Amok, amok, amok! It's Halloween in Gatlinburg!

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Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a popular tourist destination year-round. But autumn—when the Great Smoky Mountains come alive with pops of orange and red and temperatures begin to dip—might just be our favorite.

Halloween in Gatlinburg means more than hayrides and leaf peeping. It's also a prime location for travelers who appreciate things that go bump in the night.

It wasn't too long ago that Gatlinburg was a rough frontier town, home to cannibals, family feuds that go back generations, and a healthy tradition of witchcraft. Today, there are still plenty of nods to its darker history—if you know where to look.

Rustic Cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains
Credit: MoreISO/Getty Images

Keep scrolling for our favorite spooky activities in and around Gatlinburg:

Rocky Top Mountain Coaster

Friday and Saturday nights in October, Rocky Top Mountain Coaster, the longest coaster in east Tennessee, transforms for high-flying scares after the sun sets. The Coasts and Goblins ride includes lights, live actors, and spooky animatronics to get you ready for Halloween.

Mysterious Mansion

Mysterious Mansion is the oldest haunted attraction in the Smoky Mountains. Legend has it that this sprawling Victorian is haunted by the ghosts of a family that went insane and turned on each other in 1903. Visitors embark on a 15- 20-minute unguided tour through dark corridors and winding staircases. Got thick skin? Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings throughout the month of October promise an even more "intense" experience.

Ripley's Haunted Adventure

Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, Ripley's Haunted Adventure is set in an old two-story building that once housed a casket making company. Live actors lurk behind every corner in this spooky, year-round attraction.

Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg

Scare-seekers with an appreciation for history will love this night-time walking tour of Gatlinburg's most "haunted" places. A local storyteller dressed in period clothing leads the one-mile tour of haunted hotels, infamous murder sites, cemeteries, and more. With Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg, each party also gets an EMF detector for sniffing out ghosts!

Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg

Ghost and Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg paints a vivid picture of the city's macabre past, from the most-hated man in Gatlinburg history to the witch that has been walking the city streets for nearly 200 centuries.