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The Queen Mary’s DARK HARBOR (Haunt Report)

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The lure of merely taking a walk on board the famous Queen Mary has never been enough for me to make the trek to Long Beach. When haunted mazes filled with ghouls and ghosts are added into the equation however… 

2014’s Dark Harbor boasts a spooky carnival vibe the moment you enter the dockyards. The compound area is decked out with sideshow style vendors and zombified carney folk running amok. One such attraction is a mechanical Bull in wolf’s clothing. This writer couldn’t help but give it a go, and is now able to cross that off her bucket list.

The addition of the Flying Swings from Michael Jackson’s Neverland is wonderful, and the view of the eerie attraction sitting in the foreground of the majestic ship is something to behold. Having recently attended a talk by a paranormal expert, who shared his Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) recording sessions from the Queen Mary, the expectations were high for not just some staged scares, but perhaps even one of the real variety.

First port of call was “B340.” This is one of three mazes actually on the Queen Mary. After negotiating our way past a vicious zombie nun, through hallways and rooms of loose body parts, we ended up in the bloodied room of Samuel the Savage and a half eaten person. Stunning. The “Soulmate” maze, another on board the Queen Mary, is also a winner, as simply having a chance to walk through the bowels of such an iconic haunted ship at night is quite spectacular. Many versions of ‘Graceful Gale’ haunt this maze and by the time I reached the end she had turned into anything but graceful. Ghastly! “Submerged” is the third maze on the Queen Mary. Here, the sheer eeriness of the empty swimming pool and the boiler rooms were more intriguing than any story this Submerged was attempting to tell.

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Another highlight was the Deadrise maze, meant to be a sunken ship full of undead sailors, topped by a huge pipe shooting out a 90-foot flame. Impressive. Other notables were the Circus maze full of demented clowns and myriad mirrors, the talking interactive skeleton in the Freak show, the attention to detail in the Voodoo Village and the band, Rhythm Coffin, who rocked the main stage with their Ramones-esque tunes for most of the night.

Sadly, I was disappointed with the “Encounters” maze. Signing a waiver skyrocketed expectations for something ultimately little contrived and lacking in scare factor. I think for some punters, the extra fifteen-dollar price tag to visit may be a little much

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbour is certainly a fun night out. Whilst it may not be the scariest of haunts in the Los Angeles region this year, the atmosphere and sheer volume of attractions make it worthwhile.

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About the author
Camilla Jackson
Camilla is an actress, writer, film-maker, musician, and horror junkie. She is new to FANGORIA and has a healthy knowledge of all things horror, particularly 70's - 90's films where she interviews writers, directors and actors for Australian cinephile group CINEMANIACS. In her spare time, Camilla writes screenplays, walks dogs, and scours the internet for bargains. She also had a small part in the remake of Australian telekinetic chiller, PATRICK. Currently she is training at The Groundlings and moonlights playing ethereal guitar in a cape.
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