Frightmare Manor
Talbott, Tennessee

As long as there have been haunted attractions, there has been an urban legend about a haunt that is so scary, that if you can actually make it all the way through, they give you your money back. It’s incredible how year after year at haunt after haunt and in any town you happen to be in, you will always hear people continue to ask about this much discussed haunt, but no one ever knows exactly where it is.

Well this year, Frightmare Manor in east Tennessee has brilliantly tapped into that age old hype and stepped right into that role and is saying, here we are. We are that haunt. And from what we’re seeing and hearing, paired with our visit to the Manor on October 10th, it is working. This year, people are talking about the “money back haunt” and they know exactly where it is. Genius!

Now on to our visit. Frightmare is a three part haunt, and you can buy tickets for any combination of the three. There’s Frightmare Manor proper, a haunted trail and then the Nightmare at Frightmare which is the part you have to complete to get your money back. The Nightmare, it turns out, is a Fear Factor style challenge that you have to enter alone and sign a waiver before participating. No we didn’t try it, and judging from our time in the lines, most others did not either, even though many said that they came there intending to do so. There was plenty of talk amongst the patrons outside about what it might or might not involve. And it appears that most people there were like us and not really up for crossing the line between crawly/squirmy things and chewing and swallowing. Heh.

But, I’ve spent enough time on that and I’d hate for the Manor itself to be obscured by the “money back” part of the story. The Manor which is the main attraction at Frightmare, is a very solid haunt. It doesn’t rely on very many store bought or haunt vendor props, instead it thrives off a very enthusiastic core of actors and everyday type items that have been spooked up a bit. The building is an old restaurant that more resembles a Texas Chainsaw Massacre style farm house than a business, but they use the old restaurant as part of their back story. This appears to be a relatively low budget haunt, but through elbow grease and the great actors I already mentioned, it is really fun and entertaining.

The trail was nothing big and the actors out there were much less into it than the ones in the house, but the main detractor the night we

attended was that it was a trail of extremely slick mud that caused us to pretty much be focused on not busting our asses instead of what was going on in the scenes. It works fine in the context of an add-on haunt to the main attraction at the price of $15 for the two.

The Frightmare team has been together for a few years now, previously doing a show for only the last week in October. This year they’ve become a full month attraction, they put on a quality show and the crowd was sizeable early in the month so it looks like Frightmare Manor should be a strong staple of the east Tennessee Haunt scene for years to come.



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