The Queen Mary’s annual haunt, Dark Harbor, is the place to go in Los Angeles for the best scares and the most screams this Halloween. The event runs on selected weekend dates throughout the month of October and features five mazes, food, live music, and over 160 ghouls and goblins to scare even the most jaded scare enthusiasts. Three of the mazes are located on board the ship, taking visitors through reportedly haunted areas. Two other mazes are located in front of the Queen Mary in the Harbor Village. If you like a good scare and are prepared to laugh at yourself for screaming, score your tickets online or at the onsite box office and head out to Long Beach.
I do not get scared. Having been to virtually every haunt-themed attraction in Southern California, I was expecting the usual ghosts and zombies to greet me at the Queen Mary. Though there are the usual assortment of sliding zombies and scary ghouls, what sets the Dark Harbor event apart from the others are the mazes. Each of the five mazes takes five to ten minutes to complete if you know where you are going and if you run through them. The shortest and most intense of the mazes, The Cage, took 12 minutes to wander through as my group became hopelessly lost twice among the strobe lights, hanging bodies, decapitated heads, and seeking fingers of the ghosts of the damned. Submerged takes visitors on a trip through one of the most haunted areas of the Queen Mary, through the pool area where it is reported that the ghost of a young girl awaits you. Though my group survived, there were many screams echoing through the tight, claustrophobic passageways as we all felt the ship sinking beneath our feet as we were at the mercy of all the ghosts of the Queen Mary. The Village of the Damned is the longest of all of the mazes, located in the Harbor Village. Here guests are chased by ghosts, killers, and zombies waiting to add you to their undead numbers in the haunt-filled ghost town.
Once you’ve traversed the unsure ground of the mazes, check out the Mariners’ Bar located by the stage where local acts and the Dark Harbor band serenade guests as they attempt to recover from their fright. Beware the area immediately in front of the stage, Hell’s Bell Tower, a monstrosity of flaming steel girders with couches underneath it. It may look inviting but this is an area where that drink you just bought might get tossed out of your hand with a scream brought on by a passing ghost. Dark Harbor also offers guests several opportunities for food and merchandise, often served by a group of ravenous zombies. If you feel like relaxing, have your fortune read by the resident psychic, located in front of the ship. Whatever you do, take a friend and plan to have a screaming good time at Dark Harbor. Definitely one of the best haunts in Los Angeles!
Photos and article by Arianna James. Arianna is an independent writer for BehindtheThrills.com