The keel was laid for the HMS Queen Mary in 1930 at Clyde, Scotland, but was not completed until 1936. She made her maiden voyage on May 27 of that same year. She served three years as a passenger liner carrying passengers across the atlantic until war broke out in 1939.
When the United States entered the war, she was converted to a troop ship. Painted grey to make her more difficult to detect, she was known as the "Grey Ghost." She ferried troops from the U.S. to England in perparation for D-Day. During this time she set the record for the most people on an ocean voyage at one time with 16,683 people.
After the war she continued to serve the military by trasporting war brides and the children from Europe to the United States. She made 13 voyages in this capacity before she was refurbished and retured to passenger liner service.
By the 1960s ocean liners were falling out of fashion with the rise of air traffic between the continents. She made occaisional luxury cruises before being sold to the city of Long Beach in 1967. She made her final transatlantic crossing she was permanently docked. Her boilers were removed and she was rendered unable to move under her own power. She was converted into a hotel and museum.
There are numerous ghosts and hauntings reported on the Queen Mary.
Stateroom B340 is no longer rented out because the the volume of paranormal activity. Some people claim that it is haunted by the ghost of a murdered pursur, but we found that information on other ghost websites and not on any of the tours conducted by the Queen Mary. The faucets are supposed to turn on by themselves, and sheets from the bed are said to have flown across the room. The room is now stark white with very little firniture in it.
One of the most famous ghosts of the Queen Mary is believed to be that of John Pedder, a fireman in the engine room who was crushed by the infamous "Door 13" in the part of the ship known as "Shaft Alley." Apparently during emergencies, the watertight doors would be closed to seal off sections of the ship to avoid sinking. The legend goes that crew members would hop back and forth through the doorways as many times as they could before the door would close. John Pedder apparantly tried one too many times and was crushed by the closing door.
A man seen wearing blue overalls sometimes described as having a beard has been seen walking down shaft alley and disappearing at Door 13. On the Ghost and Legends tour they refer to this man as "Half Hatch Harry," but that was not the real name. John Pedder is listed on the sign in the infirmary of crew members that died.
The First Class Swimming Pool is another famous haunted location on the Queen Mary. Some reports claim that it is haunted by the ghost of people who drowned in the pool, but the Queen Mary's own sign detailing the causes of death for passengers on the liner does not list a single death due to drowning. The ghosts seen in the first class swimming pool seem to be exclusively female. There are reports of at least one adult woman and a little girl that haunt this location. The little girl is said to have drowned in the second class swimming pool (which has since been removed). Her name is reported to be "Jackie," and she is seen in many places across the ship.
The changing rooms at the back of the swimming pool are said to hold a vortex of negative energy, or perhaps a gateway between dimensions. One story suggests that this is due to a woman having been raped in the changing rooms at one point. There is a live ghost webcam that continuously films the swimming pool. The pool is also part of the special effects tour Ghosts and Legends of the Queen Mary which includes smoke and light effects.
While all of the boilers have been removed from the ship when it was docked at Long Beach, the massive rooms that once housed them remain. The forward boiler rooms are now used as part of the Ghost and Legends special effects show, the massive middle boiler rooms have been converted into conference space, and the aft boiler rooms are included on the regular tour and the late night paranormal tours. The boiler rooms were dangerous places, and it is not surprising that these locations may have there own ghost stories. Jackie is sometimes seen in the boiler rooms, as well as a male ghost that is thought to have been a crew member that worked on the boilers. The rooms are very massive and have a creepy feeling to them.
During World War II when the Queen Mary was known as the Grey Ghost, she accidently rammed one of her escort ships causing it to sink. At the point on the bow of the Queen Mary where she collided with the escort screams can sometimes be heard. The public is normally only allowed to visit this part of the ship on the Ghosts and Legends tour.
There are many other parts of the Queen Mary that are said to be haunted. It seems the whole ship is a beacon for paranormal activity. The infirmary and the Lounge are other parts of the ship with their own tales of ghosts. In our interviews with various members of the crew, we got reports of strange feelings fairly often. The only crewmember who reported seeing a possible apprarition related this story to us.
One waitress at the Chelsea restaurant states that she had been
The Queen Mary was an excelent place to visit for a few days, if not a bit overpriced. When we were there there was not a lot to do after dark, but taking a romantic walk on the decks while viewing Long Beach across the harbor is nice and romantic (and a little chilly). I would have prefered more to do that did not involve a tour. While it is a vast ship with a lot to do, it can easily be done in a single day with good planning. We spent three nights at the QM, but we spent one of our days visiting Disneyland, and part of another day driving around downtown Long Beach. There are also limited choices for breakfast, as there is only one restaurant that serves it and it did not have the greatest hours. Our accomidations were fair, but we did not spend a lot of time in our room.
There were several tours available for the daylight hours. We bought the Haunted Encounters Passport. The Ghosts and Legends tour was all flash, but no substance. Much like your average Haunted House complete with spooky lighting, sound, and fog machines.
The Haunted Encounters tour was very informational and took you thru more rooms inside the ship. As you go through the ship, you also find small plaques that list ghost sightings. These are part of the self-guided scavenger hunt. The Paranormal Ship Walk, with psychic Erika Frost, was not included in the passport. Being the only evening tour we took, more lights were dimmed down, adding to the ambiance. This is the only tour that gave us access to the front of the ship, the brig, the pool dressing rooms and some other roped off areas. We did pass on the Paranormal Investigations tour and the Burlesque show. We ran out of time and money.
I strongly recommend at least making a day trip out of the Queen Mary!