Welcome to the Queen Mary (haunted!) Hotel. This once grand ocean liner turned hotel is one place where I don’t want to spend a night. Any night.
A Haunting Encounter
I tried in vain to get from Norwegian Joy to Holland America’s Noordam in Long Beach, California for a short jaunt to Vancouver. But I missed the ship and ended up with time on my hands. About seven hours to be exact until I had to catch an Amtrak train. What to do.
At the invitation of friends Doug and Ashley who were also on Norwegian Joy, I tagged along to spend the afternoon aboard the famous and reputedly haunted Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach.
The Queen Mary: One Of The Most Haunted Hotels In America
Queen Mary has been dubbed “One of the Top Ten Most Haunted Places on Earth” by Time Magazine. As soon as you set foot aboard this once-glorious ship, you can feel that something’s just not quite right.
Christened by none other than Queen Mary herself, September 26,1934 marked the day that the most famous ocean liner in the world entered service. However, the first voyage didn’t take place until May 27, 1936.
An Art Deco floating masterpiece, the Queen Mary sailed the world until her final voyage across the seas to Long Beach in 1967. Polished wood that gleamed throughout the ship for over three decades was beginning to show wear and tear. Carpets needed to be replaced. Air travel was quickly replacing the need for transatlantic crossings by luxury liners.
Tied up in Long Beach, the conversion from cruise ship to ship hotel would eventually happen after several starts and abrupt stops. Stateroom portholes would once again open. Original woodwork in long corridors, 347 staterooms and the enclosed promenade, restored to its original glory would once again gleam.
As new life was breathed into Queen Mary, stories of past human lives continued to be revealed. Rumors swirled like dancing flames around a campfire; this ship was surely one of the most haunted places in America.
People have reported seeing a tall, well-dressed man wearing 1930’s-era clothing, walking up and down the First Class halls (like this one) at night. If he smiles at you, just smile back to him.
Let The Spooky Fun Begin
The first thing we did once we’d paid our admission to board, was to buy a separate ticket for the Haunted Encounters tour. Only offered during the day (thank goodness), the intentionally spooky tour guide gives a detailed overview of the Queen Mary’s most haunted areas and paranormal hotspots.
With our group of 12, we set out at 2PM to explore the far corners of the ship, hear about the haunted staterooms, public areas and off-limits places where only crew were allowed to enter. There are some fairly famous spirits lurking throughout the ship.
Ask any hotel employee and they’ll tell you the same thing. Ghosts are frequently seen moving about the ship, as though time stood still from the moment of their passing.
A few of the most-seen ghosts include a “lady in white”in the Queen’s Room, a engineer who died while horsing around in the engine room, and several children have been seen and heard all over the ship, especially around the 1st class pool. Mechanics who died a violent death, suicides and drownings…it’s all here.
Ready? All photos are my own, unless noted.
The Most Haunted Spots On The Queen Mary
The hauntings of stateroom B340 cover a lot of ground.
Stories abound as to who died in that room or what dark mysteries occurred. One of the stories has to do with a passenger named Samuel, a rather erratic and violent-tempered man.
Following his death in stateroom B340 he became known as Samuel the Savage when the next morning, the room attendant found Samuel torn to shreds from self-inflicted wounds.
Another man, Walter J. Adamson from Britain, is said to have died in this room. Cause of death was never determined.
Another man traveling in third class is said to have died in this stateroom. There’s also a rumor that this room, once divided into three separate third-class staterooms, was used to house POWs when the Queen Mary was temporarily converted into a warship during WWII.
Over the decades, overnight guests have complained to hear knocking on their door in the middle of the night. Faucets in the bathroom turn on and off as do the lights. Bathroom doors slam shut and people have said their bedcovers have been yanked off during the night.
After being closed to the public for over thirty years, Queen Mary now has stateroom B340 open to book for your overnight encounter with the beyond.
It’s a beautiful first-class stateroom and comes complete with tarot cards, a Ouija Board and a crystal ball. Reservations for this bone-chilling creepy experience begin at $499 per night.
First Class Swimming Pool
Scary tales abound within this elegant and totally swank swimming pool area.
The pool has been closed for many years due to California safety codes and is now undergoing refurbishment. Its gorgeous Art Deco style, from the quartz and mother of pearl ceiling to now-dulled brass rails will soon see new life.
But until then, it is past lives that seem to congregate around this first class watering hole. In fact, due to the ceiling’s quartz construction, this area is thought to be a vortex that “energizes” spirits, especially in the dressing room areas.
Recently, plexiglass was installed so guests could get a peek inside. Workers report hearing childrens’ voices around the pool. A woman in light-colored clothing has also been spotted standing alone against a pillar, under the balcony.
Wet footprints appear out of nowhere. A little girl clutching a teddy bear has been reported in the pool area as well as the sound of women’s laughter and splashing noises from the pool. And that’s only the First Class Swimming Pool.
The Second Class swimming pool has its own ghost. A little girl named Jackie drowned in the pool and her ghost and laughter is a frequent reminder of her short life.
The haunted stateroom on Deck B and this ornate swimming pool area aren’t the only places said to have visitors.
The Observation Bar, for First Class passengers, is said to be the haunts for several men and women. The same non-identified woman dressed in an elegant all-white gown has been seen here as well as in various corners of the Queen’s Salon.
Aft Engine Room Hatch #13
Several ghost stories surround this electrically-controlled watertight hatch in an area 45-feet below the waterline. The scary story told to us by our guide recalled a crew member by the name of John Pedder, or J.P. as his descendants prefer him to be named.
The story goes that in 1967 (some say 1966) he was possibly playing a game of chicken whereby someone would press the button to close the hatch door. He (and others) would make the jump through the hatch door as it was closing. It’s also reported that the incident happened during a standard emergency drill and he tried to jump through the hatch but didn’t make it.
Either way, poor J.P. didn’t make the jump through the electronic hatch in time. Despite medical efforts to save him, he was crushed to death. Those who visit the engine room claim to see a man dressed in white worker’s overalls and whistling a tune.
Something else happened to another engineer. This time, the man apparently by accident drank from a bottle of acid, thinking it was gin. Spirits of both men have been reported seen in that vicinity. One man thought to be J. P. has even approached people to ask if they’d seen his misplaced wrench.
The Boiler Room #3
Located about 45-feet below water, the Boiler Room was one of the most dangerous places on the Queen Mary. Ghost tales abound in this creepy area that include a little girl and her doll wandering around, EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) and shadow figures appear and disappear near the catwalks.
The Atrium Piano
Even though the sign clearly states that no one is allowed to play this treasured piano, people have reported hearing it played by a woman, also dressed in white. Though piano music has been heard in this vicinity during the day, this wasn’t one of those days.
More Queen Mary Photos
When it was time for me to order my Uber to Union Station, I wasn’t ready to leave. Queen Mary is such a big ship that you could spend two full days exploring and learning about the history, stories and mysteries of what was once the most famous ship on the high seas. I plan to return as soon as possible…but I don’t think I’ll stay overnight.
If you’re ever in Los Angeles, maybe before or after a cruise from Long Beach, and if you’re brave enough, spend a night or two at the Queen Mary Hotel. Just don’t go alone.
Queen Mary Haunted Tours and more information are here.