Sunday, October 27, 2013

RMS Queen Mary

Author: Catherine Garrett

Said to be one of the most haunted places in America, The Queen Mary floats in Long Beach, California. She originated in Scotland and was first built as a luxury cruiser. She took her maiden voyage in 1934 outfitted with an indoor swimming pool, salon, library, nursery, and first-class dining. She was used by all of high society for travel, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Winston Churchill (Firefox).


Come World War II, The Queen Mary gave up her days as luxury liner and was converted into a military transport. She was camouflaged grey for stealth and given the nickname “The Grey Ghost”, a name that she would later live up to. She was the fastest in her class, outstripping all other ships. Hitler put up a $250,000 reward for anyone who could stop this incredible machine. She could carry up to 15,000 men at a time, allowing for fast and easy transport for the allied efforts. However, she was involved in a few incidents during her war-time service. In October of 1942 she struck her escort ship, HMS Curacoa, killing 338 people aboard (Firefox). Later, in December of 1942, while transporting American GI’s back to America, she was hit by a massive wave. She almost capsized, but made it. Paul Gallico based his novel The Poseidon Adventure on this event. After World War II, The Queen Mary was transformed again into a luxury ship. However, times had changed and she was underequipped. Soon, she was retired from service.

In 1967 she was sold to the city of Long Beach, California. They turned the ship into a floating hotel and museum. Ever since she was docked in Long Beach, rumors of her haunting have been buzzing everywhere. It seems that the paranormal center of the ship is “Door 13”. “Door 13” was a watertight door that closed off the engine room. John Pedder, an 18 year old crewman, was said to have been crushed by this door in 1966 during a routine drill. It is said that you can occasionally see a man in blue overalls lurking around the door. Many people say they feel otherworldly feelings around this door, and some have even reported encounters with John Peddler (Strickland). The first-class pool on board is also a popular ghost hangout. It is reported that women in 1930s attire have been seen lounging around the pool deck. In the second-class pool room, a young girl named Jackie has been spotted wandering around looking for something – or someone (Firefox).  The children’s playroom also seems to be haunted, it has been reported that if you come close to the door you can hear crying on the other side. The hull of the ship, where it wrecked into HMS Curacoa, seems to be haunted as well. It is said that you can hear the sounds of the metal bending in the accident and the screams of the stranded men as they drowned (Firefox). Haunted or not, RMS Queen Mary is quite a mystery with a murky past.

Works Cited:
Morris, Tracy. “The RMS Queen Mary: The Most Haunted Place in America.” Firefox News. 6 June 2008. Web. 13 Oct 2013.
Strickland, Nicole. “An Encounter with John Pedder?” Ghosts and Spirits of the RMS Queen Mary. Nicole Strickland, 9 Feb 2013. Web. 13 Oct 2013.
“The “Queen Mary” On Her Maiden Voyage to the U.S.” Photograph. Temperamental Broad, 8 Oct 2012. Web. 18 Oct 2013.


Links for Further Research:
Ghosts and Spirts of the RMS Queen Mary
This website by Nicole Strickland, a paranormal investigator, contains a lot of information on the ship and paranormal activity she has personally seen and recorded aboard.

The Queen Mary, The Most Haunted Ship That Ever Sailed The Oceans.
This website has many personal accounts by people who experienced paranormal encounters aboard the ship.

Have Ghosts? Will Travel: A Ghostgeek's Guide to the RMS Queen Mary

This article by Jen Brown is about her stay aboard the Queen Mary and her investigation of the ship.