MJ STEEL COLLINS takes a look back at Most Haunted: Queen Mary Part One
Episode Title: Queen Mary Part 1
Location: Long Beach, California, USA
Series: 6 Episode: 23 Originally broadcast: 19 July 2005
The Queen Mary is quite an illustrious ship in maritime history. Her construction helped bring Clydebank, and indeed, the rest of the UK out of the economic slump of the 1930s. She was the ocean liner to be seen on, alongside her sister ship, when they plied the transatlantic route for Cunard from the 1930s to the mid 1960s – and she also played a major role as a troop ship during the Second World War, when she was rechristened the Grey Ghost.
In 1967, when ocean liners became outmoded thanks to the rise of air travel, the Queen Mary was sold and permanently sited in Long Beach, California. Here, she became a hotel and tourist attraction, first opening for business in 1972. Soon after, tales of ghostly goings on began to do the rounds, and the ship is now regarded as one of the most haunted places in America. Just the ticket for Most Haunted, who in this 2005 episode, set up camp on the ship for over three weeks to carry out extensive investigations that take up two episodes.
According to Most Haunted, the Queen Mary boasts no less than 600 ghosts. Apparently, there are 55 recorded deaths from the ship’s time in service, and untold numbers shuffling off this mortal coil when the Queen Mary did her part in the war effort, which included ferrying prisoners of war, as well as American troops across the ocean. There was also quite a severe accident involving the Queen Mary during the war, that presumably, MH cover in part two of this creepy extravaganza.
Ghosts mentioned in this episode include: a male seen in 1930s garb flitting about the First Class suites, flicking lights on and off and treating guests to the sound of heavy breathing and having their bedclothes pulled off; a woman in a flowing, white gown dances alone in the Queen’s Salon; and on B-deck, one of the hotel rooms, B340 is no longer used to accommodate guests thanks to the strange things that have been seen.
When it was in use, it was common for guests to appear at reception demanding a new room. The story goes a murder took place here, one that the Most Haunted mediums Derek Acorah and David Wells say left a terrible psychic after print. Acorah believed the room needed cleansed, whilst Wells claimed that a man of status brutally murdered his young daughter here. It certainly seemed to have been the place to go for Most Haunted as it gets the most time in this episode. Team historian decided to spend a night in B340 prior to investigation, the result being that viewers are treated to five minutes of green tinged footage of him being awoken by strange bangs, crashes and an eerie moan.
As I’m currently looking into the Queen Mary, I can safely say Most Haunted are spot on so far with the general history of the ship, though it’s hard to say how accurate claims of murder in B340 are. American ghost stories do have a slight tendency to be of the ‘shaggy dug’ variety, where there is little actual historic evidence. But they do supply a good scare if that’s what you’re into.
First up for the investigation was the Queen’s Salon, where some of the team tried to charm the lonely dancer into breaking her eternal shimmy to supply them with some evidence. The ghost, true to form, didn’t want to play ball. Nonetheless, investigators claimed to have seen shadows, light phenomenon and their walkie talkie started hissing for no apparent reason.
But it was room B340 that provided the most fun. It was ladies first as Yvette and some female colleagues sat in the creepy looking room, on their own and in the dark. This was pretty much the usual fare of shrieks at the slightest noise and Yvette’s familiar big eyed stare into the night vision camera. Things got a little livelier when the boys, including Yvette’s husband, Karl, went in. This was a little more dramatic. Karl had to leave within minutes, claiming to be experiencing a vice like pain in his chest. The show came to an end with crew member Jon near comatose on the bed, with an ominous “TO BE CONTINUED” blazoning the screen. In the voice over, Yvette claimed the scariest was yet to come.
Overall, this was quite a good episode of Most Haunted. It had the usual hijinks, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the Queen Mary is different to what the show usually investigates. It’s quite an enigmatic ship. I’m curious to see what part two brings, particularly as some especially famous ghosts on the Queen Mary weren’t featured in part one.