Ghost Hunting on the Queen Mary

Ghost hunting on the Queen Mary
Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, licensed to

The Queen Mary in Long Beach is a popular destination for ghost hunters since it has long been reported to be haunted by a whole array of former passengers. The ship served as a military transport during World War II, so the spirits of sailors join the ghosts of well-heeled guests on the luxury ocean liner turned hotel and attraction.

Opportunities for paranormal encounters on the ship range from the casual to the intense.

Self-Guided Tour

For those with a casual interest, the Self-Guided Walking Tour of the ship included with General Admission takes you through several areas where Ghost Encounters placards indicate places where apparitions have been spotted. However, the self-guided tour does not have access to many of the most haunted areas of the ship. General Admission also includes access to the Ghosts and Legends special effects show, which is not particularly scary, nor paranormal. Some spirits you might run across on your own include the ghost of a sailor, known to haunt the engine room, an elegant lady who makes regular appearances in the Observation Bar and a little girl who has been seen around the ship.

Haunted Encounters Tour 

The Haunted Encounters Tour is a daytime ticket that includes an introductory film, a fast-paced guided tour of many parts of the ocean liner reputed to be haunted from the engine room to staterooms, with lots of anecdotal stories of ghost experiences on the ship and special effects display in the first-class pool area.

It also includes a Ghost Sightings Scavenger Hunt booklet and, in theory, a visit to the Paranormal Research Center - but I've never actually seen the Center open. This ticket also lets you into the Ghosts and Legends special effects show.

Paranormal Ship Walk

For more serious ghost enthusiasts, you can sign up for an evening tour of the ship's haunted areas with a resident psychic.

This tour goes at a slower pace and covers different areas of the ship than the daytime tour. Visitors have more opportunity to commune with spirits. Tours leave at 8 pm Thursday, Friday, ​and Sunday. 

Dining with the Spirits 

Dinner and a Ghost Tour is basically the same tour as the Paranormal Ship Walk with the added bonus of a three-course meal at the elegant Sir Winston's and more time to get to know your guide, Erika Frost. Meeting time is 7 pm every Saturday. 

Paranormal Investigations

For those interested in actually conducting paranormal research on the ship, a paranormal investigator leads Paranormal Investigations at night. This is a small group experience where half a dozen participants can learn to work the research equipment and participate in meditation exercises designed to open the mind to psychic phenomenon. Paranormal Investigations are conducted the first and third Fridays of the month from midnight to 2 am or later.

Queen Mary Dark Harbor

Every October for the Halloween season the Queen Mary is transformed into a giant haunted house attraction with seven mazes on and off the ship, two dance parties and live bands playing.

Note: During October most of the other haunted tours cease because the tour areas are incorporated into the haunted mazes for Shipwrecked.

For everything else you might want to know about the Queen Mary including hours, prices and parking, check out the Queen Mary Visitor's Guide.