As the crisp autumn breeze rustles through the leaves, and the sun sets earlier each day, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation in the air. It’s that time of year when the world transforms into a realm of enchanting mysteries and eerie delights. Welcome to “spooky season,” a time when the boundaries between the mundane and the supernatural blur, when pumpkin spice and apple cider reign supreme, and when the streets come alive with witches, ghosts, and ghouls. The season of shadows and secrets has arrived, and it’s ready to cast its spell on all who dare to embrace its bewitching charm. Whether you are into all things frightening or looking for something a little more family friendly, Jefferson County has lots to do this Halloween season. 

Ghost Tours and Haunted Homes

As one of Tennessee’s oldest counties, it should come as no surprise that many old landmarks and buildings throughout Jefferson County are haunted or have some kind of paranormal activity attached to them. Why not investigate for yourself on a guided ghost tour with Appalachian Ghost Walks. If you are looking for the full experience, book a package that includes lodging and multiple tours. 

Dandridge Ghost Tour

One of the ghost tours featured by Appalachian Ghost Walks is a lantern led Dandridge Ghost Walk. During the ghost tour, you will learn about Shepard Inn Bed and Breakfast. The Inn has served many purposes since its construction in the early 1800s- most notably a tavern from 1850- 1920. During this time a tavern served more as a hotel or trading post than a restaurant or bar.  

Since 2007, it has been a bed and breakfast. Guests and staff often catch a strong whiff of pipe smoke during the evenings, as one of the previous tavern residents had a habit of smoking his pipe at sunset in the parlor. Additionally, the Shepard Inn sits right next to a Revolutionary War cemetery, and guests have reported seeing strange shapes and figures among the headstones.   

Next, during the ghost walk, you will visit the Vance Building. It also dates back to the early 1800s and has served as many businesses throughout the years. At one point the basement was a funeral parlor and can pass a chill down even the most skeptical person’s spine as they take the tiny stairs into what is now storage. Former owners of the building have reported strange sounds, bumps, and knocks within its walls. Residents of downtown Dandridge even noticed bright lights during renovations, when the power should have been off! 

Glenmore Mansion 

Take a step back in time when touring the Glenmore Mansion. Glenmore was built in 1799 by John Roper Banner and the historic home would remain in the family for over a hundred years. Many legends and stories surround the mansion. Visitors claim that the number of windows on the outside does not match the number on the inside. Who said ghosts have to be evil? It is believed that you can feel a calming or friendly presence slinking around the house. Some visitors have even reported seeing the image of a young woman in the mirrors throughout the house and others claim to hear mysterious sounds coming from otherwise empty parts of the house. 

Frightmare Manor 

Although it’s just over the line in Hamblen County, we cannot leave out the infamous Frightmare Manor. While many Halloween stories are made up, the history of Frightmare Manor is just as true as it is chilling. The house, land, and barn originally owned by the Lexer family now lays untouched due to the horrifying acts of serial killer, Jeremiah Lexer. Frightmare is only operational in the fall and features three experiences: Backwoods, Rage, and Carnevil. Visit if you dare. 

Local Events 

As the nights grow longer and the moon shines brighter, remember that the spirit of Halloween is not just about haunted places and ghostly tales. It’s also a time for family-friendly fun and the age-old tradition of Trick-or-Treating. While the thrill of exploring haunted houses and eerie locations can send shivers down your spine, the joy of watching little ones in their adorable costumes as they go door-to-door seeking sweet treats is equally heartwarming. 

Trick or Treating

There will be trick-or-treating in Downtown Dandridge from 4:30-7:30 on Halloween night. Several of the shops will be giving out candy and have open houses and special promotions as well.  


Corn mazes make for a great day for family fun. They often feature hayrides, games, bonfires, petting zoos, and pumpkin patches. First on our list is Echo Valley Corn Maze, featuring three large mazes and over fifteen family friendly activities. Echo Valley is open from September 16- November 5. Next on our list, Ballinger Farm, is open from September 29 thru November 4. Dubbed the Farm Scene Investigation, track down clues, solve riddles, and reveal secrets within the cornstalks. Be sure to check out the jumping pillow, slides, and refreshments after you have completed the maze. 

Haunting Halloween in Jefferson County 

Halloween is a celebration that brings families together to create cherished memories. Although we may be partial, we think East Tennessee offers some of the best Halloween activities. Whether you are ready for an eerie Smoky Mountain ghost tour, haunted house adventure, challenging corn maze, or traditional Trick or Treating, Jefferson County there is no shortage of activities to enjoy.  

In between your spooky season festivities, there’s plenty of things to do in the Lakeside of the Smokies! If you’re visiting from out of town, we recommend staying in a cabin or the historic Shepard Inn Bed and Breakfast (you might just meet a ghost). Stop for a bite to eat a locally-owned restaurant, stop by Douglas Lake or Cherokee Lake for gorgeous Smoky Mountain fall views, and take home a treasure from one of our antique stores to complete your visit.