Gatlinburg loves Halloween. Maybe it’s the spooky mist drifting through the branches of bare trees in the hollows and hills around the Great Smoky Mountains. Maybe it’s the old stories of hauntings on desolate trails and abandoned cabins. Maybe it’s the Cherokee tales of apparitions, spirits, and gods who once roamed these mountains. Maybe it’s just that Gatlinburg, home to Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and Mysterious Mansion, really loves a spooky good time! Whatever the reason, we’re not complaining now that the most frightful time of year is upon us – and we have a few ideas to add some ghoulish delights to your Gatlinburg visit.

Children love traditional Halloween fun at Gatlinburg-area farms!

Children love traditional Halloween fun at Gatlinburg-area farms!

For little ones, let’s keep things light. Keep up some fall traditions with an old-fashioned corn maze! Kyker Farms Korn Maze offers up a farmer’s fall fun on a 200-year-old farm near Gatlinburg. Sure, you can get lost in their corn mazes (there are five!) but for the easily confused, there are also hayrides, slides and games, a petting zoo, and a pumpkin patch. Oh, and zombies. Did we forget to mention those?

For those who find daylight corn mazes too tame, just add zombies. Kyker Farms After Dark offers two terrifying adventures: Zombie Blasterz and The Trail. In Zombie Blasterz, your wagon sets off into a dark corn maze as spectrally-lit zombies rise up around you. Luckily, you have a paintball gun. No problem, right?

If that’s too easy, try The Trail, where zombies aren’t the only horror chasing you through the corn. Get more information on both traditional and terrifying Halloween experiences at the Kyker Farms website.

Of course, Halloween purists know the spooky season is all about ghosties and ghoulies, not zombies. If you’re looking for more history than horror, try a ghost tour.

Appalachian GhostWalks, a company with a robust roster of ghost tours, can take you on a lantern-lit evening tour of the town… or an entire day’s worth of haunted adventures. Visit their website to learn more about their Gatlinburg ghost tours and other spooky itineraries throughout the Appalachians.

Or head out with the ghost-hunters at Ghost & Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg, who bring along ghost-hunting equipment so you can have a personal chat with the supernatural.

Some say the Smoky Mountains themselves are home to more supernatural lore than any other region of the United States. Get a little history and a lot of scenery while you search out some haunted patches of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cades Cove is a popular spot to ghost-hunt, with its historic cabins, churches, and cemeteries neatly kept by the National Park Service. For a really creepy ghost story, head out on the Norton Creek Trail in search of the mysterious Lake Fontana lights, passing some old cemeteries on the way for extra spook-factor.

The Smoky Mountains’ misty mornings add a spooky quality to your fall hikes.

The Smoky Mountains’ misty mornings add a spooky quality to your fall hikes.

Sticking to downtown Gatlinburg but in need of some hauntings? You don’t have to haul out to Cades Cove to find ghost stories – visit Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, a 10,000 square foot haunted house right in Gatlinburg. They step things up a bit for October, adding themed Fright Nights on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. This year’s Fright Night theme is “Movie Monster Madness,” which means stars of the scary screen will be hosting the party of your Hollywood dreams — er, nightmares. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is for ages six and up, and kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Check hours and buy tickets at their website.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to spooky fun in Gatlinburg. Halloween-lovers, rejoice! Gatlinburg is your kind of town.

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