The majestic Queen Mary is Long Beach’s premier tourist destination year-round, but its legends of paranormal activity make it an especially intriguing visit this time of year.
It may be the season of yellowed leaves and pumpkin spice lattes, but for the mischievous among us, October means goblins, ghosts, and ghouls, which are in full force at the Queen Mary’s haunting Dark Harbor event. Professionally made-up monsters and zombies lurk around, roaming the halls of its many mazes, catching the unexpected with a satisfying fright. A bevy of delicious food vendors, performers, and musicians fill the space, with a little bit of intrigue for everyone. Dark Harbor takes place annually during the month of October and culminates in a Dia de los Muertos celebration, reminding us all of the youthful excitement of Halloween. Adults can wax nostalgic for their grade school carnivals, while trading in their Reese’s Pieces for a Moscow Mule or a stiff shot of Jameson.
There are also a number of tours aboard The Queen Mary that investigate the long-held notion of the ship being haunted. One of its most popular attractions, The Ghosts and Legends tour, has evolved over the years into an interactive half-hour of special effects that (at times) explores the lighter side of the ship’s legends. The tour walks visitors through some of The Queen Mary’s most haunted quarters, such as the boiler room, an eerie and desolate relic of past tragedies. Guides are skilled at lulling the audience into a place of comfort before a dark stroll through the “spiders” causes panic.
The more serious ghost hunters will want to check out the Paranormal Investigations tour available during evening hours. People can spend 2 ½ hours exploring the underbelly of this historical vessel with its sinister past haunting the hallowed grounds. As amateur investigators, visitors are supplied with handheld detection equipment to fully experience a few of the well-documented paranormal hotspots aboard this once illustrious ocean liner. Along the way, guests find themselves unsettled in abandoned spaces, where one’s echo can only wait for a spirit’s reply.
This year’s run of Dark Harbor ends on November 2nd; tickets are still available and can be found on their website. The tours, however, remain available year-round.
Photography by Kiana Laing.