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The Scary Maze Game is a popular scare prank and shock site typically presented to the viewer as a flash-based puzzle game requiring a high level of concentration, shortly before disturbing the unsuspecting player with a closeup image of a ghastly-looking woman and audio clip of an extremely loud scream. One of the oldest well-known “bait-and-switch” scare pranks to date, the scary maze game has inspired dozens of scary prank reaction videos on YouTube and elsewhere online.
According to the flash maze game website Scary Maze Games, the original “Scary Maze Game” (shown below) was created by developer Jeremy Winterrowd in 2003. Upon completion of the game’s third level, the player is greeted by a large picture of the character Regan McNeil (played by Linda Blair) in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist.
On May 20th, 2006, YouTuber CantWeAllJusGetAlong uploaded footage of a young boy being frightened by the maze game, accumulating over 26.7 million views and 52,000 comments in the first eight years. On July 7th, YouTuber ryanjyn2008 uploaded a screencast of the maze game (shown below, left), garnering upwards of 14.4 million views and 6,800 comments in the next seven years. On August 30th, YouTuber xxmrdennisxx posted footage of a young girl pranked with the game (shown below, right). Within six years, the video gained over 8.8 million views and 35,000 comments.
On June 27th, 2008, YouTuber nalts uploaded a video of a boy reacting to the maze game (shown below, left), which received more than 42.1 million views and 14,000 comments and the next six years. On August 2nd, the MileyMandy YouTube channel published a video featuring the pop star Miley Cyrus tricking her friend into playing the maze game (shown below, right). In the first five years, the video garnered upwards of 7.6 million views and 44,000 comments.
On August 14th, a Facebook page titled “Scary Maze Game” was launched, which accumulated more than 45,200 likes in the next six years. On October 31st, 2009, YouTuber Quinton Moran uploaded a video featuring a grandmother playing the maze game (shown below, left). In the following four years, the video accumulated over 2.3 million views and 3,300 comments. On October 20th, 2010, YouTuber Wiktoriya posted a montage of scary maze reaction videos (shown below, right), gathering upwards of 2.43 million views and 5,900 comments in the first three years.
On March 21st, 2011, a page titled “Scary Maze Game” was created on the Villains Wiki. On April 15th, 2012, Redditor sexgott submitted a post titled “When I see a ‘scary maze flash-game’ on the frontpage” to the /r/funny subreddit, featuring an animated comic of a man turning his computer volume down (shown below, left). Prior to being archived, the post accumulated more than 1,400 up votes and 40 comments. On November 18th, Redditor lemon_loaf submitted an animated GIF to the /r/funny subreddit, in which a man is surprised by someone hiding under his desk while playing a scary maze (shown below, right). Before it was archived, the post gained over 1,100 up votes and 40 comments before it was archived.