Week two of my tour brings me to Dread Hollow in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dread Hollow has always been praised by Scurryface since our first experience in 2014. Since that time, Scurryface has claimed them as: #1 haunt of 2014 Top 3 haunt of 2015 #2 haunt of 2016 Top 5 haunt of 2018 and they also finished #1 in our national fan vote with a total of 5,469 votes. And finally, top 3 overall haunt of 2019. This shows how consistently good they are each and every season. Not only with their quality show, they offer one of the most detailed and immersive backstories I’ve ever experienced with a haunt. And they bring it to life right before your very eyes and you get to experience every second of it. In 2020, I got to make my return back to Dread Hollow after missing it in 2019. To say the least, I was excited to see what Tim and Todd and their crew had in store for us. Needless to say, we were blown away and this was the best I’ve ever seen them in all the years that I’ve been going.
On the outside, you wouldn’t put much thought into the haunt. There’s a parking lot with ample lighting with plenty of space with nothing but their new lit up sign that you can see from the highway. The real atmosphere begins once you enter the doors of Dread Hollow. Here you begin your journey through their little town prior to entering Raven's Gate Prison. This is unlike most midways you’ll ever experience. Their que-line is better than a lot of smaller haunts out there. It seriously could be its own entity and, in a way, it is. It’s full of surprises at every turn while telling a story with every step you take.
They also offer a photo op prior to entry and they do sell merchandise for a VERY reasonable cost. Major kudos to them for not trying to price gouge like a lot of haunts attempt to do with patrons.
I can’t say enough of what Dread Hollow did for the 2020 season. They offer some of the most detailed scenes and absolutely offer one of it not the most immersive haunt experiences in the country. They do an amazing job at disguising every single inch of the trail to keep your experience as realistic as possible. When you get to the location, you think to yourself, “it’s in what looks to be an old grocery store. How spooky can it be, really?” .... Once you enter the doors, your known reality becomes a distant memory. From the que-line to the very last scene, you are living their story and walking through their world. There were so many “wow” moments throughout our walk-through and Harbinger Bay was one of those moments. Standing ovation for the crew at Dread Hollow!
We witnessed some very unique costumes throughout our experience with the prison, coven and Harbinger Bay. Harbinger Bay definitely stands out in our minds when it comes to costuming. Dread Hollow does an amazing job with bringing their characters to life with their appearance.
Theme is the big thing at Dread Hollow and they stick to it 100%. I have honestly never been to a haunt where they are so dedicated to their story while bringing it to life for you to experience. The theme this year is, “The Cursed, arise to destroy the guilty and the innocent as Dread Hollow’s sinister past returns with an inescapable vengeance.” You will venture through, Ravens Gate Prison, Broken Coven and Harbinger Bay. All 3 is a unique experience that will have you talking about it long after you walk out the doors. Where else where you get a prison, dueling witches and a boat with insane visuals this haunt season? Dread Hollow, that’s where. The experience of the trail is no different. You encounter many of the characters within the storyline and with every step, comes surprises at every corner. What I love about it is the insane attention to detail and the transitions to each scene. It is extremely smooth and everything flows perfectly. Dread Hollow hits the trifecta with their trail experience. It is fun, it is immersive and it is downright scary at times.
There were numerous times where they were able to catch us off guard and get a startle out of us. In Harbinger Bay, the same actor got Shannon 3 different times within a few minutes of each other. Dread Hollow are the masters of diversion. With all the incredible detail and eye candy in each scene forces you to want to look closer at things within the scene. Not only do the actors take full advantage, their animatronics are well placed to make you regret letting your guard down. Trust me, I made the mistake and got startled by a spider. There are a lot of moving parts to keep your mind on while at Dread Hollow. This does nothing but play into the actor's hands while you are drawn into their immersive world.
Dread Hollow is $25 per person. They also offer escape rooms:
Paranormal: 30min - $15 per person - 6 person capacity
Eugene Todd: 30min - $15 per person - 6 person capacity
The Box: 15min - $10 per person - 4 person capacity
Book your escape room in adv at dreadhollow.com
Our experience roughly lasted around 25-minutes. During that experience it absolutely seemed a lot longer. That is a testament to how immersed you are during your walk-through. We never once encountered any dead spots or areas where we felt neglected or forgotten about. There was always something to keep us on our toes. Absolutely well worth the price of admission.
Top notch! Fully dedicated to their roles and portrays their characters very convincingly. The timing of their pop scares is to perfection. They know their scenes and they are able to read the body language of the patrons and they become patient to get their scare. Reading body language is very important for actors to gauge on how they should time their scare or course of action. Paying attention to that kind of detail will go a long way on landing quality scares. Perfect example, us. They realized that we were very focused on the scenery and detail, instead of ruining their scare on us right when we walked in. They waited until our focus was on the details of the scene or for when our attention was elsewhere. They also do a great job with interacting with their scenes and creating diversions for other actors. A few standout characters for us, Undertow, the captain, Queen Olivia, Birdman of Dread Hollow. The Character with the glowing eyes in Harbinger Bay. The one actor laying on the ground as we ducked to go into a tunnel. I truly thought you were a prop and you just came to life getting a great startle out of me.
I also want to point out that you can go to their website and get a full description of their characters. I love the fact that they introduce and promote these characters online. It gives the public faces to go with the storyline and the experience for when they encounter them.
This crew did a wonderful job and is definitely up there when it comes to actors that we’ve encountered thus far during this 2020 haunt tour.
Dread Hollow is the reason this category exists. From the time I began visiting them in 2014, which they ended up being ranked #1 by us in that year. They have ALWAYS been one of the most creative/original haunts we’ve ever witnessed. I used to think that nothing would ever top their cave experience. That is until 2020. This year they truly have out done themselves and out kicked the coverage when it comes to originality and creativity. From the insanely immersive storyline to the unique characters all the way to the detailed scenes and visuals. Dread Hollow will leave you wowed upon your exit into the parking lot. If you’re a fan of original content and striking visuals. Dread Hollow is the place to be this 2020 season
There’s no other way to put it besides, “Dead Hollow IS A MUST-SEE HAUNT for 2020.” Throughout the years, we’ve always labeled them as such. But this season, we mean it more than ever. We walked out of the exit blown away from the experience. This 2020 haunt tour, I have been so far blessed to see such quality haunts out in the Midwest and here in the Southeast. As of now, Dread Hollow was the best hands down. We were in the parking lot talking to guests about their experiences and everyone was blown away. With this crazy year of Covid taking over our lives. Dread Hollow is that breath of fresh air that we and the haunt industry desperately needed. Dread Hollow sets the bar extremely high in 2020 and they are the prime example of what the haunt industry is all about! Get out to Chattanooga, Tennessee this October and see for yourself!
As we were walking through the Voodoo area, we noticed the actor in the corner before she tried to surprise us with a scare. The scene offered some dark spots to it that maybe she could hide in so we wouldn’t see the scare coming. We think it could help increase the scares in that scene if she utilized the darker areas.
In the washer/dryer scene we felt the scene was too dark and the actors were attempting silent scares. I feel like if the lighting were brighter or if the actors were more vocal this scene could be more impactful.
They offer a fun midway with many things to do, but we noticed a lot of people getting confused or not realizing when it was their turn to go into the haunt. When you have a huge midway with multiple things to do, it will take your attention off the small screen calling the groups. I feel a loudspeaker or sounding a siren everytime a new group is called would help the confusion or get everyone’s attention.