The Winchester Mystery House, the historical home full of lore and tales about the rifle heiress Sarah Winchester, has kicked off the Halloween season by bringing back Sarah Winchester’s Mystery Maze, a half-acre sculpture constructed of nearly 5,000 bales of straw and designed by Chris Gounalakis of Arata Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay.
The maze itself is much like the house with doors opening to straw walls and trails dead ending. And, while there may be three ways into the maze, there’s only one way out.
According to Operations Manager Damon Blum, it takes the average person about 20 minutes to get through the straw bale labyrinth, but those who are lucky might be able to find themselves a “tour guide” like Sergio Mireles, 10, and his siblings, Cristian, 8, and Kayleen, 4, of San Jose.
“We were passing by and we saw this amazing maze and it said now open…so we decided that we had nothing to do today so we just came,” said Sergio. “We’ve been through five times already. The first time we got confused and took like 45 minutes trying to get through. The second time was sort of hard because we hadn’t memorized the tracks, but the third time, easy peasy.” The three siblings navigated the ins and outs of the maze like pros – getting to finish line in a matter of minutes and then anxiously returning to the start to go through it again. “It’s a lot of fun,” he added.
Sarah Winchester’s Mystery Maze is at the corner of Olsen Avenue and South Winchester Boulevard in San Jose. The maze is open daily through Nov. 10. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages three through 12 Sunday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights when the attraction is recommended for those over 13. Visit http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/specialevents.cfm for more information.