Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TOP STORY >> Scariest Halloween

Leader staff writer

Visit the Necromansion at 9905 Hwy. 5 in Cabot for a scary good time and to help homeless pets, as a portion of the haunted house’s proceeds will benefit the city’s animal shelter.

Tickets are $12. It’s open from 7 p.m. to midnight Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Owner Rocky Gray said, “What you see here you won’t see anywhere in the state, guaranteed,” as his brother and co-owner, Jeremiah Gray, explained how the Necromansion’s unique set design sets it apart.

“It has more movie-quality stuff than your average haunted house,” Jeremiah noted.

Rocky agreed, saying, “This is the closest we can get to having us and other people inside a movie.”

The Necromansion is the home of 1930s and ’40s artist Vincent Greymore, who was born Aug. 27, 1906, in Salem, Ark.

He was known for beautiful, but demented, paintings and sculptures, according to the haunted house’s Facebook page.

The page reads that Vincent moved into the Southern Victorian home with his wife, two sons and two daughters after attaining success and the wealth that came with it.

But there was no happily ever after waiting there.

Vincent’s mental health took a turn for the worse. He began to believe spirits that manifested in his works haunted what later became known as the Necromansion.

The artist tried to communicate with them, holding séances using the supposedly fictional book of the dead – the “Necronomicon.” Vincent claimed renowned author H.P. Lovecraft gave it to him.

The entry on Vincent reads, “Some say, in a psychotic break from reality, he began building upon their home and creating secret rooms for some sort of twisted exhibits, much like the hidden torture rooms of America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes.”

Rumors also have it that spirits possessed the artist, who then took to stealing human remains from a cemetery for his art. Some believe his stock of ghastly materials grew when Vincent murdered his own family.

But all that is speculative. It is known that the artist was committed to the Arkansas State Hospital 1951 but escaped in 1957, after which he and his family were never heard from again.

Perhaps visitors to the Necromansion will find out what happened as they travel through maze-like hallways and eight rooms filled with unimaginable horrors.

The artist is there, but haunted house owner Rocky warns that customers “won’t see him for very long.”

The house offers a mix of life-like animatronics and an all-volunteer cast of actors. Up to nine of them torment those who dare enter on any given evening.

Although the Grays and their brother-in-law, Derrick Moore, all of Cabot, have put on free “yard haunts” before — including an event for the Department of Human Services office in Lonoke — the Necromansion is their first professional attraction and new to the area this year.

It’s certainly a family affair as the Grays’ sister and Moore’s wife, Jessica, is one of the house’s many actors.

The brothers and brother-in-law also own Spookhouse Productions, which makes props, sets, masks, costumes, animatronics and more for haunted attractions. “Whatever you need, we can do it,” Jeremiah noted.

Rocky commented that plans are for their haunted house to return next year. He hopes to have a bigger budget and start putting it together sooner, though.