“There’s a smudge on the camera lens,” or “the lighting was just weird” – the common excuses for the odd cloud or spot behind your family in photos from evenings in Gatlinburg. Don’t worry, you are not the first to uncomfortably gaze into the dark alley or find your eyes fixated on the historic, abandoned churches. Gatlinburg is an aged mountain town originally settled by pioneers in the early 1800s, and as with any story of an up-and-coming town, Gatlinburg experienced its share of tumultuous times through the Civil War and into the 20th century.
Originally known as White Oaks Flat, the mountain town was repeatedly raided for supplies by both the Union and the Confederacy because the area acted as a gateway through the Smoky Mountains. Where struggles between opposing powers collide, tragedy and troubled history reside, giving Gatlinburg a haunted history to be discovered by those who want to hear her stories.
Walk in the cool, still air of alleyways and cemeteries as your tour guide discloses the disturbing details of Gatlinburg’s past. Hear true stories of murder and death at the hands of those who found karma soon on their heels. Folklore and first-hand accounts of the city’s active paranormal inhabitants are offered to those who will heed the truth that lies within these tales. Ample history, colorful myths, and terrifying true tragedies litter the streets of Gatlinburg’s lesser-known side, and local inhabitants want to carry on her stories as cautionary guidance, lest history should repeat itself…
GHOST TOURS IN DOWNTOWN GATLINBURG
Ghost & Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg
The truth behind the folklore is often more disturbing than the myths, because it’s the reality of what lies within hearts of corrupted men and the lengths they will go to for money and prestige. Ghost & Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg prides itself on the material details of historical accounts of the city’s original inhabitants and occurrences which spawned the myths and paranormal sightings. Walk through the sleepy streets of the old mountain town and revisit a time long before tourism hushed her dark secrets. Listen to the role-playing guide elaborately and enthusiastically relay stories of haunting history they want to ensure is never forgotten, lest history should repeat itself in the most unfortunate ways.
Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg offers two separately unique tours along with free parking from March 1 to October 31 to better serve every visitor to the Smoky Mountain area:
7 p.m. – 8:30/9 p.m. Van Tour
If any guest in your party has mobility issues or does not desire to be on their feet for an extended period of time, the first tour of the evening is perfect. This tour is not as particularly creepy as wandering the streets and dark walks of the night in Gatlinburg, but it is equally informative! Because the tour is by van and limited space is available, be sure to reserve a seat a day or so ahead of time by booking online. This tour focuses more on the history of Gatlinburg with a few ghost stories and myths included, which makes it a great tour for those less dazzled by or interested in scary stories.
9 p.m. – 10:30/11 p.m. Walking Tour
The meetup begins at 8:30 p.m. every day of the week in the lobby of the Smoky Mountain Resort at 404 Historic Nature Trail at light #8. Get there in time to ask any questions and receive your professional-grade ghost hunting equipment to use during the tour! As the anticipation builds, your well-trained and enthusiastic guide will lay out the specific direction of your tour and explain how to use your ghost-hunting gear.
Here are a few tips to remember as you are preparing for your hair-raising adventure:
- Wear comfortable walking shoes! You are going to be on your feet for over an hour, and you want to come home with some cool stories and pictures – not blisters!
- Be sure to charge your phones and cameras to take pictures during your expedition.
- Dress appropriately for cooler mountain evenings; light layers are always good!
- Be prepared to listen up! The buildings, alleyways, and cemeteries are only a little creepy on their own. It’s the historical context and spooky stories of murder, betrayal, and unsettling coincidences that make the tour a haunting experience.
- The walk is not strenuous, but it counts as exercise, so bring a water bottle just in case!
Looking for more freaky frights beyond the realm of reality? Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge pay tribute to your wildest fears and skin-crawling terrors in a few of the area’s most spine-chilling attractions…
A haunted historical experience awaits at Appalachian GhostWalk, where your lantern-led tour will wind you through the streets of Gatlinburg. Learn about the early pioneers, haunted attractions and hotels, and stories that have been passed down through the years. Take a couple’s tour around town, or get your whole group together for an educational and spooky night out.
Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg
Haunted hotels, murder and mystery, a 19th century cemetery, creepy alleyways, spooky streets…feel the chills run down your spine as you hear the darker history of Gatlinburg. The hour-long walking night tour is led by a costumed storyteller, ready to help you dive deeper into the secrets of the Smokies.
Outbreak: Dread the Undead
Stop the viral outbreak and escape the labs of Chemacorp and their derailed genetic experiments before you become part of the zombified family! Boasted as one of the most technologically advanced interactive zombie attractions in the world, Outbreak is filled with live actors and life-like zombies triggered to react to guests scurrying their way to the exits. It is the perfect adventure for zombie enthusiasts and thrill seekers. It’s also part of the Hollywood Wax Museum family, so it’s easy to fit in several attractions in one afternoon.
Castle of Chaos 5D Adventure
The Hollywood Wax Museum presents an advanced spin on video gaming, virtual reality, and horrifying fun! Take a seat in the interactive experience theater and put on your goggles to help investigate a paranormal uprising in the Pigeon Forge Castle of Chaos. See dark shadows scurry across the floor in front of your seat, smell the stagnant smells of decay, and hear danger coming before feeling the creatures underneath your feet! You are not left helpless, however; pick up your provided pistol and take out the root cause of all the paranormal unrest!
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
Grab the shoulders of the person in front of you and don’t let the terrors separate you as your family and friends fight to keep their nerves through 10,000 square feet of horrors in Ripley’s Haunted Adventure. Open 365 days a year, you can visit make a classic Halloween visit or bring in the new year by facing your fears in the dark, winding hallways filled with all the classic characters of nightmares!
Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg
Make an entire day dedicated to the terrors of the night and visit the Mysterious Mansion before taking your ghost tour. At Gatlinburg’s oldest haunted house, test your nerves as you work to make each step farther into the darkness to find your way out of the Mansion’s maddening maze of corridors! Tucked into its own quiet corner of downtown Gatlinburg, the mansion lets you work up a real appetite before heading to dinner and laughing about who screamed the most.