouse for the first time on opening night and used her tickets to visit each attraction, she said. 

“We kind of went into it blindly so I’m really glad that I went because Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and it was something spooky to do,” she said. 

Durante also noted that the museum’s haunted house was the scariest for her. 

“The people put on such a good experience for not just their community …but also for people that are coming from all over the place,” she said. 

Beckett-Bonner also added that she especially enjoys getting to scare peoplewhen they want to be scared of course. 

“I enjoy when the football players come in and they’re these huge men, and you scare them and they scream as they run from the room and it’s so funny to watch,” she said. “I just can’t think of anything better.”

Beckett-Bonner strongly encourages attendees to dress warm, wear close-toed shoes and bring cash as cards are not accepted. 

Haunted Palouse is only open for two more nights this year, October 28 and 29. One ticket is $35 and gives you three entries into any of the attractions. Tickets are sold only on event nights from 7 to 10 p.m. More information about tickets and the event can be found on the Haunted Palouse website