Golden State Haunts and Events recently had the opportunity to visit the Queen Mary for the opening of Dark Harbor. This year seemed to have more talent and scares than last year, if that’s possible. Not only does it have the best setting for a haunt (the Queen Mary), but it seems to up the ante year after year. This year we could confidently say that it’s on the same level as the theme park haunts. There are three new mazes this year; B340, Soulmate and Voodoo Village. Returning was Deadrise, Circus and Submerged. We’ll comment on the three new ones. There is also a new up-price Encounter attraction which places you face-to-face with the spirits of the ship.
Returning to Dark Harbor is the gothic punk band Rhythm Coffins. Also, there is a giant swing ride that came from Neverland Ranch. The Ringmaster also makes an appearance on the center stage featuring the story of The Captain, Graceful Gale, Samuel the Savage, Half Hatch Henry, Scary Mary and new for this year, the Voodoo Priestess.
B340 takes you through the demented mind of Samuel the Savage. It takes you through stateroom B340 where a great tragedy occurred involving Samuel. This was by far the scariest maze as it was the darkest and most suspenseful. Watch out for other spirits on the ship besides the Savage. The dark maze takes you through different sets related to the stateroom. It looked like there was even a laundry room setting on the maze and the ending is both chilling and beautiful (if a haunt could be beautiful).
Soulmate is where Graceful Gale can be found. Don’t be tricked though by her beauty. The story of Graceful Gale is a depressing one and you’ll experience everything from her point of view. The maze uses the setting of the ship to perfection and delivers thrill and chills using both props and live actors.
Voodoo Village is where Village of the Damned used to be. It uses the same pathway as the previous maze but this time it has a totally different theme. Be aware of the Cajun monsters as well as the Voodoo priestess. If you’re not lucky they may put a curse on you. Voodoo Village is a unique maze that sticks well to its theme.
Encounters is the exclusive attraction that takes you face-to-face with the paranormal. While the attraction can by somewhat campy at times, we definitely encourage visitors to try it and see what ghouls they come across. We’ve never been on the Ghosts and Legends tour, but we imagine it’s somewhat similar to this. With a reasonable $15 up-charge we definitely recommend this be added to any Dark Harbor itinerary.