Treva Flores | Assistant Features Editor
Oct. 16, 2014
One of the top ten most haunted places in America, The Queen Mary, hosts its annual Dark Harbor event and brings back life to the ship’s paranormal hotspots.
Before entering the grounds where the six mazes were being held there is a long wait in line for a pat down. This felt a little unnecessary, but as soon as it was over people were herded over to the picture booths and had our pictures taken by photographers.
My heart raced as I walked onto the grounds and could see people scared by performers on stilts and covered in grotesque make-up. Their make-up was extremely well done and they definitely get props for their creativity. It was impressive considering this wasn’t Universal Studios.
But other than that, the grand opening for The RMS Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event was a total shipwreck with hardly any scares.
Our group scurried over to the first line unmolested and waited for about 30 minutes to enter a maze called Circus. Clowns are enough to make me squeal and being chosen to go first in a group of six people didn’t really help.
Immediately upon entering I was confused and trapped by a mime, and to make matters worse, we were in a maze full of mirrors. I was stuck frozen, inching my way forward as the mime mimicked my every move. It was very intimidating and I felt like I kept getting chased, they could definitely sense my fear.
This maze was by far the scariest but maybe it was just pre-maze jitters as I anxiously waited for everything to be over. I was scared left and right, which made the Circus maze fun and exciting.
After this maze, however, it felt like the rest of the event was a cakewalk. Nothing was really scary after that. In fact, I was making several actors laugh by making funny faces back at them and yelling out smart-aleck remarks.
Dedrise was the second scariest maze. At one point It was nerveracking as an actor bent his head backward in a blood curdling way and blocked the path while another actor scared my friends behind me. Except I was eased again as the actor who was bent back stood up and started laughing at us.
Then as I exited the maze I made a silly face at the zombified sailors waiting for us and made him laugh too. There’s nothing scary about people genuine laughter. Consistency among the actors was very bad: they couldn’t seem to keep a straight face as they scared everyone, even when I wasn’t being silly.
The best set-design was Voodoo Village; the make up was well done and the actors stayed in character the whole time, even having conversations with us about the horrors we were about to experience. I enjoyed their colorful make-up and thought they were well dressed except for a few minor actors who just felt thrown in for some last minute scares.
The rest of the mazes were adequate and seemed to be lacking characters, especially Freakshow, which cost $5 extra just to enter. There was only one freak when it looked like there were supposed to be three. We entered two empty rooms and left disappointed. We did get to see a lady hammer a nail into her nose and then take it back out again, but I wish I could have seen more.
The scariest part of Freakshow was the white room, which is exactly how it sounds: completely white and blinding followed by a black room. It was a pitch black void of darkness where people had to feel their way out until the blindness stopped when their eyes readjusted. Other than that it was a total waste of $5.
Another waste of money were the food and drinks. A single 20 oz. Dasani water cost $4. I savored every last drop and refused to spend another penny, not that anything there would even cost a penny.
They did not even allow people to bring their own food or drinks to the event so they could extort people to paying the extreme prices from their vending.
We were only scared once outside of the mazes and the actor didn’t do a very good job because he started being friendly afterwards and lost the, “this night is supposed to be really scary” effect.
The actors outside of the mazes were scarce, unlike Universal Studios, where the whole park is filled with monsters and creatures alike.
While leaving the ship we waited in line to see the pictures we had taken at the beginning of the night.
After about fifteen minutes of waiting, they said they had no records of the picture so we left a little bummed out, but content with the pictures we managed to take with cellphones.
Overall, it wasn’t very impressive considering that Dark Harbor was said to be scarier than Universal.
The main issues were a lack of actors in the mazes and outside of the mazes that could actually scare and keep people feeling scared.
I’d recommend Dark Harbor to children looking for a cheap horror night with short lines and a variety of mazes at a high price.
The event is composed of six mazes and a scurge of scary zombies wandering in the open, and runs to Nov.2 with prices varying from $24-34 and general parking is $20 so it’s advised to carpool.