At the turn of the 20th century, the plantation that was to become Frightmare Manor was just a regular estate, owned by seemingly upstanding citizen Jeremiah Lexer. Lexer, however, turned out to be one of America's earliest and Tenessee's most prolific serial killer. More than 30 corpses were unearthed throughout the property and in its marshy backwoods--and even after Lexer took his own life, mysterious deaths continued to plague the plantation.
Nowadays, Frightmare Manor draws on this horrifying history with haunted houses recently featured in Hauntworld the Magazine and named the #1 Haunted Attraction in Eastern Tennessee by Knoxville News Media. The hair-raising events sprawl across 4.5 acres that house four attractions, including the mansion and its wooded grounds. As visitors explore, spooky special effects and actors create thrills scarier than many haunted houses' ghost-shaped wall decals.
27 Drive-In carries on the classic American tradition of watching the silver screen from the reclined seats of an automobile. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at around 8:30 p.m., two towering screens show recent cinematic releases to audience members cozily nestled in laughing Hondas, transfixed Volvos, and sobbing Saturns. Movie-goers motor through a two-lane ticket booth before parking and dialing the radio to an FM station broadcasting the movie’s sound. Anticipated flicks such as Contagion enthrall viewers this September, and the Twilight sequel, Breaking Dawn: Part I will cause theater grass to do sit-ups to withstand getting flattened by the horde of oncoming vehicles.
Birds and Clays, Inc. equips 12 forested stations with automatic traps that shoot sporting-clay targets high in the air, where they attempt to evade hunters’ bullets with swift, aerial maneuvers. Sporting clay professionals acquaint visiting duos with their weapons and equipment before waving them on to solve vendettas against clay in a manner that doesn’t terrorize local pottery shops. Trappers man the stations and load six to eight disks at each as guests take aim, hoping to shatter as many proxy pigeons as possible before heading through the woods to the next station. A limited number of golf carts swiftly shuttle patrons between stations when available, and cartless dischargers can trek the woodsy paths via foot or off-roading skateboards.
A longtime collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright hailed for his innovative and organic structures, architect William Wesley Peters designed the 85,000-square-foot Norton Center for the Arts as a space where performance and visual art could commingle. Since its opening in 1973, the Center has championed both innovative and classical works and artists, with a world-renowned roster of talent appearing over the years, including James Earl Jones and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Before entering its theater spaces, patrons' eyes catch the vibrant walls of the Grand Foyer that hold the Center’s collection of contemporary artwork displayed alongside a rotating lineup of secretly sentient statues and special exhibitions. Echoing with the memory of almost 40 years’ worth of show-stopping musical numbers and heart-rending violin solos, Newlin Hall’s plush red seats and cochleae-tickling acoustics contribute to the space’s renown as a setting for awe-inspiring performances. The smaller stage of the Weisiger Theatre captivates crowds with intimate performances where audience members in any seat of the house can hear the last-meal request of a tree on stage as it falls.