It's been said that a boy's best friend is his mother, and you may just need to call yours if you find yourself trapped in the Bates Motel.

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Now, thanks to Stage III, that can actually happen...for better or worse.

Stage III has produced a Bates Motel-themed Escape Room for the October season, in conjunction with its newest play, Wrong Window.

"The idea to produce escape rooms came about in 2015," said Pat Greiner, one of the room's producers. "One of our members, who has since moved away, had a sister who was working in a professional escape room in Salt Lake City, and it was one of those kinds of things, like, 'We could do that here, right?' And it just seemed like a natural thing to theme the escape rooms to go with whatever show we were currently producing."

Such as the case this year, with Wrong Window - a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock movies.

"Wrong Window is a Hitchcock spoof," Greiner said. "Obviously the chief movie that's being spoofed is Rear Window. And the other Hitchcock films come into it as well. There's lots of Hitchcock titles just randomly worked into the dialogue. Someone will say, 'Oh, she was Notorious.' Or 'Why don't we go there? It's only 39 Steps Away.'"

Of course, one of Hitchcock's best known films is Psycho. And that is what inspired Stage III's latest escape room, which is serving as a fundraiser for the theater.

"What better place to escape from in the world of Hitchcock, than Bates Motel?" Greiner said.

The room took a few months to develop, Greiner revealed. The producers began working on it in late July and just finished this last week.

"Once we got the theme, we started looking for puzzles and games that we hadn't used before," Greiner said. "We try hard not to repeat the same types of clues or use the same locks too often in a row."

The locks, the clues, the story and the references in this escape room were made for a Hitchcock fan. There's a ton of references to Norman and his mother, Norman's love for birds...there's even a shower in the room.

The story leads you into a room at the Bates Motel, where you check in...but if you can't check out within an hour, you won't be checking out period. The hour time limit puts the pressure on, and the story progresses with each clue that you uncover.

When Stage III began producing escape rooms, they didn't know whether they would be successful for not, but they've proven to be some of the best ways to raise funds that Stage III has ever thought of.

"These are our most successful fundraisers that we've ever done," Greiner said. "The actual profits on the escape rooms are much more effective than other past ideas we've had. We're just raising general support money for the theater. The money goes to pay royalties, to pay for set building materials, to pay our one paid employee and our general manager, costumes, and all sorts of other things."

Greiner said that right now, specifically, the theater is raising money to be able to purchase new seats for the theater.

"We're looking into getting portable seats," she stated. "We want platforms and seating that can be arranged in different configurations."

Tickets for the escape room are $20 per person, and there is a group maximum of six people. Those who want to participate can visit the Stage III website to schedule a time for their group to try and escape from Norman Bates and mother.

The escape room is certainly a challenge, but it's also very, very fun. The challenges are hard, but not too hard. If you pay attention, have solid deduction skills, and think outside of the box, you'll be just fine.

Of course, at times, while the clock is running down and you still haven't figured out the next clue, you may just go mad.

But we all go a little mad sometimes.


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