By Kayla Caldwell
A flickering Edison bulb and a neon red “open” sign lead the way through a dark hallway and into the Revenant Lounge. The dimly-lit, and eloquently-decorated vintage room aboard the Queen Mary holds cabinets of supernatural artifacts and cursed objects (with a vibe reminiscent of THAT room in Ed and Lorraine Warren’s house). And it happens to be the waiting area for those about to enter Master Illusionist and Resident Apparitionist Aiden Sinclair’s “Ghosts of Christmas Passed” show.
We were each given a pass for one cocktail at the bar with the perfect, spooky ambiance (Seriously, I could just hang out in there.). To make things even more thematic, the “ticket” for a cocktail was actually a tarot card. With that, I was more than ready to get things started.
The “theatrical séance” was themed around the idea that Christmas used to be a time of telling ghost stories. Think of the Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol.” The crux of that story is, well, ghosts. In the Revenant Room Theatre, we were about to have our own encounter with holiday spirits.
The show started off with a bang for me, as I was picked to receive a special holiday card. I was brought onstage, where I chose from a pile of cards laying facedown on a small table. I got the three of hearts. Then, I was instructed to retrieve a holiday card from under a case on the left side of the stage.
Underneath that cover, and in that little, red envelope was a playing card. Can you guess which one it was? If you said the three of hearts (with a special, custom drawing by Aiden Sinclair), then you were correct. And perhaps, like me, you were stunned.
Of course, that was merely the beginning of the 90-minute show. We got to witness a bit of bibliomancy, with some truly gorgeous first-edition books. There was also a bit of the telephone game with, perhaps, one of those ghosts of Christmases passed. Sinclair stood onstage, while two members from the audience sat in chairs, with a space between them.
Sinclair tapped the man on the left on the shoulder. But when he asked whoever felt the tap to raise their hand, both audience members did.
This left the man onstage awestruck as to how he managed to feel that tap on his shoulder. And it got the audience tittering, “How did he do that?” However, I, for one, like to simply enjoy the magic of life, and prefer to assume it was what the show implied, spirits.
My favorite happening of the night involved a few copies of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and the word “cat.” I hadn’t really witnessed any bibliomancy before, but I certainly enjoyed Sinclair’s take on it. I mean, I find books to be magical already, so it’s hard to imagine something more exciting (to a nerd like me) than using them to connect with spirits.
I can’t say much more, as the show deserves to be experienced, and I don’t want to give anything away. Of course, each show is different, but I’d still like to save a little mystery for anyone looking to grab tickets to see Aiden Sinclair in person.
Aiden Sinclair’s “Ghosts of Christmas Passed,” is a show fitting of the impressive and mystical vessel it takes place on. I imagine it’s a lot of pressure to host a ghost-themed performance on the Queen Mary, a famously-inhabited, spiritual ship. However, Sinclair does The Grey Ghost justice.
And, for the more adventurous guests, you can even join Aiden Sinclair and his assistant (and fiancé), Becca, for a paranormal investigation aboard the famed ship.
The last few years I’ve become more and more interested in The Queen Mary, taking advantage of any opportunity to learn more about her, and I have to say, this experience only added fuel to the fire. I can’t wait to check out this show again, and hopefully join Aiden and Becca for another paranormal investigation. If you’re in Long Beach, California, it really is not to be missed.