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.
-Jeremy Winterrowd 
The Maze, more commonly known as the Scary Maze Game, is a Flash game created in October 2004. It was made by game developer Jeremy Winterrowd.
This Flash prank disguises itself as a simple maze game in which the player has to utilize their mouse cursor in order to move a blue little 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 4 levels, and the player cannot touch the walls; however, there are actually only three levels in the game. The game also explains that it is best with volume on, but, there is no sound in any part of the game except for the very secret level 4!
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, a picture of Regan MacNeil from the 1973's classic horror movie The Exorcist pops up along with two loud screams, scaring the user.
The game was uploaded in 2005 on Jeremy's website, Winterrowd.com. The original version of the game had some slight differences in color, where orange/yellow with alternative text was used instead of turquoise. There an alternative version of the game used in America's Funniest Home Videos, where the face that pops up is replaced with the one from What's Wrong?, due to copyright laws. It includes a scream from What's Wrong?
Many people have posted videos of other people reacting to the game. The first reaction video on YouTube was uploaded by user CantWeAllJusGetAlong, on May 20, 2006. In the 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. As of October 2017, the video has 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.
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. 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 which 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 to or told the asker that level 4 does not exist.
The Maze has been parodied on Saturday Night Live. 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 and the maze color is light purple instead of cyan blue.
In The Simpsons episode "Flanders' Ladder", 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.
- Winterrowd responding to a question on Yahoo Answers https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080810043147AA2Ssol
NOTE: The following games contain screamers!
- Original version: winterrowd.com/maze
- Orange version: web.archive.org/web/20051223121743/winterrowd.com/maze1.swf
- Yellow version: fugly.com/flash/709/Scary_Maze_Game.html
- Justin Bieber version: winterrowd.com/savebieber/
- America's Funniest Home Videos version: winterrowd.com/afvmaze
- Unofficial HTML5 version: playscarymazegame.net/play-scary-maze-game/
- DeviantArt version: deviantart.com/doodie119/art/The-Maze-710178696
- DeviantArt version with AFV: deviantart.com/ntvm2005/art/The-Maze-What-s-Wrong-AFV-version-796727707
- Unofficial Portuguese Version: fugly.com/flash/1013/7_Level_Scary_Maze_Game.html
- Alternative Version: Joculetz.hi2.ro/scary.swf