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Shaquille O’Neal to launch Shaqtoberfest, a new Halloween festival at Queen Mary

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal is getting into the horror business, and he’s heading to one of the most haunted spots in the country to do it.

A new Halloween attraction dubbed Shaqtoberfest is set to run from late September through Halloween at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Exact dates have not been announced yet.

The event will include six themed areas located in front of the ship’s event grounds that will include haunts, games, live entertainment as well as food and drinks.It will all be narrated by O’Neal, according to a release by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, the company behind the Haunted Hayride Halloween attraction, and ABG Entertainment, who partnered with the basketball star for the new holiday haunt.

Ticket sale information for the event will be released later this summer; there will be no haunts or activities on the ship.

According to Shaqtoberfest organizers, daytime will be for families with kid-friendly trick-or-treating and games. But once the sun goes down, things will get a little scarier as the music plays and “ghoulish minions” are released into the grounds.

The Queen Mary is no stranger to haunts and spirits.

For about a decade, it served as the home for Dark Harbor, a popular Halloween haunt and festival that was made up of six mazes on and off the ship, plus a carnival with hundreds of monsters walking around the surrounding grounds that attracted more than 120,000 people during its more than month-long run.

Like many other live events, Dark Harbor was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and according to an email from  EPIC Entertainment Group, the producers of Dark Harbor, that event will not return in 2022.

But even before Dark Harbor arose from the underworld, the ship had long been rumored to be haunted by various spirits and paranormal activity, earning the vessel a spot on Time magazine’s list of the 10 most haunted places in America a few years ago.

The ship, which is now under the city’s control, has been closed since the pandemic began and has yet to reopen due to the need for critical repairs. But a reopening date has now been set by the city for Oct. 1, if the necessary repairs are done in time.

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