Hollywood Gothique wraps up its video tour of Queen Mary Dark Harbor’s 2013 Halloween presentation. Included is a walk through the Submerged maze on board ship, followed by glimpses inside the “Freak Shows,” which are actually mini-mazes that allow visitors to enter only in small groups.
Submerged is our favorite of the mazes actually on board the Queen Mary. The long corridors create the atmosphere. Mechanical effects create the illusion of the hull taking on water. Among the usual gaggle of anonymous monsters there are two distinctive phantoms. The first is Graceful Gale, an elegant platinum blonde who wanders the piano room as if seeking a party long since dispersed. The second is Scary Mary, a little girl who skips and hops near the Queen Mary’s swimming pool, always keeping her distance, as if shy of the strangers who have come to espy this childish spirit, and yet playfully acknowledging their interest with a wave before disappearing back into the shadows.
Though short and simple, the Freak Shows are fun, because they deliver the scares directly to each individual in the audience, by avoiding the conga-line approach of most Halloween theme park attractions. There is an extra charge of $5 for the Freak Shows, but we think they are worth the cash. Just make sure you go through them in the correct order, because there is an increasing intensity if you start at the far right and move left one by one. Headless Hannah and The Human Crab are simple corridors with a single scare at the end. Sparky is a skeletal comedian who will regale you with jokes for as long as you are willing to listen. The White Ghost and The Shadow Spirit are low-visibility mazes that will have you stumbling around, with arms outstretched, searching for a way out, while dimly aware of the creatures lurking hidden around you.
Dark Harbor continues at the Queen Mary on October 11-13, 17-20, 24-27, 31, and Novermber 1-2; from 7pm to midnight. The addressis 1126 Queens Highway Long Beach, CA 90802 Queen Mary. Check their website for more info, or call 562-435-3511.