Eerie Anticipation: Queen Mary's Haunted Encounters

Is the wait for Halloween fun making you antsy? Find a few phantoms (maybe) in Long Beach.

ASK A HALLOWEEN BUFF... how he is feeling just after Labor Day Weekend and you may be on the receiving end of a plaintive sigh. On the one hand all of the spooky stuff is juuuust about to rev up, from theme park mazes to neighborhood haunted houses to costume parties. And yet? Everything is still a week or more away, with October really jumpstarting the startle-based bashes. There's a way, though, in LA to find your gentle frights, or at least your ghosty go-outs at any time of the year, regardless of whether candy corn and plastic pumpkin buckets are lining the store shelves or not. It's at...

THE QUEEN MARY, one of California's phantomiest destinations, a place way, way up on oodles of "said to be haunted" lists. This translates into tours, both of the daytime assortment and the wraith-seeking after-sundown strolls. History of the labyrinth-like ship is discussed, and possible sightings, too, and choosing which to go with all depends upon how you like to take your goosebump-inducing ghost tours.

THE DAYTIME OFFERING, Haunted Encounters, is an atmospheric, eerie-but-not-too place to start. It happens four times each day, with the last tour starting at 6:30 p.m. (one of the prettiest times on the stack-topped landmark, what with twilight settling in and all). Will you discuss the rumored portal to another dimension near the First Class Swimming Pool? The spirit said to frequent the boiler area? The guests who never left their wood-lined sumptuous suites? The Queen Mary, with its 1001 Atlantic crossings and its role in World War II, has more than a few stories to tell. There are different ways to connect with the ship in this capacity, however, including nighttime treats like the Paranormal Spirit Walk and other spine-chilling happenings.

TO GET A JUMP... on the spookiest season, or to simply call upon the ship's eternal occupants at any time of the year, board the famous ocean-liner's Haunted Encounters experience, if you dare. (We're assuming you do.) (A wise choice, if ghost walks and famous destinations are two of your favorite things.) (No more parentheticals: Buy your passage here.)

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