"Did you feel/see/hear/smell that?" is a common question at many fabled, built-long-ago spots around Southern California. Two pals'll be in a hallway, or bathroom, and one thinks that maybe -- just maybe -- a third being has joined the party, unannounced and uninvited.
The Queen Mary is a legendary place for this, as it is legendarily called one of California's most haunted destinations. But the big boat piles on a few more shivers each October to its already spirit-packed status with Dark Harbor, the multi-night, maze-laden, theme-heavy Halloween event.
If you attended last year -- and made it out, body and soul -- then you'll remember favorite mazes like Deadrise: The Depths of Darkness and Circus: Big Top Terror. Oh, don't worry, they'll be back, in full form. Or maybe you should worry? After all, these are places built to bring about the willies in anyone who dares step inside.
There are several new treats joining the big boat-adjacent brigade this year, including The Lullaby Maze, which tells of the "ship's youngest soul." There's also a Big Top Bar, for those 21-and-over, and there shall be absinthe on the menu, to lend an eerie green glow to the night.
Through it all, and the many characters that show up on the Dark Harbor roster -- The Captain among them, paying haunted homage to the near-the-ocean setting -- there is the Queen Mary, standing dramatically and silently to the side of the spooky scene.
Can't bear the thought of driving home after some many scream-eliciting mazes? There are packages available, so you can sleep tight aboard the ship.
Or will you sleep tight? When you know that the First-Class Swimming Pool, alleged to be among the most ghosty spots on the ghosty ship, is so close to your cabin? And that over 200 monsters lurk within the mazes outside?
It must be October, near the dark-waved Pacific, at one of the Golden State's most supernatural settings.