Halloween started early for many people in the area as they took in the first-ever Haunted City Hall event Sunday night. Participants had a chance to tour the building and be scared by staff, all of the councilors, and Mayor "Scarilyn" Knox.

Councillor Colin Doyle says that the setup exceeded his expectations, noting that Haunted City Hall was the brainchild of Stacy Zimmer with the City of Portage.

Doyle notes that over 750 people came to get spooked throughout the night, saying that the feedback was terrific.

"Well, the biggest compliment I probably heard was. 'Oh my goodness, this is scarier than Heebie Jeebies. I don't know if I could say that, but hearing the screams from the people at the full fright hour, it was definitely worthwhile."

He says that having events like this in Portage is crucial to keep our city connected.

"I think it just softened that line between citizens and the city, making City Hall a little more accessible to people. There were people there who had never stepped foot in city hall. It made them realize it is as scary of a place."

Doyle mentions that during the light fright hours, he tried to be as happy and joyful as possible while dressed up as a zombie. However, he says that during full fright hours, he was doing everything he could to scare Portagers.

"I went full bore, and I have the bruises all over my body to prove it from crawling around on the floor of City Hall all night."

He adds that he could not be more thankful for Portage's support for this event and is excited to see what they will do next.


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