Clatto Reviews: QM’s Dark Harbor 2014!


The Queen Mary’s annual Dark Harbor event is well underway in Long Beach, CA and to experience its horrors is to do Halloween right. Set a landlubbing foot on the dockyards and be swarmed by ghoulish seafaring monsters and the tormented souls of drowned or murdered sailors.

But, that’s just the candy-coated surface. Sure, it’s fun and the actors portraying the undead this year are beyond topnotch—dedicated to scaring the hell out of guests, yet friendly enough to patiently pose for a photo immediately afterwards (they don’t seem to mind you crapped your pants).

There’s also a new Voodoo Village set to a New Orleans backdrop and run by a Voodoo Priestess and her slaves. The maze in the village is pretty cinematic with rays of light shining in, piercing an otherwise dark world of black magic and sacrifice. Those who survive can also bare witness to the town’s impressive fire breathers.

Clowns run amok at the Circus maze and sideshow freaks roam the corners and host their very own Freakshow attraction. It’s fun stuff packed with genuine surprises.

BUT… what makes Dark Harbor unique and gives it an edge above all other Halloween haunts is the Queen Mary ship itself. Forget that it’s a haunt and there are numerous creeps hiding in the shadows ready to pounce on guests, the ship is just frightening! Three mazes are set in the ship: B340, Soulmate, and Submerged.

These mazes are absolutely terrifying. Navigating through each of its narrow corridors, engine rooms, and hulls in pitch black darkness really takes one out of the make-believe world. This is a real ship! B340 is a new maze and is so dark anxiety builds quickly, making one jump at the slightest noise.


B340 is a room haunted by Samuel the Savage, a passenger on the Queen Mary who was isolated in the room after a violent outburst. He was later found dead. According to Queen Mary lore, the room is so consumed by paranormal activity it remains unused to this day.

Soulmate is actually a very beautifully constructed new maze also set on board the ship. It tells the story of Graceful Gale, a doomed debutant who vanished from the ship in 1939 under mysterious circumstances. She haunts the Queen Mary in search of her true love. Keep an eye out for the Eyes Wide Shut room and Gale, who is one of the haunt’s most aggressive ghosts (she followed a woman into the restroom!).

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is not to be missed. The haunt only gets better each year. The event runs through Nov. 2. Get tickets and more info here.

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