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The Terrifying Haunted History Of The Queen Mary

Updated July 14, 2021 8.3k votes 1.9k voters 111.7k views15 items

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When the RMS Queen Mary was launched in 1936, she was the flagship jewel in the Cunard-White Star Cruise Line crown. At 1,019 feet long, the Queen Mary was the longest ship in the world - even longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall. She was a giant of the sea and heralded for being bigger, faster, and more powerful than the ill-fated Titanic. Her craftsmanship was unparalleled at the time, and today the Queen Mary is still considered to be one of the most elegant passenger ships ever built.

During her reign, this stately North Atlantic liner carried a veritable who's who of celebrities, artists, and political dignitaries across open waters. From Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Kennedys, the elite clamored to enjoy this mobile luxury hotel and its upscale amenities. Life aboard the ship was glamorous, and the evenings rivaled the gala affairs held in palaces.

Because of her sheer power and swiftness, the Queen Mary was drafted during WWII to ferry Allied troops to the heart of the fight. The Queen Mary was decommissioned in 1967 and permanently docked in Long Beach, CA, where she operates today as a luxury hotel and living museum.

Although the Queen Mary's rich history may have garnered the vessel some impressive titles, she has recently earned a more notorious designation. Ghost stories from the Queen Mary suggest that it may be one of the most haunted ships in the world. Scary stories about the Queen Mary say she is riddled with phantom figures, cold spots, and disembodied voices, and the craft has made her way onto the ultimate ghost hunting bucket list for good reason. Whether the haunted Queen Mary is dominating history or paranormal lore, she continues to prove that she is the queen of them all.

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    A Former Worker Continues To Tap On The Hull  

    Photo: Averain / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    A man named John Henry is rumored to have passed near the generator room while working on the construction crew of the Queen Mary in the 1930s. Today, unexplained noises and sightings of a shadowy figure plague that area. People inside the room have reported being touched, having their cheeks brushed, and being pushed or tugged on. There have also been claims of spirits looking down at people through a hole in the, ceiling and then darting away.

    The most common sounds from the area are persistent clanks and taps on the hull. Some say the sounds are consistent with men working on a ship.

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    Spectral Patrons Haunt The Restaurants And Lounges

    Photo: Colin Rose from Montreal, Canada / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Server Carol Leyden had been working on the Queen Mary for 14 years before she had an encounter she would never forget:

    For some reason I picked up a cup of coffee, went out to the tables, and there was a lady sitting there. I was so fascinated by her dress. She appeared to be in a late afternoon cocktail-type dress from the '40s. She had dark hair, rolled at the sides, no makeup on. She seemed very pale, but I never saw her move. I left the table, went up about ten feet, turned around because I wanted to take another look, and there was nothing there.

    Leslie Schirmacher, a bartender in the Starboard Lounge, claims that she has been personally haunted by a specter named "Bruce." Schirmacher says she can feel someone watching her, and that Bruce tends to moves wine glasses.

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    A Spirit In A Bathing Suit Creeps Through The Pool Changing Room

    Photo: Altair78 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    A distinctive presence is said to linger in the first-class pool. When the area is quiet, visitors have claimed to see the infamous "Woman in a Bathing Suit." While the name seems a little lackluster for a resident wandering spook, it's an accurate description.

     

    The Queen Mary's passenger history is too dense to identify the woman, who appears to be in her late 20s or early 30s, and is seen in a 1930s-style bathing suit. The woman is often seen heading to the changing rooms or walking along the edge of the pool. Some have claimed to see footprints or puddles appear just before the specter materializes.

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    Is This Eerie Stateroom Actually Haunted?

    Photo: David Krieger / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Most of the Queen Mary's 355 rooms are considered haunted. Upon check-in, the front desk actually produces a list of every room that has a reported instance of paranormal activity associated with it. But of all twelve decks, the B deck is considered to be a hub of supernatural energy - especially room B-340.

     

    Persistent complaints of strange noises, footsteps, faucets turning on and off, hangers moving in the closet, furniture moving, voices, guests being touched, the comforter being ripped off of the bed, and numerous other incidents caused management to close B-340 up. Even with the room no longer available to guests spending the night, the activity continued, and the room was stripped completely bare. Guests in neighboring rooms still report unusual noises, as well as sightings of full-bodied apparitions appearing in front of them and then vanishing through the walls into room B-340.

     

    The origins of the wild activity in B-340 are unclear. One story says that a staff member was slain in the room, and now drives out anyone who tries to stay there. Other rumors swirl of a pregnant bride isolating herself inside the room, and going insane when her lover ultimately rejected both her and her baby.

    There's another possibility: Disney could have made it up. In 1988, Disney acquired the Queen Mary when it bought out the Wrather Corp., which managed the attraction.

     

    For their Haunted Passages tour, they hired actors and decorated certain areas to look more decayed or rotting. Author Brian Clune claims that Disney needed a scary story for B-340, since that room was empty enough to be used for the new haunted tour. But if the story is indeed invented, it doesn't explain the ongoing activity reported by visitors to the ship.

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