This past Monday, I had the chance to spend Halloween at The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Halloween Bash hosted by the one and only Bridget Marquardt (“Girls Next Door” “Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches”).  The spookiest night of the year was filled with top-notch haunts, sideshow performances, a special drag show performance by the “Jewels”, and Dark Harbor’s annual costume contest.  To many, Halloween evokes thrills, chills and scares but at Dark Harbor there was an air of excitement and fun that co-mingled with the dark and spooky atmosphere inhabited by those of the living and quite possibly the dead.

A few weeks back, I reviewed The Queen Mary’s Dark Harborhaunts and I was happy to see that this time around some changes were made to some of the mazes, most notably “Intrepid.”  One of my biggest gripes with that maze was the use of chain link fencing throughout that allowed guests to see the actors resulting in loss opportunities for scares.  This time around, the fencing had dark draping so as to block off the guests ability to see when an actor would appear.  One of my favorite mazes this year, “Circus”, was still up to snuff in regards to enjoyment and scares and once again I reveled in the fact that this maze used to be my least favorite.  Of course, we also made sure to visit Graceful Gale and Scary Mary so that we could bit our farewells until the haunting season returned next year.

Aside from the haunts, I had the opportunity to partake in some of the entertainment.  First I visited the sideshow where I saw dancing, fire, hula hoopin’ and singing from some of the resident “freaks”.  I then visited the main stage where I took in a fantastical fire breathing show where performers did unbelievable feats with the use of fire tricks.  After the performers finished, a DJ spun a mix of top 40 music to get the crowd amped up for the next show, and boy were we in for quite a treat. Coming to the stage was all the drag show sass in the world, the incredibly talented “Jewels”, hosted by the main Drag Queen herself, from the legendary Hamburger Mary’s!  They lip-synched, shimmied, and danced their hearts out to numerous songs and their performances had an air of electricity to them that left the crowd wanting more. I was completely enthralled in everything I was seeing and could have easily watched them perform all night.  I’ve never gone to Hamburger Mary’s, but I can tell you now, after seeing the “Jewels” perform, I can’t wait for the day to come when I finally do get to go.  Even though their show had to come to an end, we still had one more event of the evening, the costume contest!  There was a good portion of the crowd that dressed up, but only a handful were selected to compete.  A jury of eight, including Bridget Marquardt, narrowed down the handful of people to their top 3 which included Mystique from X-Men, Marie Antoinette and King Louie, and Willy Wonka and his Oompa Looma.  I was happy to see that the winner was Mystique as her costume was spot on and she even went so far as to mimic some of the same poses that are seen in the comics and movies.

Overall, visiting The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor on Halloween was one of the best way to end such an incredible season.  We had haunts, shows, fire breathing, ghosts and ghouls and I can’t think of a better way to end the season than with Dark Harbor.  This is one event that keeps getting better as each year goes and I can only imagine where they will go from here.  Up next, The Queen Mary will be hosting their CHILL event for the holiday season with the theme of Alice in Winterland and I can already tell it’s going to be one for the books.  As I’ve said many times, The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is not an event to be missed and I can see it becoming one of the premiere go-to Halloween attractions of the year.

For more information on The Queen Mary, visit their website at

Shannon McGrew
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