About Us

 

The strange and unusual story of Spooky Pinball, or… How we accidentally became a pinball manufacturer. 

Ok, we started life as a podcast on April 1st, 2010. Just a happy little pinball collecting family that wanted to have fun and fill the void of nobody doing pinball podcasts at that time… Since then, the pinball podcast boom has really taken off, and we’re still here but in a whole different capacity. Yes, we still do a show on the first of the month, every month. But a rapid progression began to occur in 2011.

In 2011 we took a custom game to the Midwest Gaming Classic. Didn’t think much of it, just a father and son with a love for Godzilla doing a re-theme of an old game. Dad was lucky enough to work in the print industry and had access to some of the best people and equipment on the planet. Industry people gathered around this machine at this very show, and began asking questions. This led to a few phone calls and a whole lot of testing that eventually landed me dragging my employer into being a pinball supplier. Happy times for a pinball fan! But at the same time… it also led me to meet Ben Heck. Crazy mod guy who also shared a passion for pinball. He didn’t want to re-theme games, he wanted to build them from the ground up. He needed my help, and I certainly needed his. Pretty much led me down a path of no return.8

On Feb. 1st of 2013, Spooky Pinball LLC was born. We are (at the time of writing this) one of only 3 companies on this planet shipping pinball games, and couldn’t be prouder. Ben Heck’s “America’s Most Haunted” has officially sold out. Quite a happy start for a small shop trying to do things a little differently (or a LOT differently)! Our facility is at 184 Ridge Ave, in Benton, WI… a town of only 900 people. We love our small town roots and style, and there’s no place on earth we’d rather base our company! What started in 2013 in the Benton Business Incubator, has in 2016 grown into our very own shop.
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The people behind Spooky Pinball are a lot like our games… eclectic, odd, and hopefully fun!

First off, there’s Charlie Emery… president, CEO, COO, (and any other phony initials you want to make up) of Spooky Pinball LLC. Besides being the host of the Spooky Pinball Podcast, he handles basically all the day to day operations.  charlie@spookypinball.com1Ben Heck is the mad genius behind the scenes that launched us with his stupid amounts of hard work, time, and dedication. Ben’s “America’s Most Haunted” game is what set up this company and we’ll never be able to thank him enough. He’s good people, and a blast to work with.

KT is Charlie’s wife, mother of Bug & Squirrel, co-host of the podcast, and more importantly handles all the orders for game sales. ktGot a question on how to get a game? KT is your gal! She’s super sweet, and makes great french toast on Sunday mornings when she makes Charlie take a day off every week.  kt@spookypinball.com

Squirrel is the oldest offspring of Charlie & KT. She makes wire harnesses, paints cabinets where needed, and does any odd jobs that need doing after school and all summer long. She also is the advertising executive of the podcast, and helps write all the goofy commercials. 3Toss in sports, good grades, cheering on the Packers, and tons of teenage social time and she’s one busy kid. Secretly, she’s a Dr. Who geek to the core. Don’t tell her “cool friends”.

Bug is the Godzilla loving, old game shopping, odd job doing, commercial assistant, and only son of Charlie & KT. He’s a pretty good football player for a dude that weighs 85 pounds (with shoulder pads & helmet). 2He’s a better drummer than his father, and spends a lot of time wondering how he keeps his grades as high as he does when he’d rather be… well, anywhere else really. Be careful, he can trash you in a game of pinball really fast.

Pauly B is a guy that accidentally stumbled into our shop. I bet he wishes he hadn’t, because we immediately put him to work. Now he sets up all our wiring harness needs, programs games, and gets roped into doing basically anything we aren’t smart enough to do ourselves.4 Don’t know how we got lucky enough to find Paul, but if you’ve looked inside an America’s Most Haunted and thought how clean the wires look, you’ll be glad we did! Paul is a pinball addict, and one great dude in general.

Dennis Nordman is a legend in pinball, and a great friend. He helps us, we help him, and we’re basically glad he gives us the time of day. Another guy we’re blessed to have in our lives! To keep him coming back, we have Gramma make her word famous pumpkin pies. 5Gramma is retired, Charlie’s mom, and also does any errands or odd jobs we need. She also keeps the Minions fed to keep up employee morale.

Bryan Kelly is one of the top pinball restoration guys in the country. He’s also a cranky old dude who makes me beep a whole lot of cursing on our podcast every month. 6Bryan is in charge of… you know, I’m not really sure what he does besides critique our work, put together a segment on the show, and drink all our beer when he comes to Benton. We still love him like a crazy old uncle anyway.

The Minions are the backbone of Spooky Pinball. They do the bulk of the game building, play lots of pinball at lunch and after work, and as you can see are only slightly crazy compared to the owner. We’ve got a fantastic team of hard working pinball lovin’ people here, and we’re cranking out games at a rate we only dreamed of at company launch. Sitting in your own shop, hiring good local people, and doing what we love every day… yep. Life here, does NOT suck!

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There are many more people behind the scenes that help us do what we love everyday… We are grateful to everyone who helped launch this company, and most importantly… we can’t thank everyone enough who supports us by buying a game, some swag, or helps spread the word of what we’re doing! We are a small family owned and operated business, and your faith & support means everything. We can’t do any of this without you. Pinball is a small world full of really great people… this is why we’re here. :-)

Peace, love, and all things pinball… Charlie Emery

 

 

 Posted by at 1:38 pm