Everyone loves a good scare. This time of year, people pay good money to attend a variety of haunts, mazes, and attractions to be scared. Perhaps one of the most unique would be the Dark Harbor event held at the port of the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. The Queen Mary itself being a former British ocean liner and modern day museum, hotel and attraction. But every time around Halloween it becomes The Dark Harbor, an attraction of mazes, ghouls, and all manner of entertainment. I recently took this terrifying voyage with fellow iHorror correspondent Jonathan Correia to experience The Dark Harbor first-hand.
The evening began with the opening ceremonies held by the accursed Captain of the Dark Harbor, only to be interrupted by the eccentric Ringmaster and leading to some playful/deadly banter. The gates opened and a swarm of killers were unleashed as we were allowed into the fairgrounds proper. The event is styled like a carnival, complete with delicious meals like turkey legs and cheesy corn and even rides. Each maze featuring a signature mascot monster or maniac that you can encounter during the journey.
Our first stop being a ‘ride’ on The Intrepid. A ghastly ghost train created by The Iron Master, a former shipyard worker who became obsessed with the Queen Mary and sold his soul to a witch for the power to create mechanical monstrosities, becoming a magical mashup of flesh and steel. You ride on the train to the Scottish Highlands and venture through crypts and caverns and misty moors as you eventually encounter the diabolical Iron Master.
What’s scarier than being on a ghost ship? How about a capsized ghost ship. You’re on a version of The Queen Mary that’s been knocked over by a massive rogue wave and now must find a way off… if the deranged crew doesn’t stop you first. Some great water and fog FX highlight this particular maze and the upside down sets can really disorient you like The Poseidon Adventure.
With the carnival style of Dark Harbor, it’s no surprise that there was a carnage filled carnival maze to venture through. With The Ringmaster at the helm, it’s filled to the brim with all manner of killer clowns and deadly pranks.
A big ship like The Queen Mary requires a big kitchen. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s plenty of meals around… and you’re the main ingredient! A psychotic cannibal Chef has returned from his oven grave to turn the passengers into the next dish. Walk through the actual corridors of the Queen Mary, decked out with rotting meat, ghoulish cooks, and a massive meat grinder to prepare you for dinner!
Room B340 on The Queen Mary has a terrible history. Being the room of serial killer Samuel The Savage, a satanic maniac who went on a murder spree before being detained… and mysteriously disappearing in his room. Now, follow the trail of a tragic private investigator trying to uncover the truth. Only to discover unholy horrors onboard. Now, follow the trail of blood and bodies and pentagrams as you walk the bowels of the ship and encounter the demons of the past.
The fun never ends in the swimming pool area of The Queen Mary… and neither do murders. The ghost of a young girl named Mary, now Scary Mary, haunts the pool since she drowned there in 1952. Mary just wants to play with you… to death. Mary and other assorted ghosts will try and get you to take one final dip into the pool as you try to find a way out.
Another highlight of The Dark Harbor is a most curious carnival attraction. A flying swing ride. But not just any neon colored flying swing ride, but a flying swing ride from none other than Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Authenticated and still running.
As well, for an immersive experience outside of walking mazes, The Queen Mary features a theatrical experience like no other. Panic A 4-D Experience that puts you into a twisted version of the ship where you are pursued by ghosts, ghouls, and unholy abominations. A fun attraction with plenty of scares.
With a fun and unique setting and backdrop, as well as some original mazes with plenty of FX and distance, The Queen Mary Dark Harbor makes for a hell of a Halloween attraction. Open until November 2nd, check it out before the Dark Harbor sets sail!