The Queen Mary: This 1930s luxury liner is now a paranormal hotspot

the queen mary fi

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The Queen Mary ship: Luxury with a side of the supernatural

Built in the early 1930s, this grand vessel began its life as a luxury ocean liner, crossing the Atlantic Ocean with elegance and speed. But the Queen Mary was not just a ship for the rich and famous to enjoy — she also played a critical role during World War II.

After its glory days on the seas, the Queen Mary found a new home and purpose in Long Beach, California. No longer sailing the oceans, she has transformed into a hotel and tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into a bygone era.

But there’s more to the Queen Mary than just her luxurious accommodations and historical tours. It’s also known as one of California’s top paranormal hotspots.

Both guests and staff have reported unexplained noises, ghostly apparitions, and other mysterious occurrences. These stories have drawn paranormal enthusiasts from around the world who are eager to explore the unknown.

The Queen Mary March 2020 by Don Ramey Logan the queen mary, queen mary ship, the queen mary long beach, queen mary long beach
Photograph by D Ramey Logan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The majestic Queen Mary: A brief history

A floating palace

Back in the 1930s, when the idea of the Queen Mary came to life, the goal was to build something that was not merely a ship but a floating palace.

This was a time when traveling across the Atlantic Ocean was a grand affair, and the Queen Mary was designed to be at the forefront of this luxury.

When it first set sail in 1936, it was the epitome of elegance and technology. Its interiors were lavish, and it offered amenities that were unparalleled at the time.

But the Queen Mary’s story took a sharp turn with the onset of World War II. The ship was repurposed to serve a much different role — as a troop carrier.

It transformed into “The Grey Ghost” — a nickname it earned due to its new, stealthy paint job and incredible speed. The luxury that once defined it was stripped away, replaced by the necessities of war.

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Her final voyage and a new chapter

As the years went by, advancements in air travel began to overshadow the era of ocean liners. The Queen Mary’s days of crossing the Atlantic were numbered.

In 1967, it embarked on its final voyage, ending its career as a passenger ship. But instead of being forgotten, the Queen Mary found a new lease on life in Long Beach. The city saw potential in this majestic ship and purchased it to give it a permanent home.

The transition from an ocean liner to a stationary attraction wasn’t immediate. It took time and effort to repurpose the Queen Mary into something new yet respectful of its past.

Today, it serves as a hotel, museum, and event venue, allowing visitors to experience a slice of maritime history.

Visitors to the Queen Mary Long Beach can enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of this historic ship, as well as learn about its history and the many roles it has played over the decades.

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Haunted Queen of the Seas: The Living Legend of the RMS Queen Mary

A glimpse into the past: Life aboard the Queen Mary

Imagine stepping onto the Queen Mary during its prime, during a time when this grand ship was the epitome of luxury travel across the Atlantic.

The Queen Mary played host to a wide range of distinguished guests, including celebrities, royalty, and political figures. The ship was also the setting for many significant events, from glamorous movie premieres to high-profile political meetings.

Its passenger list reads like a who’s who of the early to mid-20th century, with names like Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor gracing its cabins.

The Queen Mary was designed to offer its passengers the utmost in comfort and luxury. From the moment they stepped aboard, guests were surrounded by stunning art deco interiors, rich wood paneling, and lavish furnishings.

The ship boasted a range of amenities that rivaled the finest hotels. This included a grand ballroom, a swimming pool, a library, and a variety of dining options.

Dining aboard the Queen Mary was an event in itself, with several restaurants and cafes serving gourmet cuisine prepared by top chefs.

The first-class dining room was a marvel, known for its extravagant meals and impeccable service. Passengers could enjoy a leisurely breakfast in their staterooms or indulge in a dinner accompanied by live music.

The ship offered everything from elegant cocktail parties and black-tie dinners to more casual gatherings in its bars and lounges. The ballroom was the heart of the Queen Mary’s social life, where passengers danced the night away to the sounds of a live orchestra.

For those seeking relaxation, the ship’s decks provided a perfect setting to enjoy the ocean views and fresh air. The onboard swimming pool was a popular spot for both exercise and leisure, while the library offered a quiet escape for those looking to unwind with a good book.

The transformation into a troop carrier

As the world plunged into the chaos of World War II, the need for large, fast ships to transport troops across the Atlantic became critical. The Queen Mary, with its vast size and speed, was a perfect candidate for this task.

The ship underwent a dramatic transformation — its luxurious amenities were stripped away, replaced by the essentials needed to carry as many as 15,000 troops at a time.

Airspeed Envoy a Queen Mary (Letectví, May 1936) the queen mary, queen mary ship, the queen mary long beach, queen mary long beach

Painted in a camouflage grey to make it less visible to enemy submarines and aircraft, the Queen Mary set sail on a new mission.

Life on the Queen Mary as a troop carrier was vastly different from its days of leisurely transatlantic crossings. The ship, designed to carry around 2,000 passengers in peacetime, was now transporting up to 15,000 soldiers per trip.

Space was tight, and the luxuries were replaced by the necessities of wartime travel. Despite these conditions, the Queen Mary’s speed and reliability made it a crucial asset in the war effort, earning it a place of honor among both Allies and enemies.

After the war, the Queen Mary returned to its original purpose as a luxury liner.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach: A new chapter

The transformation of the Queen Mary into a hotel and attraction was a monumental task. The ship was meticulously preserved to maintain its historical integrity while being updated to serve as a modern visitor attraction.

Many of the original features, including the staterooms, dining halls, and public spaces, were restored to their former glory. This careful preservation allows visitors to step back in time and experience the ship as it was during its ocean voyages.

In addition to serving as a hotel, the Queen Mary has become a hub for events, from weddings and conferences to festivals and Halloween haunts.

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RMS Queen Mary (Images of America)

For those interested in the paranormal, the Queen Mary is renowned for its ghost tours and nighttime investigations, offering a peek into the ship’s mysterious past.

The ship’s history is also showcased in its onboard museum and guided tours, which detail its construction, service in World War II, and role as a luxury liner.

The Queen Mary attracts visitors from around the world, drawn by its history and the tales of ghosts that roam its halls. The ship’s presence has spurred growth in the surrounding area as well, contributing to the development of the Long Beach waterfront.

Famous ghost stories and sightings on the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary isn’t just known for its history and luxurious past. It’s also famous for its paranormal activity.

Over the years, both guests and staff have reported unexplained occurrences that have led many to believe the ship is home to spirits from its past.

The engineer in the engine room

The incident occurred at Door 13 in the engine room — a massive space deep within the ship that once buzzed with activity as it powered the Queen Mary across the Atlantic.

During the drill, the young engineer was crushed to death, leaving behind a story that has turned into legend.

Since then, visitors and crew members have reported eerie encounters near this spot, claiming to have seen a ghostly figure dressed in overalls, resembling the unfortunate engineer.

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Ghost Encounters: The Queen Mary [DVD]
Those who have experienced this ghostly presence often speak of a sudden drop in temperature, a common sign of paranormal activity. Some have even heard the sounds of someone working, the clanging of metal, and the echo of footsteps in the otherwise silent room.

The figure is said to appear without warning, sometimes seen walking through the door where he met his end or standing silently among the machinery.

The engine room itself is a labyrinth of pipes, dials, and machinery, making it an intimidating place even without its ghostly inhabitant. Its dim lighting and the constant hum of the ship’s remaining operational systems create a backdrop that could unsettle even the bravest souls.

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Spirits of the first-class swimming pool

Back in its heyday, the first-class swimming pool was a symbol of the opulence that the Queen Mary offered its passengers. With its intricate mosaic tiles, elegant changing rooms, and grand staircases, it was the epitome of luxury.

However, today, it’s the echoes of the past that seem to linger here, as visitors report hearing the sounds of splashing water and seeing wet footprints leading nowhere.

One of the most popular ghost stories from the pool involves the apparitions of women dressed in 1930s swimwear. These spectral figures are often seen by guests and staff, appearing to enjoy the pool as if it were still filled with water.

Among the spirits said to inhabit the first-class swimming pool, the most famous is perhaps a young girl named Jackie.

Legend has it that Jackie drowned in the pool during one of the Queen Mary’s voyages, and her spirit has remained ever since. Visitors have reported hearing her voice and laughter echoing off the walls.

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The dancing woman of the Queen’s Salon

The Queen’s Salon was a place where passengers dressed in their finest attire would gather to socialize, listen to music, and dance the night away during the Queen Mary’s voyages.

The room, with its grand piano, luxurious seating, and exquisite murals, was the heart of the ship’s social life. It’s in this setting that the dancing woman is often spotted, a spectral presence that evokes the glamour of the Queen Mary’s golden era.

Guests and staff have reported seeing the dancing woman, describing her as a solitary figure in a flowing white dress, dancing alone or sometimes pausing as if watching the room fill with invisible guests.

Unlike some of the ship’s other ghostly inhabitants, the dancing woman appears serene, caught in a moment of joy. The identity of the dancing woman remains a mystery. Some speculate she could be the spirit of a former passenger.

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The second-class pool

Even though the second-class pool area has been repurposed, its past lingers in the form of ghostly occurrences. The area is said to be haunted by another spirit of a young girl.

This location is noted for its chilling atmosphere, with visitors reporting unexplained cold spots and the sound of invisible footsteps.

Stateroom B340

Perhaps the most notorious of all is Stateroom B340. In fact, is so notorious that it’s now rented out specifically to guests looking for a spooky experience.

Those brave enough to spend the night in B340 have reported a range of phenomena: lights flickering on and off, taps turning on by themselves, and the bedcovers being mysteriously pulled away.

One visitor recounted feeling an unseen presence in one of the ship’s hallways, accompanied by the sound of soft whispering. Another described a night spent in stateroom B340, during which they witnessed lights flickering on and off and felt as though someone was sitting at the end of their bed.

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Investigations into the paranormal activity

Over the years, the Queen Mary has attracted paranormal investigators from around the globe, drawn by its reputation as one of the most haunted places in the world.

These experts have conducted numerous investigations, using a variety of techniques to try and communicate with the spirits believed to inhabit the ship.

Many report feeling sudden drops in temperature, hearing unexplained noises, or seeing apparitions. Some guests have even captured what they believe to be ghostly figures in photographs.

Paranormal investigators have also documented their findings, with some claiming to have recorded EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) messages and captured images of ghostly figures on thermal cameras.

While skeptics remain, many investigators have reported unexplained phenomena that they believe provide evidence of the supernatural.

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Exploring the unknown: Ghost tours and paranormal investigations

The Queen Mary offers a variety of ghost tours designed to introduce guests to the ship’s most haunted areas and share the stories of those who’ve experienced them first-hand.

One of the most popular tours is the “Haunted Encounters” tour, which takes visitors through the ship’s spooky history and paranormal hotspots, including the first-class swimming pool and the engine room.

Tips for visiting the Queen Mary

Planning a visit to the Queen Mary in Long Beach can be an exciting adventure. Whether you’re drawn to its history, its haunts, or simply its majestic presence, the Queen Mary remains a must-visit destination.

The Queen Mary hosts a variety of events throughout the year, catering to all interests. Upcoming events are regularly updated on the Queen Mary’s official website, where visitors can also find information on booking tours, overnight stays, and special experiences.

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Thcipriani, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check the schedule before you go: The Queen Mary hosts a variety of events and tours throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to check the schedule on their official website before your visit. This way, you can plan your trip around any special events, tours, or exhibits that interest you. queenmary.com/happenings

Book tours in advance: Some of the most popular attractions on the Queen Mary, like the ghost tours and paranormal investigations, can sell out quickly. To guarantee your spot, consider booking these tours in advance. This is especially true if you’re visiting during peak times like weekends or holidays. queenmary.com/tours/tours-exhibits

Wear comfortable shoes: The Queen Mary is a large ship with many decks, corridors, and staircases to explore. You’ll likely do a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes. This will make it easier to navigate the ship and enjoy all the sights without any discomfort.

Bring a camera: From its beautifully preserved art deco interiors to the stunning views of Long Beach, The Queen Mary is full of photo opportunities. Don’t forget to bring a camera or make sure your phone is charged so you can capture these moments. If you’re joining a ghost tour, you might even catch something unexpected in your photos!

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Digital Camera, FHD 1080P 44MP Point and Shoot Camera

Stay overnight for a unique experience: For a truly unforgettable experience, consider staying overnight in one of the Queen Mary’s original staterooms. Plus, staying overnight might increase your chances of encountering one of the Queen Mary’s friendly ghosts.

Be respectful: Remember, the Queen Mary is not only a tourist attraction but also a historical site. Be respectful of the ship, its history, and other visitors during your tour. This includes following any rules or guidelines provided by your tour guide or the ship’s staff.

Prepare for the paranormal: If you’re joining a ghost tour or paranormal investigation, keep an open mind but also be prepared for anything. Even if you’re skeptical about ghosts, these tours can be a lot of fun and offer a unique way to learn about the ship’s history. Plus, you never know what you might experience or feel during your visit.

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Have you explored the Queen Mary Long Beach yourself?

This ship is a living story that continues to fascinate and inspire curiosity in all who visit.

Whether you’re drawn to the elegance and luxury of transatlantic travel, the heroics of its wartime service, or the mysteries that seem to linger in its halls, the Queen Mary has something for everyone.

We invite you to come and explore the Queen Mary for yourself. Walk its decks, visit its staterooms, and maybe even join a ghost tour or paranormal investigation to experience the unexplained first-hand.

It’s an opportunity to step back in time, connect with history, and perhaps encounter something beyond our understanding.

The Queen Mary awaits. Are you ready to discover its secrets? 👻

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