Dennis Hensley: Harboring Secrets in Long Beach

darkharborOur correspondent Dennis Hensley is back with another hilarious story, this time chronicling his adventures getting lost inside a maze aboard a creepy old boat.

As amusement park Halloween scare-fests go, Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, has something that its competitors don’t: one really old, seriously creepy boat.  Two of the attraction’s new-this-year mazes actually happen on the famed luxury and the historic and by all accounts haunted atmosphere just adds to the frightful fun.

The “B340” maze was inspired by a Queen Mary passenger named Samuel who was locked in cabin B340 after a violent outburst in 1948 and was found dead days later, having been violently ripped apart.  So watch out for flying limbs.  I also seem to recall a nun chasing me down a boiler room type hallway…although that may have been on the back-by-popular-demand “Submerged” maze.  I would have taken notes but security took my pen on the way in, explaining that sharp objects were too dangerous at an event when getting scared to death was the whole point.  (Come to think of it, if you wanted to murder someone, like, say your new gay husband because you caught him on Grindr, you could stab him in a theme park horror night maze and no one would notice for days.)

The other new shipboard maze, “Soulmate” is a love letter written in blood to former first-class passenger Graceful Gale, a beautiful dance-floor charmer who disappeared mysteriously on a voyage in 1939.  The maze builds to a face-to-face encounter with the now monstrous Gale who is still desperately looking for her perfect mate…but now I think she’s looking to dismember and consume, not jitterbug.  When my friend and I passed through her bloody chamber, she muttered “Good skin,” to my companion, which is true, he does have good skin.  I tell him that all the time.  Then Graceful Gale  eyed me up and down, looked deep into my soul and declared, “Too old.”

That was the scariest thing that happened all night.

Follow Dennis on Twitter at @HensleyDennis and check out his website




Published by edsalvato

Educator, marketing, communications and travel safety expert; LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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