Among other forms of nightlife available every weekend aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, guests can enjoy an exclusive evening with a paranormal investigator during Dinner and A Ghost Tour every Saturday evening.
The $129 per person for Dinner and a Ghost Tour includes a three-course dinner at Sir Winston's including soft drinks, coffee and tip, but not alcohol, and a tour of the most haunted areas of the ship.
Dinner is a choice of a salad or lobster bisque for the first course, steak, chicken or salmon as the main course and chocolate or raspberry mousse cake for dessert. Parking is discounted with validation. The evening is scheduled to start at 7 pm, but guests are shown to the bar to wait until all participants have arrived before the group is escorted to a private dining room.
It was my first time dining at award-winning Sir Winston's restaurant. I had the lobster bisque, steak, and raspberry mousse cake. The food was good, but I wouldn't give it any awards for this particular meal. If I go back, I'll skip the bisque, which was a little heavy for me, and leave more room for dessert.
Paranormal guides change, but on my visit, the guide was psychic Erika Frost. She didn't sit down to dine with the 34 of us gathered for dinner - possibly because there were so many of us - but she did come by to introduce herself, give a little of her background and draw out paranormal stories from guests.
Erika Frost doesn't look like she spends much time eating the over-rich food of Sir Winston's. A fractious spirit could easily blow her off the three-inch stilettos which add to her diminutive stature. She told us about the near-death experience that awakened her senses to the paranormal and lead her to explore this field.
In 2004, those explorations brought her to the Queen Mary, where she became the paranormal investigator in residence (UPDATE: Frost is no longer giving the tour).
The Ghost Tour
After dinner, there was time for those staying on the ship to change from the formal attire required by Sir Winston's to something more comfortable for climbing around in the dusty bowels of an old ship. The tour may not cover a great distance, but the floor is very uneven and there are many narrow metal stairs to navigate, so sturdy shoes are a really good idea. There are over a dozen flights of stairs to ascend or descend on the tour. Ms. Frost manages in her spike heels, but she's had a lot of practice navigating these halls.
We detoured around several gatherings of the living to get to our first destination, the engine room. A sailor by the name of John was said to have been killed in this area when he got caught in a closing hatch. As we entered, the flash on my camera started going off randomly without me touching it. Erika brought out a pair of metal divining rods and asked for a volunteer to hold them. With the rods pointing straight forward, Erika asked the spirit of John to move the rods apart if he was present.
Slowly but surely the rods moved away from each other.
In the cargo hold, four floors below any other activity on the ship, we were able to discern voices mumbling. I got the sense of people playing cards. Was it imprinted energy from the sailors and POWs who occupied this area or perhaps current staff on a break somewhere within hearing distance?
In the first class pool, we were on the lookout for a lady in white and possibly a little girl, who have both been seen in the area. Brenda from Lake Forest saw the lady in white twice reflected in the mirror by the pool, but most of the action seemed to be in the changing rooms, reputed to be a vortex of paranormal activity. Erika divided us into two groups to go inside the changing rooms. While one group was inside, the other stayed by the pool playing with the divining rods.
The group in the changing rooms took up positions in each of the dark stalls.
"The darkness came closer to us," said Sarah Covert of Redondo Beach, "It was really scary." "The shadow of a person kept going back and forth in front of the stalls and then it came right up behind her," added Mark Negus. "I felt something breathe on me. I could feel it on my neck," reported Diane Merrill from Laguna Hills.
"It was like a black figure," stated Marsha from Phoenix, "First it passed by and then it came right back and stood this close to my face." "I thought they were two different people," her father, Mark added. "The first one was female; the second one was a male with a white shirt and black pants. He stopped right in front of my daughters."
Dayna Tadlas and Ian Petrorskis from Simi Valley both saw a dark shadow come and stand in front of them two or three times, "then there was something like a vapor portal in front of me," Dayna expanded, "like you could step through it."
I guess I was standing in the wrong stall. I didn't see anything.
For more information on Dinner and A Ghost Tour visit www.QueenMary.com.