Monster Mountain offers big-screen thrills… and you are the victim!
Located in Hendersonville, TN (15 to 20 minutes outside Nashville, TN), Monster Mountain is an outdoor haunted attraction that offers scares aplenty. The theme for 2013 is a Horror Studios movie set where you, the visitor, play the starring role. As you explore each of the movie sets (totaling more than 20), you, the guest, will be haunted and hunted down throughout each movie set.
This year, the trail has been tightened. Past years’ dead spots have been removed and the entire trail flows through each set. Monster Mountain has hired more employees this year, with a full staff around 70 people and shortened the wait time for guests. The entire attraction is weather dependent, but always open unless lightning is apparent.
As I approached the Monster Mountain box office, I am greeted by the big-screen Terror-tron TV set, which is on full display. While people are waiting in line, this source of entertainment displays promotions of the short film Zombie City and faux commercials (which were both filmed on the Monster Mountain premises), along with clips of public-domain movies, all of which are highly entertaining for patient patrons to watch while they wait.
In fact, commercials profiling Deep South Paranormal were also shown to promote the Bama Boys of the Syfy Channel, who will be making a promotional appearance next week (October 18, 2013). The paranormal investigators reached out to the Monster Mountain organizers to let them know they’re big fans of the outdoor haunted attraction and have been attending for years. The Bama Boys will be setting up a table to sign autographs and meet their fans after going through the attraction.
Back to the attraction, at the main gate, I found an unsuspecting group of young ladies (with one guy, who screamed the most — it wasn’t me!) and asked if I could join them. It’s so much easier (and less painful) to go through haunted attractions as a group. After a brief introduction, we entered the pitch-black darkness with nothing more than our senses to guide us (and keep us alive).
At one point we found ourselves surrounded by a group of crowded trees leading up to a hidden cabin in the woods and we were unsure if this was part of the haunted trail or not. It was cleverly created to be similar to another cabin in the woods… the Cabin of the Dead!
As we ventured from one movie set to another, I couldn’t help but be amazed. There was a lot of work done to make these fake movie sets look real and I should know: I used to live in Los Angeles as an actor. I could be found working on TV shows and movies very much like what Monster Mountain has on display. Each movie-set location looks amazing!
The way the trail leads guests into entirely pitch-black areas of the unknown followed by their movie sets is ingenious.
Some of the sets include the shanty town filled with the totaled vehicles of Zombie City, a sewer system that feels like you’re actually located in a deep hole, a snow-themed gory Christmas and a ritual sacrifice by the voodoo priestess out on the bayou.
A word of warning, though: there are two claustrophobia bags that visitors must walk through. They are incredibly disorienting and slightly painful to go through. If you don’t like tight spaces, you might not like this portion of the haunt. Luckily, there are no portions of the attraction where patrons must crawl on the ground this year.
As you’re exiting the attraction, makes sure you notice the memorabilia at the end of the trail. Props are displayed from previous years to show how the haunt has grown since its beginning stage. I really enjoyed inspecting each item on display.
Creative Director Jason Kittrell notes that as soon the 2013 Halloween season ends, the very next day preparations begin for the next year’s activities.
A lot of care was taken in creating Monster Mountain and it shows. Clearly, this has been one of my favorite haunted attractions of the year!
Fans of the undead should definitely take notice: Jason Kittrell and his Monster Mountain staff will be the title sponsors for the Nashville Zombie Walk, taking place on October 12, 2013. He will have a table set up at the starting line to sell Monster Mountain t-shirts and have his staff of professional makeup artists on hand to perfect your Zombie costumes. Many of the haunted attraction’s actors will also be present for photo-ops and taking part in the walk.