BOO! Yeah, we’re pretty terrifying in the Great Smoky Mountains…terrifyingly excited about Halloween! The Happiest Halloween is waiting for YOU in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! Let the frightful festivities begin with holiday recipes, crafting at the cabin, thrilling events, and scream-filled haunted mansions.
Frighteningly Tasty Treats
When it comes to trick-or-treat, most will pick a treat any day. And while accepting candy corn, pumpkin-shaped Reese’s, gummy monsters, glow-in-the-dark chocolates (yep, that’s a thing), and other store-bought candies is perfectly human, homemade treats are something to treasure. So, toss on an apron and head to the kitchen for fun Halloween recipes! Warning: if messes scare you, then…wait, that’s perfect!
Not sure where to start? Hit the internet hardcore. There are tons of Halloween recipes out there, from ridiculously easy to scary hard, so browse for a bit and choose your favorites to try out. Pro tip: whip, mix, bake, and decorate with a friend, or throw a treat-yo-self Halloween party (literally). In fact, we’ll even get you started with a scrumptious recipe from I Am Baker below.
Black-as-night Cookie Ingredients
- 1 pkg (15 ¼ to 18 ¼ ounces) German chocolate cake mix with pudding
- ½ c water
- ¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ c vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp McCormick® Black Food Color
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
Pumpkin-orange Filling Ingredients
- ½ c (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 ½ c confectioners’ sugar
- 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow cream
- ½ tsp McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
- ½ tsp McCormick® Red Food Color
- ½ tsp McCormick® Yellow Food Color
- For the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the cake mix, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. (Cookies will spread, so avoid crowding them on the baking sheet.)
- Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies are puffed and spring back when touched, turning baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute. Place cookies onto wire racks until cooled completely.
- For the filling, beat all ingredients (to death) in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Assemble the whoopie pies! Place 1 tablespoon of filling on the flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Presto — time to devour your creations!
Creative Cabin Crafts
What else do we love about Halloween? Crafting at the cabin of course! On this especially flamboyant occasion, it’s always fun to get your craft on, from pumpkin carving to DIY slime to homemade spiderwebs. Better yet, put your art skills to the test with a drawing game to see who can come up with the creepiest creature of them all. To add even more fun, set petrifying parameters, such as it must have 3 quirky features, 2 unique powers, and 1 unnerving weakness.
Halloween crafting is all about letting loose, letting your imagination run wild, taking creative risks, and having a blast with friends and family. And what better place to enjoy this memory-making experience than in your private Smoky Mountain cabin? Worried about monsters lurking in the shadows, mirrors showing unknown reflections (or none at all), beds harboring beasts beneath, or mischief-makers emerging from the TVs? Never fear! The Cabins for YOU housekeepers and maintenance crew are quite thorough.
Beware the Spooky Event!
Ah! Don’t forget the Halloween event going on in downtown Gatlinburg: the Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival! From 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. on All Hallows’ Eve (aka today, October 31, 2018) at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies plaza, kiddos and kids at heart can greet fun characters, participate in friendly contests, eat loads of candy, and more!
Forgot to bring your cosplay masterpiece from home? Whether you’re looking to freak out passersby or dress to impress, inspiration can be found from our Smoky Mountain-themed costume ideas below!
Last-minute Costume Ideas
- Jeans + flannel = lumberjack
- Blonde wig + dress = Dolly Parton
- Orange T-shirt + face paint = pumpkin
- Wide-brim hat + button-down shirt + hiking boots = park ranger
- Toy banjo + overalls = bluegrass star
- Fake rifle + white clothing = pioneer ghost
- What you plan to wear today = happy cabin guest
Hair-raising Haunted Houses
Nightmarishly horrific with a hint of ghoulish gore, Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion has been scaring the pants off visitors for 38 years. Understandably, it isn’t for the faint of heart… This Victorian-style mansion is home to malevolent monsters, petrifying ghosts, demented dolls, sinister clowns, and even more unspeakable creatures. Not to mention, the grim décor is quite on point with dark halls, antique mirrors, possessed trinkets, bleeding paintings, flickering television sets, human remains…and that’s just the start. Dare you enter?
424 River Road
Creepy beyond belief, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure claims top spot as the #1 haunted house in Gatlinburg. Prepare to SCREAM! Freaky doesn’t even begin to cover the horrors inside this fear-inducing, 10,000-square-foot mansion. Goosebumps rise as undead beings walk about, ready to strike fear into the hearts of visitors with spine-tingling surprises. Be warned…some actors may come quite close, so don’t punch. Want to fight back? Challenge friends to Ripley’s Haunted Adventure Laser Strike, where you can take on monsters in a live-action game!
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
Munch on homemade morsels, craft creepy creatures at the cabin, cosplay last-minute in Gatlinburg, and conquer your darkest fears at haunted houses — Happy Halloween 2018 from Cabins for YOU!