Jeff Chambers will do whatever it takes to scare the living hell out of you.
As the owner of The Haunted Hilltop off Hwy. 58 in Harrison, Chambers has spent $70,000 in new upgrades to the attraction this year alone. These include a host of animatronics (robots that move) and a 25-feet “Vortex Tunnel,” which Chambers said is the largest in the South.
Not that the attraction was anything to snooze about before, The Haunted Hilltop is consistently one of the “top” haunted attractions in the area.
What: The Haunted Hilltop
Where: 8235 Hwy 58, Harrison, Tenn.
When: Friday and Saturday nights through Nov. 1
How Much: $20 full admission; or $10 each for hayride and haunted house
Click here for more information.
While hesitant to talk about his love for horror—”I like them all” was his response to a query about his favorite scary movie—Chambers is obviously serious about the buisness.
“This all started as kind of a wild hair idea,” he said. “But once I get an idea in my head I’ll do whatever it takes to do it.”
Instead of a “themed” encounter, Chambers treats the Haunted Hilltop as a sort of catch-all for everything horror. Guests can experience multiple walkthrough buildings featuring everything from mad scientist experiments gone horribly awry to a room devoted only to clowns.
And then you have the hayride, which takes a group of up to 35 people on a painfully slow lap around a corn field where anything could, and probably will, jump at your face.
Chambers said he got hooked on horror about 10-years ago and has slowly built the Haunted Hilltop since.
“The first year, we just had the first building, “ he said. “Now, we have more to see here than any other haunted house does. The actual house is bigger than any other haunted house in the area and then we have the hayride through the woods.”
During the season, The Haunted Hilltop can employ about 60 people, and unlike other attractions, guests are guided through the house.
“The first building you go into is divided into 10 different rooms,” Chambers said. “Everybody calls it a barn, but we call it the first building ... then you get into a dark maze, the vortex tunnel and then another maze. It’s pitch black in there; you have to feel your way through. The last building has 12 rooms in it.”
Arguably, the most impressive aspect of Chambers’ Hilltop is his insistence to give his guests a positive experience—even if that experience means scaring the hell out of them.
One of his latest acquisitions is an animatronic pit bull on a chain. The oversized dog growls and snarls at the press of a button and, while not the scariest thing visually, is a welcome addition to the other moving parts of the attraction.
While guests are waiting to enter The Haunted Hilltop, horror movies are shown and spooky music is piped throughout the complex. Guests can also purchase a wide array of concessions or stand around a large bonfire. Chambers said it’s not uncommon to have up to 1,000 people onsite during operative weekends.
“You’re going to to get your money’s worth here,” he said.
Halloween isn’t the only activity throughout the year on the Hilltop. During Christmas, Chambers offers photos with Santa and an opportunity to meet an actual reindeer, of which he keeps several on the property.
The Haunted Hilltop will operate on Friday and Saturday nights through Nov. 1. The attraction will also be open on Halloween night—Thursday, Oct. 31.— and will feature an exclusive fireworks display.
Full admission tickets are $20 for both the hayride and haunted house. $10 tickets are also available for each attraction individually.
Click here for more information.
Sign up for our email list to get your morning news delivered directly to your inbox. All we need is your email address.