Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride – Full Review

Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride is a Haunted Attraction located in Glen Mills, PA.

1835 Middletown Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted Corn FieldHaunted HayrideHaunted House


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Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 10, 2020 by Team NOVA Necropolis.

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Final Score: 7.8

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Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride was second on our list as we made our way through Pennsylvania and, undoubtedly, one of the most anticipated. Settled on a farm in Glen Mills, which sits less than an hour outside of Philadelphia, this location harkened back to some of our more southern attractions in the way of the sheer size of the property. Bates Motel comes with a strong word of mouth presence as a lot of people we spoke with were extremely familiar with the attraction. Even our waitress at the diner earlier that morning mentioned how she drives by it every day, and how she had counted 3 dead racoons on the side of the road right next to it that had laid there for the past 4 or 5 days, something she felt was rather foreboding and ominous of the attraction. I looked down at my plate of scrambled eggs covered in hot sauce and never quite felt the same. Check, please?

So what makes Bates Motel so well-noted? What terror did we witness on the farm? What about the ill-fated raccoons? Well, grab your bags because it’s check-in time, and we’re staying at one of the most infamous motels this side of the Necropolis.

Cast: 6.95

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Let’s start off by saying Bates Motel has some of the most diverse characters that you can find. They have something for everybody, be it clowns, hillbillies, creepy gas station attendants, snake people, scarecrows, chainsaws, and yes, their very own Psycho. All of which are completely in their element in their respective areas. Hillbillies busting through doors and cocking their shotguns, creatures from beyond the grave literally rising up out of the ground, and even swinging over the top of you. All of this is encompassed during the hayride, now turned walking trail due to COVID.

With such a diverse group of characters, we were really missing more bodies, specifically during the hayride, which was extremely prop-heavy, and in the cornfield, where a lot of the path in between the haunt areas was simply walking. We maybe counted one actor that was in the actual path part of the cornfield so we ended up having a little more downtime than what we would have liked in between the scare areas. We also counted a few actors who were either caught off guard by some of the conga lines happening or were just simply meant to look creepy. But we noted some actors within the Motel and in the cornfield where they either just walked around menacingly, or just stood still trying to hide, assuming to try and hit the other group of people because we had spotted them already.

Costuming: 7.58

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Costuming, for the most part, was strong in some areas and not so much in others. If any of you have read some of our other reviews, you know shoes are a big part of the final look for any costume, and that’s usually where we direct our eyes first. Indeed, one of our chainsaw-wielding psychopaths was rocking a pair of Converses, which wouldn’t be bad if the character design felt like they should have been wearing them but given the scene we didn’t feel it was intentional.

In reference to actors who were just wearing face masks, we noticed a lot of opportunity with the creativity in incorporating them into the looks. However, those that were wearing actual full head masks, looked phenomenal. In one of our favorite rooms, which was filled with all sorts of snakes, a character got us because their overall look was just so well executed and polished. There were several of these shining stars throughout the haunt but, overall, we would have loved for this to have been more of a common thread throughout.

Customer Service: 6.9

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We had no problems finding our way to the attraction where, indeed, three raccoons sat nearby. Once on the property, there were plenty of parking attendants who directed us where to go and got us parked quickly and hassle-free. Signs easily directed us to the ticket areas, so that was no problem, and there were anywhere from 5-8 people(that we remember seeing) from the entrance into the queue to the start of the first attraction, which is fed into directly from the queue line. The ropes are easy enough to follow, however, there was a bunch of people trying to go under the ropes which was causing a lot of confusion and made getting into the line kind of a hassle. The security personnel were quick to give everyone a very stern and audible reminder to not go under/over the ropes. In the queue lines for the other two attractions, we thought it was ironic that one told us to go under the ropes(which we were dubious about doing considering how we were reprimanded at the beginning of the haunt), and in the cornfield, we overheard some not so appropriate conversations between line staff.

In regards to health and safety, we noticed plenty of signs reminding people to wear their masks and maintain social distancing and all staff and actors could be seen wearing their masks properly. It’s important to note that social distancing in the outside queue lines was not enforced, and while there were plenty of hand sanitizing stations throughout the haunt, we noted several stations placed at the start of the queue lines were empty.

Atmosphere: 8

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It was definitely the perfect night to visit an outside haunt, as the weather was slightly chilly and a delicate breeze was blowing through the air thanks to the looming hurricane heading up the east coast. The cornfield provides for an amazing view as you’re waiting in line to start to the trail and the sounds of screams that reverberated from inside give you the kind of chills that doesn’t come from the weather. While you’re waiting, feel free to feast your eyes on the big screen, which is set up to play all kinds of promotional videos from inside the haunt to prepare you for what’s to come.

Special Effects: 9.3

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Arguably one of the strongest categories, Bates Motel definitely shines leaps and bounds over a lot of haunts when it comes to the use of special FX. From the moment you begin the trail, you can see the level of detail and artistry involved is absolutely superb.

Huge detailed facades are astounding to pass under as you walk further into the trail. Giant, monstrous creatures that tower high above you, underlit by creepy hues of lighting to give them an added menacing appearance. We figured that not being in a tractor only added to the feeling of being towered over, because we were closer to the ground, so it worked really well. Interesting rooms filled with towering stacks of books, ceilings that fall on you, rooms so overfilled with creepy, antique, and aged-looking clowns that you barely recognize when one steps out to frighten you. And we can definitely tell they love their fire at Bates Motel, as you can often find their facades flanked by torches, their signs glowing red with fire, and a truly spectacular show involving a line of fire at a gas station scene. A walk through Bates Motel is definitely a study of their range in regards to pyrotechnics and animatronics.

Theme: N/A

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This attraction doesn’t necessarily involve the use of an overarching theme, despite it’s name.

Scare Factor: 7.38

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Overall, we felt that the entire experience definitely leaned towards the entertainment side of haunting vs. the actual scaring, though the group that was walking behind us may have something different to say, as they were very skittish and ran into us several times due to being targets of the actors. It was weird because we often found that when we were in the front, the people behind us kept getting the scares, and when they would end up in front, the actors would hit at the front of the line.

We also felt that the props tended to overshadow anything the actors were doing so it didn’t really feel balanced in that aspect. That’s not to say Bates didn’t get their fair share of screams from us, because they certainly did. There were several moments that garnered a true, visceral reaction from us involving moments in the clown area, a particularly creepy snake room, and a very gut-wrenching moment involving an area in the cornfield.

Entertainment & Value: 8.3

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Bates Motel is a highly entertaining experience, we spent a little over an hour on-site, going from each area until, eventually, you end up in the Midway at the end.

Harkening back to their love of fire, they had a fire performer using a hula hoop that was lit with flames to entertain everyone in the Midway. Concessions and merchandise are available to purchase here, and we highly recommend the cinnamon-sugar apple cider donuts, they were hot and delicious and a perfect way to end the experience. They even offer axe throwing in the midway as well. Lines can be pretty long according to what we’ve seen, as we were pulling out the front queue line was outrageous, so we recommend getting there early. Tickets will run you about $40 for an adult combo and will sell out fast so make sure you buy them as soon as possible, else risk the chance of a ‘No Vacancy’ for your haunted entertainment this season!

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