Monday, February 2, 2015

The Queen Mary, Part ll

In the first part of this post I share a short history of this famous haunted ship.

RMS Queen Mary while
still in service.
There are many stories told about the paranormal activity on the Queen Mary. The witness accounts shared here are the original sources for the stories that are pointed to today as proof this ship is haunted.

John Smith’s Story

John Smith firmly states he did not believe in ghosts. When the Queen Mary was first docked at Long Beach, Smith a marine engineer was given the task of checking out the ship.

He worked onboard in the evenings because he had a day job.

Over a two-month period, he heard unusual sounds in the ship’s bow. He described these sounds as metal tearing, water rushing in and then many men’s voices screaming.

“It sounded like there had been a rupture in the ship’s hull.”

When he would check out the area where these noises were coming from he found nothing that could have caused these distinct sounds.

Several years later, he read about a tragedy that had involved the Queen Mary during WWll. After being converted to a troop ship, the Queen Mary collided with a British cruiser named the Curacoa.

Over 300 men were killed in this accident. The Queen Mary’s bow sliced the Curacoa in half. Smith came to believe what he had heard was the echo of this disaster. He admits this discovery shocked and overwhelmed him.

In 1987, William G. Roll a noted Danish psychologist and
Parapsychologist who made his home in the U.S. was brought in to investigate the ship. He left a recorder running in the bow area over night.

This tape-recorded an even silence with the exception of a two-minute period around 4:00 a.m. in the morning. For this brief span sounds of metal banging, water rushing and men screaming were recorded.

It was around 4:00 a.m. when this disaster happened.

Mel Meter being used in bow of ship.

An Original Sighting of John Pedder

One full-bodied apparition that has been seen on the Queen Mary many times by both staff and tourists was a fireman named John Pedder.

Shaft Alley
Pedder worked in the ship’s engine room. It is said an he was crushed as Door/Hatch 13 closed in Shaft Alley during a fire drill in 1966.

These doors are used in case of an accident. They are closed in order to make various sections of the ship airtight to prevent it from sinking.

The men on board used to play a game to see how many times they could jump back and forth through these doors before they closed. One story states Pedder jumped through Door 13 one too many times.

The ghost of John Pedder is seen in Shaft Alley near this door and the engine room.

A former tour guide, Nancy Anne a self- proclaimed skeptic encountered his ghost in the late 1980s around 5:30 in the evening.

“I was working in the capacity of a lead guide, which meant my job was to close down the tour route and make sure there weren’t any stragglers left behind.”

Nancy recalls:

“I don’t know why I turned around, but I turned around and standing right behind me on the escalator step was a man. He had blue overalls that were dirty. When I stepped aside to let him go by he wasn’t there. He was gone.”

Nancy has always stated that she does not necessarily believe any other ghost stories that other people have come up with. She only knows what she saw with her own eyes.

Swimming Pool Ghosts

Server Carol Leyden during her 14th year as a waitress on the Queen Mary was in a dinning room early one morning before it opened. She spotted a lady sitting at one table.

She went over to pour a cup of coffee for this passenger when she noticed her 1940s’ cocktail-style dress. She also wore an old-fashioned hairstyle with her dark hair rolled to the sides.

Carol noted this lady wore no make-up and was very pale. She never saw this woman move. She left the table but turned back to take another look and there was no one in the dinning room.

Carol believes she spotted another ghost in the upper class passenger pool area. One day as she was standing by the stairs to the pool she spotted an elderly woman in her sixties or seventies wearing an old-fashioned swimsuit.

This lady appeared to be in black and white like an old film.

Nancy Anne also spotted this lady. She went down the stairs and around a pillar, expecting to see this swimmer but she wasn’t anywhere to be found. She had disappeared within seconds--she could not have moved without Nancy seeing her.

Yet another witness to ghostly activity was a maintenance supervisor, Kathy Love. She and a male coworker late one night heard mysterious sounds in the pool area as they inspected it.

They heard a little girl’s voice giggling and then they heard splashing. They saw this splashing but no one was in the pool. The splashing stopped but the giggling continued.

They watched transfixed as a set of small wet footprints made a beeline for the woman’s locker room.

First Class passenger swimming pool.

Unlike Smiths and Pedder’s stories, the backstory that is used to explain these two pool ghosts does not match the ship’s history. It is said they drowned in this pool but there is no record of anyone dying from a drowning on the Queen Mary.

In Queen Mary, Part l, the history of this famous ship is shared.

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