Every town has its secrets, even the Best Town Ever. 2017’s Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern, in partnership with Fear Connection, takes visitors to an all-new, 29,000-square-foot location in Lookout Valley to the town of Dread Hollow. The haunt begins September 29, and every Thursday – Sunday through October including Halloween night.
Once bound by the confines of the Ruby Falls cave, the nightmare has seeped down into the Chattanooga valley. “We are building on our past haunt successes to increase the scare factor going forward,” said Hugh Morrow, president of Ruby Falls. “As this season’s Haunted Cavern has moved to a different location, the experience is set to thrill haunt-seekers in a brand new way.”
Dread Hollow is a place doomed by its past, appearing to outsiders as an unassuming small town, but enveloping the blood of the innocent and evil that continues to lurk in the dark. Mercy Harker, a respected founding member of the community, convinced prominent citizens of Dread Hollow to believe her wicked plan that select girls were a coven of witches. In 1615, these innocent victims were found guilty of witchcraft and hung and burned as a result. Mercy’s spell of horror has haunted the town ever since and waits to trap those who enter. Even today, as darkness creeps across the town, the residents of Dread Hollow hear the echoes of Mercy’s maniacal laughter.
“We are moving Haunted Cavern this year to a location with double the space to accommodate the storyline of Dread Hollow,” said Fear Connection’s Todd Patton. “Our actors will be in an environment with more freedom to intensify and interact with the patrons. Plus, the first 50-75 people in the door will encounter more characters on Main Street in Dread Hollow.”
Though this season’s haunt location has changed, the intense scare factors have not. If anything, the new haunted space allows for new fear tactics and more horrifying, interactive characters than before. Haunted Cavern at Dread Hollow still boasts sliders and two separate haunts, with the ability to decrease wait times for visitors. Go online for brand new R.I.P. fast pass tickets, character and storyline info: www.hauntedcavern.com.
Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern is in its 14th year of fear, and has continued to terrify record-breaking crowds annually. It has just been announced as number one on TheScareFactor.com’s 2017 fan-voted must-see haunt list for Tennessee and is currently a Top 20 Event by Southeast Tourism Society. It has also been awarded the sixth spot on the national haunt list by Rand McNally in the last few years and listed as number four on Buzzfeed’s national list of “19 Terrifying Haunted Houses You Should Experience Before You Die.”
Fear Connection, created by Todd Patton and Tim Green, has amped up its partnership this year with Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern. Since 2007, the team has worked on the design, build, characters and storyline for each season’s new theme. Dread Hollow is a new space to work with for both teams as they prepare for increased scares. For most people, Halloween only comes once a year, with horror movies as an occasional thrill. But for Todd - and Tim, who keeps coffins on his front porch - haunting isn’t just a pastime, it’s a way of life. One of Tim’s favorite quotes is: “Scare hard or go home.”
Warning to all visitors: Expect to be scared upon exiting your vehicle. May cause nightmares. Not recommended for children under 12. The most terrifying experiences are those we least suspect.
Location: Dread Hollow, in Lookout Valley
Event: Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern joins Fear Connection
Dates: September 29 – October 31, Thursdays-Sundays and Halloween
Times: Opens at 7 p.m. nightly, closing times vary (see website for schedule)
Address: 321 Browns Ferry Road, Chattanooga, TN 37419
Admission: $20 regular admission; $30 R.I.P. Fast Pass