Please note: this review is for the 2013 season rather than the current season.
Submitted: Monday, October 21, 2013
The House of Bathory made me fear for my life. I am not referring to the unexpected jump or shriek I make when something catches me off guard. When I say that it caused me to "fear for my life", I mean that I actually feared for my life! The haunted attraction industry has become far too commercialized and the focus has led astray from the main goal of actually making you afraid. Unlike most haunted attractions, the House of Bathory isn't consumed with entertaining attendee's by adding donut stands and rooms full of miscellaneous ghouls that grunt and growl. In all honestly, not many of us over the age of 13 really get scared at Haunted Houses anymore. I would highly recommend NOT attending the House of Bathory if you are under 13! The House of Bathory also does not spend hours and tons of money working on marketing their attraction. In fact, I think that they could care less if 2 or 200,000 people attend. The only thing the House of Bathory cares about, is that you are truly frightened. Imagine your worst fear, or a time in your life when you were so scared, that death seemed like a far better alternative compared to your current situation. That, is the feeling you will experience during your time inside the House of Bathory.
Finding the House of Bathory is difficult, primarily due to the one way street it is located on in downtown Manitowoc. You will not find HUGE signs or spotlights that light the way, you will need the address. There are no people standing outside waiting in a long line (similar to past years). The wait for the House of Bathory has been moved inside, which is a huge relief on a cold or rainy evening such as the night we attended. During your wait, you can expect to sit down, relax and watch an old fashioned scary movie on a large theater like screen. It is warm and cozy while you wait, so enjoy the show and catch up with friends. They wait until each group has completed the entire haunt before sending another through in order to make certain that the actors are prepared for their next victims. The haunt also plays out like a real horror movie, so it is imperative that there is no overcrowding that might give away the ending.
I do not want to share too many details about the House of Bathory, as I fear it would take away from the plot. I can tell you, that if you have been to the House of Bathory in the past, or any Dead by Dawn attraction ... this year is even better! The House of Bathory is a FULL CONTACT haunted attraction. That means the rule of "they can't touch me" does NOT apply and reminding yourself that they can't hurt you is OUT THE DOOR! Humans may be harmed during this attraction. I do not think that referring to the individuals inside as "actors" is fair, because I don't think they are "acting". They are truly twisted individuals, that live year round to divulge and release on you during the Month of October.
In summary, if you are tired of being disappointed by haunted attractions that entertain more than they frighten you, then go to the House of Bathory. The House of Bathory is unlike any other typical Haunted House and rephrasing the words of those who attended with me ... "HOLY CRAP (not exactly the word they used) I don't think I could do that again"! Thank you Dead by Dawn for bringing fear back to haunted attractions!