Have you ever heard of the town of BOO-coda? Most of the year it goes by Bucoda, but every October it transforms into Washington’s own Halloweentown. Complete with a haunted gym known for paranormal activity, hearse processionals, casket races and pumpkin carving contests, the entire community (population 562) works year-round to make the transformation possible. 

This pint-sized town, known as Bucoda for the rest of the year, is defined by its history – its role as the site of the first prison in Washington Territory, its position on the first Northern Pacific transcontinental railroad, and its repute as a historic logging town with a “million-dollar payroll.” While many of these industries, and the community bustle associated with them, have left Bucoda, the community spirit of innovation and teamwork are evident when the town comes together for one frightful month in October. Check out these spooky happenings:

  • The Scary Nights Haunted House happens each Friday and Saturday in October. The town gym, which has had reports of paranormal activity, transforms into one of the scariest haunted houses in the state. It’s not recommended for children nine and younger.


  • On October 13, join or watch the hearse processional and casket races on main street. Businesses and individuals alike will be awarded for speed in the categories of first, second, third and ‘dead last.’ Creativity will be accounted for, with awards for Scariest Casket, Funniest Casket, and Best Costumed Team and Cortege


  • Jack-O'-Lantern Pumpkin Carving Contest takes place October 20, inviting kids and adults to participate. Awards will be given by age categories, in addition to the “scariest” and “most creative.”


  • Take place in a group re-creation of Michael Jackson’s Halloween-style hit, on October 27 during the Thrill the World Thriller Dance. Perfect those zombie moves with lessons offered on select dates throughout the month. 


Boo-coda is located 20 miles southeast of Olympia. For a full calendar of activities, times, fees and more information is listed at boo-coda.com.  Share your shocking shots with us! Tag social posts #DecidedlyDifferent and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).

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Photography by Justin Oba