Cover: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull
Set against a backdrop of the legendary and long believed-to-be-haunted, Queen Mary, Dark Harbor is a frightful annual October event in Long Beach, California complete with chilling spectacles, eerie mazes and spooky characters inspired by some of the ship’s infamously haunting characters and tales.
As Dark Harbor guests arrive in a blanket of hued fog, they are greeted by ghouls and mystical characters who play amongst the crowd, darting about with shrieks and screams.
A cast of spirits that emerged from the tales of the Queen Mary beckon visitors to explore the Dark Harbor with its haunting attractions and six mazes, which included our two favorites, Deadrise and Voodoo Village.
Dark Harbor: Deadrise
After a WWII crash in enemy waters, Deadrise sinks to the bottom of the ocean. From her watery grave, The Captain of Dark Harbor, calls Deadrise back into action.
Complete with fire, water sprays, jump scares, thick fog and plenty of dead ends, Deadrise has surprises at every turn and saves one last scare for those that think they’ve made it through unscathed.
Dark Harbor: Voodoo Village
Guarded by the Voodoo Priestess, Voodoo Village is a maze of spells and evil spirits that is occupied by traveling gypsies from the Ringmaster’s Circus.
Winding through altars, the gypsy’s sanctuar and the southern crypt of death, this long maze of sinister circumstances provides a vast assortment of macabre experiences, textures, colors and ominous sounds that are just creeeeepy.
Dark Harbor: Attractions and main stage
On the main stage, a continuous flow of devilish entertainers perform magic and circus acts – and it’s a great place to kickback with a cocktail and enjoy the show.
Spirited sliders dash about Slider Alley, screeching through the night as sparks fly from their knees, then quietly finding a seat next to an unsuspecting victim.
The Sinister Swings from Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch light up the night near the Hookah Lounge and the Creepy Cabanas.
Terror awaits at the Monster Midway as ghouls and ghosts haunt all those passing through.
Kill mummies and monsters (well, paint them anyway) at the Curse of Anubis: Paintball Adventure.
Dark Harbor 2015 is a frightening night of fun
I’ll be honest. I’m not into haunted houses, but since we were staying at the Queen Mary (on the anniversary of the Queen Mary-Curacao crash no less), we had to check out Dark Harbor.
It was so much fun! The cast is an amazingly talented group of performers that truly make the night come to life. They are engaging and their energy is electrifying. I’m not sure if it would be possible to attend Dark Harbor and not let loose and have fun with the experience.
And – VIP tickets are the way to go. You skip the lines and have even more time to enjoy all the Dark Harbor activities, and that includes partaking of tasty adult beverages.
Dark Harbor 2015 runs from October 1 through November 1 from 7PM to midnight, while closing at 1AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Some maze lines may close early due to capacity and last call for alcohol is 75 minutes prior to event closure.
Dark Harbor: Know before you go
Tickets are available on the Dark Harbor website with Fast Fright (cut in line), VIP Passes (21 and older) and lodging packages also available. VIP passes have a separate line at the entrance, come with a Fast Fright pass, and include admission to the RIP Lounge and three free drinks, making the experience frightfully good.
Not for the kiddos. While there are no age restrictions at Dark Harbor, it may be a bit much for children. Dark Harbor recommends children do not attend.
Leave your own scary stuff at home. Dark Harbor prohibits knives/weapons etc., drugs & drug paraphernalia, gang related clothing and items, disorderly conduct, wallet chains, costumes, pepper spray, coolers, chewing gum, flashlights and laser pointers, pens and markers, carabiner key chains (larger than three inches), selfie sticks, and outside food & beverage. Confiscated items will not be returned.
No costumes or masks are permitted at Dark Harbor except on Halloween (Oct. 31) and on Dia De Los Muertos Nov. 1 when costumes without masks are allowed but must be registered prior to entering the event. Masks are not permitted.
Disclosure & disclaimer: Special thanks to Dark Harbor for hosting us as their guests. The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used. Some posts on this website may contain links to our partners’ websites and Chasing Light Media may be compensated by those partners.