Hollywood Gothique

Queen Mary Halloween Terrorfest

This is an archived page of information for the Queen Mary TerrorFest, which took place during the Halloween season until 2008. The annual TerrorFest was replaced by the Haunted Queen Mary Shipwreck in 2009 and by Queen Mary Dark Harbor in 2010.

TERROR FEST FEATURES: The Queen Mary itself is a big feature, with its long spooky corridors, many of them allegedly haunted. When you get tired of being scared, you can walk over to the hotel section of the ship for dinner and/or a drink at the on-board pubs and restaurants. (Be careful: many of them close early.)

TERROR FEST DRAWBACKS: You have to drive to Long Beach. The Dance Party music has nothing to do with Halloween. Although the settings aboard ship are excellent, on off-nights the staging of the scares does not always take full advantage of this. There are no shows or rides (like you get at Knott’s Scary Farm, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, and Six Flag’s Magic Mountain Fright Fest). The Queen Mary Shipwreck offers no scare zones, per se, although there are some free roaming-ghouls who will attack you in the park on the way to the ship.

Terror Fest Articles

Learn more about the Queen Mary’s annual Halloween Terrorfest

Ship lights dimly visible in the background, a ghoul haunts the path to the Queen Mary.
Ship lights dimly visible in the background, a ghoul haunts the path to the Queen Mary.

TERROR FEST HISTORY: Back when the Spruce Goose was still nestled in the dome next to the ship, the Queen Mary tried a Halloween Party night. Approaching the old-fashioned, faux fishing village through the artificial fog was an eerie experience, but the party itself was mostly just disco dance nonsense, along with a mild-mannered guided tour below decks. Having learned from that long-ago mistake, in 1995 Shipwreck productions tried its hand at turning the venerable sailing vessel-cum-hotel-and-tourist-attraction into a Knott’s Scary Farm-type Halloween event. Since the bowels of the ship are spooky in their own right, and since there are one or two allegedly authentic ghost stories associated with the vessel, the setting was perfect, and it’s been going strong every since.

TERROR FEST HAUNTED MAZES: The Queen Mary Shipwreck has more mazes than any other Halloween haunt in or around Los Angeles, except for Knott’s Scary Farm in Orange County. Shipwreck Productions claims their Halloween mazes are the longest, and it’s easy to believe them, considering the space they have to work with. Note: some mazes are on the ship; some are on the land around the ship. The land-bound ones are constructed mostly of painted flats; therefore, they are not as impressive as those at Halloween Horror Nights or the Knott’s Scary Farm. The ones onboard the Queen Mary provide a truly unique experience, thanks to their dark, lengthy corridors – the perfect place for spooks to roam. Please Note: The Shipwreck’s website promises that all mazes are being “Re-Vamped and Re-Intensified” for this year, but the list of mazes remains unchanged from 2007.

  • REVENGE OF THE REAPERS: This 2007 addition is situated in the Market Place, which resembles an old fishing village, thus creating a more convincing atmosphere – a bit like wandering through an old ghost town, loaded with frights around every corner.
  • BLOOD OF THE BUCCANEERS: this maze, which launched in 2006, returns, with pirates ghosts gone wild. Located near Purgatory Park.
  • HOUSE OF HALLUCINATIONS: a colorful 3D haunted house, very spooky, with a roomful of clowns and other assorted creepy inhabitants. Located in Shipwreck Plaza.
  • MANOR OF MAYHEM: this new attraction provides a more traditional haunted house, inside the dome, which used to house the Spruce Goose.
  • HAUNTED HULL OF HORRORS: this long-running attraction takes you deep into the engine room.
  • CORRIDORS OF CARNAGE: another recent addition takes you on a tour through the ship’s dark, dank, and lengthy corridors.
  • DECKS OF THE DOOMED: another old favorite takes the ship’s Ghosts & Legends tour and amps it up for Halloween.

TERROR FEST RETIRED MAZES: These Queen Mary Shipwreck mazes have eavaporated into the Great Beyond, now only a memory for those lucky enough to have experienced them:

  • Londontown of Terror
  • Marketplace of Madness
  • Chamber of Chills
  • Top Hat’s Terror Factory
  • Trail of Terrors
  • Creatures of the Cove

Other Terror Fest Attractions

  • THE FRIGHT MISTRESS: each year, a campy, sexy hostess is selected for the Queen Mary Shipwreck; she hides in her lair or lurks on the grounds.
  • THE BOILER ROOM: this 45,000-square foot room offers an all-night dance party.
  • THE COFFIN CLUB: for 2007, the Terror Fest expands the dance party into the largest original room on the queen Mary.
  • LIVE BANDS: playing in either the Boiler Room or in Purgatory Park.

TERROR FEST TICKETS: Queen Mary Shipwreck ticket prices are yet to be announced for 2008. Last year’s prices were $35 for regular nights, $20 for preview nights (the first weekend). Locations to purchase tickets have also not been announced; usually they are available through Ticketmaster or at the door.

TERROR FEST BARGAINS: Keep your eyes open. There is a “Discounts” page on the Queen Mary Shipwreck website, but it often remains blank most of the season and does not list every available offer. 2007 discounts include $5-off coupons at participating Der Wienerschnitzels and $5-off with a can of Pepsi (Be careful: the ticket sellers are sometimes reluctant to accept the cans, insisting that the discount applies only to regular Queen Mary admission, not the Terror Fest.) Late in the 2007 season, the discounts page announced that you could get $10 by presenting a receipt for a $2-minimum donation to your favorite charity.

TERROR FEST MAILING LIST: Sign up here to get all the latest updates on the Queen Mary Shipwreck.

A skeleton stops to purchase a souvenir.
A skeleton stops to purchase a souvenir.

TERROR FEST PARKING: 2007 rate was $15 cash when you enter the lot for the Queen Mary Shipwreck. (We miss the old days, when you paid while exiting — which allowed you the opportunity to get off scott free if you could get one of the restaurants or bars on board ship to validate you.)

TERROR FEST R.I.P HOTEL PACKAGES: The Queen Mary is not only a tourist attraction; it is also a hotel. You can take advantage of these special packages so that you and your significant other can spend the night on board, attend the terror fest, get a souvenier t-shirt, and have bruch or dinner or see some of the regular shows.

OTHER TERROR FEST INFORMATION: During the month of September, Shipwreck Productions, the people behind the Queen Mary Terror Fest, used to present Scare at the Fair – a single walk-through haunted house-type maze at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. In October 2004 and 2005, this expanded into a full-blown haunt called Scareplex. Although Shipwreck Productions no longer haunt the Los Angeles County Fairgournds, Halloween fans can enjoy the replacement attraction, Fearplex.

TERROR FEST NOTE: Queen Mary Shipwreck Productions promised to enforce a strict dress code for the 2007 Terror Fest. Headbands, bandanas, spiked wristbands, belts, and many other items were prohibited, including “Old English style writing on hats, shirts, or pants.” (???)