With its aura of timeless luxury, it really is no wonder that the ocean liner the ‘Queen Mary‘ was the preferred way to travel for celebrities, athletes, powerhouse political players, and businessman. Retired from use in 1967, the ship was soon after purchased by the city of Long Beach in California where it was converted into a hotel, museum, and tourist attraction. Aside from being one of the most prestigious luxury liners of it’s time, it also has an interesting history and is also rumored to be haunted.
The ‘Queen Mary’s maiden voyage was in 1936. The ship was built in Scotland by marine engineering firm John Brown & Company. The ship was named after Mary of Teck, consort of King George V. Being the most luxurious ocean liner of its time, it was enjoyed by the who’s who of celebrities of the time. Liz Taylor, Greta Garbo, Audrey hepburn, Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Bob Hope are but a few of the famous names who chose to make the ‘Queen Mary’ their preferred method of travel. During World War 2, the ship was painted grey and nicknamed ‘The Grey Ghost’. The ‘Queen Mary’ operated as a troopship carrying soldiers from New Zealand and Australia. At some times, the ship would transport as many as 1,5000 troops across the Atlantic Ocean and without escort.
After the war, the ship was refitted for passenger service and again served as a luxury liner until the mid 1960’s. In 1967, due to financial difficulties, the Queen Mary was retired from service. A short time later, it purchased by the city of Long Beach for a reported $3.45 million dollars.
The Queen Mary weighs 81,237 tons. The length of the ship is 1,019.4 ft. The height is 181 ft. There are 12 decks aboard and, while in service, the number of crewman was 1101. The total number of rooms are 314.
John Pedder, an 18 year old engineer, was crushed to death by a watertight door during a fire drill in 1966. It is believed that his angry spirit still haunts the engine room to this day. Many visitors to the Queen Mary have reported hearing the sounds of children playing from the nursery room, located on the second deck. The spirit of a murdered purser resides in cabin B340. This cabin is no longer available to the public because of extreme paranormal activity there. Near the first class swimming pool, two transparent looking women have been spotted there. One in 1930’s attire, one in 1960’s. During both of those time periods, a woman was reported to have drowned. In what is now the front desk of the ship, visitors have reported seeing the ghost of a lady in white. More than 50 people have died aboard the ship, and it is estimated that 300 died as a result of the ship accidentally colliding with one of its escort ships during world war 2. The HMS Curacoa.
Several tours are available aboard the Queen Mary for information regarding its history and a look into its paranormal happenings as well. Room rates can vary from 98 dollars a night for regular rooms to more for suites and staterooms. For dining, their are a variety of bars, tea rooms, and restaurants. Seasonally, the ship is host to museum attractions.