Watch News Sentinel reporter Ryan Wilusz transform into an asylum patient at FrightWorks haunted house

Knoxville News Sentinel

It’s spooky season in East Tennessee, and haunted attractions are beginning to open their doors to thrill seekers. 

But as COVID-19 lurks, haunted attractions have made modifications this year to scare their visitors more safely. 

“You can make (a haunted house) as scary as you want to as long as you practice the five core actions,” said Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. 

She’s referring to: 

  • Most importantly, stay home when you are sick or if you have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing can’t be maintained.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing from those not in your household.
  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces frequently.

HALLOWEEN 2020: Knox County announces its pandemic safety guidelines for Halloween trick-or-treating

Here’s how local haunted attractions are planning to follow the guidelines. 

Dead Man’s Farm

Dead Man’s Farm will open its 12th season a little differently this year, according to its website. 

The haunted experience, which moved last year to Philadelphia, Tennessee, will still feature a haunted house, haunted corn maze escape rooms and fire pits and midway attractions this year. 

But, this year, staff and actors will be maintaining strict 6-foot social distance from each other and from visitors.

From last year: Dead Man’s Farm has moved locations. Here’s a tour of its new home and offerings


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Tickets are timed to reduce flow and encourage social distancing in the queue lines and all visitors entering the attraction must wear face masks and use hand sanitizer. Sanitizer stations will be located throughout the attraction and rubber gloves are also available to anyone who wants them. 

Additionally, the attraction said staff will be screened upon arrival, and all staff costumes and masks will be sanitized between uses. 

Visitors are only allowed to enter the haunted house or corn maze with the group they arrived with. 

Physical barriers inside the haunted house have been removed, and visitors will not have to touch any props, doors or barriers between rooms. 

High-touch areas will also be routinely sanitized. 

13100 W. Lee Highway, Philadelphia, TN 37846

7-10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays

Frightmare Manor

Frightmare Manor off Emory Road in Corryton announced its COVID-19 safety plan online as well. 

According to the website, all staff and actors have gone through special safety training for this year’s events. Each night they’ll be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival and they will be wearing face masks. 

Hanging props, physical barriers, doors and other objects that visitors might touch have been removed this year and the attraction said surfaces will be frequently sanitized with hospital-grade cleaner. 

The use of fog will be limited this year, and up-close, face-to-face interaction has been eliminated this year. In fact, the attraction said, some staff will be scaring from positions on the ground to maintain social distance from visitors. 

More: Boo! What was that? East Tennessee Halloween events go from family friendly to frightening

Frightmare Manor has set some new rules for visitors to the attraction. 

Like the staff, visitors must wear face masks at all times. Special themed masks will be available for purchase for $5 on-site, or $3 if purchased in advance online.

Entry lines to the haunted house must be socially distanced. Once inside, visitors must keep moving to avoid contact with other guest groups. If a group ahead is moving slow, staff have asked that the groups behind slow down to avoid contact with them. 

7588 W Andrew Johnson Highway, Talbott, TN 37877

7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 7-11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays


Frightworks off West Emory Road in Powell is stepping up its social distancing methods with virtual queues. 

Upon arrival, the attraction’s website said, visitors will leave their name and cell phone number with a host or hostess. Visitors will receive a text when it’s time to enter the attraction, where lines will be shorter and strictly socially distanced. 

Visitors can also purchase timed tickets in advance online to reduce their wait and their chance of coming into contact with other visitors.

All visitors inside the attraction have to wear masks and stay with the groups they arrived with, keeping distance from other groups ahead of them. 


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More: The art of the scare: A behind-the-scenes look at Knox County haunted house FrightWorks

Staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms on arrival and wear masks. The website said they’ll be encouraged to wash their hands and sanitize high-touch areas within the attraction regularly. 

Hanging props and other features that would come into contact with visitors have been removed this year, and sanitizing stations will be available throughout the attraction.

1904 W Emory Road, Powell, TN 37849

7-10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays

Kyker Farms

According to its website, Kyker Farms corn maze in Sevierville will not feature “The Trail,” its usual haunted corn maze this year. It will offer its Zombie Blasterz paintball attraction on Saturday nights only this year.

938 Alder Branch Road, Sevierville, TN 37876

8-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays


In a Facebook post, Screamville’s outdoor haunted attraction, located off Tindell Lane in Knoxville, said it will be using a virtual queue this year.

While visitors wait in their cars, the attraction’s new radio station will air scary stories, text to win VIP upgrade contests and other entertainment. 

More: Drama-loving family highlighted in Screamville Haunted Attraction

The attraction will take fewer groups per night and only family members will be allowed in groups, according to an infographic on attraction’s Facebook page. 


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Once inside, groups will be ushered into a socially distanced waiting area.

All employees and visitors will be required to wear face masks, and hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the attraction. 

Screamville said all staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival, and dedicated staff will make rounds inside the attraction sanitizing surfaces. 

“The safety of our patrons and staff always has and always will be our (number one) priority while providing terrifying entertainment,” the post said.

“We at Screamville have been working endlessly and have put together safety guidelines in a very comprehensive plan to protect the staff and guests this fall.”

6825 Tindell Lane, Knoxville, TN 37918

8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

The 13th Hour Haunted Trail

The 13th Hour Haunted Trail outdoor attraction said it is taking precautions to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, closing small, enclosed attractions along the trail and sanitizing larger ones.

According to the attraction website, staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival and required to wear face masks.

The attraction is also requiring visitors to wear face masks and maintain 6-foot physical distance from other guests and staff members at all times.

The the ticket booth has been outfitted with a glass barrier and will be frequently sanitized. Hand-washing stations are located throughout the attraction. 

7201 E. Emory Road, Corryton, TN 37721

8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

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