CALIFORNIA - Queen Mary Hotel
by: Kelli Patrick
The Queen Mary was commissioned in 1936 and made over a thousand Atlantic crossings. During World War II, the Queen Mary was painted a camouflage gray and transformed into a troopship nicknamed "The Grey Ghost." The Grey Ghost proved herself as an essential member of the allied forces and Adolf Hitler offered a $250,000 reward and the Iron Cross to any submarine captain who could sink her. While performing a routine zigzag pattern, the ship collided with the British light cruiser Curacoa. The Queen Mary sliced the cruiser in half. Because of her wartime sailing orders, the Queen Mary was not allowed to stop to rescue survivors. Approximately 338 men drowned or froze to death. Some were pulled under because they were too close to the oceanliner and were shredded in the propellers.
Over the years, the Queen Mary saw births and deaths. Some of the people who died on the ship have stayed. Over fifty people have witnessed ghostly apparitions, unexplainable lights, disembodied voices, rapping noises, and moving objects.
The first-class swimming pool is haunted by two women who drowned there. One is dressed in 1960s clothing and the other wears 1930s attire. The ghost of a little boy who fell overboard near the pool has been seen in the passageway. Wet disembodied footprints have been seen around the pool going towards the changing rooms. Also the sounds of children playing and splashing water have been seen and heard at this pool. The first-class swimming pool has been described by "experts" as the vortex fro the paranormal activity aboard the ship and allows ghosts from other realms and entrance to theQueen Mary. The old first-class lounge, the Queens Salon, is haunted by a woman in a white dress. Unexplainable balls of light and the apparition of a black-haired man in a 1930s suit have been seen by tour guides in the first-class area.
Sounds of children can be heard in the forward storage room, where the ship's archives are kept. Pounding sounds and what seems to be the tearing of metal, rushing water and men screaming have been recorded near the bosun's locker, which is the area of the hull which sliced the Curacoa. The tourist-class swimming pool is haunted by a woman who drowned in it, and the third-level cabin B340 is haunted by a murdered purser and is no longer rented out because of unexplained disturbances there.
Poltergeist activity has been reported in the kitchen, where a cook was murdered during World War II. It is said his cooking was so terrible that a riot broke out among the troops being carried to the front. The violence got out of hand and the cook was stuffed in the oven and burned to death. His ghastly screams are sometimes heard by visitors.
The ghosts in the ship's morgue could have a number of identities. Sixteen crew members, two GI's and thirty-one passengers have died on the ship. The most documented sighting is the ghost of eighteen-year-old crewman, John Pedder. Pedder was crushed to death while trying to slip through an automatically closing door in shaft alley during a watertight drill on July 10, 1966. It was hatchway door No. 13. Passengers and tour guides have seen a young bearded man in blue coveralls in this area. He is normally seen walking the length of shaft alley and disappears at door number 13. Another crewman allegedly haunting the Queen Mary is Senior Second Officer William Stark. He was accidentally poisoned in 1949, when Stark drank tetrachloride that the staff kept in an old gin bottle.
Hauck, Dennis William. Haunted Places, The National Directory.
New York, New York. Penguin Books USA, Inc. 1996.