Investigating the Haunted ‘Queen Mary’ Ship? Tips and Resources

A haunted ship. A world once restricted to the ultra-wealthy. And a chance to experience all of it, yourself. Here’s what to know before you go.

For many people visiting California, the haunted ship – the Queen Mary – is a must-see. And a must-investigate. Some ghost hunters claim the ship is home to over 100 ghosts.

Whether or not such high numbers are accurate, the Queen Mary “ghost ship” is still an iconic haunted site, and worth visiting if you’ll be in the Los Angeles area.

Note: If you’ve always wanted to spend the night on the Queen Mary, I recommend doing so, soon. As an April 2018 article in the L.A. Times explained, “An engineering report has warned that the ship urgently needs $5.7 million in fixes and requires a total of $289 million in repairs over the next five years.”

If the money isn’t raised in the next five years… well, I’m not sure what the alternative is. That’s why I recommend spending the night in the near future, if it’s on your bucket list.

You’ll probably want to start with the history of the ship. The Queen Mary ship site features a summary: The Queen Mary – A Trip Across Time.

Of course, one suite on the ship – Stateroom B340 – is legendary. It’s also open to overnight guests. Here’s a Forbes article: The Queen Mary Opens Up Its Haunted Hotel Suite For An Overnight Ghostly Experience.

Note: If you’re uneasy with the Ouija board in the room, bring it to the front desk and ask them to store it until after you check out.

If you’ll be investigating the ship’s ghosts and haunted rooms, listen to the following podcast. It’s nearly an hour long. It’s well narrated in a “ghost story” style, and – even better – it includes a superb interview with Commodore Everette Hoard (ship’s historian) of the Queen Mary.

He provides some intriguing insights. They could be especially useful if you’re looking for triggers to prompt ghostly activity or EVP responses.

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/r__5_AnpUsA

And finally, this article could save you money, time, and perhaps some irritation. It’s by someone who spent the night at the Queen Mary. (To read the entire article, visit What’s It Like to Spend the Night Aboard the Haunted Queen Mary?)

Here are some of the many tips from that article:

humorous ghost divider

If you’re arriving from LAX, which we were, they don’t have a hotel shuttle between the Queen Mary and the airport. We Uber’ed it for $80. A taxi will cost you about the same…

I was sort of surprised about the security out front. Not that there were guards with machine guns or anything. Just staff to direct you to the appropriate place depending on whether you were checking in or coming just to have dinner or do a night activity.

Our luggage gave us away. It was pretty obvious we were there to check-in so up the elevator to Level 3 or “A” Deck we went to.

Check-In at the Haunted ‘Queen Mary’

There’s really nothing special about check-in. It’s the same as anywhere else basically.

Except if you’ve always wanted to stay aboard the ship. Then you might be giddy and bursting with excitement like I was!

Also, I was enamored with the decor. It wasn’t as grand as I’d expected. Dated really. Yet, I was okay with that. It retained its authentic charm.

The check-in lobby’s centerpiece
The Stairs across from the lobby. But gives you a good sense of the decor/atmosphere.
Time zone clocks above the check-in. Not sure they’re still functioning though.

Tips

  1. If you drive yourself, be prepared to pay for parking. ($22 for overnight.)
  2. If you’re not driving there yourself, and you want a cheaper option than Uber, Lyft or taxis, SuperShuttle and Prime Shuttles go to and from the Queen Mary also. It would’ve cost us about $35 total for the both of us to get there. We did book a shuttle back to the airport through the hotel. (We went with SuperShuttle for $30 for the both of us. That’s a $50 savings over Ubering it!)
  3. You can also use public transit to get there. That will also save you a bit of money on transportation cost, but you’ll have to trade time for money. (Meaning it will take you a little longer to get there.) Also, you wouldn’t want to do this if you had a lot of luggage to schlep around. There will be walking involved.
  4. Maybe ask if there non-adjoining rooms carry sound from neighbors a little less. (We’re thinking the door in our room that adjoined to our neighbor’s maybe contributed to being able to hear them so well?)

Read more at Haunt Jaunts’  What it’s like to spend a night aboard the haunted Queen Mary

humorous ghost divider

RESOURCES

If you’re going to spend much time or money (or both), learn as much as you can, before your visit.

Best Campgrounds for Ghost Hunters – US and UK

Ghost hunting? Tired of haunted houses, haunted jails, and so on? Ready for a breath of fresh air?

As an outdoor enthusiast, I love haunted places in the wild.

That’s one reason I especially enjoyed the book, Haunted Hikes of New Hampshire. It’s a chance to get off-the-beaten-path and discover some of the eeriest haunted sites in New England. (And, in that part of the U.S., that’s saying a lot.)

Of course, other parts of the US have haunted hiking trails and campgrounds. In the warmer weather, you may want to explore them.

The following video starts with an annoying ad. It’s worth sitting through it to get to their top 10 list of haunted campgrounds and parks in the US.

Top 10 Haunted Campgrounds and Parks in the US

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Here’s another video about America’s most haunted campgrounds.

Camping in the UK

In the UK, my first choice for camping – and ghost hunting in the wild – might be Dartmoor. The Paranormal Database lists many ghostly hotspots around Dartmoor. And, if you’re not sure where to camp, this link takes you to camping information for Dartmoor. (Camping / Dartmoor)

(Of note, “As part of a Dartmoor walking expedition, it is acceptable to backpack camp for one or two nights in some areas of open moorland, well away from roads or settlements using a ‘no impact’ approach.” But be sure to read the rest of the related rules.)

If you know of other, genuinely haunted places to camp in the UK, let me know.

Camping in the US

In the US, summer is an ideal season for camping in cooler, northern states. In places like Florida, winter is a better choice.

Start with campgrounds that have verified ghost stories.

The following are a couple of them from an article, 4 Haunted Campgrounds with No Escape. (The full article is linked at the foot of this page.)

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If you knew there was a chance you may end up as a late night snack for long lost souls on a feeding frenzy, would you do it? Even knowing you couldn’t get away? All you need to do is pitch a tent. It’s that easy. But you have to know where…

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Site – Nevada County, Calif.

Nevada County is smothered with small ghost towns, but none as haunted as North Bloomfield which was preserved as part of this historic site.

Legend has it, a strict disciplinarian schoolteacher slaughtered a student and hung him from the schoolhouse rafters for answering too many questions incorrectly. It’s said to be the most haunted building in the deserted mining town.

Faces have been seen peering from windows inside of some of the preserved buildings… If you really want to, you can spend the night with them. Pick a spot. Sleep tight.

Big Moose Lake – Adirondacks, New York

The ghost of Grace Brown is said to haunt the area. Brown, unwed and pregnant in 1906, begged the father of the child, Chester Gillette, a well-known womanizer, to marry her. He initially refused and in one her love letters she wrote, “If I die I hope then you can be happy. I hope I can die. The doctor says I will, and then you can do just as you like.”

Gillette finally agreed to the marriage and the couple took a trip to Big Moose Lake to privately tie the knot. But Gillette had ulterior motives. He was accused of killing Brown with a tennis racket while they were in a rowboat in the middle of the lake…

Sometimes the ghost of Brown is seen in the lake drowning while at other times she is seen wandering the lake shore. It’s been reported she likes to turn off lights in cabins and some guests have suddenly found themselves sitting in a darkened room with no explanation.

There are plenty of campsites surrounding Big Moose Lake. Pick one right by the shoreline.

For more details, and additional stories like this, be sure to read 4 Haunted Campgrounds with Nowhere to Escape.

Pennsylvania’s Scariest, Must-See Haunted Places

Few states have as much ghostly history as Pennsylvania. But where should a visiting ghost hunter begin? Here are some tips.

Since I’m writing this on the fourth of July, I’ll start with Philadelphia (PA), where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Philadelphia’s Ghosts

(The original video with this article was made private by its owner. I’ve replaced it with a video that’s silly at time, but it does show several reliable haunts in Philadelphia. If you’re visiting Philadelphia, this ~2 minute video is worth watching.)

More Pennsylvania Ghosts

Next, here’s another video featuring some interesting Pennsylvania haunts. The state is large, so most of these sites aren’t actually in Philadelphia. Still, if you’re in Pennsylvania, some of these ghost stories are interesting and could be worth checking out.

Most Haunted Places In Pennsylvania

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Haunted Centralia, PA

Centralia (PA) is over two hours from Philadelphia. Also, it’s not a place to visit (though it might be haunted). Anyone going there is risking his life; it’s not worth taking that chance.

(I want to make it very clear: I advise against going anywhere near Centralia, for any reason.)

Centralia’s story is both horrifying and compelling. I’m not sure any city or ghost town has a similar history. (I hope not, anyway.)


I don’t know if ghosts will linger there, long enough for investigators who’ll visit when Centralia is finally safe. It seems unlikely. (For example, I haven’t heard any trustworthy ghost stories about Pompeii.)

Still, if we’re talking about creepy places in Pennsylvania, Centralia has to be on the top 10 list.

Even More Ghosts in Pennsylvania

Pennyslvania Ghost StoriesDo you love true ghost stories?

If you’d like to discover more haunted places in Pennsylvania, here’s one book on the subject, and it has some favorable reviews.

It’s loaded with ghost stories about Gettysburg, but you’ll find other interesting locations in it, too.

The Big Book of Pennsylvania Ghost Stories

More Videos?

If you post a YouTube video showing your paranormal Philadelphia investigations, let me know. When I looked for some  to share with readers, I was astonished at how few good, Philadelphia ghost videos are online.

In a historical city like Philadelphia, I’d expect far more haunted places… and videos of people exploring them.

(Note: If you’re investigating rural Pennsylvania, remember that the “Snallygaster” legend – probably more cryptozoology than ghost – is recorded there, as well as in Maryland.)

More resources