Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-TimesThe Spooky Museum at the Roller Barn in Oak Harbor promises a fright as visitors wander through the Croft family’s creepy creations.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times The Spooky Museum at the Roller Barn in Oak Harbor promises a fright as visitors wander through the Croft family’s creepy creations.

‘Spooky Museum’ promises frights for a good cause

Proceeds from ticket sales to the Spooky Museum will go toward the Save the Roller Barn effort.

One Halloween tradition is alive and well, albeit with a technical twist: Instead of a being turned into a haunted house, the Roller Barn in Oak Harbor has been transformed into a “Spooky Museum.”

Pandemic guidelines made it necessary for James Croft and his family to pivot from a traditional haunted house to the Spooky Museum in order to stay open.

Croft said the creepy creation promises all the scares without the human actors and was quite the logistical undertaking to figure out.

“It does take a lot of extra planning because all the scares have to be automated now. Actors play off the fear of the people walking through. This one is completely automated,” Croft said. “It’s a whole different set of ideas to make it happen this way.”

The 2,000 square-foot “museum” has 29 rooms for visitors to explore complete with flashing lights, spooky sounds, startling bursts of air and creatures jumping out from the dark.

Croft said the crew followed all of the public health guidelines for museums, which means that groups are limited to five people, reservations are staggered, no one is allowed to touch the props and once you go in there is only one way out.

Many of the props came from Croft’s friends, Jay and Shaulana Lujan.

The Lujans typically set up a haunted house of their own, but decided to let the Roller Barn use many of their props this year.

“It was a three-week turnaround,” Croft said. “Without them, the time they’ve given us, the props they allowed us to use, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Proceeds will go toward the “Save the Roller Barn” campaign. Croft has been raising money to restore the Roller Barn since he bought it in 2019.

“We were on a really good roll and it completely died off at the beginning of COVID,” he said. He added that he hopes to reopen to rollerskating in December under “roller fitness.”

“I don’t feel like we own the barn, I feel like we’ve got the opportunity to operate it. It’s been here for 108 years now and it’s just a beautiful building. We couldn’t see it go away,” he said.

The Spooky Museum is open to visitors Oct. 23-24 and Oct. 30-31 from 6-10 p.m. There will be two “low scare” matinees missing the startle scares and with limited animatronics on Oct. 24 and 31 from 3 – 5 p.m.

Tickets can be reserved online for $7 at or purchased at the door for $10 per person.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-TimesJames Croft said proceeds from ticket sales for the Spooky Museum will go toward the “Save the Roller Barn” campaign.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times James Croft said proceeds from ticket sales for the Spooky Museum will go toward the “Save the Roller Barn” campaign.

More in Life

The Nutcracker - Photo provided
Theatre brings Nutcracker to drive-in, living rooms

A popular wintertime performance will be offered virtually this year.

Rockin’ a Hard Place: Making the most of the short end of the drumstick

So here we are, having given thanks for all our blessings on… Continue reading

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Christopher Powell pours a glass of fresh hop cider. Misfit Island Cider Company, located near Langley, is hoping to open a tasting room this winter.
Inspired by drier British ciders, Whidbey deejay creates his own

After deejaying in London, one South Whidbey cider maker is branching out.

Georgia Gerber with her whale statue on display along First Street on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 in Langley, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Whidbey’s Georgia Gerber creates iconic shapes in bronze

She turns abstract forms into some of the region’s most beloved public art, including the Pike Place Market pig.

Santa Claus set to make rounds on Central Whidbey

Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue’s longstanding Christmastime tradition is coming back… Continue reading

Sabine Wilms spent the beginning months of the pandemic taking care of two goats, Lady Yang Xiaomei and Marisol. She used Chinese medicine to help heal the goats. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News-Times.
Home for the kids: Whidbey woman takes in two goats deemed lost cause

A South Whidbey woman nursed two goats back to health with the help of Chinese medicine.

Photo by Ron Newberry
Regenerative agriculture: A new, healthier way to farm

By Ron Newberry for the South Whidbey Record Cory Fakkema gets up… Continue reading

South Whidbey farmer has small plants for future

Full Cycle Farm will be giving away 100 saplings — free of charge — starting on Black Friday.

Artist Louie Rochon demonstrates the process of how he paints at his Clinton studio on Thursday. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News-Times
South Whidbey artist is painting the blues away

All proceeds from a raffle for a local artist Louie Rochon’s painting will benefit a food bank.

Most Read