The Queen Mary is well known as a spot for paranormal activity, mainly restless spirits. Many incidents of strange rapping noises, objects moving on their own, disembodied voices, and actual ghost sightings have been reported by staff, guests, and investigators on the docked ship. The first class swimming pool is known to be one of the most haunted places, two women drowned there and their ghosts have been spotted lurking around. One is dressed in 1950s clothing, the other in 1930s. A crewmember saw a woman in a 1950s style one-piece bathing suit sitting by the pool. No guests were allowed back there and the pool had long since been completely drained. The woman in the bathing suit got up and looked as if she were about to dive. The crewmember yelled, afraid she would dive into an empty pool, but just as she was about to dive, she vanished. The crewmember checked the ships records and found out a woman had drowned there. Psychics investigating the hotel felt very negative vibrations in the changing room of the pool. A woman who drowned inside of it also haunts the tourist class pool. I watched a video with mysterious blue waves of light that move down the stairs and around the first class pool.
A beautiful woman in a flowing white dress haunts the lounge for first class. Apparently she likes to dance. Mysterious balls of light and apparitions of a black haired man in 1930s attire are reported in the first class suite area. Maybe he’s looking for the woman by the pool? Many tour guides have seen the man, I assume they must have to get used to all the spirits around or find another job. In the forward storage room, where the ships records are kept, sounds of children playing can be heard. Even though they’re children, I know I’d still be freaked out.
Many of the apparitions are connected to a tragedy during WWII. Bosun’s locker, the area of the hull, which accidentally cut the British light cruiser Curacoa in half, frequently has inexplicable pounding sounds. The Queen Mary had wartime sailing orders and were being traced by a German U-boat and so were unable to rescue the sailors of the British vessel. Unfortunately, 338 men drowned in the frigid waters. Once haunting incident happened while a marine engineer was in the bow below the deck. He was doing some work when he heard the voices of men shrieking in horror. The screams were followed by the sound of metal crunching and being split apart and then the sound of rushing water. The same noises have been heard since the ship was converted into a hotel. It seems the accident is being relived even today.
One cabin on the third level, B340, is no longer rented to anyone because of the alarming frequency of scary, paranormal disturbances. The story goes that a psychopath killed his three daughters and wife, as well as himself, while in the room. His five-year-old daughter is known to frequent the pool area. If that isn’t enough for you to believe this place is ridiculously haunted, I’m far from done. The kitchen was the site of a murder during WWII. A cook, who couldn’t cook, enraged troops with his bad food who broke into a riot soon erupting into violence. The riot escalated until some of the men stuffed the cook into an oven. That’s right, they actually burned him to death because he wasn’t very good at cooking. Somehow, his dying screams were locked into the ship’s iron bulkhead and are sometimes replayed to stunned visitors.
There is also a haunted morgue! Go figure. The ghosts there are harder to identify since sixteen crewmembers, two G.I.s and thirty-one passengers have died on the ship. I do hope they move on to the next plane soon, I’m guessing the party in the morgue is getting pretty old by now. The most frequently spotted ghost is that of the 18-year-old crewman John Pedder, killed while he was trying to slip through an automatically closing door during a routine watertight drill on July 10, 1966. He was crushed to death in watertight door number 13. Many have reported experiences with John but here are some of the most famous. A guard was once making the rounds along with his dog when he heard a noise coming from watertight door 13. The dog stopped and refused to move. They searched around the area but didn’t find anything. A few years later, a tour guide felt a presence behind her near door 13. She turned around and saw a young man standing there. He only remained a few seconds before vanishing. She later picked out John Pedder’s photo out of a line up. She was not aware of his tragic death at door 13.
The senior second Officer William Stark is another frequently sighted apparition. He accidentally poisoned himself in 1949, after drinking tetrachloride that one of the captains kept in an old gin bottle. One waitress who was working the podium saw three guests coming towards her and looked down to check the reservations for a party of three. When she looked up there were only two guests and so she asked if they wanted to wait for the third member of their party. They looked confused and said there were only two of them. Perhaps it was Officer William Stark trying to get a real drink? The same waitress reported the faucets in the women’s bathroom going on and off by themselves, a different spirit is probably responsible for that.
I stayed on the Queen Mary when I was ten years old with my dad and my sister. I certainly felt some eerie spots walking around on the first class deck. A couple of times I saw strange shadows or heard noises seeming to come from nowhere. I had heard the place was haunted, but didn’t believe in ghosts because they were just a source of hype to reel in tourists. However, certain spots definitely gave me strange feelings as if I had passed into a different time or world. My sister did not see anything but she felt the spirit of a woman was following her. Meanwhile, the coastline adjacent to the Queen Mary has feral cats living among the rocks. I wonder what their attraction to that place is. We only stayed one night, but I remember getting off the elevator and feeling a strange energy in the hallways and the room we rented. It felt as if we were not alone. While looking for information about the haunting I stumbled onto a pretty awesome video of some ghost investigators having an EVP session with John Pedder. Turns out he is friendly and about as naughty as any other 18 year old boy.
sources: Hauck, Dennis William. Haunted Places, The National Directory.
New York, New York. Penguin Books USA, Inc. 1996.