The Queen Mary: Haunted Hotel
Known as the “Grey Ghost”, the Queen Mary is in her 93rd year. After years of being a warship, passenger ship and now a well-known hotel in Long Beach, California. The Queen Mary has been voted one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America by Time magazine.
In December of 1930, The Queen Mary, then known as #534, had her first keel plate laid at the John Brown Shipyard. Production continued on for a year before it halted in December of 1931 because of the Great Depression. 80% of the work was done and she stood nine floors high, but a loan was unable to be secured for further production.
It’s not until April of 1934 that production resumed on The Queen Mary and months later in September, The Queen Mary was launched. King Edward VIII made his final inspection of the ship on March 5, 1936 and the ship departed on March 24, heading toward Gourock, Scotland. Between August 19-31 of 1936, The Queen Mary was awarded the Blue Riband for the fastest North Atlantic Crossings from the French Line’s Normandie. The ship holds the record for this riband after her 48th round-trip voyage.
The War Years
In 1939, The Queen Mary saw the last of her passenger days and was prepared for war. She sailed from New York to Sydney, Australia to be fitted as a troopship and thus, the Grey Ghost was born. The ship, first able to carry 2,140 passengers, increased to 5,500. Her first sail as a troopship was May 5, 1940 sailed with Aquitania, Mauretania (II), Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, and Empress of Japan. Together, they sailed from Sydney, Australia to Gourock, Scotland. At the end of her time as a warship, The Queen Mary transported 14,833 troops and 1,000 crew members.
The Golden Years
The Queen Mary was restored to a passenger ship between February 15, 1946 to May 3, 1947. Her first voyage post-war departed July 31, 1947 with 1,897 passengers and 1,280 crew members. March 3, 1962 dates the beginning of her final years at sea. A wave flooded parts of the Main A and B decks on voyage #382.
Her first cruise was from Southampton to Las Palmas from December 23 to 29 of 1963. Queen Mary sailed cruises from 1963 to 1966 before the ship was announced to be for sale in April. In May, the first inquiry came from H.E. Ridings of Long Beach.
The Queen Mary officially retired from the sea in 1967 where she still sits as a popular attraction and hotel. She arrived in Long Beach, California on December 9, 1967. Tours started in May of 1977, open weekends only for The Queen Mary story and Power Train Tour. In February, 1972, The Queen Mary saw her largest group; 19, 600 guests. That November, the first 150 hotel rooms opened.
September 30, 1992, Hotel Queen Mary closed and later, on December 31, The Queen Mary closed. She remained closed for only two months before re-opening to the public on February 26, 1993. A few weeks later, on March 5, 125 of the hotel rooms reopened as operational. Audio tours began again on April 17 and later that month, on April 30, all 365 hotel rooms opened to the public.
The Queen Mary is home to many legendary ghosts. With the popular hotel being known world-wide, they have been spotted many times. Some say The Queen Mary is one of the most haunted places in the world with up to 150 spirits lurking in the shadows. Over the past 60 years, The Queen Mary has seen at least 49 deaths along with the ghosts of her war years.
The Lady in White
When The Queen Mary served as a luxury liner that sailed between New York, Southampton and London to transport upper class society, the Lady in White is suspected to be one of the passengers of that time. She is often spotted around the Queen’s Salon, a first-class lounge, wearing a long, white evening gown. The Lady in White is one of the most well-known ghosts that haunt The Queen Mary.
She’s often seen dancing to music no one can hear and stays near the end of the lounge and surrounding hallways. She has been spotted many times over the half a century, but with every report, she is not said to be a malicious spirit.
Little Jackie is a girl around 5 or 6 years old that is claimed to have drowned in one of the ship’s pools. She, along with another little girl of the same age, can be heard laughing and giggling around the pool and dressing room’s. The cause of the other little girl’s death is not known, some claim she also drowned and others blame it on other causes. Jackie is said to have wandered The Queen Mary for 60 years now. She can be heard singing, laughing, calling out for her mother and she has even answered questions that have been asked of her.
John Pedder AKA “Half-Hatch Harry”
John Pedder was 18-years-old during his time on the ship, working as a crewman. During a routine drill, the crewman was supposedly playing a game of “chicken” with a watertight door. He was dared to run through the door before it closed, but got stuck and the door crushed him completely. It did not, however, crush his spirit. He is claimed to have been spotted near Door 13, where he met his untimely death. He appears as a dark silhouettes sulking, chasing workers and he’s said to have created loud metallic noises to scare those around.
Room B340 is possibly the most haunted spot on The Queen Mary. Many strange events have been reported coming from that room. People will do anything they can to spend a night in that room, but most people don’t make it to sunrise.
During one of The Queen Mary’s final transatlantic journey’s before settling in Long Beach, one of the guests on-board reportedly went insane and murdered two women. When his crimes were discovered, he was kept in rooms B22, B224 or B226. A guard was placed outside and his door was locked. Just after he was locked away, he began to bang on the door, claiming that someone was inside trying to kill him.
The guard ignored him, assuming it was a ploy to escape, and the prisoner fell quiet a short time later. When the ship arrived in New York the next day, NYPD investigators were alerted and they went on their way to hunt down the killer. When they made it to the room the prisoner was in, they found him ripped apart, limbs and body parts strewn across the room. The man had no method of doing this himself, but no one else was with him. To this day, no one knows who or what did this to him.
Later, those three rooms were combined into a large guest room called B340 and tales of the paranormal began. In the 1980’s, B340 was closed to guests because they would leave in the middle of the night. Various tales have been told about the history of the room: a man murdered his family, someone’s throat was slashed, a woman murdered her husband, and more. According to the ship’s logs, though, nothing appeared to be going on at that time.
What Guest Say
Guests who stay in this room now have reported their bedsheets being ripped off of them. Some report clothes hangers rattling, hearing footsteps and taps across the room. Others have even reported being scratched. Some have even reported waking up to a dark figure standing at the edge of their bed. This room has been the most popular for ghost-hunters to visit. Several YouTubers film themselves staying the night in room B340 and documenting everything that happens to them. Some document things moving in the room, footsteps and knocks being heard across the walls. Some have even attempted to communicate with the ghost of B340 and few have been successful.
Room B340 has been featured on SYFY’s channel Ghost Hunters and the British series Most Haunted. Reports of the paranormal date back to the final voyage in 1967.
It is still available to rent overnight if you’re up for the challenge. In addition to standard hotel amenities, room B340 supplies its guest with a chest full of paranormal equipment. This equipment comes with a variety of things, including an Ouiji board, tarot cards and a crystal ball.