At first glance, GISHWHES might sound like an apocryphal GWAR album or a lesser deity in H.P. Lovecraft’s consonant-laden pantheon, but in truth it stands for the “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.” With a title like that, you can probably imagine why they opted for an acronym – especially since, on a scavenger hunt, time is of the essence. Hosted by Supernatural‘s Misha Collins, the scavenger hunt has three Guinness World Records under its belt, and last year, it brought together 14,850 participants across 94 countries to fulfill tasks ranging from “take a picture of you hugging a war veteran” to capturing “an image of a formal tea party replete with parasols, silverware and a string quartet situated in a junkyard or garbage dump.” You know, pretty standard scavenger hunt fare.
You may remember that back in May, our own Chris Hardwick and Misha Collins joined GISHWHES winners Team Bad Wolf (including Just Cos’ Chloe Dykstra) to claim their prize in the form of touring a haunted Scottish castle. Sounds like a total blast, right? Now, GISHWHES is back and gearing up for its biggest and baddest event yet: GISHWHES 2013. This year’s winners will be flown to Vancouver, British Columbia, where they’ll board a seaplane and be taken to a mysterious island for fish stew with Misha Collins, a seance, and “a Viking surprise.” We have no idea what that could be, but we’re already sacrificing a head of cattle to Odin in anticipation.
Didn’t that video get you down in the cockles of your heart? That’s not just the warmth from your laptop; that’s real human emotion. By now, you’re probably wondering, “How can I get involved?” Well, it’s simple, really. Registration, which closes on August 5th, costs $10 at the bare minimum (flying people from across the world to Vancouver isn’t cheap), but there are multiple levels of participation for those who want more out of their GISHWHES experience (like Misha Collins recording your voicemail greeting).
Prefer to participate digitally or just want to go deeper into the world of GISHWHES? They have put together an interactive online game, GISHWHES Haunted Mansion, where, according to the press release, users “navigate through the GISHWHES Haunted Mansion – seeing amazing GISHWHES item images and videos from GISHWHES 2012 as well as some creative fan art that’s hidden in the rooms and posted on the walls in pictures. Along the way you answer some questions and polls. If you successfully navigate through all the rooms, Misha sends you a personalized email based on how you answered the questions. A mad lib of sorts…” Said letters might look a little something like this.
Nothing says “good time” like snakes, vomit and cephalopods, huh? GISHWHES kicks off in earnest on August 11th, so there’s still plenty of time to make sure your body is ready for the impending avalanche of awesomeness. In case you’re not entirely convinced, we’ll leave you with this short video from last year’s competition in which a forbidden love blossoms between Mr. Collins and the Queen of England herself.
You’ll have to excuse us; we’re a little bit verklempt. Will you be participating in GISHWHES 2013? Let us know in the comments below!