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Out of all Southern California’s haunts, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor has stepped up in recent years to give the big league theme parks a run for their money. While it’s more self-contained than parks like Universal or Knott’s…
…the novelty of celebrating October in one of the world’s most haunted locations is too good to pass up.
This year Dark Harbor has a carnival theme with various sideshow freaks haunting the park. Deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos are on the menu while musical acts play out next to the food court, where bursts of fire light up the night sky. Brave souls can even climb up a large scaffolding and ride a zip line from one end of the park to the other.
Bordering the edges of the attraction are a total six mazes:
“Containment,” “Hellfire,” and “Submerged” are the park’s classic mazes that wind through various parts of the Queen Mary itself. The old bowels of the ship are damn scary even when they’re not populated by zombie sailors and creepy undead children, so it’s always a blast to explore. And while these reoccurring mazes are definitely fun in their own right, it would be great to see future years expand into the Shining-esque hallways of the Queen Mary’s hotel.
For anyone with a fear of clowns, the dome-maze “Circus” is a living nightmare of laughing maniacs and severed limbs. And “The Village of the Damned” takes viewers through the backyard world of cannibal redneck hillbillies – complete with a sadistic town mayor who loves torturing the locals.
But the coolest new addition this year is the “Freakshow” – a collection of old shipping containers in the middle of the park. Bearing names like “The White Ghost” and “Headless Hannah,” attendees are locked inside a container with assorted circus freaks ranging from hideous crab men to skeletons performing stand-up comedy. It’s a really unique experience that will hopefully become a future Dark Carnival staple.
If you’re making the haunt rounds in Southern California, the Queen Mary is definitely worth a look, especially if you haven’t been in the past several years. Dark Harbor is currently running selected nights through November 2nd in Long Beach, CA.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Dark Harbor online.
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