The Haunted Mountain Experience Brings Spooky Outdoor Drama to Chillicothe
Includes Escape Room Challenge, Haunted Trail
Story & Photos by Matt Bayman
CHILLICOTHE - Each October, the same outdoor stage in Chillicothe where Tecumseh: The Ultimate Outdoor Drama Experience! is performed transforms into a spooky backdrop for a Halloween-themed show. In 2019, it was The Sleepy Hollow Experience. In 2021, it was The Passion of Dracula! In 2022, it was Stories of the Undead. This year, it's Frankenstein!
Halloween shows, which are not necessarily child-friendly, take place every Thursday through Saturday in October at the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre. The theater is located in a remote area of the rolling and wooded foothills just outside of Chillicothe.
Shows are performed at night, often beneath the stars and Moon, with moody lighting, music and special effects greeting the audience even before the show starts and increasing throughout it.
Each show is a mix between a musical and a theatrical play, with a talented group of actors utilizing every inch of the outdoor stage and a host of props.
During The Sleepy Hollow Experience, for example, the audience gets to view the show from three different vantage points. They start in the regular stadium seats, but in the second half of the show, the entire audience is invited to a pond on the main stage, where the performance continues. Finally, the audience moves to a barn near the stage, where the final scenes of the show play out, complete with a headless horseman riding a real horse through the middle of the barn while carrying a flaming torch, several times!
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During The Passion of Dracula!, the stage is transformed into the interior of a castle in the middle of a dark forest. At one point during the show, a gun battle erupts outside of the castle, with real guns being fired (with blanks) and people riding on real horses to heighten the theatrical experience.
This year’s show, Frankenstein!, will no doubt carry on some of these same traditions and stage antics.
The all-inclusive evening starts with an escape room at 6 p.m., followed by a performance of Frankenstein! at 7:30 p.m. At 9 p.m., guests enjoy the Haunted Trail and then watch a scary movie outdoors on the big screen.
Tickets are $20 for the show only. But most people choose to purchase the full Halloween VIP experience for $45, which includes the escape room, haunted trail and movie night.
A pub with food and beverages opens at 6 p.m. each evening. It offers pizza, breadsticks, chili cheese dogs, popcorn, nachos and pretzels, apple cider, pumpkin pie and beer, soda, coffee and hot chocolate, among other items.
To purchase tickets and learn more, click HERE.
While You're in the Area
If you want to double your fun, try combining a show with a visit to the Chillicothe Halloween Festival on Oct. 13-15, 2023 or the nearby Circleville Pumpkin Show on Oct. 18-21, 2023 or by visiting the rolling Appalachian foothills in the area during the peak of fall color, including at Tar Hollow State Forest.