Haunted History – Ghosts of The Queen Mary

   Construction on this massive ship began in 1930 but soon she, along with everybody else, fell victim to the great depression. Work on her steel skeleton came to a slow grinding halt. There had been a lot of setbacks during her creation, but, the Cunard Line spared no expense in building her. Six years later on May 27, The Queen Mary departed Southhampton on her maiden voyage. Cunard had originally intended on naming her after Queen Victoria, but kind of fumbled when the met with the King to get his blessing for her maiden voyage.

The Cunard representative told the King that they had decided to name her after England’s greatest Queen, meaning Victoria. The King then answered that his wife, Queen Mary, would be delighted that they were naming a ship after her. Um, so what do you say then? So, yeah, she was named the Queen Mary!

For 3 years thereafter she carried movie stars and royalty across the oceans in the utmost level of luxury, she even set new records for speed. But it all came to an end as World War II dug it’s heels in. In September of 1939 she docked in New York where she was cloaked in a layer of drab grey and all of her luxurious amenities were stripped away.

   She became known as the Grey Ghost, the largest and fastest troopship on the sea, capable of transporting up to 16000 troops at 30 knots. After the war, The Grey ghost underwent a 10 month retrofitting where she was once again dubbed Queen Mary, all of her luxurious amenities once again were intact. For 20 years thereafter, she returned to catering to the most wealthy and famous of passengers. Her last cruise set off on Halloween 1967, in December of the same year she was sold and then docked in Long Beach California where she serves still as a floating luxury hotel.

Ok, so now we know a little about Queen Mary’s physical history, let’s talk about her haunted history.

There have been over 150 separate entities documented on this ship. For the last nearly 60 years, there have been 49 deaths aboard this ship, now we’ll never know for certain how many men lost their lives onboard during war time, we do know about a few of them.

   Two men, on separate occasions, were crushed by door #13. This is a massive, steel girded door, it took one man out during wartime, the second, a 18 year old crewman, was more recently in 1966. The man’s name was John Pedder but he’s now known as Half Hatch Harry. The circumstances surrounding his death are mysterious, as it takes the massive door a full 60 seconds to close completely. Harry is spotted walking the length of the shaft alley in his blue coveralls but he always disappears when he reaches door 13.

   Then there’s the spirit of William E. Stark, who accidentally poisoned himself by drinking cleaning fluid instead of gin, he’s said to haunt the Main Deck. And then there is the boiler room where the some folks have encountered one of the original crewmen, still on the job, checking valves and meters.

Two more hot spots for ghost hunters are both the first and the second class pools. Neither of them are used today, in fact the first class pool has been closed for over 30 years, but there are moments when you’d never think it. There are more than a handful of reports of young women in 1930’s style swimsuits, meandering around the pool deck. They’re accompanied by the sounds of splashing and they even sometimes leave their wet footprints as evidence that they were there.

   Besides the bathing beauties, there is also the spirit of a young girl with a teddy bear seen lingering near the changing rooms. Her name is Dana, her entire family was murdered aboard the ship. she’s also often spotted playing in the cargo area, or wandering the poolside calling out for her mother.
Also in the area of the first class pool there is the ghost of an unidentified man that hangs out in the little room under the stairs. He’s made several appearances and his voice has been captured via EVP, he has a thing for growling at people but it’s said to be done in a joking manner. This spirit has been dubbed with the name, Grumpy, since no one knows who he really was.

   There are two other male spirits seen hanging out at the first class pool, Terrance and Jack were both WWII soldiers that were killed in a crossing during the war. They’re said to be quite chatty and have a tendency to tug at your clothes when your in the area. That tells me these two were a couple of hounds, maybe even pulling off a bathing suit top or two, men! Even in death, they all just want boobs right!

   The second class poolroom is nearly as lively as the first class. This pool is haunted by the 2 spirits, both young girls who drowned in the pool on separate occasions. Both girls seemed to have become best of friends in the afterlife, they’re often seen playing together around the very pool where they both lost their lives.

 

   In the Queen’s salon, which was once the first class lounge, there is the spirit of a beautiful woman in a long flowing white gown that is often spotted dancing alone in the shadows of the corner.

   In the Sir Winston’s bar area, folks often meet up with the Dude, an impeccably dressed specter who sometimes engages visitors in conversation while he’s having a drink. There have been several visitors that didn’t realize they were carrying on a conversation with a ghost, imagine their surprise when the Dude and his drink disappear right before their very eyes.

   And then of course there are ghosts for nearly every first class state room, there are reports of a tall man in a 1930’s style suit seen walking gracefully from his suite and into the passageway. There are further reports of doors opening and closing on their own, phones ringing and when answered, no one is on the other end, water that turns itself off and on and lights that surge and flicker for seemingly no reason.

You may even encounter a man in a yellow zoot suit wearing a matching fedora. He’s a creepy looking dude with a bad grill. Folks that have had encounters with him say that he comes really close to you as he’s passing by, and he gives you a creepy bad grill smile, before disappearing into thin air.

In the third class children’s playroom, a crying baby has often been heard, it’s thought to be that of the infant boy who died there shortly after his birth. And speaking of crying, lots of last breaths were drawn in the ship’s infirmary too. Visitors have encountered both medical personnel and patients in the infirmary, There are moanful cries, screams of agony, and an overall uneasy feeling in this area.

   At the helm, don’t be surprised if you run into Captain Jones, Jones was the last captain to sail the Queen Mary, he was at the helm for her final Halloween voyage in 67. Anyway, you’re gonna know it’s him not only because he’s wearing his uniform but because he was an avid cigar smoker. His spirit is usually accompanied by the fragrance of a good Cuban cigar.

Other phenomenon occurring throughout the ship, are the sounds of distinct knocks, doors slamming and high pitched squeals, drastic temperature changes, and the aromas of smells long past. But one of the most insanely disturbing paranormal experiences ever reported aboard the ship was reminiscent of an incident that happened on October 2, 1942.

   The Queen Mary accidentally collided with the HMS Curacoa. Not only was the Curacoa destroyed, but the doomed ship sank in under six minutes. Over 300 crew members died in this collision, and to this day, guests regularly wake to phantom sounds of screaming and rushing water emanating from the front of the ship, leading many to believe that the spirits of the Curacoa’s drowned men may very well be lingering aboard the Queen Mary.

   Then there’s room #340, the most haunted room on the entire ship, forget it, it’s unavailable to rent. It seems that after a staff member was murdered in the the room, the paranormal activity became so violent that the room was locked up and deemed off-limits. This is supposedly the same room where Dana’s family was murdered.

Stories bounce back and forth about who actually died in the room and how, but regardless of the details, there is a ton of activity there. Everything from cold spots to vibrating furniture. There’s nothing lacking paranormally in #340.

Besides the spirits that we just spoke of, there are tons of apparitions that have been left unidentified. These guys show up as misty black shadowy figures that seem oblivious to the fact that they’re being watched by the living as they go on with their day to day routines.

 

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