Knoxville’s Halloween Horrors: What to Do, Where to Go

In Arts & Culture, Cover Stories by Matthew Everettleave a COMMENT

Here are multiple ways to scare yourself and your loved ones this Halloween weekend. Go to our events calendar for location maps and other info.

Thursday, Oct. 29

Little Tykes Halloween Hike
Ijams Nature Center (2915 Island Home Ave.) • 10 a.m. • Free •
A tour of the creepy crawlies that live at Ijams. For kids 2-6. Call (865) 577-4717 to register.

Fleet Feet Halloween Run
Fleet Feet (11619 Parkside Drive) • 6 p.m. • Free
Get dressed up to run in your favorite Halloween costume.

Downtown Randall Brown’s Halloween Spooktacular
Scruffy City Hall (32 Market Square) • 9 p.m. • $3
Quartjar and Evil Twin will co-headline this event, seeking to conjure the spirit of the 1976 Paul Lynde Halloween Special, which was notably the first network TV appearance of KISS. Knoxville bon vivant Ricky Moon will channel Paul Lynde for the evening. Comedians Shane Rhyne and Tyler Sonnichsen will be funny. Rus Harper of Evil Twin has offered to portray Witchie Poo for the occasion. Costumes encouraged.

Midnight Monster Mash Cruise
Star of Knoxville Riverboat • 9 p.m. •
The Secret City Cyphers host a floating Halloween party with more than 30 local musicians and MCs.

Friday, Oct. 30

Not-So-Scary Spooktacular Event
Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge (461 W. Outer Drive) • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. • Free-$8 •
Activities for preschoolers on Oct. 30 and fun for kids of all ages on Oct. 31. The event includes making trick-or-treat bags, a Great Pumpkin scavenger hunt, a costume parade, story time, walk of courage in the rainforest, a mad scientist lab, and, of course, access to all museum exhibits.

Freaky Friday Fright Nite
Mayor Bob Leonard Park (Watt Road) • 5-7 p.m. • Free
Trick or treat around the park’s walking trail. For kids 12 and under.

WDVX Halloween Eve Hootenanny
Market Square • 5 p.m. •
Live music with the Talking Heads tribute band Same as It Ever Was and jazz/folk oddball Jack Rentfro and his backing band, the Apocalypso Quartet.

Historic Southern Railway Fall Festival
Historic Southern Railway (300 W. Depot Ave.) • 5-9 p.m. •
Games, face-painting, costume contest, cider, and live music. Admission is free. Tickets for activities will be on sale at the event.

Knoxville Center Mall • 5 p.m. • Free
Indoor trick or treating and a costume contest for kids 12 and under.

HearthScares Ball
James White’s Fort (205 Hill Ave. Southeast) • 7-10 p.m. • $75 •
Spooky surprises await you at the fifth annual HearthScares Ball. Come dressed in your most impressive costume for dancing, frightening finger foods, a silent auction, costume contest, and other Halloween high jinks. Proceeds benefit preservation at James White’s Fort. 21 and up.

Cresthill Cinema Club: Alice in Wonderland and Earthbound
Windover Apartments Clubhouse (301 Cheshire Drive) • 7:30 p.m. • Free •
Cresthill Cinema Club offers an evening of otherworldly film fare, a knockout double feature of mind-bending fables: the 1933 live-action version of Alice in Wonderland and Earthbound (1940), another unusual exercise in phantasmagoria.

Night Owl O’Ween
Open Chord Brewhouse and Stage (8502 Kingston Pike) • 8 p.m. • $10 •
A night of, appropriately enough, local metal, hosted by local promoter Night Owl Music, authorities on all things heavy. With Summoner’s Circle, Mass Driver, Among the Beasts, Amour, and the Guild. There’s also a costume contest. All ages.

International Halloween Dance Party
Baptist Collegiate Ministries (1811 Melrose Ave.) • 9 p.m.-midnight • Free
An epic Halloween dance party on campus, co-hosted by Bridges, I-Navs and the BCM.

Saturday, Oct. 31

Smoky Mountain Hiking Club: Boogerman Loop
8 a.m. • Free
What better way to spend Halloween than on the Boogerman Trail? Come for a leisurely hike on what some call the prettiest trail in Great Smoky Mountains’ Cataloochee Valley. Perhaps you will learn something about the Boogerman himself. It’s a 10-mile loop, rated moderate. Meet at Comcast (5720 Asheville Highway) at 8 a.m. Contact hike leader David Smith at

Not-So-Scary Spooktacular Event
Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge (461 W. Outer Drive) • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. • Free-$8 •
Activities for preschoolers on Oct. 30 and fun for kids of all ages on Oct. 31. The event includes making trick-or-treat bags, a Great Pumpkin scavenger hunt, a costume parade, story time, walk of courage in the rainforest, a mad scientist lab, and, of course, access to all museum exhibits.

Halloween Metaphysical Fair
Illuminations Alternative and Holistic Health (8078 Kingston Pike) • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. • $5 •
A day of metaphysical fun with local vendors and practitioners of the metaphysical arts. Don’t forget your favorite Halloween costume.

Cancer Support Community Family Fun on Halloween
Cancer Support Community (2230 Sutherland Ave.) • 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. •
Wear your Halloween costume and join other families for some Halloween fun and games. With cancer in your family, chances are there is more stress for everyone. This Saturday Family Fun Day is sure to scare away the stress at least for a few hours. Lunch provided. RSVP. Call (865) 546-4661. All Cancer Support Community programs are offered at no cost to individuals affected by cancer.

Boo at the Barn
Horse Haven (2417 Reagan Road) • 1-4 p.m.  • $10 per carload •
Enjoy trick-or-treating in the main barn, collecting candy at each decorated stall. Meet the horses, who will be wearing their favorite costumes. Also, for those brave souls, enter the Barn of Terror. Activities include trick-or-treating, a pony kissing booth, horses in costumes, face painting, and much more.

CAC Beardsley Community Farm Harvest Fair
CAC Beardsley Community Farm (1741 Reynolds St.) • 1-5 p.m. • Free •
Come celebrate the fall harvest at with a free family-friendly community event celebrating the farm, the community, and all things fall. Enjoy free food, children’s activities, live music, garden classes, and tours of the farm and Habitat Urban Garden nurseries. Halloween costumes are encouraged.

Fall Festival at First
First United Methodist Church Maryville (804 Montvale Station Road, Maryville) • 2-4 p.m. • Free •
Before the children head out for trick-or-treating Halloween night, they’ll be able to enjoy a couple of hours of free fun at First United Methodist Church – Maryville. This is one of the biggest free events in Maryville with more than a thousand people coming out to enjoy the inflatables, games, hot dogs, popcorn, trunk-or-treating and more.

Unknown Hinson with the Squidbillies
World’s Fair Park • 7 p.m. • $15
While singing his own hilariously politically incorrect songs, Unknown Hinson plays guitar in a style incendiary enough to have Satan himself reaching for the antiperspirant. But don’t dismiss him as a novelty act. He’s one hell of a talent and has the music to prove it. A benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.

Open Chord Halloween Extravaganza
Open Chord Brewhouse and Stage (8502 Kingston Pike) • 7 p.m. • $5 •
Featuring music by La Basura Del Diablo, celebrating the release of their new EP, Mistress of the Dark, and opening acts Deconbrio and the Jank and burlesque with the Chica Negra. Plus a costume contest and more.

Sapphire Mad Max Halloween Celebration
Sapphire • 428 S. Gay St. • 7 p.m. •
Sapphire goes post-apocalyptic for its 10th annual Halloween event. Dressing up isn’t required, but it’s recommended for maximum fun. With music by DJ 4matiks.

Freakers Ball Pub Crawl
The Old City • 8 p.m. •
Get admission to seven Old City bars and clubs for the price of one $10 wristband. Six venues—Hanna’s, Southbound, Carleo’s, 90 Proof, the Bowery, and the Wagon Wheel—will host their own Halloween costume contests, with the winners moving on to the late-night finals at NV. First prize is $500 and trip to New Orleans. All venues are 21 and up only, except NV and the Bowery, which are 18 and up.

The International (940 Blackstock Ave.) • 8 p.m. • $10-$40 •
Midnight Voyage and Temple dance night celebrate their second Halloween at the International and its adjacent club space, the Concourse, with three stages of EDM. Highlights include HeRobust, Huglife, Paerbaer, Ede Gee, and DJ Fallen.

Pilot Light Halloween Masquerade Show
Pilot Light • 8 p.m. • $10 •
Pilot Light’s annual Halloween lineup features local bands dressed up as your favorite bands, performing your favorite songs. 18 and up.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Relix Variety Theatre (1208 N. Central St.) • 9 p.m. • $10 •
The Knoxville Transit Beams present a live shadow cast performance of the Halloween cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Come take part in a Halloween tradition with some pelvic thrusting, some insult hurling, and some thrills and chills that are guaranteed to fulfill you. Doors will open at 9 p.m. Preshow festivities, performances, games, and other surprises to follow. Show begins at midnight.

Sunday, Nov. 1

Samhain Ancestors Open Circle Ritual
Curiosities (2627 Sutherland Ave.) • 6-9 p.m. •
Celebrate the Thinning of the Veil—Samhain, Halloween, All Saint’s Day, and Dia de los Muertos. “Join your brothers and sisters in celebrating the end of the pagan year, where we honor our ancestors and loved ones who’ve passed and where we break out the brooms and pointy hats to play on our most famous holiday.” No cost, though cash donations or energy exchange items are welcome .


Blount Mansion Stories
Blount Mansion (200 W. Hill Ave.) • Oct. 28-30 • $10 •
Spooky candlelight and flashlight tours of Knoxville’s oldest home, with activities for kids.

Haunted History Cruises
Volunteer Landing • Through Oct. 31 • $15-$17 •
Board the S.S. Nightmare for a 45-minute family-friendly tour through Knoxville’s haunted waters.

Historic Cherokee Caverns Trick or Treat in the Cave
Cherokee Caverns (8524 Oak Ridge Highway) • Through Oct. 31 • $8 •

Knoxville Children’s Theatre: Quoth the Raven: Tales of Edgar Allan Poe
Knoxville Children’s Theatre (109 E. Churchwell Ave.) • Through Nov. 8 • $12 •
A kids’ theater adaptation of Poe’s most macabre stories.

Theatre Knoxville Downtown: Dial “M” for Murder
Theatre Knoxville Downtown (319 N. Gay St.) • Through Nov. 8 • $13-$15 •
Frederick Knott’s hit play about a murder plot gone wrong, which Hitchcock adapted for the screen.

Haunted Houses, Trails, And Mazes

Haunted attractions, ranging from trails and mazes to elaborate indoor productions with actors and special effects, have popped up all over East Tennessee in the last few years. Here’s a guide to the scare factories that are running this season around Knoxville.

Dante Haunted Forest
3361 Clinton Highway • Oct. 28-31 • $10

Dead Man’s Farm Haunted House
9567 U.S. 11E (Lenoir City) • Through Oct. 31 • $16.95-$26.95

Dungeon of Darkness Haunted Castle
Alnwick Community Center (2146 Big Springs Road, Maryville) • Through Nov. 1 • $15-$20

Frightmare Manor Screampark
7588 W. Andrew Johnson Highway (Talbott) • Through Nov. 13 • $24.95-$39.95 •

Frightworks Haunted House
1904 W. Emory Road • Through Oct. 31 • $20-$30 •

The Haunting at Knox Corn Maze
2019 Kennedy Road • Oct. 28-31 • $15 •

Historic Cherokee Caverns Nightmare Hill
Cherokee Caverns (8524 Oak Ridge Highway) • Through Oct. 31 • $15 •

Judgment Day Haunted Trail
Mayfield Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch (257 Highway 307E, Athens) • Through Oct. 31 • $13 •

Kyker Farms After Dark Haunted Trail
938 Alder Branch Road (Sevierville) • Through Oct. 31 • $15-$20 •

Maple Lane Farms Haunted Maze
Maple Lane Farms (1040 Maple Lane, Greenback) • Through Oct. 31 • $13 •

Trail of Doom
Oakes Farm (8240 Corryton Road) • Through Oct. 31 • $19.95 •

Senior Editor Matthew Everett manages the Knoxville Mercury's arts & entertainment section, including the comprehensive calendar section—Knoxville’s go-to guide for everything worth doing in the area. You can reach Matthew at

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