It's the "Psycho" time of year and the residents of Aurelia love to celebrate the fact that they once had a real Dr. Bates living in their community; in fact, they have transformed his office into a haunted house for all the spook-lovers to enjoy.
The Haunted Bates Hotel will officially be open for business tonight from 7-10, and again Oct. 28 from 6-10 p.m. and Halloween night from 6-8.
Upon arrival to the hotel, you will be greeted by a guide who will take you from room to room in the ghoulish inn; all of the rooms are the lucky number 13, of course.)
Each room is guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine and stir up a good scream or two.
For the past seven falls, a seasoned group of fright-lovers, and some new ones, gather together to put together their own rooms, coming up with new ideas each year to keep the "guests" coming back to the Haunted Bates Motel.
This year you will encounter the cellar dwellers, a witch doctor, the tunnel of terror which will keep your head spinning, the potion room (BEWARE of the spell-casters), the execution room, the haunted hallway and the spooky maze. Throughout the haunted motel, there is a clever use of motion-activated lights and creepy creatures.
For those who don't think they can handle the entire haunting experience, there is a "chicken" door to escape midway.
Aurelia's enthusiasm for the spooky holiday goes beyond the haunted house. The Harvest Hoopla has been enjoyed by kids and adults, also for the past seven years. This year's event is set for Saturday, Oct. 28.
The Friends of Aurelia women's group sponsors the Little Spook House, suggested for kids fifth grade and below. For $3, participants take part in a number of activities. This year's event will be held in the Aurelia Community Center, located at 235 Main St. Costumes are optional.
The Little Spook House will be in operation from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
A kiddy costume parade is set for 5 p.m., led by the Aurelia High School marching band. Line up is at the city park. All kids will receive a goody bag.
Following the parade will be the Haunted Bates Motel coffin races! Teams of six will race through an obstacle course hoisting a bodiless coffin; best time wins $60. Sign up will be prior to the races outside of Village Boutique.
For cooks in the community and area, there is a pumpkin recipe contest. Prepare your most delicious recipes calling for pumpkin as one of the ingredients. There are three categories to enter - best appetizer, best main dish and best dessert and three age groups - 12 and under, 13-19 and 20 and over. Prizes will be awarded in each category. Bring your prepared food items, including the recipe, and an entry form (available from Heritage or First Trust and Savings Bank, the library, city hall or any downtown business, to Village Boutique by 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at 5:30 p.m. at the Haunted Bates Motel.
If you are hungry, check out the food fair downtown beginning at 3 p.m. or stop in at the community center where the Aurelia United Methodist Church will serve a catered chicken dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m.
And that's not all - a dance will be held at the Aurelia Golf Club, 601 Valor Road, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Music will be provided by the band LSB (Larry Jorgensen, Steve Thomas and Bob Mikos). Come dressed in costume, if you wish. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes.
Get into the holiday spirits and join your friends for a frightfully fun time in Aurelia. Once you've checked in to the Haunted Bates Motel, you'll want to make it an annual event!