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A “Great Pumpkin” stands atop the hill at Tweetsie Railroad, a theme park that transforms into a haunted park adventure during the fall season.

It’s time for a thrilling road trip to the High Country of North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

First up, at just one hour from Damascus, Virginia, Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, forgets about the Wild West and becomes a haunted park adventure with Halloween thrills and chills for all ages.

What’s at the center is the “Ghost Train,” circling around the park on the famous rail line that’s been standing here since the 1950s.

You’ll also find Tweetsie’s “Haunted House” and “Freaky Forest.”

Take a ride at the “Creepy Carnival.” Or check out the “Tweetsie Palace Spooktacular” — with a frightfully delightful black light puppet show for all ages.

You can also walk through a light tunnel to “The Boneyard.”

Remember: Tickets are for a specific date and train ride time at Tweetsie, 300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane. A limited number of guests are admitted nightly. Advance tickets ($44 adults, $38 children) are strongly recommended for Oct. 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26. For more, call 800-526-5740 or email

Down in the Smokies

History & Haunts returns to Sevierville, Tennessee, on Saturdays, 5 to 9 p.m., at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, about 90 minutes south of the Sullivan County Courthouse.

Each week’s event brings a new harvest of activities — from guided historical walking tours and costume contests to storytellers, live music and lawn games.

“We wanted to focus on reenergizing the celebration in Sevierville by adding new events,” said Sevierville Chamber of Commerce CEO Brenda McCroskey.

Admission to History & Haunts is free at 136 Bruce St., although there may be a nominal charge for craft activities.

This Saturday, listen to live music by The Reunited. You can also enter the Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest, where you can dress your pup in his or her best outfit for a prize. Registration starts at 6 p.m., followed by the contest at 7 p.m. Dogs must remain on a leash.

Other activities include cornhole and lawn games plus fall crafts, storytellers and tours of downtown Sevierville.

More fun comes up Oct. 19 with a dance party featuring classic Halloween tunes; a paint-your-own-pumpkin contest; and the Zombie Costume Contest starting at 6 p.m., followed by the Zombie Walk at 7 p.m. and a “Thriller” flash mob saluting Michael Jackson at 8 p.m., with lessons given as early as 5 p.m.

One more Saturday of fun comes up Oct. 26 at the Sevier County Courthouse, 125 Court Ave., in Sevierville with live music by The Kincaid Band plus fire pits, fall crafts and a Haunted Historical Walking Tour, starting at 6 p.m.

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