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This was our first year visiting the Bates Motel and we knew little of what to expect, but we were certainly not disappointed! I don’t think a haunt that posts “Do not touch the actors but they will touch you” could ever let us down. It’s a very old school attitude, and we love it.
We went on a Saturday night and arrived before dark to beat the crowd. Being the final weekend before Halloween, this would be our concluding haunt for the season and we were certain the lines would be long. Even with the early arrival we waited in a short line for our tickets. Friends of ours, unbeknownst to us, had attempted this haunt on the same evening, arriving around 8:00 but turned away when they saw the enormous line for admission. Once again, glad we arrived early; we took this crowd to be a good sign of what was to come.
Our first event was the hayride. The only drawback of this attraction may have been the number of tractors running that evening. Rumor had it, there were 9 or 10 tractors to run, but it only appeared that 2, maybe 3 were running that night and the lines were huge! By the end of the ride, we were more forgiving of the wait time. Detailed sets, a great cast, a well-done sound track and fire (!) made it a worthy experience.
Speakers located on each tractor began a soundtrack, perfectly timed with the elaborately themed sets. Imagine hearing the strains “Hey there little Red Riding Hood…” as you turn the corner to be greeted by a wolf’s head that comes sliding towards you, its size rivaling the size of the tractor. Some of the larger sets led us to believe this attraction had been around for a while, as few local attractions would have the budget to pull them off in fledgling years.
Another haunt to make use of low wagons without fencing between you and the actors, it allowed the actors “personal” interaction with the guests. At one turn we encountered the famed headless man on horseback. A nice unexpected touch. The man who swung from tree to tree above our heads was quite effective also; we had not encountered such a stunt in any other attraction this season. We passed another “trailer park scene,” which seemed to be a common thread among attractions for 2001.
Next we entered the corn maze. You entered the maze thru a giant steer skull, which was a pretty impressive prop itself, and walked thru a long dark corridor. This maze went far beyond the twists and turns of a corn labyrinth and forced you to go thru what could best be termed “haunted sets.” I’m sorry to say, I missed one of the best effects to happen in this dark and gloomy field. The rest of the party did not. I was walking several feet ahead of the group, as usual and I turned when I heard their reaction, to see one of the actors standing there. What I did not see was that he had sprung from the ground! These haunters had dug a pit, and a springboard catapulted this man from it!
On to the haunted house. One would have expected that at a location called the Bates Motel, the main focus would be on the “house.” Maybe at one time, this was the case, but this part of the attraction was diminished in comparison to the hayride. No references to Psycho, as one might have expected, you entered thru a space set and into the house. Traditional themes, good props and once again, more than adequate casting.
As far as walk thrus go, this was not the highest on our list, but this attraction was more than the sum of its parts. A remarkable hayride, an exceptionally well-done corn maze, a large band stage with a big movie screen that played clips all night, made it an overall fun and fantastic attraction and atmosphere. Bates Motel will be listed as one of our overall favorite places to visit.
This location also had a booth where you had the opportunity to shoot paintball guns and a chance to “hang Osama” with the proceeds I believe going to charity. Refreshments were also available. Pay them a visit, you won’t be disappointed.












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Arasapha Farm - 1835 N. Middletown Road - Gradyville, PA 19039
website: thebatesmotel.com - phone: (610)459-0647