Anna Colby, Student Writer for MySaline explains everything you need to know about this haunted tour in historic downtown Benton.
The Royal Theatre’s “Nightmare on Market Street,” sponsored by Stated Apparel, opened Friday night at 111 S. Market Street. There are two tours:
- HAUNTED TOUR (FRI/SAT):
Oct 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 & 31.
- CHILD-FRIENDLY (SAT ONLY):
Oct 17, 24 & 31.
I had the privilege of joining Ms. Shelli Poole for a sneak preview and live video on Thursday night, where I was able to meet several of the actors and actresses behind the Haunted Tour, and even experience it myself!
Joey Shamhart, Seth Nuss, and Mary Grace Wells, members of the Royal Players and actors in the tours, filled me in on the details of “Nightmare on Market Street”–including the differences between the Haunted and Child-Friendly Tours.
The Haunted Tour is divided into different sections, each with their own unique themes. There’s “the meat locker,” “the zombie wedding,” and “the O.R.” to name a few. The actors also told me to be prepared for flashing lights, a lot of blood, and a lot of jump scares.
The Child-Friendly Tour is a much more light-hearted spooky experience, with Disney characters and singing. For instance, Wells, who plays the Zombie Bride in the Haunted Tour, also plays the character Maleficent in the kid-friendly one. The actors I spoke with assured me there will be no jump scares.
As a precaution against COVID-19, Masks and temperature checks are required. Also due to the pandemic, there are a limited number of walk up tickets available.
Since the pandemic began last year, the Royal Theater has postponed the 2019-2020 season lineup of “9 to 5 The Musical,” “Jungle Book Kids,” “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”, “Frozen Jr.,” and “Lost in Yonkers.” The actors stated they hope “A Nightmare on Market Street” will be a step towards safely reopening the theater.
Other contributors making the haunted tour possible are Allied Glass, Gingles, ACDI and Just Ice Cream. All Royal Theatre events are paid for in part by the Arkansas Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.