Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by CC2 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High


Creative, innovative, intimate, imaginative and startling.

This year's House of Bathory is darkly themed around the recent Alice in Wonderland movie, and its characters and sets represent that story nicely.

This is the first and only haunt I've visited this season that holds one theme throughout, and that made the trip through it very different and enjoyable.

The journey through the house takes you through multiple rooms on different floors that will bring you into direct interactions with the principle characters of Alice in Wonderland, except with startling twists and turns. They aren't quite what you saw on screen anymore.

Your trip through the House of Bathory is at a leisurely pace and staff do a good job of creating distance between tour groups so that you may not run into one another.

Visitors should be aware that some crawling and climbing throughout your tour is required.

Signage / Visibility / Location

The House of Bathory is very easy to find on 8th Street in downtown Manitowoc. Keep an eye out for the lines, and there is your entrance.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment

Lines form outside of the entrance. Some of the wait area is covered by an awning. Other areas are uncovered, depending on how long the line is. If there is rain or cool weather forecasted, dress accordingly.

Concessions and restroom facilities are provided at an adjacent shop.

On my visit, we did not experience any in line entertainment, but I have read that it occurs.

Actors' Performance

All of the performers at the House of Bathory gave very invested presentations. Their scripting was clever and enhanced the haunt.

In particular, I have to make mention of the Alice character that cheerily greeted us when we entered the house who giggled and skipped as she led us through the haunt.

Also remarkable were the Tweedle Dee and Tweedly Dum performers who affected nice British accents and shared amusing rhymes as we walked through their area.

I don't ordinarily like a lot of dialogue from performers at houses as I don't feel they add a lot to the experience, but with this particular theme the remarks of the performers complimented the experience nicely.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX

The House of Bathory is richly and elaborately decorated and you should be sure to look around to appreciate them if you visit.

The creators of the house did a remarkable job of making a coherent portrayal of the Alice in Wonderland theme and did a nice job of developing the story as you pass through the haunt.

Make up and costuming were well done. Keep an eye out for the very impressive caterpillar.


It took approximately 30 minutes to negotiate the haunt and we took a leisurely pace to appreciate all of the props and set decorations.

Crowd Control

The crowd assembles at the front of the building and staff route groups inside at approximately 5-10 minute intervals.

Most Memorable Moment

It's difficult to isolate one particular moment as being THE experience of the house as I really enjoyed the overall experience, in sum.

I appreciated the costuming and dialogue of the characters in various points of the trip and there are some surprise scares that follow those words.

There is a glowing sensory effect in the middle of the tour that is probably what I would consider most remarkable if limited to one pick.


As was mentioned, the House of Bathory is a very distinctive stop compared to its peers. It is part haunt and part theater. I really appreciated the thought that went into the theme, the effort to make a sensible path through the story and the clever dialogue of the performers. This will be a very novel theatrical experience for visitors and is highly recommended.

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February 25th, 2021 4:41 p.m. CST 13.5