Graveyard Shift
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The Terrifying Haunted History Of The Queen Mary

Updated July 14, 2021 8.3k votes 1.9k voters 111.6k 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 Dapper Ghost Enjoys Drinks At The Bar

    Photo: Averain / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    The Queen Mary's Sir Winston's Restaurant and Lounge takes its name from frequent guest, Churchill himself. The restaurant is known for its fine foods, sumptuous decor - and resident spirit. The ghostly figure appears in a top hat, tails, and slicked-back hair, and is known simply as "The Dude." While some passengers have spotted him traipsing down the corridors, this entity is mostly encountered in the bar section of Sir Winston's. The Dude is known to clear his throat loudly behind guests in order to gain their attention, and then beat a hasty retreat through the wall leading to the men's restroom.

     

    He has also been seen enjoying a drink at the bar with a bright smile on his face. When anyone approaches this jovial patron to strike up a conversation, he vanishes from sight.

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    Churchill's Cigar Smoke Wafts Through M Deck

    Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-14059-0005 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

    The Queen Mary was a magnet for stars and the crème de la crème back in her heyday. But perhaps her most famous frequent visitor was British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This historical powerhouse stayed on board the Queen Mary several times throughout WWII. The entire M Deck was reserved for him and his entourage, and Churchill often stated that the ship was his headquarters on the sea. It was during one of these trips that he signed the D-Day Declaration.

     

    Today, guests can visit the lounge named after him, and his own private suite that he inhabited during WWII. Many hotel guests claim that those aren't the only touches Churchill left behind. Lodgers have reported sighting Churchill himself near his private quarters, as well as on the Promenade, Sun, and Sports decks. Thumps, bumps, disembodied voices, and someone clearing their throat have been heard emanating from Churchill's empty suite. The most common occurrence is an overpowering smell of heavy cigar smoke near his room and on the M Deck, even though no one can smoke in those areas.

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    Ghostly Cats Prowl The Pool Decks

    Photo: BeenAroundAWhile / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Visitors to the Queen Mary often tell stories about ghostly cats haunting the ship. The changing rooms near the first- and third-class pools have garnered plenty of EVPs featuring "meows," and some guests report feeling something invisible brushing up against their legs.

     

    Skeptics maintain that strays must have taken up residence on the vessel. However, searches have yet to turn up any animals.

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