An Inside Look Into the RMS Queen Mary

By Nicole Strickland, 


There are very few ships still in existence that can compare to the innate beauty and rich history of the RMS Queen Mary.  In fact, the ship was named after The Queen of England, H.M. Queen Mary. The RMS Queen Mary was born in 1934 and constructed by John Brown & Company, Ltd of Clydebank, Scotland.  She began her maiden voyage on May 27, 1936.  She retained her role as a luxury cruise liner, until she was re-commissioned for World War II service.  In fact, her last pre-war sailing took place on August 30, 1939.  

The years 1940 through 1946 marked the time that she served as a warship.  The RMS Queen Mary was most commonly referred to as the “Grey Ghost” during her World War II troop carrying days.  She was labeled the grey ghost to try and camouflage herself from Hitler’s army.  Obviously, the generous slap of grey paint paid off, because she indeed survived.  However, tragedy struck on October 2, 1942 as the Queen Mary was making her way across the oceans, which resulted in many lives lost.  She accidentally sliced in half one of her escort ships, the HMS Curacoa, as both ships were involved in a zigzag motion to avoid obliteration from the enemy.  The Mary played a vital role in shortening the duration of World War II.

After her war days, the RMS Queen Mary returned to luxury as an extravagant cruise vessel, where many people could relax, vacation and enjoy her ornate and gorgeous ambience, as well as the abundance of onboard activities. Additionally, quite a few celebrity names have touched upon her decks during her post war days. Long Beach, Ca. has been Queen Mary’s docked home since 1976.  Thousands of visitors flock from all over the world to visit the RMS Queen Mary in Southern California each year.

The RMS Queen Mary is equipped to fulfill the curiosity of many people, from children to elderly adults.  She is loaded with many attractions, shops and various dining options.  The Queen is home to comedy performances, various tours and a variety of ongoing and seasonal attractions.  She has a variety of gift and souvenir stores that cater to those who love to shop.  For those who love art, the ship still houses some of her original Art-Deco pieces.  She also features great sightseeing views from her promenade and sundecks.   The ship wouldn’t be Queen without featuring award-winning restaurants that even gratify the pickiest of eaters.  RMS Queen Mary is quite the entertainer, as she has even been home to various television and movie productions.  There is even a great hotel onboard for those who want to spend the night with the Queen.  Passengers have the option of staying on A deck, B deck or M deck.  There are many different cabins available ranging from small twin bed cabins to luxurious first class staterooms.

For those who love a ghostly tale or two, the Queen Mary has plenty to share.  Yes, RMS Queen Mary is believed to be one of the most haunted spots in the entire world.  For ghost seekers alike, the Queen has various paranormal tours, where passengers can embark on the ship’s paranormal hot spots.  Passengers can travel to the engine room, where they might run into the ghost of John Pedder, who tragically died in engine room door # 13.  Or, passengers might encounter the ghost of the beautiful lady in white, who is commonly seen in the observation and lobby bar areas. 

What about those aquatic visitors who enjoy being around water?  Yup, the first class swimming pool is a popular spot for many Queen Mary resident ghosts.  Visitors might encounter a small girl, reportedly named Jackie, who likes to play hide-and-go-seek and sing Ring around the Rosy.  You may hear Jackie’s angelic voice as she calls out for her mommy and daddy.  Ghosts in vintage bathing suits might go for a swim and walk by with remnants of their wet foot prints gliding by.  Passengers might suddenly hear the sound of splashing water even though the pool has been dry for many years.  The pool’s dressing rooms are supposedly home to a vortex or portal, whereby visitors from the other side can come and go.

In fact, any where a passenger travels on board the Queen may in fact come into contact with the other side.  Many visitors report the smell of strong cigar smoke right outside Winston Churchill’s suite.  There have been reports of disembodied screams for help on sundeck and in the boiler rooms.  Queen Mary’s curious ghosts also like to knock on passenger doors and walls throughout.   Phantom footsteps, sounds, smells and voices can be heard from anywhere on the ship.  You name the ghost and Queen Mary most likely has it.

The RMS Queen Mary isn’t just a ship, she’s a legend.  She definitely speaks of a nostalgic and bygone era.  There were many people from different walks of life that traveled the oceans on the Queen.  The RMS Queen Mary has navigated folks who might not see the next day’s beautiful sunrise all the way to those folks who saturated themselves in her luxury and extravagance.  Thus, the ship is home to various impressions left from her long-lost passengers, some of whom are still trying to find their way home.  Her inherent beauty, nostalgic character and abounding history will remain in the hearts and souls of her visitors forever. 

For more information about the RMS Queen Mary, you can visit her website at or you can call her directly at (562) 435-3511.  Please visit to learn about the ghosts who inhabit the ship and the types of paranormal evidence that has been obtained on the ship as well.

Written by Nicole Strickland

Author of The Haunted Queen of the Seas:  The Living Legend of the RMS Queen Mary  

Nicole's books are on sale at this website and at Stack's Bookstore aboard the Queen Mary.

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