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Paranormal Activity on the R.M.S. Queen Mary

by Tony Ashlin


The Royal Mail Steamship (R.M.S.) Queen Mary is an ocean liner that was originally owned and operated by Cunard, which was retired in 1967 and sold to the City of Long Beach. When the ship opened her doors to the public in 1971 guests and staff began to report paranormal incidents, such as apparitions, objects moving, doors opening and disembodied voices. Determination: Continuing Investigation

 RMS Queen Mary

The R.M.S. Queen Mary is listed as one of the top 10 haunted places in the world by Time Magazine. Now moored in Long Beach, CA., the ship is a floating hotel, museum and event center which is visited by thousands of guests a day.  Almost daily guests and staff members experience some sort of paranormal event on board the majestic liner.

It is still unknown as to the reason why the ship has so many paranormal incidents other than her history as an ocean liner. The Queen Mary carried more than 2 million passengers over a course of 31 years on the high seas. During the second world war she transported 750,000 military members over 600,000 nautical miles over a period of six years. There were some accidental deaths of passengers and crew on board her during her three decades on the water. Some of the deaths were caused by medical reasons, such as heart failure.

On board the ship, people in first, second and third class traveled is style. They were all treated like royalty during the cruise, regardless of class. Perhaps some of those who had such a great time on board the ship decided to return to one of the happiest times of their lives after they died.

Every night, on board the ship there is a paranormal ship walk tour led by a guide who is familiar with the haunted history of the ship. This is a two hour tour and guests visit many areas of the ship which are closed to the general public. They are encouraged to gather evidence by taking photos and recording audio visual samples of various parts of the ship. This tour is a about a two mile hike that goes up and downs stairs and not recommended for those with mobility issues.

During the day there are also Haunted Encounter tours, which last an hour and gives the visitor a brief idea of the haunted history of the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary also has a Glory Days historical tour, which only covers the history of the ship from her construction to when she was retired in Long Beach.

This page is a compilation of evidence gathered on fact finding paranormal ship walks led by a member of the crew, who is also one of the paranormal ship walk guides. We will be updating this page when we get more submissions.


Paranormal Orbs:

Defined by the Paranormal Encyclopedia, paranormal orbs are  "anomalous globe-shaped spots" which may be either white or colored. These spots usually show up in photographs and video "taken at allegedly haunted locations." On the Queen Mary, in very dark areas of the ship, they have been seen by the naked eyes.

This is a photograph that was taken by Suzanne Matson on Aug. 18, 2017 in the Queens Salon, the lounge of the first class passengers. The streak of light appears to be a paranormal orb in flight.

Orb in Queen Salon

The video below is one that  I personal took. It captured an intelligent orb that appeared near the bow of the ship sometime during the month of May, 2016:

Here is another video I recorded in Fall 2016:


Ghosts or Phantoms:

Defined by the Paranormal Encyclopedia, "Disembodied manifestations of the spirits or souls of deceased humans or animals that survive after death." Not as common as orbs, manifestations have been captured on camera all over the ship, from the bridge to the boiler rooms and from the bow to the stern.


The Bridge or Wheelhouse of the Queen Mary: 

This photo was taken on the Bridge of the Queen Mary by Rebecca Singley, a guest on the Ship Walk tour on Saturday June 4, 2016.  The tour had all adults but shows a young girl in the reflection of the ship's communications panel.

Ghost on Queen Mary Bridge


That same evening, another guest, Will Payne, took this photo of the Captain's Navigation table that showed an apparition.

Ghost found on Queen Mary

The photo was dark so the crew enhanced and cropped it for better detail.

Navigation Station Ghost

On the weekend of Oct. 28th there were numerous incidents during the Paranormal Shipwalk tour. One woman, wearing sandals,  felt three fingers tickling her feet. Another woman felt three fingers touching her back side. They both were not within arms reach of anyone in the tour.

On the evening of the 28th as a group of 40 shipwalkers were gathering evidence, two members of the tour managed to capture some interesting reflections.

Shelby Villareal captured a woman in a gown in the reflection of the forward window of the Wheelhouse:

Woman in the window on Queen Mary


That same evening, when Alexandra Chalons photographed some controls in the wheelhouse she captured the image of a man wearing white standing causally next to her. Ms. Chalons insists that there was no physical being standing next to her when she took the photo. 

Wheelhouse reflection  



The Mooring Line Locker on R Deck: 

The mooring line locker (often referred to as the "Rope Room") is located just forward of the forward mail cargo hold of the ship on R level. This area is a paranormal hot spot. Orbs have been seen all over this area, disembodied voices have been heard by guests and visitors have often seen a head in the bow on this level.

Below is a June 7, 2016 photo, taken by Andria Manoukian, of a head seen in a bulkhead at the bow.

Head in Queen Mary Bow


Crews habitations on B Deck: 

Moving aft from the Mooring Line Locker and up one set of stairs is the area where former crew members slept.  When Disney ran the ship, they painted the walls black and had an astronomy exhibit in the area. The exhibit is no more but the walls remain black. Today it is a storage area for furniture. This area is well known for various incidents such as paranormal cold spots, disembodied voices, touching and poltergeist activity.

On the evening of Oct. 25, 2016, I was escorting a Spanish speaking TV news crew around this area when we all heard a loud bang about 10 feet from them. It sounded like a hard object was thrown with great speed at a bulkhead. I was telling them about the crews quarters and how I believed William Eric Stark was a regular in this area. Stark died four days after drinking an industrial strength de-greaser with a chemical, carbon tetrachloride.

On March 11, 2017 I was guiding a tour into the crew habitation area and instructed the first guests in the line of ship walkers to wait for me at a stage area while I held a flashlight in a dark area for the rest of the guests. A group of us heard a disembodied voice say "get out." Queen Mary paranormal author, Nicole Strickland, was among those who heard the voice and pointed it out to me.

Scott and Denise Randall were recording on their cell phones and sent us this audio sample:

We have the audio available:



Third Class Area: 

The 3rd class passenger area seems to have a lot of paranormal activity, perhaps because the lounges are so close to the water line. People have seen apparitions, heard disembodied voices, had their shoulders tapped by nobody standing behind or next to them.

The are two lounges in the third class area, which are both active.

Misty Hammock was a guest on a Paranormal Ship walk and in the Third Class Cinema, the Caronia Room, she captured the image of a child. Here is what she wrote us when she sent her photo:

Caronia Room Ghost

Caronia Room Photo: The image of a child can seen on the right.

My boyfriend and I were on your paranormal walk tour on July 21st, 2016, and I took this picture in the old third class movie theater. It looks to me like a girl is looking over her shoulder. I took a picture of this same spot right after this, and there was nothing there, no spot on the wood at all, and it could have been a glare, but I don't think so.


Paranormal Pets:

Sometimes staff and guests encounter incidents involving ghost cats. The Queen Mary had cats on board during cruises to keep rodents out of the sight of passengers. It is possible that some of the cats remained on the ship after death. Sometimes guests in the hotel feel a light pounce on their beds at night. Others report the sounds of a cat meowing during late night paranormal tours.

On Dec. 25, 2016, while on a Paranormal Ship Walk tour,  Brandon Roecker captured the image of a cat under a piano bench in a Dark Harbor maze on the way to the forward boiler:

Ghost cat

There are feral cats in the parking area of the Queen Mary but the behavior displayed by the cat in the photo above is not typical of a cat that has not been socialized. If the above cat were feral it would be hunched down ready to run away with a group of 30 tour guest nearby.



Scratches, Burns and Bruises:

Sometimes guests and staff can be wandering around the ship and experience scratches, burns or bruises.

Sometimes theses incidents are painless sometimes they are not. When I was working on an assignment near the Engine Room I came out of the area an notices a black and blue mark about the size of a quarter on my right bicep. I felt nothing and the bruise went away in three days.

These incidents usually occur in the Engine Room but have been known to happen in other parts of the ship.

On Sunday, July 17, 2016 while I was talking to a tour group in the first class pool of the Queen Mary, one of the guests wandered off from the group. In a few moments he returned and told his wife that it felt like his back was on fire. She lifted his shirt and could see three scratch marks on the back of her husband. This is one of the many reasons we tell our guests not to wander from the group.

Matt Schultz, the paranormal investigator of the Queen Mary told me that the spirits do not mean any harm by doing this. They are trying to get to know you or get your attention, but do not know their own strength, which results in such injuries.

Below is the photo I took of the guest, named Ralph, after his back was scratched:

Scratches on a Ship Walk 

The photo was taken in low light with a cell phone camera but redness and scratches can be seen on Ralph's back. 


Engine Room Specters

Millions of people come to the Queen Mary each year. Sometimes they experience more than what is expected in the Engine Room. Disembodied voices have been heard near the control panel. Young children sometimes see a young man in a grey one piece uniform lurking in the shadows. Once in a while people are lucky enough to capture an image in their cameras.

During the first week of April 2017, Shelly Conte and her daughter Kinsley took a Paranormal Ship Walk tour. Kinsley left a blue bunny in the Isolation Ward for the spirit of Jackie to play with. About 2 weeks later the stuffed bunny disappeared.

That night, while touring the Engine Room, Shelly captured this image on her camera of a man wearing a hat:

Queen Mary Spector - Hatman



This is a continuing investigation and we will be posting more findings on this page.


To book a paranormal Ship Walk or a late night Paranormal Investigation tour please visit the Queen Mary Website.


Additional information on paranormal activity can be found on the sites below:


Nicole Strickland: 

Afterlife Chronicles

Afterlife Chronicles radio program 

Nicole Strickland's Spirited Queen Mary


Matt Schultz: 

ParaXplorer Project



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Posted 06/12/16    Last Update 8/21/17

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