It is our opinion that the RMS Queen Mary is the most notoriously haunted oceangoing vessel in the continental United States. Certainly no allegedly haunted ship has received anywhere near as much attention in the American media as has this Queen of the Atlantic, as she is also known. Her haunted goings-on have been well documented on mainstream syndicated television programs such as Unsolved Mysteries and Sightings.
Originally launched on September 26, 1934, as part of Britain's Cunard Line, her primary notoriety stemmed from having served as a troop transport for the allies during World War II. Due to the constant threat of being sunk by German submarines while en route with her human cargo, the Queen Mary's sailing itinerary was always kept a closely guarded secret.
This belief in the notion that "loose lips sink ships" resulted in a catastrophic collision with her much smaller antiaircraft escort, the HMS Curacoa, on October 2, 1942. With her vastly superior bulk and speed, the powerful Queen Mary nearly cut the smaller Curacoa in two when she struck her unsuspecting prey broadside.
With over 11,000 allied troops on board at the time of the collision, the Queen Mary was forbidden to stop and help the poor sailors onboard the Curacoa, and 338 men lost their lives that fateful day in the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
When the Queen Mary was dry-docked to repair her badly torn hull, the body of a sailor was subsequently found inside. He had apparently been catapulted from the deck of the Curacoa into the gaping hole the collision had created in the hull of the Queen Mary, where he died of exposure at some undetermined point later that night. For his sake, one can only hope the hapless sailor expired shortly after the collision took place.
But there appears to be evidence to the contrary onboard the Queen Mary, even to this day: Many witnesses have heard a man screaming for help and moaning in agony in this particular portion of the ship; the sound of rushing water also emanates from this region of the ship periodically. This psychically charged area, located towards the front of the ship and below decks, is just one of many paranormal hot spots onboard the Queen Mary. Technicians who are assigned to work in this area are not fond of working here alone, especially late at night.
Whether or not this accidental collision at sea during World War II actually ignited the flurry of subsequent paranormal activity onboard the Queen Mary is anyone's guess. But regardless of the cause, there are now plenty of other locations of the ship where an interested ghost hunter can find more of what he or she is searching to find...
Shaft Alley, a long corridor in the engine room of the Queen Mary which provides access to the propeller shafts, has a resident ghost who many believe to be the spirit of John Pedder. Young Mr. Pedder died at the tender age of eighteen while trying to slip through the shrinking opening in a rapidly closing watertight door and was crushed to death during a routine training exercise in July of 1966.
At least two workers on the ship claim to have had run-ins with Pedder's ghost: A male security guard, who was working a shift late one night shortly after renovation work had begun to transform the Queen Mary into a floating hotel, and a female tour guide, who was ascending an escalator one evening when her uniquely hair-raising encounter took place.
The security guard in question was making his rounds on the ship late one evening when his companion, a guard dog, suddenly went wild with terror as the two watch keepers approached the watertight door where young Mr. Pedder had met his death. Howling in fear, the shivering animal flatly refused to proceed into the compartment beyond the watertight door. The security guard then claimed to hear "a metallic rolling sound," that seemed to be moving towards them at a high rate of speed.
Needless to say, the badly frightened guard and his equally frightened canine companion vacated the premises in short order, neither of them having any desire to wait and see what was thundering towards them in the darkness of Shaft Alley.
After the renovations were completed and the Queen Mary's doors opened for business as a hotel, an escalator had been installed in the area where the watertight doors of Shaft Alley once stood. A young female tour guide was ascending the escalator one evening when she suddenly felt compelled to turn around, and in so doing was surprised to find a man in overalls standing behind her on the escalator. She thought it was odd to find someone standing there, for she had neither seen nor heard this young man prior to his sudden appearance immediately to her rear. After taking a quick glance forward to gauge the speed of her ascent, she looked back over her shoulder and stepped aside to let the young man pass -- but he was no longer there. Later on, while looking through the Queen Mary's archival photographs, the startled tour guide subsequently identified the young man who had so mysteriously appeared behind her on the escalator and then vanished as John Pedder.
There are many other areas of the Queen Mary ship which have seen their fair share of ghostly activity: The forward storage room, where witnesses have heard the sounds of children playing; the first-class suite area, where staff members have seen mysterious balls of light and the ghost of a gentleman dressed in an exquisitely tailored suit; Cabin B340, which is no longer rented out due to the sheer magnitude of paranormal disturbances that occur behind its now-bolted chamber door; the bosun's locker, where baffling pounding noises are frequently heard; the ship's morgue, which has temporarily housed the bodies of the 49 persons who have died onboard the ship; and both the first-class swimming pool and the tourist-class swimming pool, each of which has their own roster of apparitions ranging from small children to older adults.The first-class pool seems to be the more psychically charged of the two swimming pools. Many witnesses have seen phantom swimmers, heard the laughter and shouts of children and adults at play, and have even reported seeing wet footprints alongside the pool's edge, which is even more disturbing when you realize the pool has been off limits to hotel visitors for some time now and has no water in it.
(You can c
heck out a "live" web cam view of the Queen Mary's haunted first-class swimming pool right here