|Photo courtesy of the Winchester Mystery House|
It was a very well-done attraction, especially considering the Winchester Mystery House is a historic landmark and all that. In other words, it was freaking scary!!!**
The "maze" (I'm not sure what else to call it) starts in the front gardens and winds around the outside of the actual house. It does go through some of the buildings in the gardens, such as the tool sheds and stuff, but not into the mansion. The actors, who pop out at you from the most unexpected places, are probably the scariest part.
This was really well executed--the actors did a great job of hiding in the places you wouldn't expect them, teaming up (someone would distract you while another came up behind you), and staying in character. Plus, some of them were wielding Winchester rifles, shovels, and real chainsaws (the blades were off, but I can only hope they still hired professionals to do this), and they did a good job of getting really close and not flinching.
While the actors were the scariest part, the decor was also really good (or bad, depending on how you look at it). I wasn't exactly studying each scene in detail, but there were a lot of bodies. Like, decapitated heads and bodies hanging from meat hooks, and torsos smeared across the floor. There were also a lot of scarecrows (okay, to be fair, some of it was a corn maize <-- haha see how I did that? Corn MAIZE! I bet I'm the first person in the world to have made that pun). Creepy, fang-toothed scarecrows.
I admit I was a little disappointed that they didn't stay true to the whole Winchester story, i.e. have lots of ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles, but to be fair that would have made the entire thing a lot less scary.
Finally, exiting the corn maze of creepy scarecrows into a party square, complete with costumed Halloweeners, a DJ, and, like, a full light set-up was pretty cool.
If you get the chance, you should check it out -- it's only open until October 31. If you don't get the chance, you can always check out the REAL haunted house, which is open all year.
**A note: Disney's Haunted Mansion totally scares me. But that doesn't mean this one wasn't legitimately scary!