Archive for Haunted Houses

Review: Bates Motel (Haunted Attraction)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2018 by Lilliandra Winters

maxresdefaultI had the wonderful pleasure of being escorted to The Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride by Xander this year. Now you have seen a few reviews of this particular attraction from my beautiful best friend, but this year I thought I would take the time and tell you what I think of this place.

We always want to go to all of the haunted houses in the area, but we aren’t rich or have that kind of time. Every year we want to plan ahead, but we realize it’s two weeks until Halloween and Bates Motel is our automatic go to. That isn’t a bad thing. If anything, it is a huge compliment.

We know what the price will be, we know where it’s located, we know we are getting fried oreos and we know we will have fun.

We arrived at the muddy cold farm grounds EARLY. Being this close to Halloween, wescreen-shot-2013-09-19-at-10-38-23-pm assumed that the place would be packed and earlier is better. However, it was nearly pouring rain as we were driving and was still drizzling pretty strong when we arrived. After we retrieved our tickets (paid online beforehand, an easy and quick process to get in), we hid in the merchandise shop for a bit, freezing Xander bought a hoodie, very comfortable and reasonably priced, and plotted what we were going to do in what order.

We took a few moment to watch the Coffin Ride. I tried to convince her to go with me but she refused and there was no way I was going to do it by myself. You climb into a coffin that plays audio and bumps up and down. It lasts about 2 minutes and you are all done. The few people we saw enter the ride enjoyed the experience. This year they also had an onsite Escape Room to promote their Escape Rooms that just opened up in West Chester, PA. We did not do the on site mini escape room they had, but are interested in going to their main site in West Chester.

7-0Now even arriving at 6:15pm, it was dark quickly, which is what you want when you go to any type of haunted house. We typically start with the maze, however the ground was muddy and we were told we’d have to wait a bit, so we made our way to the Haunted Hayride. We stood in line until past 7pm. Now we have never been there that early, so we didn’t know that it appears most rides don’t open until 7pm. We talked and my first jump scare happened. Now, if most of you don’t know, I don’t scare. Not easily, at least. I wasn’t paying attention and noticed Xander staring over my shoulder, turned to a face off with a  ghoul and jumped. I don’t scream, but I do jump. In the 3 times that I’ve been there, I have only been jump scared once. Yonight I jumped 4 times. We won’t talk about how many times Xander jumped (for your information, it was A LOT).

Climbing into the Hayride is never fun but we welcomed the warmth of the fire displays. Riding along under the Dragon’s Mouth, we were witness to many a zombie, maniac, demon, abomination, asylum patient and some things I have yet to identify.

One of the many things that I love is that in coming back year after year is watching the whole place evolve. They had many new animatronics this year that I don’t remember being there last year. All awesome, my only regret was that many of these amazing monstrous beings had no sound. They would jump, their mouths would open and no sound. I do understand that sound would have to be added, the addition of speakers and players. I get all of that, but I feel like it would finalize these terrifying additions. I love beats, baddies and ghouls, but without sound they really didn’t come to life for me.

5-0I did also miss being closed in on the Hayrides. I wasn’t sure if they didn’t do that because they were running behind or if they stopped it all together, but it was missed this year. Other than that the rides were great. The cold and wet didn’t stop the actors from jumping out and giving it their all. It was a chilling start to the night.

Deciding to bare with the cold, we moved onto the Maze, Revenge of the Scarecrows, I think was the name this year. Here, I jumped twice, I think, mainly because I volunteered to go first (which I will never do again because there was far less screaming from the other unsuspecting people in the group), and people would jump out from behind doors.

I always feel bad going first, I feel that they work so hard for that jump or scream and typically I disappoint them with a simple… ‘Hey’ or ‘Sup’ and head nod. Sometimes I just laugh, I think it’s hilarious. Again, the upgrades were great. Actors well placed. Rooms spot on and the clowns scared Xander appropriately. I want to thank the clown that followed her as we continued, that filled my heart with joy.

sitting-room-bates-motel** Side note, friends, I want to be sorry for creeping out the people around me while we were there. I’m not. I uttered things such as, ‘That’s what I came for’ after a girl apologized for screaming. ‘Thank you, Daddy’ when an actor told me to take my medication (the Asylum section) and ‘Next time we need more screamers, they make it fun.’ I’m not even a little sorry, I LOVE Haunted Houses, I’m just representing me **

So we moved onto the Haunted House. Some notes, I love the addition of The Nun and Annabelle. I got jump scared once or twice. I can’t remember, more people around doors. I didn’t volunteer to go first. In fact, I pushed Xander against a wall and let the teenagers go first. Best. Decision. Ever. They screamed and it filled me with joy… I’m aware of how twisted that sounds. I don’t care. Again, I don’t want to reveal and ruin anything. They put together a thrilling show, actors were on point and dolls are hella creepy.

(One actor did rest his head against Xander and tell her she had beautiful ears. I think she liked it.)

17-0Now, this wasn’t my favorite year. That had nothing to do with Bates Motel. We didn’t check the weather report before we went, a huge mistake on our part. It was a bit slippery in some parts (the staff warned us that is was slippery and asked us to walk carefully) and due to the rain it seemed less crowded. Also there were less actors walking around, but again, we felt this was due to the weather. It was also very cold, we didn’t dress for that. I dressed to look cute, which I was. Xander came home with more layers on than she left.

We still had a blast, we laughed, she screamed, we made jokes and had a FANGtastic time. Sorry, not sorry. If you live in the area and haven’t been to Bates Motel yet, we have no idea what you are waiting for. You simply must go and have one hell of a time.


Do you know of a Haunted Attraction that we should review? Let us know your favorites in the comments.


The Houses October Built

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2015 by Lilliandra Winters

The Houses October Built (2014) Reviewhob_still_5
Director: Bobby Roe
Starring: Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews and Bobby Roe

Netflix is a fucking moron. It gave me a recommended 4 stars for this movie, so I trusted it like an old friend and it fucked me.

If you can’t tell, I was not a fan of this movie. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes every 30 seconds. I even stopped the movie to go do something and finished it at a later date because I felt obliged to write this review, if only to stop you from watching a terrible movie.

A group of ‘friends’ (I’ll explain that loosely used term later) get in an RV together and drive around going to the ‘awesome’ haunted houses in search of the ‘extreme’ haunted house experience.

Everything I wrote above is under the definition of douche bag. One, friends don’t allow friends to do stupid shit like hunt down an extreme haunted house. If your friend insists and wants to go with you, they aren’t your friend. Ditch that asshat. Two, there are always people who know the best haunted houses. No one knows what they are talking about. They have google and yelp for a reason. Read reviews. Three, you’re not a child anymore. Looking for that extreme thing to scare you like you were a kid again is asking to be murdered. You want a fear rush? Jump out of a plain, watch reality tv, eat expired spam.

Watching this movie was as delightful as pounding my head against a wall. These people broke every rule out there and I’m not at all surprised at what happened at the end of this documentary style crap fest.

Writing, acting… you know what, doesn’t matter. It wasn’t good. Breaking it down won’t justify what happened with this movie.

Please don’t watch this movie, save yourself.

(I want to apologize that this is such a short review. I felt if I continued that I would just be hate fucking this movie with my words.)


The Legend of The RMS Queen Mary

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The RMS Queen Mary‘s maiden voyage was in 1936. Until 1967, the ship sailed as a cruise liner and troopship. She carried “celebrities like Bob Hope and Clark Gable, royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and dignitaries like Winston Churchill.” On October 31, 1967, the Queen Mary docked in its final location in Long Beach, California, where it was transformed into a hotel and museum. (source)

Now, I’m not just writing this to give you a history lesson. It’s said that the RMS Queen Mary, nicknamed “The Gray Ghost” in WWII, is haunted. It was even been voted one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America by Time magazine.

The ship’s psychic, Peter James, claims that he’s had contact with over 150 spirits on board the retired luxury liner. Among these is a young sailor named John Henry who was crushed in the engine room while running from a fire. Many claim that they’ve heard knocks and seen bright lights with no source in engine room 13.

Another spirit is said to be a man who once slipped the steward a tip with a request for a female companion after his luggage was checked and stowed. A female companion was found and sent to the man’s cabin, B340. The next morning, however, when the man did not show up for breakfast, the staff checked his cabin to find the female companion dead. Not only was the mysterious stranger nowhere to be found, but there was also no record of him coming aboard at all.

Other spirits include ghostly children in the pool area and nursery, a “Lady in White” who has never been identified, and a former cook who was cooked alive in his own oven by soldiers who couldn’t stand his food.

While I’ve been on the RMS Queen Mary several times, I can say that I’ve never experienced any paranormal activity. Granted, I’ve never been on the ship at night, but it’s on my list of things to do. I’d like to take the tours and stay in one of the rooms at some point.

I know several people who’ve claimed to see spirits on board, so I’m excited for the day when I can finally see what all the fuss is about.

Do you have a paranormal Queen Mary story you’d like to tell us about?


Guest Post: Review of The Haunting of Hill House Novel

Posted in Guest Post with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The Haunting of Hill House is currently on Amazon’s Books from Hell: The Top 25 Horror Books Ever Written

Written by: Bridget Cannon

There is a real pleasure in reading simple physiological horror. That is what The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson reminded me. It is like when you are being told your first ghost stories as a child. Those stories are not about gore. They are about anticipation. About the small sounds and all the little things that you don’t want to admit frighten you. So you sit there with your brave face on but later you hide as deep into your covers in the darkness, anticipating what will happen. That is what it is like to read The Haunting of Hill House.

What was really interesting for me was how the characters have been written. I didn’t particularly like any of them yet I still cared about them. I worried for their well-being. I related to them but, to be honest, I’m not sure I would like to be stuck in the house with any of them. I give Shirley Jackson a lot of credit for being able to write them so well. They are well rounded and incredibly human. The story begins after the Doctor has sent out letters to people, whom he has carefully screened, to spend a few months with him at Hill House to help with an experiment in the paranormal. The main character is Eleanor, who accepts the invitation as a step toward reclaiming her own life after spending many years caring for her dying mother. The other character who accepts is a vivacious woman named Theodora. They are joined by Luke, who is going to inherit Hill House one day, and by the couple who care for the house.

The suspense creeps up on you in the best way while you read. If you are a fan of ghost stories, I would highly recommend this book. If you scoff at ghost stories, I would recommend this book.  Also, if you are looking for a movie version I would find the 1963 version of The Haunting over the 1999 version. I found this style of horror refreshing to read. I have always liked ghost stories and this one reminded me why. Like Montaque tells us: “Fear,” the doctor said, “is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.” Sometimes it is just fun to give in and wonder about the shadows and the slight creaks in the night.

Review of The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride Attraction – Glen Mills, PA

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2015 by Xander Woolf

Disclaimer: This is a review based on a visit in October 2013. While The Bates Motel still runs every Halloween, their attractions may have changed since our last visit. Please visit their website for more updated information.

Two Halloween’s ago, Lily and I decided to check out one of the local attractions: The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride in Glen Mills, PA. We gathered a group of friends, dressed up in some gothy clothes and set out to see what horror could be had at the former farm turned haunted attraction. Here is what we found:

The Bates Motel consists of three parts: the Bates Motel itself, the Haunted Hayride and the Haunted Corn Maze. Each attraction consists of roughly the same elements. They each have actors painted up to look like monsters, zombies, dead people or clowns; they each have a set path that you have to follow; and they each run the risk of you being touched by someone. For me, the scariest parts of the entire evening were the clowns in the Haunted Corn Maze and the fact that I was being touched by the actors.

We decided to do the Corn Maze first, as that was the least famous attraction in the place and had the shortest line. We were allowed to go through as a group, thankfully (some of our companions couldn’t handle the manufactured fear as well as others). We lined up and decided to hold hands. We started our journey by walking through a dark corridor designed to disorient us before throwing us into the maze. As we followed the set path, the expected people jumped out at us, either yelling incoherently or spewing creepy sayings. If it wasn’t people, it was animatronic werewolves (which could use some fixing up).

In the distance, we could see a large clown face. Knowing how clowns creep me out beyond belief, Lily pointed this out to me gleefully and I gripped the hands of two of our friends much tighter than they wanted me to. By the time we reached the clown hell, we had already gone through an abandoned bus with people hiding behind the seats and over a bridge where hands grabbed legs freely in a desperate attempt to make us scream (Lily was caught off guard and let out a little yelp herself as one of the hands grabbed her ankle). The clowns weren’t as scary as they could have been, but they tried to touch me several times as we went through, causing me to scream more often than I wish I had. Clowns are in the top 3 on my “Fuck that Shit” list.

The second choice was the Haunted Hayride. We waited in line for at least 45 minutes before we even got to the wagon. I sat near the front, on the edge, making me a prime target to be touched. A playlist of creepy songs blasted from the tractor pulling the wagon and we started on our way. As we went along, fire burst out in several random places, animatronic monsters yelled and struggled against their restraints. We went through a few makeshift towns where creepy people with guns, chainsaws and monster faces ran out. If their weapons had been real, I would have been killed several times as I was always the person they ran to first. One person even jumped up on the wagon, wrapped their arms around me and held a fake knife to my throat. That was the scariest part (I don’t like to be touched). Lily, of course, just laughed and said “Hi” to every actor who came near her.

We saved the Bates Motel for last. The outside of the haunted house resembles the house where Norman Bates lived in Psycho, rather than the hotel itself. You enter into a small, closed off room, where a woman on a screen greets you and tells you to proceed at your own risk. You are then instructed to open a door and head into the next room. Each room in the house is dirty and filled with creepy objects or dead people. Each hallway you go through has cloth walls so that the actors can paw at you as you walk by. There are dead men yelling at you to get out of their house and silent women who will stand very close to you as your back is turned, so that when you turn around, you’re forced to jump or scream.

The path leads you to a greenhouse just outside the house. Dead farmers are here, jaunting up to you and touching you. Just before re-entering the house, I saw a weeping angel statue. I inadvertently muttered “Don’t Blink,” which made one of the actors break character and chuckle. The final part of the house wasn’t scary after that. While there were dead people still coming up to me and trying to touch me, I was laughing by the time we walked out the front door.

I would say that the success of this attraction would be due to the fact that they are playing on the common fear of the unknown. You never know when someone is going to jump out at you or what the actor is going to do. Mostly they are silent, grunting, or yelling. Some will run up to you while others will slowly and silently sneak up to you without your knowledge. They will most likely all touch you, because that’s something people fear the most. When the actors touch you, it brings the horror to life. It makes the horror more real for a lot of people because it breaks the barrier between observing something horrifying at a distance and experiencing it for yourself.

Overall, the night was extremely fun. I was with good company and the place managed to actually scare me a few times. Though, if you add clowns to anything, I’m likely to freak out a little bit. I would definitely recommend the manufactured fear of The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride in Glen Mills, PA.

Wolf out.