Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ghost Ship

Here are some photos from the Queen Mary, a distinguished ocean liner that was first launched in 1936, pressed into service during World War II, retired in 1967, and is now being touted as the world’s “most haunted ship.” I first learned about this Long Beach tourist attraction when it was featured years ago on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Since then, it has been the subject of countless knockoff paranormal shows.

On Saturday, we took our own decidedly-morbid tour of the ship’s eight decks, visiting the isolation ward, the surgery ward (complete with a very primitive embalming kit), the labyrinthine engine room, a haunted swimming pool and a haunted piano (in a haunted bar, of course). Around every corner, it seemed, there was a placard telling us about alleged supernatural encounters. From the first class lounge’s “lady in white” to the mysterious crying baby in the third-class nursery to the ghost of a disoriented crewman who was crushed to death in the engine room in 1966, this place advertises itself as a giant floating mortuary. While we were wandering, I overheard a teenage tourist claiming that he had just seen a “ball of white light” out of the corner of his eye. I don’t have anything so fantastic to report, but I will say that I love this old ship’s mystique.

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