When autumn arrives in Middle Tennessee and the night air is crisp and cool, thoughts turn to ghouls, goblins and haunted houses. There is an abundance of locations offering goosebumps and heart-pounding fun. Fright connoisseurs have only a few weeks to get their fix of annual attractions designed specifically for them. Haunted houses and winding, wooded trails have attendees waiting with baited breath to see what the night holds. Grab a hand and come along!
Have a screaming good time at Nashville's Death Row, an indoor haunted house that is open rain or shine. Although the FAQs suggest all ages are welcome, small children may be frightened by the gore and costumed actors inside. Your incarceration takes 45 minutes to one hour to complete. There are concessions available, including soft drinks, chips, candy, hot chocolate and glow in the dark accessories. Dress appropriately, keeping in mind that you may have to crawl or climb in some areas. Clothing should fit well enough that it doesn't interfere with movement, in case you feel the need to run. Costumes are allowed but masks aren't permitted. Don't bring food or personal items such as cell phones, cameras or flashlights into the tour area. Smoking is prohibited, so please leave tobacco products and lighters in your vehicle. Call for schedule and bring all your friends... there's safety in numbers!
According to Haunted Attraction Magazine, Haunted Nashville is one of the top 25 must sees during the Halloween season. Haunted Nashville is actually 3 attractions in one, featuring "House of Distortion," a twisting, electrifying trek through a display of relics from the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition. A museum-like exhibit, "Turbidite Manor," offers a chance to experience the Ghostwatch system, which utilizes hair-raising visuals. Volunteer to join a group of thrill seekers as they venture deep into the structure in search of a legendary organism to save the building in "Epidemic." The entire tour takes an hour to 90 minutes and is considered a "PG" rated attraction. Haunted Nashville is open Friday and Saturday evenings from late September to mid-October and Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings mid-October through Halloween.
Geared more toward the younger crowd, the Haunted Museum is a free event at the Tennessee State Museum. There is no set annual date but the event takes place on a Saturday afternoon, typically within a week of Halloween. The "ghost trail" offers crafts, scary ghost stories of the Bell Witch and other spooks and an Egyptian mummy display. Those with courage can see the mummified thumb of a famous outlaw. Children will be given prizes as they complete the ghost trail. Everyone is welcome to wear costumes and enjoy refreshments. Call for schedule.
SPIRIT: The Bell Witch Story
For an evening of old-fashioned food and fun, a trip to Adams, Tennessee, is in order. Be sure to bundle up or take blankets for the open-air theater production. The site for the play is the old Bell School building, which still houses a cafeteria and a dining room. Other areas of the building offer a small museum and flea-market type rooms that antique lovers will enjoy. The evening begins with dinner in the cafeteria and offers a choice of entrees, sides and desserts. After dinner, grab the covers and take a short walk to find your seat in the cool night air. Local actors portray the family of John Bell, who settled the area in 1804. The play was written from the memoirs of the eldest son, Richard Williams Bell. It tells the story of Kate, the brassy spirit who tormented members of the family with noisy hauntings and physical assaults. Word of the happenings spread across the middle Tennessee area and have been passed down for generations. Many of those in attendance make this evening a yearly tradition. The play is scheduled to run weekends mid- October until Halloween.
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