Long Beach, California has been attracting visitors for years, and not just for the beaches or city life. It happens to be the location of one of the top haunted sites in the country: the Queen Mary. This ship has acquired so many haunted tales that it is unofficially known as the “Gray Ghost.” If you’ve got a knack for history, exploring, and aren’t afraid of some potential paranormal activity, this spot is a must-visit.
The retired ship known as the Queen Mary was once an ocean liner on the Northern Atlantic. Built in Clydebank, Scotland, the stunning ship was in action from 1936 to 1967.
During the second World War, the ship was used as a troopship for allied soldiers. Photographed above is the Queen Mary arriving in New York Harbor in June of 1945. On board were thousands of American soldiers. After the war, Queen Mary and her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, returned to their roles as transatlantic passenger ships.
By the 1960s, the Queen Mary gradually began losing profit for Cunard Line and officially retired on October 31st, 1967, where it sailed to its current location of Long Beach, California. This was the 1,001st journey that the ship had made.
Today, the ship functions as a tourist attraction complete with a restaurant, museum and hotel. A significant amount of the original machinery has been removed, including the boilers, one of the engine rooms, and three out of four propellers. The site is registered among national historic sites and is considered one of the Historic Hotels of America. Photographed above is the first class dining room, also known as the Grand Salon.
Now resting at harbor, the ship has been the location of countless chilling interactions. In its history, the Queen Mary saw at least 50 on-board deaths, not to mention the trauma of wartime.
The engine room, located 50 feet below sea level, is one of the most haunted sites on deck. In at least two separate instances, the room's famous "Door 13" crushed two men to their death. It is said that one of these young men, a sailor of only 18 years, still haunts the ship today.
Another frequent siting takes place at the location of the old swimming pools. While these pools have not been around for decades, it appears that the ghosts were not informed. Ladies wearing 1930s style suits can be seen wandering around the old pool decks. There's also the spirit of a little girl that haunts the same area. She reportedly drowned in the swimming pool and visitors have reported hearing the sounds of her splashing around.
While it may have a haunted nature, the Queen Mary is an undeniably beautiful attraction with an important history. The ship is the site of festivals, art expositions, and more.
Have you spent any time aboard the Queen Mary? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
Click here to learn more about the ship’s history, or to book a tour or stay at the hotel…if you dare!