Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Queen Mary and my ghostly encounter

When I went to Catalina Island this past January, I past by the Queen Mary on the way and thought about visiting soon. Living in southern California, I don't get to visit some of these tourist attractions much. The only time I had been on the Queen Mary was in college for an inter-U.C. campus Valentine's Day dance in the main ballroom. The weather was gorgeous this past weekend, so I decided to finally pay a visit to this majestic ship on my free day.

The Queen Mary is not only a historic site and museum, it is also a hotel.

A beautiful Art Deco lamp.

The general admission includes this "Ghosts and Legends Show." I don't like ghosts and dark stuff (I don't celebrate Halloween), but since it was included with the ticket price and it was a "show," I thought I'd check it out. Well, as it turned out, it was actually a walking tour through some of the most haunted sites reported on the ship. They outfitted the whole tour with dramatic effects like sounds and lights and smokes and mists, which I later found out is to scare the ghosts away while the tourists are around. Although creepy, I actually learned more history and stories about this ship. You can do an Internet search on ghost sightings on the Queen Mary to learn more.

Our first stop was the famous first-class swimming pool, one of the most active ghost sighting areas.

Aftre walking through a passage way (supposedly also haunted) that housed bunker beds for soldiers when the Queen Mary was in service in WWII, we came to the boiler room.

While descending down to the boiler room in an elevator, the tour guide turned off the lights in the elevator so we could see the boiler room through the dim light. When we arrived at the bottom, the tour guide said, "If you felt someone touching you, it was not part of the show." Well, I was standing in between 2 adults with my back against the elevator wall during the ride, when I felt something scratching the back of my lower left calf. It was tickling me. There couldn't have been a kid next to me reaching down my leg touching me in the dark. Pretty creepy, huh?

Here's the boiler room.

After the tour in mostly darkness, we came out to the deck in need of some sunshine. Here's a look at downtown Long Beach and the Long Beach Aquarium, with the smoke from the Station fire in the background.

Off to the right, I saw smoke from the fire near Mt. Wilson.

Flags flying on top of the Queen Mary.

One of the machine guns on board.

The Queen Mary Bell.

On the sundeck.

Life boats.

The gigantic smokestacks.

I wandered around on top of the ship when I saw this "Wireless Radio Room." No, it's not a ghost in there. Haha! It's the operator, Marty.

Marty signaled me to come in, and I did. He's been working this side gig on weekends for the last 10 years on the Queen Mary. This is the original "chat room!" :)

Marty was chatting with someone named Roy, and told him he had a tourist visiting. Marty asked me to say hello to Roy, who was in a parking lot in Burbank.

Marty told me not many tourists get to chat on the radio, so I was happy to help him end his shift by saying goodbye to Roy.

I continued to wander around on the upper deck.

The original map indicating the Queen Mary's maiden voyage in 1936.

The view from the other side of the upper deck.

The state room windows on the side of the ship.

I then went to the other side of the ship on a self guided walking tour.

This is one of the 16-ton anchors on the ship.

The Engine Room.

Wandering through the maze of the Engine Room. It was kinda creepy as well but not as bad.

Then, I was guided to the Propeller Room. I thought it was going to be a cool site because you can see the propeller still submerged in the ocean, but as soon as I walked by the room, I didn't feel very good about it. Growing up in the church, I've become pretty spiritually aware. I quickly walked in to take couple of shots and then walked out. I later found out that this room is haunted as well (do an Internet search on "Queen Mary Propeller Room").

Here's the propeller. Pretty neat, isn't it?

You're actually outside of the ship in this room and can walk around it. I didn't feel like walking around it so I exited quickly after taking this shot.

Since I was by myself and it wasn't a crowded day, I was alone for the duration of the self walking tour. I quickly walked out of the dim lower level because it was starting to get a bit spooky. Then I came to this room and saw this beautiful Art Deco dress worn by one of the first-class passengers.

After the end of the walking tour, I noticed this cool pattern on the body of the ship.

The Queen Mary has a lot of history with beautiful Art Deco interior. I highly recommend everyone to visit for the historic value. I do, however, suggest that you go in a group when you explore the self-walking tour, because I don't think everyone is as crazy as I am to have walked around this haunted ship all by myself. :)

The entire photo album can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplejoy/sets/72157622190358607/

1 comment:

  1. Great entry Joy, thanks! The photo album link was a nice tough too. Thanks for sharing!