Fright night

Mike Allen of Washougal and Shawn Garrison of Vancouver have teamed up to offer a free haunted house and yard display to the community. A majority of the static and animated props are handmade.

Washougal Haunted House

The free haunted house is open from dusk until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings through Nov. 2, and Halloween night. It is located at 730 Ninth St. in Washougal.

Local residents can experience the fun of a professional style haunted house without a long drive, lines, or expensive pricing.That’s because Mike Allen, known as “Coffinguy” to his friends, puts up an elaborate display and walk through haunted house in his Washougal yard. It is free for anyone in the community to attend.

“Many of the people that live here simply can’t get to or afford the experience,” he said. “It’s a lifelong hobby of mine that brings a lot of joy and entertainment to the area I call home.”

Recently, he joined forces with Shawn Garrison of Vancouver, who also had a yard display. She did much of the staging for Allen’s haunted house this year.

“I couldn’t keep doing this all by myself every year,” she said. “It was just too much. But it is something I really enjoy doing for fun.”

The yard display next to Allen’s log cabin includes creepy coffins, witches, and other assorted Halloween characters.

The haunted house entrance is in Allen’s driveway, and snakes through the backyard. Fog, lights and scary sounds greet those who venture up the driveway. Almost all of the display is handmade and takes approximately a month to set up.

Allen has offered the free haunted house to the community for 15 years.

“We have made some major changes to the size and atmosphere of the walk-through this year and are very much looking forward to having all of our friends and neighbors come and enjoy the tradition of attending my event,” he said. “This is my gift to the community. I love living here and wouldn’t be anywhere else.”

All ages are welcome at the event, but Allen encourages parents to use discretion.

“We have kids who are 3 and 4 who love it, but we also get teens who are scared of it,” he said. “The one thing we insist on is we do not allow people to bring in scared kids.”

Allen estimates that approximately 2,000 people visit his haunted house during the Halloween season.

“I really like watching people have a good time here,” he said. “This is fun, and it’s nice keeping it free.”