This was our first year visiting the Bates Motel and we knew
little of what to expect, but we were certainly not disappointed!
I dont think a haunt that posts Do not touch the
actors but they will touch you could ever let us down.
Its 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
you turn the corner to be greeted by a wolfs 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. Im
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
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 wont be disappointed.