Welcome witches and warlocks,

Today I will be reviewing the Midsummer Scream panel Winchester Mystery House Presentation. To best describe the conceit, I will turn to the official summary:

A look at Winchester’s new tours and events and a discussion of the highly anticipated paranormal thriller “Winchester,” due in theaters February 2018. 

The people running The Winchester Mystery House are definitely passionate about their work. Very early on Walter Magnuson and Tim O’Day made it clear how much respect they have for Sarah Winchester’s mansion and how happy they are to be involved in the creation of new tours. The pride they took in being able to show people more of the mansion than ever before was practically contagious.

Explaining the new tours and highlighting the returning tours was what occupied about the first half of the panel. We learned more about how they rerouted the tour paths to create the Explore More Tour (the first new tour in 20 years), the return of the Halloween Candlelight Tours, and they shone a light on the popular Friday the 13th Flashlight Tour. It was obvious how they wanted to offer a little something for anyone who might want to visit the mansion.

It was during the second half of the panel, when Scott Shooman came onstage, that we were given some insight into the upcoming film, WINCHESTER (2018). During this segment we were presented with a general idea of the true story as well as how that tale could inform a horror/suspense feature. It was easy to see how Sarah Winchester’s tragic, haunted life could serve as a solid basis for a haunted house film and how enthused Mr. Shooman was to be bringing the project to life.

All in all, while there might not have been much new information provided about The Winchester Mystery House, getting some insight into how they have developed their new tours was certainly interesting. It was also fun hearing a bit about the new movie WINCHESTER and seeing how closely the studio has been working with those running the mansion. This might not be the most horror themed panel at Midsummer Scream, but it was a good representation of this enigmatic house.

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