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An Inside Look at the 2020 Halloween Season at Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House

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ArkansasHauntedHouses.com recently sat down with Charlie Bookout of Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House, to discuss what's new at the haunted attraction for the 2020 Halloween Season! Located in Gentry, this haunt is a must-see for thrill-seekers this year. 

What's new at Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House for 2020? Do you have any new rides, attractions, or special features that Haunt Seekers should know about?

There are several new scenes and scares at Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House this year! Haunt Seekers will have to venture inside to learn more, but here’s a hint about one of the additions: the population of our Clown area has increased!

Many haunted attractions create an entirely new set each season, and that’s awesome! But since Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House occupies the historic building that was once a working funeral home, we’ve chosen to create a more permanent installation; one that stays true to the Haunted Mortuary theme throughout. That said, we do strive to improve the imagery each year; often adding special effects and props, while retaining many of the spooky elements our returning visitors have grown to love (and expect) year after year.

What are you most excited about for the 2020 Halloween Season?

When Haunted House season comes around, we’re always thrilled to invite our visitors into our terrifying world! That’s the way it is every year. But the 2020 season will be extra special. In light of the strange year we’re all having, we’re specifically excited to offer our guests a safe, as well as fun and scary Halloween experience.

What differentiates Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House from other local haunts in Arkansas?

All of the haunts in Northwest Arkansas are freak-tastic! What's unique about Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House is the fact that it actually occupies the historic building that was for many years a working Mortuary and Funeral Chapel!

How long has Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House been in business? Can you tell us a bit more about Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House's history?

While the artists of Mortuary Studios have been scaring the locals on Halloween night since 1990, the full haunted attraction "Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House" began operating each October Friday and Saturday night in 2014.

What's your favorite experience since opening Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House?

There are so many amazing experiences each year: actors sharing their best scares at the end of the night, meeting new people as well as visiting with fans who return year after year. But the very best moments are watching the victims run screaming from the exit!

How long is a typical haunt experience at Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House from start to finish?

It differs from group to group. There’s a lot to look at and experience inside Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House, and groups who are there to fully immerse themselves normally take from fifteen to twenty minutes to complete the labyrinth. Unfortunately, we sometimes see groups who are so terrified they treat it as a sporting event!

On a scale from 1 to 10, how scary would you say Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House is? Why?

Short answer: It's terrifying to most visitors! So... 9.5.
Long answer: We, the creators of Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House, firmly believe that haunted attractions shouldn’t have to be all about intense fear. We have attended many of the largest haunted attractions in the nation, and we don't think these events were ‘bad’ simply because they didn’t ‘scare’ us. The totally immersive experience at these places is amazing! ~ Most people think Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House is scary. It occupies a historic ninety-year-old building that was once a working mortuary, and we sure think it’s scary! But scariness shouldn’t be a haunted house’s only quality. You can enjoy one even if it doesn’t terrify you. It’s like watching a horror movie: We have watched The Exorcist dozens of times; it remains our very favorite film. Yet we’ve never once been frightened while watching it. Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House is first and foremost an art project created by the artists of Mortuary Studios. Its purpose is to provide visitors a fun Halloween experience. Some visitors find it extremely scary; others simply delight in the scenery and view it as a traditional part of their Halloween season.

Does Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House's property have any real haunted history? Do you have a spooky encounter you'd like to share?

In 1990, local artists began to occupy the historic yet abandoned “Carpenter Building” in Gentry, Arkansas. While the details of their attraction’s ‘back story’ are purely fictional, the Carpenter Building really was for many years Gentry’s mortuary and funeral chapel, and it’s now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The artists transformed the space into a project studio devoted to music, film, and many other art forms. They’ve been there for over thirty years now, and during those years they’ve often reported strange phenomena there. They’ve seen unexplained lights and noises. They’ve had the feeling that someone, or something, was breathing down their necks.
Several different Paranormal Investigation teams have spent a night in the old building. The things they’ve seen and heard are incredible. Using a variety of techniques, including video, EVP recording, ghost boxes, and dowsing, the teams have captured evidence inside Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House that strongly suggests the presence of something . . . otherworldly.

What inspired you to open up a haunted attraction? What's your favorite part of the business?

There are a lot of things we loved when we were kids that we never grew out of. Halloween is one of them. The cool weather, the mystery of the supernatural; there's just something magical about the whole thing. So when our band started practicing in Gentry's abandoned mortuary back in the 90s, we knew we had to at least hand out candy on Halloween night. Each year, our decorations would become more elaborate. And before we knew it, we had inadvertently built a haunted house. As often happens, the thing took on a life of its own and evolved into what it is today.

Favorite part of the business? The artwork, design, and back-story!

How has new technology (i.e. animatronics, special props, etc) helped you to enhance Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House?

There are different types of haunted attractions. Some use total darkness to terrify. Some use extreme actors. At Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House, we love to use animated props and high tech video effects (as well as realistic period scenery and authentic antique items) to help create what’s called ‘suspension of disbelief’ in our victims. In other words, along with dedicated actors and believable environments, technology makes our guests believe they’ve actually gone back in time to Halloween night 1950, and that they are actually witnessing evidence of the atrocities that were committed then inside Carpenter’s Mortuary!

Can Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House accommodate large groups? How many people can experience Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House together as a group?

The group size limit at Carpenter’s Mortuary Spook House is four. No more than four, no exceptions. ~ This group size limit offers the best experience for guests. Larger groups result in a conga-line that distracts from the scary atmosphere and prevents some guests from experiencing Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House to its fullest. This number has always been our strong recommendation, but we were occasionally flexible about it in the past. However, in order to maintain social distancing, we will no longer allow groups larger than four. *Also, groups are composed of family/friends only. Strangers are not forced together to form a group.

Does Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House offer any special deals, discounts, or coupons?

At this time, our pricing is super-simple!
$15 for a Regular Ticket, and $25 for a Fast Pass (skip the line and go directly to the attraction entrance).
But we always give away lots of free passes through our Facebook promotions. Like and Follow us at Facebook.com/MortuaryStudios!

Anything else you'd like to let us know about Carpenter's Mortuary Spook House?

One of the things that is most fun things about building a haunted attraction is the development of the ‘back-story.’ Ours involves lots of ghosts . . . lots of angry and hungry ghosts. We encourage (dare) our visitors (victims) to check out the VIDEOS page of our website: MortuaryStudios.com/Videos. There they can watch several ‘video dossiers’ – short films that cover in detail the horrible histories of the vile spirits Paranormal Investigators have discovered roaming our haunted halls.




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