When you think of Disney and Halloween, there are three movies that tend to come to mind: Hocus Pocus, A Nightmare Before Christmas, and Halloweentown. Now you can actually book a trip to visit one of those beloved films.
The Real Halloweentown
St. Helens, Oregon is the town where most of the original Halloweentown was filmed. It’s the county seat of Columbia County, Oregon. As you can guess from the name, the town also sits near the active volcano, Mount St. Helens.
Each October, the town hosts a month-long celebration called “Spirit of Halloweentown.” The entire town transforms into a Halloween wonderland. Many areas were designed to recreate the way they looked in the original Halloweentown film.
Spirit of Halloweentown
Here’s how the “Spirit of Halloweentown” Facebook page describes the event:
The Spirit of Halloweentown descends on Saint Helens each October. Join us for this long celebration of the season. See the giant scarecrows, fall colors and merchants turned to immortal forms as fairies, witches ghosts and ghouls. We love Halloween and we let it show. Message us here is you would like information on business or community organization participation, sponsorship opportunities or you would like to sign up to be a coordinator of one of our many attractions or activities. For complete information and specific start times as it becomes available visit our website at http://www.discovercolumbiacounty.com/
Events include VIP haunted house tours, a pumpkin lighting ceremony, a Howl-oween 5K dog walk, and much, much more.
Here’s the best news, though. Marnie Piper from Halloweentown will actually be there in person! Actress Kimberly Brown played Marnie in the first three Halloweentown films. She will be at the St. Helens “Spirit of Halloween” town event to take pictures and sign autographs. She’ll also be reading from her new children’s book, Poppin’s Pumpkin Patch Parade.
The Halloweentown Series
The first Halloweentown movie was released in 1998. Kimberly Brown co-starred along with legendary actress Debbie Reynolds. In the film, Brown’s character, Marnie, is transported to the magical city of Halloweentown to train as a witch under her grandmother, Aggie (Reynolds).
Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
In 2001, Brown and Reynolds returned for Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge. This time around, Kalabar’s son attempts to destroy Halloweentown.
Three years later, a third film arrived on Disney Channel. It was called Halloweentown High. Brown and Reynolds starred once again. Marnie gets the Halloweentown council to approve a plan to send a group of students to her mortal high school. Unfortunately, the Knights of the Iron Dagger intervene in their quest to destroy all magic.
Return to Halloweentown
In 2006, Disney Channel released a fourth film, Return to Halloweentown. Actress Sara Paxton replaced Kimberly Brown. The reason has never been explained. It received mixed reviews, with most fans deeply unhappy with the recasting. The storyline had Marnie and her brother Dylan heading to Witch University in Halloweentown.
The Halloweentown Legacy
Despite the poor reception for the fourth film, the Halloweentown movies have become a staple on the Disney Channel. For this reason, each October, the films receive multiple airings. In fact, watching the Halloweentown series is now a holiday tradition in many households. But why just watch when you can visit Halloweentown in person?