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Mysterious Mansion Of Gatlinburg

Posted by LOTGK on October 13, 2007

Continuing my tour of haunted houses and hay rides, the latest stop was Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg, Tennessee located on River road. Upon the approach, the entire area was doused with an eerie purple light illuminating the house. There was a hearse parked just inside the Gothic style gates with real tiki torches burning. Haunted music was being piped just loud enough to add ambiance. This looked very promising.

We walked up the porch steps and were greeted by the standard fare monster, (Hired help in a mask) and proceeded to walk in to the foyer.

The props looked very good, the Phantom of the Opera at the top of the steps looking down on us and the walls pained and molded looking like a real mansion. Not the cheesy style black board on many haunted houses.

Our first shock was the price of admission. Twelve dollars a person. Upon paying, the cashier, dressed in classic Goth, asked if we knew the history of the house. We said we didn’t and he was delighted and continued his story. The history was in 1903 a family that lived there went berserk and they killed each other inside the house. Since then, the family has been haunting the house moving furniture, flickering the lights, and the standard possession type haunt. He laid it on thick as several people were listening very intently. (I didn’t have the heart to inform him that in fact I did know the history of the house, and it was built around 1995, and was built as a Halloween attraction)

As we prepared to enter the “Starting” room, the library, one young man, age around 12, didn’t want any part of the haunted house. His parents kept goading him to go in. He was actually frozen in the hallway, he couldn’t move forward or backward. He just stared into the darkness for several minutes. Finally, the parents promised him that nothing would happen to him, and then his father grabbed him and dragged him through the door to the library. We waited behind and were to go with the next group but we could hear this kid screaming hysterically at his parents that he didn’t want to go in. The screaming escalated to shouts and then crying and sobbing. I would have simply walked the boy out and been done with it.

Minutes later, it was our turn and we walked into the library room. Of course it was darkly lit, or lit darkly, whatever, and the curator was soon heard telling us to push on the fireplace to begin our journey. We pushed and soon found ourselves in the maze.

We navigated our way through the maze following the fluorescent arrows guiding the way. The props in each room were standard fare, but were mostly all mechanical. Only three inside actors were there to frighten the patrons. Once where he jumped out from a dark corner and screamed, once where he was behind a fence and sparking a welding torch, and once where dressed as a giant demon chased the patrons down the hallway.

Through the course of the house, we climbed several flights of steps and at one point, were able to walk out on the balcony and look down onto the public. Of course, I pulled my shirt over my head and flailed my arms wildly screaming that I couldn’t find my head. I heard a lot of people down below laughing at my silly antics.

Further along, after climbing more steps, we spotted another balcony with a view of the inside of the haunted house. I stepped out onto the balcony to get a better look and the balcony tilted and began to fall making a horrible noise. It only dropped about one foot, but it was an excellent prop for the house. It had my heart pumping.

Coming to the end, the final scene was total mechanical props but it was good nonetheless. As the hallway straightened out, we saw the Linda Blair “Exorcist” scene of her in her bedroom, on the bed levitating and speaking in tongues. The dresser draws were opening and shutting and a chair was moving around inside the room all the while loud spooky music played. As everyone took a step back, another prop, a leaping demon from behind us, jumped out.

The exit door was mere feet away and led us to the side of the building where we walked out to the front gates.

As haunted houses go, Mysterious Mansion was entertaining enough. There were not enough “Live” actors roaming the house and premises, to many dead spots in the room, only black walls and an arrow showing us which way to go. And no pictures or video of any kind were permitted while in the house. I was sternly told after I snapped the Phantom picture above not to take anymore. Throughout the maze, I saw video camera’s mounted on the wall so I’m sure we were all being monitored for any naughty business. The price was a little steep taking into consideration the length and scare value of the haunt.

The positives: Plenty of entertainment value. We all had fun. It had the feel of a haunted mansion. This haunt is open all year round. The falling balcony prop was excellent. We all tried it several times. Each time you felt your heart skip a beat. The exorcist room was well put together as well, but a “Live” actor would have put it over the top.
The outside exterior screams haunted house. The purple glow was awesome looking, especially from the street. The Gothic steel gates and tiki torches along with the black hearse parked out front completed the experience.

The Grassy Knoll Institute recommends Mysterious Mansion the next time you are in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

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10 Responses to “Mysterious Mansion Of Gatlinburg”

  1. LOTGK said

    Previous comments…

    Chica-X – Posted 10/18/2006
    looks like tons of scary fun…nice new halloween theme around here too btw….:D

    littlelatingirl – Posted 10/21/2006
    I hear there is one in Philadelphia that is somthing like 15 stories and each floor is a different scarry theme. Samara and her buds from the base are supposed to go there this weekend. I will let you know if she makes it back. According to her, very few make it to the 15th floor! Unsure is that is because they are frighten out before they get there, disappear or actually become part of the display?????

    LOTGK – Posted 10/21/2006
    Chica, yes it was a lot of fun, and yes my Dark Zone Halloween area has received a face lift.
    Liza, there is one in Akron, about an hour away from us, the Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory, these two are connected and it is the best one we have been through. They spare no expense for fright.
    If Samara takes any pictures, I would love to see them.

    sam – Posted 4/12/2007
    the haunted school house and laboratory suck! every year its the same thing nothing new. I have been to those attractions all my adolescent life and it sucks, bottom line. the price this year actually went up so much that the started to except credit cards and debit cards its 17 50 a person now for EACH HOUSE its not a combined thing i understand these posts were in 06 but i just wanted to make that clear. Take it from someone who lives in Akron Ohio save your time money and gas its not worth it

  2. Jason said

    I work in Gatlinburg. Lived near there most of my life. The Mysterious Mansion was not built anywhere near 1995. I remember when I was young how excited I was when they were building it. We got to go in for a dollar as we were locals and we got a discount. I was around 12 years old and it was somewhere around the early 80’s that this place was built.

    • Anonymous said

      Exactly right. It was built by the “Mystery Fun House” corp out of Orlando 1982. It originally contained a vortex tunnel, a shooting gallery, a hall of mirrors and places where you could stop and take your picture. Through the years it has seen three different owners and has changed it’s show pretty regular. It was not built as a “Halloween” attraction..even though they do amp it up for Halloween with a ton of live actors. It is the oldest haunt in Gatliburg surpassing the “House of seven gables” which burned down in the Rebel Corner fire in the early 90s and Ripley’s Haunted Adveture which is still in operation.

  3. Dave said

    Mysterious Mansion has been there since at least 1983, as I have pictures of myself standing outside that my mother took. My family had timeshare at the condo next door. Maybe you are thinking of Ripleys haunted whatever that is located on the strip.

    • LOTGK said

      Perhaps, but certainly not in 1903 as the legend goes. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      • Anonymous said

        Ahhh but wait: The site of the Mysterious Mansion is the exact spot where Potopher House stood from 1900 to 1908 when it was burned down by vigilantes. Horace Potopher murdered his family in cold blood after being stricken with rabies after being bitten by a rabid racoon. Horace died later from the disease and the house became a den of theives. In 1908 the locals tracked a bandit from Sugarland Pass to the old house they threw a lantern in to flush him out..and the old house caught fire and burned down with at least 10 men and women inside. Take the Gatlinburg Ghost tour for more info. The host was probably referring to this story adding his or her spin on it.

  4. MB said

    Here’s a little fun fact you might not know about the Mysterious Mansion. It originally contained pneumatic (air powered) doors built to slam behind the patrons as they walked through the house. This would occur in pitch black areas and give the patrons a good jump. Only problem is when it’s pitch black people need to feel their way along. My younger brother was doing just that, feeling along the wall so he knew he was going forward, but he was the last in our group and the “scary” door slammed behind him as it was built to do, but it slammed a bit early and caught his left index finger in the door. What it did was remove all the skin and flesh from his finger from the first knuckle up, leaving nothing but a bone nub. Good times! Great place! Total truth! My bother (a child at the time) had to have reconstructive surgery and needless to say it kinda ruined our vacation. Ask any employees there if they’ve ever heard the story of why the Mansion no longer uses pneumatic doors. Enjoy the Mansion!

    • LOTGK said

      I’ve been to many an old fashioned 1960’s and 70’s haunted houses with air powered doors. One in Sharon Pennsylvania even had an urban legend about the doors, saying that one unlucky patron was decapitated by the door when he fell down in the threshold.
      Good times……

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