|“||I made this game in October of '04 for Halloween and sent it to a few of my friends in an email. About 5 months later, someone had sent the same email back to my mother! It had turned into a viral email joke. I was very flattered and figured I should make a website for all the stupid prank games I've made.||”|
This page is about a screamer or shock site, whose original copy has been deleted.
The Maze, also known as the Scary Maze Game, is an infamous internet screamer created in October 2004 by game developer and programmer Jeremy Winterrowd, originally posted to his personal website "Winterrowd.com".
This Flash prank disguises itself as a simple maze game in which the player has to utilize their mouse cursor to move a small dot through the maze. At the start screen, there is a note informing the player that the objective of the game is to pass through all four levels, and the player cannot touch the walls; however, there are only three levels in the game. The game also explains that it is best with the volume on, but there's no sound in any part of the game.
The first two levels are easy to complete. But as the third level is reached, the walls begin to shrink and have sharp turns, making it difficult to avoid touching them. This usually makes the player concentrate on the screen. Then, near the first curve to the left of the maze sharp part (The game also knows if the player is cheating; if they use right-click), a close-up image of Regan MacNeil (the possessed character portrayed by Linda Blair) from the 1973 supernatural horror film The Exorcist pops up along with a loud, distorted scream that plays twice, scaring the player.
The game was uploaded to Jeremy's now-defunct personal website, Winterrowd.com in 2005. The original version of the game had some slight differences in colors, where orange/yellow with alternative text was used instead of cyan. There's an alternative version of the game that is used in the comedy television series America's Funniest Home Videos, where Regan at the end is replaced with the one from What's Wrong?, due to concerns regarding copyrighted content.
- Main Article: Reaction videos
Many people have posted videos of other people reacting to the game. The first reaction video on YouTube was uploaded by OUTLAW713, on February 21, 2006. In the reaction video, a young kid, Justice, is playing the maze. Then, he gets surprised by the screamer. Shocked, he starts screaming and repeatedly hitting the computer screen. He then runs to his stepdad, Chad, and starts crying. The original video and channel were terminated or taken down sometime in 2009, however, some reuploads had over 27 million views. The most viewed Maze Game video was uploaded by YouTube user nalts and has accumulated over 43 million views as of October 2017. However, the video was removed due to the channel's termination.
Even though only three levels exist in the game code, some videos circulated about a secret fourth level. On YouTube, there are some fake videos of people supposedly successfully going through the 3rd level and finally entering the 4th level, instead of a screamer. The earliest "tutorial" on how to get to the 4th level was uploaded by the YouTube user SoccerMomDebbie on October 19, 2008.
Other videos of the mysterious level continued to circulate. This video, which has more than 1.25 million views as of 2019 showed the cursor make a shortcut (which in practice would have killed the player) in level 3 unlocks a trigger to level 4 (pictured); once finishing the level, the game goes back to the main screen; text asks the viewer; "care to try a little bit faster this time?".
Outside of YouTube, users on Answers.com also about how to access the level; in response, users either replied a fake way or told the asker that level 4 does not exist.
The fake level 4 was confirmed to have been made in Adobe Photoshop and played using the Microsoft Paint eraser.
The Maze has been parodied on Saturday Night Live skit "I Didn't Ask For This". There is also a game called Save Justin Bieber, created by Jeremy Winterrowd himself, which replaces some parts of the game with a picture of Justin Bieber instead of Regan, and the maze color is light purple instead of cyan.
In The Simpsons episode "Flanders' Ladder" (Season 29) the opening segment has Bart Simpson prank his sister Lisa by having her play a game called "Genius Maze", which is a direct spoof of The Maze, however, in this spoof, the jumpscare happened very early on in the 2nd level and has a popup of a zombie, instead of Regan.
The first level.
The second level.
The third/final level.
- Winterrowd responding to a question on Yahoo Answers http://web.archive.org/web/20191207130448/https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080810043147AA2Ssol
- This page was made Screamer Wiki's first featured article in October 2019.
- The scream used in the game is sourced from Shareware Breakthrough Soundworks, a sound effects CD released in December 1993 by BeachWare. On the disk, the file containing the scream is SHRIEK.WAV.
NOTE: The following games contain screamers!
- Original version:
- Unofficial HTML5 version: playscarymazegame.net/play-scary-maze-game
- Second HTML5 version: scary-maze.com/html5
- Orange version: web.archive.org/web/20051223121743/winterrowd.com/maze1.swf
- Save Justin Bieber version:
- America's Funniest Home Videos version:
- Scream sound used: cd.textfiles.com/sbsw/SCARY/SHRIEK.WAV
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