Ghost Stories

The Queen Mary: a haunted history lesson

The Queen Mary is by far my favorite haunt. I would say that 80% of the paranormal experiences I have encountered took place on this glorious ship. I have seen, felt, smelled, heard, and sensed all sorts of activity there. The best EVP I have ever captured also took place aboard.

I will need to write several blogs regarding this ship to cover all the information and experiences. Yes, there is that much to tell. So this is blog is #1 of many that will be dedicated to the Queen.

Let me attempt to sum up a bit of history about the Queen Mary in one post. It plays an important role as to why it is haunted for future stories.

The RMS Queen Mary is an ocean liner that has been permanently docked in Long Beach, California since the city purchased her in 1967. They planned on using it as a hotel and tourist attraction. The ship still operates as a hotel today. The Queen Mary resembles the Titanic in color and shape but she is 135 feet longer & 35,000 tons heavier than the Titanic.

The Queen Mary is escorted by an armada of small craft in the final moments of her final cruise as she arrived at the outer breakwater of Long Beach, California harbor Dec. 9, 1967. Hundreds of thousands crowded the shoreline to watch as the huge vessel arrived to become a floating hotel-convention center and maritime museum in Long Beach harbor. (AP Photo/David F. Smith)

Before she was docked in Long Beach, she was a passenger ocean liner that traveled across the North Atlantic from 1936 to 1967. This ship has Art Deco themes throughout and is quite glamourous.

The War Years

However, the glam of The Queen Mary was temporarily downplayed beginning on March 1, 1940, when she was commissioned to transport troops during WWII due to her speed. She was painted grey and nicknamed The Grey Ghost. She could carry 15,000 soldiers aboard. She even carried POWs from time to time as well as war brides and children.

Hitler had a bounty out on her because she was so fast and alluded enemy ships. Her high speed and ability to zigzag her courses made it impossible for the U-boats to catch her. After her time in service, she was returned to her regular colors and resumed her ocean liner status.

Why is the Queen Mary So Haunted?

Many reasons. There are quite a few well-known spirits on this ship. Little Jackie, John Henry, The Lady in White, & John Pedder just to name a few of the more notorious ones.

However, there are also spirits deep within the cargo hold that many do not encounter. These are most likely the POWs who were kept there and died due to the heat while traveling through the Red Sea. The ship was designed for cold temperatures of the North Atlantic Ocean. Not the heat of the tropics. I, myself, have encountered and communicated with a few of these POWs. That is yet another story I will share…

Just a small portion of the list of Italian POWs. The QM also carried German and Japanese.

There have also been many deaths on board the ship during her time as a cruise liner. Some natural but some unexplained.

Not to mention the horrible tragedy that took place on October 2, 1942. The Queen Mary was known to not have escort ships with her because of her speed but she was assigned the HMS Curacoa to help defend her against any possible air attacks. Due to the Queen Mary’s tactic of zig zagging to avoid U-boats, a tragedy took place that day.

The HMS Curacoa was zagging while the Queen Mary was zigging and the QM literally cut the Curacoa in half. The Curacoa sank in minutes. The Queen Mary was on strict instructions to keep moving no matter what so smaller boats were to arrive to help any survivors. Only 101 sailors out of a 429 lived.

In the process, the hit did cause major damage to the bow of the Queen Mary. Thankfully the water tight doors kept the water at bay.

Repairs took place and she continued with her journey. However, in the front of the ship, though repaired, they say you can hear men screaming from time to time. The poor souls of the soldiers that were killed.

The repaired bow from inside the hull.

So there is a basic history of the Queen Mary. As I post experiences, you will now have a better understanding of her journey. So when I say I have an EVP from the cargo hold of a spirit calling me a “dumb ass” in German, it will make more sense now.

Stay tuned.


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