Rumor Has It

Coeur d'Alene's Bates Motel is rumored to have inspired the setting for Robert Bloch's 1959 horror novel, "Psycho." The novel, loosely based on the murders of notorious serial killer, Ed Gein, from Plainfield, Wisconsin, made its silver screen debut just one year later.

Directed by the legendary "master of suspense," Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" tells the story of Norman Bates, a murderous motel owner with an Oedipus complex. The film shocked audiences with its infamous 45-second shower scene, and remains one of the most iconic horror films ever made.

"Psycho" (1960) // YouTube Excerpt Credit: Screen Themes

The Bates Motel Before & After "Psycho"

According to Coeur d'Alene's Lewiston Tribune, the motel performed the patriotic duty of housing Uncle Sam's soldiers stationed at Farragut Naval Training Center during World War II.

After the war ended 1945, the barracks was converted into a 12-room motel known then as the Rodeway Inn. Years later, a man by the name of Randy Bates assumed ownership of the establishment, renaming it the Bates Motel.

Paranormal Activity

During its lifetime, numerous guests of the Bates Motel had reported paranormal activity during their stay. According to Haunted Rooms America, guests in rooms one and three and nine-through-11 claimed to have experienced the following:

  • ghostly apparitions and feelings of being watched;
  • flickering lights and hearing odd noises;
  • witnessing the mysterious movement of objects;
  • inexplicable and sudden freezing sensations;
  • and feelings of unnerving anxiety.

The Bates Motel closed its doors in 2015, but remains an iconic, quirky piece of Idaho history.

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