October 30, 2009
Is the Queen Mary, launched in 1934 and now permanently docked in Long Beach, California, as a floating hotel and historic attraction, the world's most haunted cruise ship? Maybe!
In honor of Halloween, we're taking a break from Oasis of the Seas and Disney Dream fever to take a look at the former Cunard liner -- which has been the site of so much paranormal activity that the facility now offers a daily ghost tour and a special effects show called Ghosts & Legends.
The tour features reenactments of historic events and paranormal activity that has been reported over the years by staff -- and visitors. So what exactly is going on onboard? Reports of haunted happenings include:
The eerie cry of an infant in the third-class children's playroom
A young woman in an evening gown dancing alone in the Queen's Salon
Ladies in vintage bathing suits wandering around the first-class swimming pool
Wet footprints, also at the pool -- even though it's completely empty
As a passenger vessel, the Queen Mary completed 1,001 Atlantic crossings before retiring in 1967. It also served in World War II from 1940 to 1946, carrying a total of 765,429 military personnel. Fifty people reportedly died onboard over the years, and it is said some still remain (including one crewmember allegedly crushed to death accidentally during a drill involving a watertight door).
The Queen Mary is open to visitors from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily; admission is $24.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids. This month, the Queen Mary is also hosting a special collection of haunted mazes and attractions entitled Shipwreck: 15 Nights of Terror, open from 7 p.m. until midnight. Tickets are $29.
If you aren't in the area, why not grab a bowl of leftover candy corn and spy for ocean-going ghosts from home? The guys from the popular SyFy series, "Ghost Hunters," have investigated reports of paranormal activity aboard the Queen Mary as well as in an exhibit of Titanic artifacts. The episodes aren't rerunning this weekend, but are available on iTunes for $1.99 each. The Discovery Channel's "Most Haunted" also taped two episodes aboard the Queen Mary, both available on iTunes for $1.99 each.
Have you had a paranormal experience at sea? Tell us about it -- and check out Just off Dawn 10/11 Ghost Story by KevinsCruising! Then, be sure to stay tuned to Cruise Critic: Senior Editor Erica Silverstein is onboard Carnival Spirit this weekend and will snapping photos of all the great get-ups -- between trick-or-treating in her own homemade towel animal costume, of course! We'll publish them here soon.
In the meantime, check out other eerie (and fun) events taking place on cruise ships this weekend in Spooky Cruise Ships: Halloween on the High Seas.
--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor
Haunted Cruise Ships: Must-See TV
Ghost Hunters: Winchester House/Queen Mary on iTunes
Ghost Hunters: Titanic Terror on iTunes
Most Haunted: Queen Mary (Part 1) on iTunes
Most Haunted: Queen Mary (Part 2) on iTunes
Just off Dawn 10/11 Ghost Story by KevinsCruising
Spooky Cruise Ships: Halloween on the High Seas