Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event delights and frightens

As Halloween approaches, many theme parks and locations are serving up some of Southern California’s best scare events.

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event stands out the most as the event features not only fake scares, but also real bone chilling frights from the historic ship.

It would never seem as if a former passenger line like the Queen Mary would be the sight of paranormal activity, however the long history of the ship explains it all.

After sailing primarily on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967, The RMS Queen Mary ocean liner has been retired since in the port of Long Beach.

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Built by John Brown & Company in Scotland, The Queen Mary was the flagship of the Cunard Line [from May 1936 until October 1946] before she was converted into a troopship during World War II.

Following the war, she returned to passenger service where she dominated the transatlantic passenger transportation market [along with The Queen Elizabeth] up until the late 1950’s.

When Cunard Lines announced that both The Queen Mary and Elizabeth would be retiring in the late 1960’s, a bid of $3.5 million from Long Beach beat out Japanese scrap merchants.

Today, The Queen Mary is a permanent tourist attraction, hotel, museum, and event facility in Long Beach.

However, since it’s docking in Long Beach, the ship has become the subject of haunting rumors and was even voted “one of the top 10 most haunted places in America”, by Time Magazine in 2008.

Speculations have been made about Cabin B340 being haunted by a person who was murdered there. Guests have reported hearing sounds of children playing in the nursery and witnessing the appearance of a “lady in white”.

These hauntings have helped The Queen Mary promote the ship with various attractions and tours relating to the theme, such as Dark Harbor, the yearly scare event held in the outside parking lot and features mazes in certain parts of the ship.

This year’s event features many terrifying mazes, rides, and live entertainment.

“B340” [a reference to the haunted cabin aboard the ship] was definitely the scariest maze as it was located inside part of the ship and featured small, closely-tight walking, as well as climbing up and down stairs.

The maze is a journey through the schizophrenic mind of Samuel the Savage. The goal is to escape the mental hospital before he catches you.

Another maze worth noting was the outdoor wood fenced, “Deadrise”. The maze features a World War II escort ship (Deadrise), in which guests must walk through the wreckage of the ship, escaping Dark Harbor’s “The Captain” and his group of ghosts and monsters.

Although the layout of the event and the overpriced food isn’t all that great, Dark Harbor does have a lot of entertainment to offer.

Dark Harbor boasts a variety of entertaining events including freak shows, The Sinister Swings [which were swings taken from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch], the monster midway, and also DJ’s spinning music for attendees all night.

There was fun for both teenagers and adults, and overall attendees seemed delighted yet frightened throughout the course of the night.

Dark Harbor definitely has the potential to compete with other Halloween events such as Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Dark Harbor began Oct. 2 and will continue through Nov. 2.

General Admission tickets range from $24 to $39.

For more information, visit


Dark Harbor “Submerged” maze footage via YouTube

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