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Hauntings: The RMS Queen Mary

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The RMS Queen Mary

The RMS Queen Mary has made 1,001 voyages across the Atlantic and is as magnificent today as she was when she was first placed in water over 70 years ago. It’s no wonder that many of her visitors have decided to remain - even in the after-life.

by Tom Crawford
November 14, 2009

The RMS Queen Mary, one of the great Atlantic Liners, made her first voyage in 1936. Since that time she has completed 1,001 trips across the Atlantic, acted as a troop ship in World War II, and has been host to hundreds of thousands of passengers. Having experienced such a rich history, it seems only natural that the ship would be haunted. Throughout the vast ship (which is larger than the Titanic) passengers and visitors have seen and experienced strange things that they simply cannot explain.

Watertight Door #13

Watertight Door 13 - Queen Mary

Located deep within the ship, the Queen Mary's engine room is host to one of the many specters aboard this vessel. In particular, sightings have been reported at watertight door number 13. This comes as no surprise. On July 10, 1966, a fireman named John Peddar was participating in a drill where the watertight doors were sealed on the ship. Unfortunately, he was unable to get out of the doorway in time and was crushed by the massive force of the door.

Since the horrible accident, there have been reports and sightings of John's ghost in the engine room. One sighting came on August 13, 1991 while a couple who was participating in a tour of the ship. Having heard the story of John, the man jokingly asked, “John Peddar, would you like to join us?” He and his wife laughed and proceeded through the watertight door and up the stairs and almost immediately sensed that they were not alone. They turned to look back at the doorway and the man felt something brush across his face. The couple didn't think too much of the experience until they were outside. The wife noticed that the husband had grease on his face in the spot where something had brushed against him earlier. Grease was abundant in the engine room back when the ship was operational, but it is very unlikely that a tourist would come in contact with grease today. What's more, neither one of them had grease on their hands or anywhere else on their body. They believe that the ghost of John Peddar decided to take them up on their offer.

Promenade Deck

Promenade Deck - Queen Mary

Another area on the ship where a ghostly sighting has occurred is the Promenade Deck near the passenger information booth. The sighting was made by two employees who were working at the booth. While carrying out their daily tasks, a woman caught their attention. The woman was wearing attire from the late '30s and she appeared blurry. They watched her as she walked down the hallway. As she approached a pillar, she stepped behind it, out of their view. When one of the employees walked over to the pillar, they were surprised to see that no one was there. The woman had vanished.

First Class Swimming Pool

First Class Swimming Pool - Queen Mary

A paranormal hotspot of the ship is the first class pool. Over the years, many passengers have reported a variety of sightings in this area. Some have seen a woman in swimming attire walking around the pool. Others have seen a young girl, clutching her teddy bear.

Although no deaths have been recorded in this area during the ship's history, many sightings have occurred here. Some paranormal researchers claim that this part of the ship contains a vortex that allows spirits to move from the spirit world to ours. They credit this vortex as the cause of the high amount of paranormal activity in the pool area.

Lower Bow and Boiler Room

Lower Bow and Boiler Room - Queen Mary

While there have been numerous sightings all over the Queen Mary, the most haunted areas of the ship are in its lowermost portions. Particularly, the lower bow and the boiler room.

During World War II, the Queen Mary ship was painted warship gray and was responsible for transporting troops. Nicknamed “The Gray Ghost”, she quickly became a nuisance to Adolf Hitler who offered a $250,000 reward and Germany's highest military honor to any captain who could sink her. To maneuver through the submarine-infested waters of the Atlantic, the Queen Mary had to travel in a zigzag pattern. Unfortunately, during one of her travels, she collided with a smaller British ship, the H.M.S. Curacao, causing the ship and its 300 passengers to sink.

The Queen Mary sustained damage to the lower bow of the ship, but it was soon repaired and the ship was quickly put back in service. Since this accident, many people who have found themselves in the area where the collision occurred have reported numerous experiences. Some claim to hear the sound of the two ships as they collided. Others claim to have heard the horrid screams of the crew-members aboard the H.M.S. Curacao. Paranormal researchers who have investigated this area say that it is still haunted by many of the nearly 300 men who were killed in that terrible accident.

Located in an area adjacent to the lower bow is the boiler room. Situated about 6 fathoms below water (the ship's lowest point), the boiler room was probably the most dangerous area on the ship during its operation. One unfortunate crew learned just how deadly the boiler room could be when several pipes containing high-pressure steam exploded, killing several crew-members.

After the ship was permanently berthed in Long Beach, California, the boiler room was gutted out completely. Regardless of this fact, many ghostly sightings have been reported in that area and paranormal activity still occurs in that area to this day.

Our Experience Aboard the Queen Mary

While aboard the Queen Mary to conduct research for this story, we took our camera and videotaped the area where the boiler room used to be. To our surprise, something very strange appeared on tape when we reviewed our footage the next day. During the boiler room footage, we noticed that a tiny orb appeared on the lower right hand side of the frame. The orb moved 1/4 across the screen from right to left in an "S" pattern and then quickly disappeared.

The orb appears for a short period of time (less than one second). We have provided the footage for you to review for yourself. You can view the footage at normal speed and in slow motion (approximately 20% normal speed).

Normal Speed

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Slow Motion

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Berthed but not Forgotten

The Queen Mary ship is as magnificent today as she was when first placed in water over seventy years ago. It is no wonder that many of her visitors have decided to remain, even in the afterlife. While she has been permanently berthed in Long Beach, California, her ghostly inhabitants will, no doubt, always serve as a reminder of her rich past. For them, the days of the Queen Mary's majestic Atlantic voyages will never end.

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