There's an entire season wedged between the middle of June and autumn -- spoiler alert, it's summer -- but that doesn't mean that the monster-laden, maze-a-riffic Halloween attractions that Southern California is famous for are content to wait.
Rumors of fresh phantoms and eerie additions are on the late spring wind, with the Queen Mary stepping up to make a middle-of-June announcement about Dark Harbor, the ocean-liner's popular October spectacular.
The ghoul -- we mean cool -- news? A frightful new maze called Lullaby is on the way to Long Beach, even as you enjoy sunshine and the beach and swimming and happy fun. (Cue the old-fashioned music box strains, the ones that sound editors stick in movies when they want audiences on the edges of their seats.)
Without too much ghastly giveaway, the wending, heart-pumping walk-through will involve the ship's "youngest soul," a character called Scary Mary. The big boat's famous pool, a place that's said to be fraught with supernatural activity even beyond Dark Harbor's yearly run, is a part of Lullaby's larger story, so let that tidbit dance around in your nightmares ahead of the attraction's autumntime opening.
And that opening date? October 1. Dark Harbor runs the whole 10th month of the year at the Long Beach landmark, with a few nights off. Tickets are available now, starting at twenty bucks for a "Happy Haunting Hour" and skipping up to $94, for VIP admission.
Stay-over specials at the hotel have been a frightful feature in the past, so watch this space if you want to bed down after your maze-going at "SoCal's only haunt... that is actually haunted!" No specials have been posted yet, but then, it is June.
Though June never stopped the Halloween machine from revving up 'round Los Angeles. Watch for more maze reveals and screamy sneak peeks from our big theme parks in the immediate future. What's a Southern California summer with a dash of spooky anticipation?