Is the Queen Mary haunted? Some professional ghost hunters say it is. Time magazine says it's one of the top 10 most haunted places in America. The folks who run the attraction would like you to think so, too. They want to sell tickets to their ghost tours, so it's in their best interest to say so.
Skeptics say that everything attributed to wayward spirits has a logical explanation.
But that isn't very helpful, is it? Is the old ship actually haunted? She was called the Grey Ghost during her years as a World War II transport ship, but that was because of her color and speed, not for any stray spirits.
During her 60-year history, the Queen Mary was the site of 49 reported deaths, so there are plenty of potential spirits to haunt her hallways. With her service long over, the Queen Mary has become associated with ghosts: more than a dozen apparitions have been reported aboard the ship. Reported hauntings include a young crewman in the engine room, swimmers in the first-class pool, a man in black, and a woman in blue. In the Hotel Queen Mary, Room B340 is said to be one of the most haunted places on the ship.
Who's right? To get the best answer, you'll have to investigate for yourself. You can have a fun time doing that, no matter what you conclude.
During the day, you can take the Queen Mary Ghosts and Legends Tour which includes admission to a special exhibit and a self-guided tour of other places where ghosts have been sighted. You can also take a Haunted Encounter Tour which gives you an overview of the ship's most haunted areas and paranormal hotspots.
Tour at Night
But really, aren't ghost stories more fun in the dark? After the sun goes down, you can enjoy any of several night tours, from dining with the spirits to taking part in a paranormal investigation.
If you take the dinner and ghost tour option, it's fun to get dressed up for the meal, but be sure your shoes are comfortable. As on any of their tours, you'll climb a lot of stairs — and walk a long way.
Some of the places you'll visit, which are said to be the ship's most haunted parts, include the propeller box, engine room, boiler room, cargo hold, and first-class swimming pool.
Searching for Ghosts
You can go ghost hunting on the Queen Mary with their resident ship para investigator, ParaXplorer Project founder Matthew Schulz. You will use handheld monitoring equipment and participate in group Electronic Voice Phenomenon recording sessions while exploring the ship.
If you're a skeptic when it comes to paranormal phenomena, any of their tours may not change your mind. However, you might find yourself hoping to see Henry swirling around your guide head, listening for the crying woman, or trying to feel John's presence near door 13 where he died.
May tour participants hear things, feel something, or experience one or more of the signs of paranormal activity: dizziness, nausea or feeling hot or cold. Is it a paranormal occurrence that brings those on, the mere power of suggestion, or the effects of too many cocktails at dinner? Who knows?
No matter what you see, feel or conclude, the Queen Mary is a fascinating, enormous old ship with a rich history and taking one of the Queen Mary ghost tours can be an enjoyable way to spend an evening. She's creepy at night the way any big, old structure can be. She makes noises that aren't easily explained. And ghosts or not, the ghost tours go into areas of the ship that you won't see on other tours.
If you can't get to the Queen Mary to see those ghosts for yourself, don't give up. These folks captured some images from the Queen Mary GhostCam. You can get an opposing point of view from John Champion in the Skeptical Inquirer. It's titled "The Queen Mary Is Not Haunted (But I Understand Why You Think She Is)."
How to Visit
The Queen Mary is at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach. You can get more details about how to visit her in the Queen Mary visitor guide or check out the Queen Mary website.