Behind the curtain at one of the nation's scariest haunted houses

Behind the curtain at one of the nation's scariest haunted houses

Who knew a sports arena could be so scary?

Well it is at Memorial Coliseum, where Dave Helfrey and a team of set designers have transformed the 40,000-square-foot space into three haunted houses. Helfrey's FrightTown boasts zombies, vampires and an array of assorted other ghouls and mutants that will scare the bejeezus out of anyone who dares to enter.

FrightTown: Take a peek behind the scenes at Portland's largest haunted house

Last year about 35,000 visitors snaked their way through narrow winding passageways that "are as tight as the fire marshal will allow us to make them," said Helfrey, who, along with his alter ego Baron Von Goolo, has been putting on the show at Memorial Coliseum for the past nine years.

Helfrey, a former partner in the now-defunct Portland ad shop Elvis & Bonaparte, overcame many bumps in the night / on the road to founding FrightTown. You can read more about his journey in Friday's weekly edition.

For now, enjoy these behind-the-scenes photos captured by Business Journal Photographer Cathy Cheney of Helfrey and his fellow ghouls getting ready for a show.

FrightTown is open Wednesdays through Sundays at Memorial Coliseum through Nov. 1.