By Amanda Morgan Fann—Asst. Photo Editor
The height of Spooky Season is upon us. If you do not have a firm grasp of what Spooky Season means, allow me to explain it as that time of year near Halloween where everyone is jazzed about pumpkins, bonfires, and the things that go bump in the night. A time where you are more keen in noticing small, unexplained occurrences like a hair-raising chill down your spine when you walk home from the library or the notebook you could have sworn you put on the coffee table that now sits on your bedroom floor.
However, even with all the paranormal aesthetics surrounding the atmosphere, many still are not satisfyingly spooked. Instead, we pay to get the pants scared off of us, so Spooky Season equals a visit to a haunted house. Below I have compiled a list of the top four Chattanooga-area haunted houses, all within a thirty-minute drive from campus.
From the masterminds behind Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern, the award-winning Dread Hollow resides on Browns Ferry Road in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Open in October, Thursdays through Sundays, and priced at $22 a ticket, Dread Hollow creates another world for their victims—I mean visitors—in which to be immersed. This year, the haunt takes you through three sections: Mercy Hospital, Beast of Bloodwood and Contagion, all of which connect to form a cohesive story-line in which guests can participate. Each section is indoors, but the trek is long, so wear comfortable clothes, closed-toed shoes, and be prepared to get wet.
The Haunted Barn
Just thirty minutes away, in McDonald, TN, you can find the Haunted Barn, this season celebrating their 25th year as one of the most visited and longest running scare attractions in East Tennessee. Tickets, priced at $20, go on sale at 7:00 pm, and doors open at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday in October through November 2nd. The haunt consists of a sixteen-room, self-guided tour of the barn ending with a walk through the blacked-out corn maze. However, if you are the scaredy-cat friend who only went because you have FOMO, or fear of missing out, there is still some fun for you. While you await your death tour, you can dance with monsters and relax by the communal bonfire.
The Haunted Hilltop
Sitting twenty-five minutes away in Harrison, TN, The Haunted Hilltop offers an indoor haunted attraction and an outdoor haunted hayride. Tickets range from $20 for one of the attractions or $25 for both (your choice should be obvious). They open at 7:00 pm every Friday and Saturday until Nov. 2nd. Remodeling has allowed them to add rooms to their haunted house for the 2019 season. With the expansion they now provide 200,000 square feet of haunted terror, making them almost five times larger than any other haunt around. While waiting, you can sit by the bonfire, watch scary movies on the large screen TV, pig out on concession food or all of the above. The Haunted Hilltop seems to be the biggest bang for your buck if you are into the rustic, horror-filled outdoors.
6 Fears Hell’s Bar Dam
Just twenty minutes away resides a haunted house and paranormal experience at the eerie and famous Hales Bar Marina in the 115-year-old power house, where as legend has it, many lives have been lost. They offer four haunting attractions; the one most like a haunted house is “The Damned Scare Tour.” Tickets start at $20, and they are open October 25th– 26th from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, the 30th and 31st from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, November 1st from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and November 2nd from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am. If the idea of being surrounded by real paranormal activity gets you excited, then “6 Fears Hell’s Bar Dam” is the place for you.