Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween 2011: The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor

Quality over quantity my Halloween horror finders. That's the driving force behind
The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor.

October 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 & 31
 The Queen Mary 
1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

With less mazes than the major theme parks, The Dark Harbor pushes each maze to it's fullest with thrilling scares that may out shine other Halloween hide outs of dark fun.

As I parked my car a chill was sent down my spine and a smile dashed across my face like a jack 'o' lantern. The fog rolling into the harbor made the Queen Mary naturally spooky. Now as a difference to other horror parks, entering the Dark Harbor itself is a fun fright. Nothing quite like the real fog and wet winds. A maze of darkness and monsters you must enter to even get to the main scare zone with giant dancing flames. You have to enter Dark Harbor through a series of frights for even more frights.

You stumble out of the small maze into a barricade area with large booming flames up in the air. Not unlike Knott's Scary Farms main scare center. The barricades should barricade you more to certain areas or to the exact access point of each maze. It's to easy to wonder out of them to grab food and drink. Food and drink that might be the cheapest I've seen compared to the high prices of theme parks.

Good food too. I had some $6 tacos and big tennis ball size scoop of chocolate banana chip ice cream. You can stop to grab some alcohol or get some roasted corn too. There's also a killer lounge with live bands to let you stop and relax between screams. Be on your toes, because Dark Harbor has it's on band of undead walking around to come out of nowhere and spook you. You might also catch a talent contest of sorts for a demon, where attendees are asked to show off what they can do.

The Cage

Without a doubt, The Cage was my favorite maze of Halloween so far. It gets you completely lost from the start of entering a dark music video club scene. Once past your music video like disorienting starts, multiple cloths drape over you getting you more lost. Following that say hello to the wrong place, wrong time. You've entered The Cage! Your in a geodesic dome filled with things out to get, too bad your in some sort of a cage maze that keeps getting darker. Don't lose your head though, or you fingers, it looks like lots of other have. Then when you think your finally out, your not, but in complete darkness for one of the best scares yet. Your still in the maze and you just can't seem to get out.
The Village of the Damned
The Village of the Damned, seems like a mix from every horror film you've seen based in Europe, don't ponder to long what monster might be trying to get you, because they'll be popping out at you from every angle. These mazes never seem short, I never timed myself, but all of these including the Village of the Damned is never too damn long or too damn short. Their horror minions also just now how to grab you and just the wrong time. The wrong time for you, the time you think your fine.


From the girls who ran out and immediately head to sit down, I knew I was in for a Halloween treat. Imagine yourself stuck with the dead a dying on board a ship. Maybe, it was the woman who seemed like a prop in a wheelchair who sprang to life laugh shrieking at us or maybe the dead sailors who came out of nowhere yelling "Captain!", but just stepping on the ship made it all the more scary. That lady in the wheel chair really got to me, the messed up quarters and non working TVs don't set your mind at ease.


Welcome to the boiler room ladies and gents, nothing goes wrong here, except everything. From the pipes laden through out, to the men laden bloody in the pipes a whole mess of new scares came raining down. Pipes and tight corridors in the dark made it a fun trek in the inner bowels of the ship. Darkness around every turn. Then there's the bridge, if your afraid of heights than you should be more afraid of falling of this than anything else there. A friend on the ride was got so frightened by the bridge he lost track of hits wits and got spooked and lost multiple times after.


Don't get stuck down there. While still gasping for air from the bridge in the Hellfire maze we plunged into the Submerged maze. This maze made me wish for a Bioshock themed maze or some sort of deal between the Queen Mary and 2k for a Bioshock maze next year. A pool that seemed to have no bottom ends this terrifying model of underwater monstrosity. I can remember if this maze or the previous had one scare worthy of the game. While walking up some stairs I was frightened by a sudden hard pounding sound of a piano playing. Nothing quite spooks you like hearing a piano play out of nowhere.

The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor frightens you like no theme park or haunted house can. Monstrously mastered mazes filled with well thought out scares leave you shipwrecked on an island of your own fears.

Well done Queen Mary, you scared me good.