What is it about the number 13 that is just so taboo? No pun intended, but there is something odd about this number that sends chills down your spine. If 13 black cats cross your path on Friday the 13th, then you know you’re screwed. Even turning 13 means going into the awkward years of pimples and growth spurts, which can be a terrifying experience in itself.
This year, the RMS Queen Mary is celebrating the coming of age of its annual Halloween attraction, the Queen Mary Shipwreck 2007, with a truly hair-raising bang. Going into its 13th year, this luxury ocean liner turned elegant hotel has tossed its bourgeois attitude aside for a whole month of mischief and mayhem.
Docked in the port of Long Beach, Calif., this once transatlantic ship is now a permanent landmark of the city. Every year, it hosts a collection of mazes open for the public to enjoy. Audiences young explore seven different themed mazes on a ship that has been rumored to really be haunted by spirits of past passengers.
However, most of the monsters in this terror fest are only figments of your imagination. The Queen Mary hires actors, door attendants, special effects and makeup-artists to create a faux frightening scenario. House of Hallucinations is a three-dimensional maze that revolves around the theme of clowns. Bunches of 3D glasses are handed out at the door to visually enhance the bizarre pictures on the walls as visitors stroll through the alleys. It provides a good distraction, as the audience members’ attention becomes so consumed by their surroundings that they forget about the psychotic clown lurking behind the secret compartment, but the glasses also become a nuisance when it comes to determining what is a real and what is not.
Changes to this year’s venue include two new themes, Revenge of the Reaper and Manor of Mayhem. One is set up in the Market Place in the Seawalk area, while the other is in a huge indoor arena located on the side of the ship. Both have well-designed sets and creepy characters that jump out from dark corners, but the Manor of Mayhem far outshines most of the mazes with its hard rock background music and fancy strobe lighting.
Characters include a bizarre mixture of escaped mental convicts, ghoulish monsters and serial-killing clowns. Many them are hard to find because of how dimly lit the maze is, which