The Queen Mary hires nearly 80% more monsters for Halloween
To better compete for Halloween revelers, the Queen Mary in Long Beach added nearly 80% more creepy characters this year to the cast of the ship's Dark Harbor event, organizers said.
For 15 nights in October, the workers, dressed as moldy pirates and demonic sea witches, chase guests around two "scare zones" created out of empty cargo containers and stacked next to the former ocean liner.
The characters also jump out at visitors as they wander through five dimly lighted mazes, including three courses that take people through the bowels of the 75-year-old ship.
Save the Queen, the company that holds the lease for the city-owned ship, hired 150 people last year to operate the mazes and dress in masks and costumes. This year, the firm hired 268 workers to make the event scarier and more exciting.
"We recognize the value of the live interaction," said Lynn Kozlowski, a spokeswoman for Evolution Hospitality, the company that recently took over management of the ship.
She said the Queen Mary hopes to take a bite out of the growing Halloween revenue generated by theme parks and other businesses that operate mazes, scary hayrides and ghost tours at this time of year.
In Southern California, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia all draw huge crowds from late September until Oct. 31 for spooky Halloween events.
Photo: Costumed characters from Queen Mary's Dark Harbor. Credit: Carol Cochran / Queen Mary