GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PASSED (ILLUSIONS OF THE PASSED)
Conjuring Spirits may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when those familiar holiday carols begin playing on every radio station, but chances are you’ve crossed paths with at least one version of A Christmas Carol. Actually as Aiden Sinclair explains at the top of Ghosts of Christmas Passed, sharing stories of the dead was a large part of holiday tradition once upon a time. Attending this event at the haunted Queen Mary in Long Beach California is a great way to begin bringing back that tradition.
Sinclair has a masterful way of combining historical facts with compelling storytelling. He both entertains and educates his audiences, while also leading them to ponder important questions about life, death and beyond. This theatrical séance is so personal and beautifully executed that even though I didn’t participate onstage, I felt included and affected by each special moment. The participants were so relatable that I could easily imagine how they felt upon interacting with our conjured spirit through haunted items on stage.
Everything about the performance surpassed my expectations from the haunted items in the lobby, to the performance, to the special drink menu based on actual spirits reported to be aboard the ship. Sinclair’s ability to make everyone feel at ease in a situation that requires several participants was one of the moments that stands out the most to me. I was quite impressed that he explicitly tells the audience that they are not obligated to be onstage and he was very respectful to those that were. As someone that is often around magicians and other stage performers, it was refreshing to see this attitude.
Ghosts of Christmas Passed is not to be missed! It is an incredible intimate theatrical séance that not only will entertain, but could even change the way you think about a few things.
Get your tickets HERE
QUEEN MARY’S DARK HARBOR
You don’t get much scarier than a haunted attraction in an actual haunted location, for that reason Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is a must see event. The mazes are fun and the actors work hard to create jump scares, but this attraction has a built in creep factor that can’t be created by the best designers in the business…it has real ghosts! I know because I saw one here years ago and didn’t even realize it until I talked to the staff later. (I thought it was just an elaborate special effect they had added to the pool area, but it was actually the little girl.) Now every time I walk through the ship I keep my eyes open.
Whether or not you personally encounter an actual ghost, you will have a spooktacular time at Dark Harbor. This year they have 7 mazes with 4 of them on the ship. One of my favorite things about Dark Harbor is how they theme the mazes after real ghost stories from the ship. Lullaby & B340 are definitely favorites as far as story and creep factor because of the real stories they are based on. I really enjoyed the opening scene of Soulmate this year as well. The new ship maze, Feast, is innovative and fun especially when part of the audience is made to crawl into an oven while the rest pass by looking in on them. Dark Harbor also stepped up their interaction with guests in Circus this year by adding a few alternate paths where chosen guests may go through a ball pit or be invited into a secret bar within the maze. Deadrise is as scary as ever with it’s agile, hardworking actors popping out from every direction. Intrepid is really the only maze at the event that seemed a bit out of place to me. It didn’t tell a clear story and seemed a bit thrown together, but the actors still did a great job. (The ship’s captain explained Intrepid to me after I’d gone through it and apparently it has a clear story, it just isn’t conveyed as well as the rest.) There are also multiple entertainment stages, slider shows, walk around entertainment and monsters, multiple bars, food vendors, a souvenir shop, and a VIP area. The entertainment schedule was impressive. You would need to attend multiple nights to see all of the entertainment.
Overall Dark Harbor is a well run, professional, fun event at a truly haunted location. It is also a very popular event so arrive early and consider a front of the line pass as it can get very very crowded. Leave time for traffic and parking. There is onsite parking for a fee. Check their website for details on parking and other things to know before you go.
*VIDEOS BELOW ARE COMPLETE MAZE WALK THROUGHS CONTAINING SPOILERS*