Originally written: October 18, 2009
I first heard about Sinister Pointe’s Silent Hill Maze from a postcard advertisement handed to me while visiting the Konami booth during Comic Con in San Diego back in July, 2009. Being such a big Silent Hill fan I decided that even though this maze was all the way down in Orange County it would be worth it to make the drive down from the San Francisco Bay Area to visit the maze.
Early October 17, 2009 me, my older sister and two friends packed an overnight bag and drove down to Brea California. The drive couldn’t have gone any smoother and to set the mood for our Silent Hill visit some fog rolled in during our drive down Interstate 5.
Luckily we didn’t encounter any mysterious teenagers standing in the middle of the road so we were able to arrive in town without crashing and safely check into our motel.
That evening my sister and friends humored me and headed over to Sinister Pointe an hour before it was supposed to open just so I could take picture of the maze signs and stuff outside (I was worried there might be a crowd). Since I was there so early I was even able to snag a picture with the super nice Jeff Schiefelbein (he liked my Robbie shirt) while waiting as sirens and various Silent Hill tracks played outside.
Since I had already bought the front of the line passes online a couple weeks before we really didn’t have to wait in any lines and had a lot of fun watching the random horror monsters scare the crap out of random passer bys leaving the strip mall and maze visitors in line for tickets.
When the maze was open to the public my group was the first through. The trek started with taking a picture with with a dead miner from the Silent Hill movie. Actually, two pictures were taken…the second one was “in case we blinked in the first” but it was a ruse to set up a scare. Right before the camera flash a gust of air blew up from the floor accompanied by a loud booming sound. From checking out the photos at the photo booth after we exited it looks like this scare startled quite a bit of the visitors!
Please Note: any images you see of the inside are from media previews released to the public back in September! Photography of the inside was forbidden to visitors.
Now with the pictures out of the way it was time to step into Silent Hill….which was really dark and had a lot of winding corridors that lead into various Silent Hill themed rooms though none had a trusty flashlight I could add to my inventory! Since we weren’t allowed to take any video or photography inside I can’t be sure of the exact order of everything I saw but I can tell you for sure that directly after the picture we entered a recreation of the Midwich Elementary school bathroom (from the Silent Hill movie) with several bathroom stalls, a line of sinks, and a large mirror (I was anticipating an Otherworld shift at any moment!). You could even open the stall doors and I did so hoping to see Colin the Janitor (or an employee waiting to jump out) but they were empty. It wasn’t until we attempted to leave the bathroom that Colin was spotted in a far corner looking just a revolting as his movie counterpart luckily he didn’t come after us as we left!
We moved on with only arrows to guide our path walking through and ducking several times under freezer insulation PVC strips which helped cut off sound from any upcoming areas but since we were the first group in we didn’t have to worry about any of the scares being ruined. It was so dark at times I found it necessary to reach out ahead many times to just to make sure I didn’t walk into any walls!
I was so intent on catching all the game references that I spotted most of the scares ahead of time but I can’t say the same for my friends! They found the experience extremely tense and frightening and were startled numerous times by the various miners, lurkers and nurses who either appeared out of the darkness, screamed, growled, or jumped out as we walked by.
Admittedly there were a lot of movie references but I’m happy to say that there were still many nods to the various Silent Hill games. I’m sure I probably missed some but here’s all the Silent Hill references I caught during my visit!
- Outside the opening notes of the Original Silent Hill Theme played as well as other snippets of game music from Silent Hill 3 with the air raid siren from the movie chiming in. an ever present pocket of fog filled the area outside the maze entrance thanks to a fog machine
Silent Hill Movie
- Welcome to Silent Hill Sign outside the maze
- A dead miner on a chain linked fence that visitors took a photo with.
- The first room depicting the Midwich bathroom and the Janitor.
- Pyramid Head tried to slice our heads through a metal door as we passed by.
- A recreation of Alessa’s hospital room including an appearance of the red nurse who screamed while approaching the exit to the area and gave my two friends a heart attack!
- A church like area with a “hole” in the floor that looped the hell descent from Sharon’s fevered Silent Hill dream in the beginning of the movie.
- a hospital room (I think) with a large group of nurses standing completely still ready to strike if you made a sound. Good thing I didn’t have a flashlight with me or I would have been spotted for sure! The live nurses also follow you until you leave the room! ( Special thanks to Katy Grey, the nurse on the right, for this picture!)
References that could have been from several different games
- Doors with numbers lined several walkways which could have represented the apartment complex in Ashfield from Silent Hill 4, the Blue Creek Apartments or Lakeview hotel in Silent Hill 2 or even the Grand Hotel in Silent Hill Homecoming.
- Holes leading to an abyss covered in glass on the floor
- in one area an animatronic groaner popped out growled and tried to attack through a fence.
- lots of pitch black areas lined with chain linked fences that reminded me of Harry’s own trek through the dark alley…too bad I didn’t have a lighter with me to navigate with!
Silent Hill 2
- Several corridors were lined with newspaper that was reminiscent of the path James traveled through from the Lake Toluca observation point to enter Silent Hill and the inside of Neely’s Bar.
- Several areas were lined with cell bars and even though there’s a prison in Silent Hill homecoming I kept thinking I would see Maria waiting for me on the other side so I’m counting it as a reference to the second game.
Silent Hill 3
- Several tracks from the Silent Hill 3 soundtrack played outside the maze and inside the maze
- The dinning area (suicide) room from the Borely mansion was recreated with audio from the creepy narrator straight from the game.
Silent Hill 4: The Room
- Henry’s bedroom was recreated including a window with a view “outside,” Henry’s bed and nightstand with a broken telephone, various photos on the walls and desk by the window.
- Henry’s chained apartment door was also present but luckily I didn’t spot Walter looking in from the other side.
Silent Hill Homecoming
- There was a corridor with Josh’s Robbie the rabbit doll within a window/hole
- a crypt from the Cemetery was recreated.. I kept expecting a smog monster or a Feral to appear!
- several lurkers wandered behind bars, fences, walls and within the halls ready to scare by stepping out and banging or shaking the walls.
- Several save markers appeared on the walls in various areas. I tried to save my progress on one but I didn’t have enough room on my hard drive, darn!
- Had to pass through a couple of some pre-cut doorways (I wonder if Alex had already passed through?)
- One of my favorite rooms was a recreation of the scene in hospital waiting room with the static television, couch chairs and with two nurses in the hospital. For the maze a nurse mannequin was placed in front of a static filled tv while an employee in a nurse costume waited in a dark corner to step out and startle you (sorry for bumping into you!)
Silent Hill Shattered Memories
- Several posters hung outside advertising the game
- Near the exit ice and snow lined the walls
Overall as a big Silent Hill fan I thought the maze was well worth the trip! It was rather long for a Halloween maze taking my group 10-15 minutes to get through and I had a blast going room to room turning to my group at various times saying things like:
“It’s Henry’s bedroom!”
“Hey look we are now in the Borely Haunted House!”
“A Save point…my head feels funny…I MUST SAVE my progress!”
The only downside I could see to the maze was my missed chance to buy a Silent Hill Shattered Memories poster (they sold out the week before) from the t-shirt and candy booth and noticing after my return to the motel that our miner photos digital frame lifted website graphics from Silent Hill Heaven without contacting or getting Vixx’s permission! I emailed Jeff Schiefelbein regarding this image theft when I returned home and found out that this was the work of a third party, Pixel Perfect, who was in charge of the park photos, Sinister Pointe had no idea the graphics were lifted. Hopefully Pixel Perfect will get in contact with Vixx and give her the proper credit deserves!
Preview video of the maze by the OC Register
Various Media taken photos