The Great Smoky Mountains provides a perfectly eerie backdrop for Halloween festivities in Gatlinburg. There are spooky thrills and chills to be had throughout the month of October that will be sure to cause frights and delights to ghosts and ghouls of all ages.
Check out these 4 fun ways to celebrate Halloween in Gatlinburg:
1. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
The Ripley’s company has always been known for exotic oddities and bizarre collectibles. This 10,000 square foot haunted house is open year round, but is an extra scary place to visit around Halloween. This haunted house is rated #1 in Gatlinburg for good reason. Live actors dressed as zombies, murders, and all manner of creeps lie in wait behind every corner. There are jump scares, hidden doors, and realistic dummies throughout the self-guided tour that are sure to make anyone scream with delight.
Ripley’s Fright Nights take place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening in October in and around the Ripley’s Believe it or Not facility. Starting at 6 p.m. each night, visitors will be exposed to a parade of monsters and maniacs. If the Haunted Adventure seems too scary, Ripley’s Odditorium has shrunken heads, vampire kits, and other unusual attractions that fit right in with the Halloween decorations. It also offers interactive exhibits and a vortex tunnel.
2. Weekends at the Mysterious Mansion
The Mysterious Mansion is a haunted attraction set in an early 1900s style with touches of the Victorian period. Recently renovated in 2015, this twisted fun house takes visitors on an unguided tour through its dark corridors, winding staircases, and secret passageways. The strobe lights and fog make the 15 minute experience eerie and disorienting. Expect actors dressed in ghoulish costumes to jump out from the dark corners. The Mysterious Mansion puts on a special Lost Souls presentation especially for Halloween weekend that stars ghosts.
This haunted house may be too intense or scary for younger audiences. While children are allowed in, the caretakers advise leaving young children at home. Refunds are not provided if the tour proves to be more than a visitor can take.
3. Trick or Treat Kick-Off Karnival
Halloween in Gatlinburg is not just about being scared. It is also a time to show off clever costumes and stock up on candy. On the afternoon of October 31st, visitors and locals gear up for a costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, and parade. Held in downtown Gatlinburg in the Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza, this annual Halloween event is family friendly and a great option for families with young children. Bounce houses and other inflatables are on site to help children work off their sugar highs.
The Gatlinburg Police Department gives a presentation on tips for safely trick or treating. Additionally, the fire department – and their fire truck – are present to provide fire safety training. All visitors are encouraged to dress up for the event.
All proceeds from the event benefit the United Way of Sevier County.
4. Ghost and Haunting Tours
There are numerous ghost and haunting tours throughout Gatlinburg that each explore the city’s supernatural past. The Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg is considered the best ghost tour in town and has received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence two years in a row. The company offers a 7:00pm and a 9:00pm tour with each lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. With the perfect mix of history and mystery, this tour highlights the lives of Radford Gatlin, the man who gave the city its name and made his wealth my any means necessary, and Tattoo Eddie, the man who committed two grisly murders at the Rocky Top Mountain Inn. This tour, unlike some of the other options available, is taken via van ride so it can easily accommodate those with mobility issues. Tickets can be purchased on their website for a discount.
The Haunted Historic Gatlinburg GhostWalk is a haunted history tour that exposes visitors to the science of paranormal activity in addition to ghost stories. Tour guides provide visitors with information and demonstrations on the tactics and technology used by ghost hunters to identify and commune with spirits from the other side. This lantern-lead walking tour through Gatlinburg’s most historic places feels authentic and embraces the frontier heritage of the city. The tour runs nightly and is low energy so it can be enjoyed by everyone.
It gets pretty busy this time of the year, so it's recommended that you book your Gatlinburg hotel room today!