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PART THREE.. Monster Mountain & Death Valley Haunted Woods, Friday September 28, 2007.
By Shrub

OK, now that you’ve read about our second night in town, let’s go backwards to Friday night and the first two haunts we visited. We headed up Hendersonville way to check out the two outdoor haunts that we learned of, Monster Mountain and Death Valley Haunted Woods. First up and furthest from Nashville is Monster Mountain.

Let me say right up front, if you live in Nashville, Monster Mountain is worth the trip. Heck, it’s probably worth traveling from even further away, this place is impressive. Upon our arrival, there was a good sized line that moved at a steady pace. We did have to wait a bit, but once we got to the front learned that they don’t force you into a group with strangers and were pleased that they allowed just the two of us to go through by ourselves to get a real firsthand experience. It cost $12.00 to get in and if you don’t want to wait in line, you can pay another $8.00 to skip it (another cool thing that deserves mention is that they do take debit/credit cards here).

Well of course lines are no fun, but if the place has one and it’s not even October yet, that’s a good sign. The line was well deserved. Having known nothing about Monster Mountain upon arrival, we now are gladly recommending it as a great time and a great deal. After entering through the holding room, you meet the mayor of the town you are about to explore. He greets you, shows you the way (into a dirt tunnel) and then makes sure that you won’t be backing out. Heh. From there you climb, wind and weave your way across the “mountain”, in and out of buildings, encountering creative obstacles and dastardly denizens all along the way.

Monster Mountain is a massive feat of construction. There are a few high end animatronic props, but for the most part, it seems like they just either innovatively built stuff from scratch, or used things like old refrigerators, trailers and boats (!) and turned them into part of the experience. Be ready for a bit of a workout too as you will be squeezing and crawling your way through some areas. Don’t go out here with a bad knee. And in a freaky and fun turn, you may even need your dancin’ shoes in Club Corpse – what a blast.

At approximately 35-40 minutes for the whole trip, Monster Mountain delivers. Anybody can have blank wood hallways with random “boo” moments, but atmosphere is what sets great haunts apart and this place has just that. Subtle moments like a crib in a dark room that you must approach as a baby cries, or the fact that you have no option but to walk right in through the front door of a burning building – an amazing special effect! – will have you advancing with trepidation. If you are in the area, I would suggest that you put Monster Mountain toward the top of your haunts to see list.

Update: Monster Mountain has provided some updates. Due to bigger crowd sizes, they can no longer allow just 2 people to go through at a time. Also the VIP pass is now $25.00 and they will be OPEN the weekend AFTER Halloween.

Now, speaking of blank wood hallways with random “boo” moments, let’s move on to Death Valley Haunted Woods. We arrive to find a flame printed hearse along with very friendly parking attendants and people working the entrance, but no line. At $15.00 and no coupons that we know of, it is one of the most expensive haunts in Nashville, and not worth it compared to places like Monster Mountain and Demon’s Den.

Looking forward to the “haunted woods” part, I was pretty let down. It was in a strip mall on a main road and was not really “woodsy”, it was mostly outdoors but pretty much just a collection of walled boardwalks and tunnels. It even had multiple dark mazes, with no actors or props, to take up space and time. You've probably read that we’re not big fans of black mazes, but these drove us nuts as they killed the flow by really bottlenecking the crowd.

Death Valley takes the most obvious approach imaginable and fills their haunt with Freddy, Jason, Michael, and Leatherface. There was a Psycho room too, but no Norman that we saw. Some actors worked hard, others just stood there in plain view until you got beside them and then “RAH!” There wasn’t any tension or really creepy atmosphere and the patrons near us didn’t seem to be scared, just walking through having a conversation. Clowns are overdone to say the least, but the kooky clowns here were a fun little pick-up, bouncing around to Tetris music, but then it’s right into another maze and Beeeerrzzt…. Game over.

It appears that Death Valley has been around for quite a few years. Perhaps they are resting on their laurels, and I think it’s time for a re-imagining. They ain’t really cutting it here in 2007, especially for the price.

Monster Mountain Website

Death Valley Haunted Woods Website


Read Nashville Part One: Demon's Den and Death Row

Read Nashville Part Two: Devil's Dungeon & Slaughterhouse


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