The Ghostly Legends of the Queen Mary Ship

June 2, 2023 (Last updated on: April 23, 2024)
View of the historic Queen Mary ship, its grandeur entwined with chilling ghost stories.

The Queen Mary is a historic ocean liner turned hotel that sits in the port of Long Beach, California. As much as it is known for its elegance, the ship is also home to eerie legends of ghost sightings, making it a fascinating destination for thrill-seekers and the curious alike.

History of the Queen Mary ocean liner

The construction of the Queen Mary started in Scotland in 1930, and it took three years to complete. In March of 1936, the Queen Mary was ready to launch, and it was done so by Mary of Teck, who was Queen Consort of King George V. The ocean liner made its first sailing voyage in May 1936 from Southampton, England, to New York, USA, across the Atlantic ocean. With its distinctive black, white, and red stack, triple screws, and steam turbines, the Queen Mary became an iconic symbol of luxury travel.

The Queen Mary was a work of art and comfort, reflecting Queen Elizabeth’s style that owned it. The ship had two art deco lounges and featured a suite for Queen Mary herself, named after her. The art onboard included original artwork and tapestries throughout the ship, some still on display today.

During World War II, the British government used the Queen Mary as a troopship. It played a vital, historic role in the war and was involved in many important events, even carrying some American troops to battle sites. The ship was painted grey to camouflage her, and the luxurious first-class cabins were changed to accommodate troops, including 14,000, during her most enormous voyage from New York in July 1943. After World War II, it resumed its voyage as an ocean liner until it retired from service in November 1967.

After retirement, it was docked in Long Beach, California, where the city purchased it. It became the now world-renowned attraction that it is today, a museum where people can experience luxury and eeriness in one place.

The Queen Mary ship, now docked at Long Beach, shrouded in an eerie mist, echoing tales of ghostly sightings.

Renovation into a Hotel

In 1971, the Queen Mary was repurposed as a hotel, and extensive renovations were undertaken to bring the ship up to modern standards while preserving its historic charm. The company that restored many other historic landmarks worked on the Queen Mary, and they took great care to maintain the ship’s authenticity while modernizing the guest rooms and facilities.

The ship has 347 staterooms, of which 65 are suites, offering guests a range of accommodation options with ocean views and historically inspired decor. Some of the cabins have been left in their original state, giving guests a taste of what life on board the ship was like during its sailing days. From large suites to cozy cabins, accommodation suits every guest’s needs.

Each guest room is preserved as much as possible to look and feel like it did during the Queen Mary’s sailing days. The rooms are decorated with an art deco-inspired aesthetic that fits perfectly with the ship’s design. Modern amenities have been added, including high-speed internet access, flat-screen TVs, and updated heating and cooling systems.

Additionally, the Queen Mary ocean liner now boasts a variety of dining options, including luxury restaurants, mid-tier dining, and fast food options for those in a hurry. Guests can enjoy classic American cuisine at the Chelsea Chowder House & Bar or authentic Mexican dishes from the Promenade Cafe. The Observation Bar and Art Deco Lounge offer elegant settings for cocktails overlooking the harbor.

The Queen Mary also offers ample facilities for events, including a Grand Ballroom, the Royal Salon, and the Queen’s Salon, among others. Guests can hold events and meetings in one of the ship’s unique spaces, with the most prominent venue accommodating up to 1,500 guests.

Queen Mary’s transformation into a hotel represents the ship’s staying power as a cultural icon. With its luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and event spaces, the Queen Mary offers guests the chance to experience a piece of history while enjoying all the modern comforts of a fine hotel. It is an incredibly unique place to stay and boasts a rich history celebrating the golden age of luxury travel.

The ship's luxurious yet haunting interior, a rumored hotspot for paranormal activity.

Eerie Happenings on the Queen Mary

As one of the world’s most famous ghost ships, it is no surprise that people have reported numerous sightings and phenomena over the years. The ship’s reputation for being haunted is well-earned, with the Lady in White being perhaps the most famous sea ghost said to haunt the ocean liner.

However, there are other reported hauntings and eerie happenings that visitors claim to have also experienced. For example, the ship’s former first-class swimming pool is said to be the site of many ghostly sightings. Guests have reported seeing the ghost of a young girl who is said to have drowned in the pool. Passengers have also reported sudden temperature drops in the pool area, even when empty.

Another commonly reported phenomenon on the Queen Mary is the sound of ghostly footsteps. Many guests have heard footsteps walking up empty staterooms and down empty corridors, with some claiming to have seen apparitions. One area where these ghostly footsteps are heard is the first-class staterooms, where a young sailor is said to have died under mysterious circumstances.

Perhaps the most chilling story is the legend of a young crew member who was crushed to death in the ship’s engine room. His ghost is still said to haunt the area, and visitors have reported feeling a ghostly hand on their shoulder or a cold breath on their neck at night when visiting the engine room.

Even the ship’s elevators have their share of ghostly activity. Guests have reported getting on the elevator and pressing the button to their floor, only to have the elevator take them to an entirely different floor. When the doors open, they are sometimes greeted by the ghost or spirit of a person or a crew member who died on the ship.

With so many eerie events on the Queen Mary, it’s no wonder the ship has become a mecca for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts worldwide. Whether or not you believe in the ghosts that reportedly haunt the Queen Mary, there is no denying the fascinating stories and legends surrounding this iconic ship.

View of the historic Queen Mary ship, its grandeur entwined with chilling ghost stories.

Accommodation and Facilities

The Queen Mary has a lot of options for visitors who want to experience the eerie and luxurious side of the ship. Guests can choose from a suite, luxurious hotel rooms, and suites with ocean views and premium decor. The staterooms available allow guests to appreciate the ship’s history and experience what it was like to sail on her.

The ship also has multiple dining options, including award-winning restaurants and bars, bringing guests spectacular experiences through culinary creativity. The Royal Sunday Brunch in the Grand Salon includes a chef-inspired menu with over 50 dishes from the Queen’s long history. There are facilities available, like the Promenade Deck, allowing visitors to enjoy harbor views and explore the evolution of transatlantic travel.

The Queen Mary allows visitors to hold parties and events in unique spaces throughout the ship, with the Grand Salon being one of the hotel rooms’ most popular choices. Six other event spaces can accommodate from 60 to 1500 guests continuation…

Ghostly Events on the Queen Mary

Visitors can take advantage of hours of limited tours that explore the ship’s history and haunted stories. The visits have guided tours of select decks, including the officer’s quarters, library, engine room, and boiler room. Overnight guests can join a ghost tour with paranormal experts and their equipment providing a unique experience. Those who wish to hold their events aboard the Queen Mary can do so, with fantastic event spaces available, including the stunning Grand Salon.

The ghostly events that take place on the Queen Mary are unforgettable. Events like Dark Harbor are among the most popular in September and October. The entire ship is transformed into a haunted maze packed with scare actors, mazes, and shows. Every year, Dark Harbor features a new maze and story to go with it. Then there is the Queen Mary’s winter celebration, CHILL, from November to early January. CHILL features ice sculptures, tubing, and ice skating with an admission ticket.

Dimly lit hallway inside the Queen Mary, where spectral figures are rumored to roam.

Famous Visitors

Over the years, numerous famous figures worldwide have visited the Queen Mary. Renowned celebrities such as Bob Hope, Greta Garbo, and Elizabeth Taylor have all stayed on board the ship for various events and occasions.

Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, sailed across the ocean on the Queen Mary many times. Churchill often traveled with his family and staff and was known for holding high-level meetings in the ship’s private lounges. During World War II, Churchill used the ship as his headquarters on several occasions, and it is said that he once remarked that the Queen Mary was his headquarters “when the war was at its worst.”

Audrey Hepburn, the beloved Hollywood actress, sailed on the Queen Mary in 1952 while traveling to visit the United States to audition for the Broadway production of “Gigi.” Hepburn is said to have fallen in love with the ship and its luxurious lifestyle, and she later referred to the Queen Mary as “the one true love of my life.”

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, also sailed on the Queen Mary during his presidency. In 1962, Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, traveled to Europe on board the ship, stopping in cities such as Paris, London, and Dublin.

Walt Disney, the famous animator and founder of Disneyland, regularly visited the Queen Mary. Disney often used the ship as a means of transportation when traveling between the United States and Europe. During one such trip, Disney collaborated with other artists to create a series of murals for the children’s playroom, which are still on display today.

These famous figures and many more have added to the allure and mystique of the Queen Mary, making it a symbol of luxury travel and a bastion of history and culture.

The ship's luxurious yet haunting interior, a rumored hotspot for paranormal activity.


The Queen Mary continues to captivate visitors with the story of its history and ghostly legends. It’s not often that you get the chance to stay in such an iconic location that has been restored to its heydays. From the luxurious accommodations to the paranormal experiences and many other events, the Queen Mary is a place to explore and discover. Additionally, splendid dining options, ample accommodations, and support for parties and events make the Queen Mary a place for all. The option of taking the available guided tours and experiencing world-class facilities and services all add to the entire experience of visiting the Queen Mary.


How old was Queen Mary when she died?

Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, was born on May 26, 1867, and passed away on March 24, 1953, at 85.

What happened to the Queen Mary ship?

The Queen Mary retired from service in 1967 and faced an uncertain fate. After several proposals, the city of Long Beach, California, purchased the ship in 1967 and began converting it into a hotel and attraction. The ship underwent extensive renovations and restorations to transform the cabins and suites into modern guest rooms while preserving the ship’s historical art and allure. Today, the Queen Mary remains permanently docked in Long Beach, offering visitors the chance to experience its history, luxury, and haunting legends.

Is the Queen Mary bigger than the Titanic?

Yes, the Queen Mary is more significant than the Titanic. The Queen Mary is approximately 1019.5 feet long and 120 feet wide, while the Titanic was approximately 882 feet long and 92 feet wide. The Queen Mary is also taller than the Titanic, at about 181 feet high compared to the Titanic’s 175 feet. However, it’s worth noting that the two ships were built in different eras and for other purposes.

When did the Queen Mary sink?

The Queen Mary did not sink. It was retired from service in 1967 and is now permanently docked in Long Beach, California, where it has been turned into a hotel and attraction.

Will the Queen Mary ever sail again?

It is doubtful that the Queen Mary will ever sail again. The ship has been permanently docked in Long Beach, California, since 1967 and has been converted into a museum, show venue, hotel, and events center. The ship has undergone many renovations to keep it in good condition but is not seaworthy. It would require extensive repairs and upgrades to make it operational again. Additionally, the fuel and maintenance cost for such a large and historic vessel would likely be prohibitively expensive.