The Haunted Hilltop – Full Review

The Haunted Hilltop is a Haunted Attraction located in Chattanooga, TN.

8235 TN-58, Chattanooga, TN 37341
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsHaunted HayrideHaunted House

Links:

The Haunted Hilltop Facebook PageThe Haunted Hilltop Website

Contact:

Message The Haunted Hilltop on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs

Team Kiss of Death Logo

This attraction was reviewed on October 28, 2023 by Team Kiss of Death.

Final Score: 6.01

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Summary:

Are you ready to experience two attractions in one? The Haunted Hilltop combines a haunted house and a haunted hayride. This was our first year visiting them, and we didn’t quite have the amazing experience we were hoping for. This haunt has been around for nearly 20 years, but we feel they have some improvements to make. The actors were very passionate so they made our visit worth it.

Finding The Haunted Hilltop is easy by putting the address into your GPS. Follow the signs to figure out where to turn, and the parking attendants will direct you where to park. The ticket booth and the main entrance to both attractions were marked with signs.

You can only purchase tickets on site, and once you do, make sure to get your number so you know when it is your turn to get in line. We appreciated this feature so we didn’t have to stand in line too long.


Cast Score: 6.25

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Cast Review:

The amount of actors inside the haunted house was plentiful. Every new scene we went through, there was an abundance of new actors. The haunted hayride was very similar, except it had some places of dead silence where having more actors could have benefitted, or they could have spread out more.

Actors in both the haunted house and the hayride behaved in similar ways. Some did very well staying in character and making their role believable, while others didn’t do well. We encountered some actors who would just stand in one place and not do anything but jump out for a quick scare and then turn back to their position. Some actors would creepily lurk in a corner and then move unexpectedly, while others would jump out and follow us for a while.

The interactiveness of the actors in the house was about halfway decent. Some would simply scare us and go back to their original location. Others would try to get in our way or have some type of dialogue that was creative. The hayride actors were slightly better than the house when comparing interactiveness. Most hayride actors would jump onto the side or back of the wagon and get in our faces with their chainsaws or a different weapon.


Costuming Score: 5.26

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Costuming Review:

The costumes in both the house and the hayride were much the same. About half were standard clothing found at a shopping center, while the other half were decent costumes that looked like they were picked or created deliberately for that character. We noticed many costumes were just a mask, a hoodie, and jeans or black pants.

We didn’t see a lot of makeup used within either the house or the hayride. The makeup used had minimal detail, though. Masks were used more often than makeup, and at times, they didn’t fit the character very well. For example, we saw a clown mask slightly too large for the actor playing him, or the mask was thrown on without tucking it into the costume. However, some masks were used quite well and fit the actors.

Each scene within the house was different from the next, but some of them had characters in the scene that didn’t make much sense. For example, we saw Jason Voorhees and a Devil-like creature in a swamp, or we saw Michael Myers in the same room as a clown, and they appeared to be in a carnival-like scene. The hayride had a cornfield/woody scene the entire ride. You would probably expect to see scarecrows or various animals and creatures that could live outside or in the corn, but there were characters like Ghostface, clowns, and a devil that didn’t make sense for them to be there.

There weren’t any queue actors that we could see, but we felt they could have benefitted the haunt by keeping guests entertained while waiting in line and hanging out.


Customer Service Score: 8.74

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Finding the haunt was easy enough by putting the address into our GPS. There could have been more lighting at the entrance, but parking was easy and directed by the parking attendants. The ticket booth and the entrance to both haunts were easy to locate using all the signage and lights surrounding the place.

This haunted house, the Midway area, and outside the attraction seemed pretty safe. We didn’t notice any trip hazards or lack of lighting. However, the house smelled very strongly of gasoline due to the amount of chainsaws used. The hayride could have been safer. There should have been more lighting in the corn to illuminate where the tractor was going. The wagon also did not have a closing tailgate, so someone could have fallen off the back if they were scared enough. We also rode too close to the trees so tree limbs kept hitting us in the face.

Each staff member we encountered was friendly and seemed to want to help us. We asked some hard questions, and all were answered knowledgeably and in a friendly manner.

Their website or social media has a lot of important information. You can locate the dates/times, cost, rain policies, and address. They do not have any information regarding the type of attraction, touching policies, or ADA accessibility. We believe the house is ADA accessible, and the hayride could be, but you’ll need help getting onto the wagon. They will not touch you; the house is all indoors, and of course, the hayride is outdoors.


Immersion Score: 6.44

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Immersion Review:

The Haunted Hilltop has a decent pre-haunt atmosphere. There is a bonfire, a scary movie playing under a shelter, plenty of scary decorations, and a Halloween store. We would have also liked to see some queue actors keeping the entertainment going as people waited their turn.

There was no storyline for this haunted house/hayride. It is only meant to be spooky and random.

The immersion within the haunted house was lacking most of the time. There were many random scenes with random props and actors in them. At one point, we saw bottled drinks scattered around and an empty Domino’s pizza box. There was also a security guard following us through the entire haunt while using his flashlight and walkie-talkie. We also saw multiple exposed cords and generators that took away from the immersion factor. The haunted hayride did slightly better with immersion. We stayed in the corn/woods the entire ride, but there were so many random actors that it didn’t seem natural. We also saw some actors remove their masks before we were out of view.

The exit to the house was right inside the Midway area near the Halloween store. The hayride exit was in the same area as the ticket booth and concession stand. We feel like the atmosphere between the haunts was in a good spot to make people feel they didn’t need to leave immediately.


Special FX Score: 3.79

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Special FX Review:

The sound effects within the house were decent. Most of the time there were creepy sounds on an overhead speaker. Mostly, this worked in a way to provide a creepy feeling; however, there were times when it was completely silent so it didn’t work as well. The hayride was silent except for the sounds the actors made. These sounds were mostly just screaming or growling.

Some scenes within the house were well done with a lot of time and thought put into them. However, others were random with props and animatronics thrown into the room without a reason. The hayride’s only scene was the corn/woods. While this can be spooky, we would have liked to see some scenes and props on the hayride.

We enjoyed a lot of the animatronics within the house. Multiple animatronics did a great job of scaring us. There was a scene with clown props, and the Pennywise prop was very creepy! However, some props were randomly placed in a room without a reason. The haunted hayride only had one prop: Bigfoot. As mentioned, we would have liked to see more props on the hayride.

The haunted house had some sensory effects, such as fog to look like a swamp and multiple different types of lighting. The hayride only used lighting from the tractor to create any effects. We would have liked to see more use of lighting, fog, etc on the hayride.


Scare Factor Score: 6.7

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Scare Factor Review:

The Haunted Hilltop did a pretty good job of scaring us. Many of the scares were just simple jump scares, but the actors had some good hiding places and distractions to make the scare factor better.

We entered the house with a large group of people. For some haunted houses, this can work out for them; however, this one didn’t work well. My group was at the end of the line and we missed many of the scares because the animatronic got triggered as soon as the front of the line entered the room and finished before we even got there. The actors did well though because they would scare us from all directions and use distractions so this helped. The hayride was a little better at scaring everyone because multiple actors would come out of the corn at the same time and jump on the wagon at different locations.

There wasn’t a large variety of scares used on the hayride. Mostly, it was just jump scares, phobias, and directional scares. The house had a larger variety of scares. They used jump scares, phobias, illusions, blood & gore, directional scares, and distractions. The phobias in both haunts were clowns. The illusion in the house was fog used to simulate water in a swamp.

The finale in the house was quite intense. They had not one, but three chainsaw actors coming out at different times to chase you out of the haunt. The hayride ending was quite boring. We began the ride in the same location where it ended with the same actor coming out with a chainsaw so we already knew what was going to happen.


Entertainment & Value Score: 5.41

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E&V Review:

Overall, we felt okay about visiting The Haunted Hilltop, but many other haunts in the area are of better quality. It seemed like the actors carried the show for a large majority of both the house and the hayride. If they would put the same amount of effort into the scenes, effects, and costumes as they did with the acting, this could be a much better experience.

The extra entertainment provided was the scary movie on the TV, the bonfire, and the creepy decorations for photo ops. We appreciated not having to wait in line as well. They gave us a number and would call it out for when it was time to get in line. You also have the option to purchase concessions or gifts from the gift store.

The cost of the house and the hayride combined is $25, and the total time spent in the haunt is 14.5 minutes. The Minutes per Dollar (MPD) rating is 0.58 which is the lowest we have seen this year compared to all other haunts we have been to. We feel like the ticket price is too high based on the quality and amount of time spent inside a haunt. We hope this attraction can use our recommendations to make some improvements and be better next year.


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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 5.67 out of 10

Noah – 7/10October 21, 2022
The haunted house was fun and scary. Expensive concession stand (as usual) Great actors but it only …show more lasts about 5 minutes and they rush you out.

Ben – 5/10October 8, 2022
It’s just not that fun or scary. I like the bonfire but the actual haunt and hayride is below …show more average. Plus too many middle school kids. I will not return.

Ben – 5/10October 8, 2022
It’s just not that fun or scary. I like the bonfire but the actual haunt and hayride is below …show more average. Plus too many middle school kids. I will not return.

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