By Leif Palmer
Posted on October 5, 2022
There seem to be two kinds of people - those who observe Halloween only on October 31 and those who would just as soon celebrate the spooky season all year long. If you fall into that second category, read on, as we share with you an overview of all things Halloween-related that are taking place in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this year. From haunted houses to candy-seeking opportunities, the Great Smoky Mountains have you covered.
Ripley's Haunted Adventure in downtown Gatlinburg has been hosting its annual Fright Nights shows for nearly a quarter century. This year, they're back with Backwoods Terror 3: Family Reunion, a show that premiered in 2011 and is returning for its third edition. It features a family of mountain mutants that takes over the year-round haunted house attraction. There is no extra charge for the Fright Nights show, which runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October as well as on Halloween night. Shows run from 4 p.m. to closing on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
If you're a fan of haunted houses, you might also want to check out the Mysterious Mansion on River Rd. in downtown Gatlinburg. It's also a year-round attraction, and it's been scaring the wits out of visitors for more than 40 years now. Decorated in an early-1900s, Victorian motif, the house has terrifying surprises around every corner. The self-guided tour takes about 15 to 20 minutes and features live actors in costume. Enter at your own risk…
Another cool activity is to take a journey through town on foot with Ghost & Haunt Tours. On these walking tours, a paranormal expert will take you to some of Gatlinburg's most haunted locations, and along the way, you'll hear chilling ghost stories from the city's creepy past. You'll even get to use real ghost-hunting equipment to check for supernatural activity.
On Halloween day itself, you might want to drop by Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies for their Trick or Treat Kickoff Karnival. This family event features contests, costumed characters, candy and a pumpkin contest. Also, members of Gatlinburg's police and fire departments will be teaching trick or treat safety. This all takes place at the aquarium, in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg.
The great thing about celebrating Halloween in Gatlinburg is that you can park at any of our downtown lots and save money compared to most Gatlinburg parking garage prices. Your vehicle will be in a safe location for the entire day (or night), and you can easily access Halloween-related festivities all over town by walking or taking the trolley.
If you want to venture outside Gatlinburg, you could take the trolley to Pigeon Forge. Events there include Great Pumpkin Luminights at Dollywood, Trick or Treat at The Island and the Pigeon Forge Spooktacular, a non-scary event where kids of all ages can score candy at the city's community center.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.