Saturday, August 11, 2012

Queen Mary and the Ghosts

In 1967, the City of Long Beach bought the Queen Mary, a recently decommissioned luxury cruise ship. What the city counsel didn't know was they weren't just inviting the ship to port. They also invited the ghosts who are trapped mid-way through their passage between this world and ours.

The Queen Mary was named for Queen Mary also known as Mary of Teck. She was the Queen consort of the United Kingdom and wife of George V.

The ship was built by John Brown and company. The Queen Mary set sail from England to the United States on her first voyage in 1936. The largest luxury liner during the era, the ship was also the fastest way to cross the ocean.

During World War II, the Queen Mary was renamed the Grey Ghost serving as a troop ship. The Grey Ghost's expediency was so well known that Adolf Hitler offered a large bounty to any U-Boat captain who could sink the ship. Luckily for the Allies none of the U-boats could catch the fast-moving ship.

Today the Queen Mary serves the area as a hotel, restaurant and tourist attraction. The tours includes a self-guided tour from one end of the ship to the other. Exhibits present the most interesting information and displays at each point of interest, such as: the bridge, the captain's and officer's quarters, communications, engine room, infirmary and deck areas.

The ghost tour moves through the bowels of the ship at a quick pace telling the sad tales that ended on board the ship. A vortex in the pool area has been determined as one of the main areas of paranormal activity by more than one set of ghost hunters.

Lists of the dead include former passengers, crew and stow-a-ways which seem long considering the medical advances available at the time. Probably the most horrible story involves the companion ship that was hit and sunk within five minutes during a WWII mission. There were no survivors.

The Queen Mary needs some work as the barnicles are visible from the dock and some of the lesser used areas are in need of repair. The main shopping and dining areas are excellent examples of the Art Deco period reminiscent of a grander time in World History.


Sharla L. Shults said...

I love history ensconced with ghosts and legends. Great post!

Kate OMara said...

Thanks Sharla! It was a fun day! :)

Sabrina A. Fish said...

We took a family trip to Cali to spend Christmas with family out there. Our 5 year old is a self-proclaimed pirate, so of course the chance to see a real haunted ship was right up his alley. He loved it and the submarine.

Great post!

Kate OMara said...

There's a little pirate in many of us. Arrrr :) I'm glad the ship (& ghosts) were entertaining.

Torggil said...

I would actually love to visit the boat, but it is unlikely I'll ever be in the area, sadly.