In yet another club members suggested event geared toward those club members who might otherwise stay home and pass out candy on Halloween night or simply turn out the lights and pretend that they are not home, West Coast Challengers arranged to get a tour of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, the most haunted place in California and ranked the sixth most haunted place in America. And what better day to go looking for ghosts and spirits in a haunted place than Halloween night itself.

The club arranged a tour of the ghostly ship with a paranormal expert who would guide us through the spiritual “hot spots” of the ship, and club members were invited to come in their Halloween costume if they liked.

Unknown to many, during World War II, the Queen Mary was used as a troop ship to ferry soldiers to and from Europe, and on one of those trips across the Atlantic Ocean, she collided with an escort ship, cutting it in half and sinking it. Hundreds of sailors went into the water and the Queen Mary’s bow was split wide open but still able to float. Strict military guidelines were in place and German U-Boats were abundant in the area, so that the Queen Mary could not stop to pick up survivors nor radio it’s position. The sailors were left to take their chances on the sea until a rescue could be arranged. By then, many had succumb to the sea and hundreds ultimately perished. It remains one of the worst maritime disasters of all time. Many say that some of those sailors, both aboard the other ship and those who drowned in the bow portion of the Queen Mary when the collision occurred, can still be seen walking the desks very late at night and early in the morning hours.

In another ghostly story aboard the Queen Mary, while the ship was making an trans-Atlantic voyage, a murder occurred in cabin B-340. The murderer was detained and locked in the cabin, where it is said that he went insane and died. As the story goes, his ghost still haunts cabin B-340, and not in a nice way. Passengers who were booked into cabin B-340 would often complain about loud noises happening at all hours of the night as well as items being thrown around, and request to be moved to another cabin. The complaints coming from cabin B-340 were so numerous in fact, that no one could stay the entire night, so the ship finally locked the cabin permanently and refused to book it any further.

The First Class pool area as well as the main ballroom are said to have wandering spirits as well as the boiler room where a crew member was once crushed to death by one of the ship’s mechanical water tight doors. All told, paranormal experts believe that over 150 separate ghostly spirits have taken up residence within the ship, each with their own story.

We met up with our paranormal expert at 10:30 p.m. and began our tour. We were taken to various parts of the ship and told the stories surrounding the various spirits in each section of the ship, and we all hoped that one might make a requested super natural appearance for us — it being Halloween night and all.

In many instances, armed with tape recorders to record any strange sounds we might otherwise have missed and other paranormal equipment, we ventured through many parts of the ship not open to the general public. On several occasions, the lights were turned out and everyone remained silent while we all listened for anything out of the ordinary as our paranormal host would invite the particular spirit in that area to make contact with us.

The tour of the Queen Mary is exciting itself, going deep into the belly of ship on Halloween at midnight was icing on the cake for our club members. And while aboard the ship, we did not see anything strange occur, the next morning, as we reviewed the photos that we took during the tour, a strange thing did, in fact, occur. While visiting the First Class pool area, club member Larry walked across the pool area to take a picture of the group on the other side. While on the far end of the pool and all by himself with no lighting around him, one picture especially stood out. Not to prejudice the members, Larry posted the picture up in our club forum and asked club members what they see in the picture. What Larry immediately saw in the picture, was a person’s face. When the club members were polled, they all saw it as well. In an attempt to photograph the ornate walls and ceiling of the pool area, this eerie image appeared. Understanding that there was no smoke, lighting or objects in the area to cause any reflection, no camera flash used, and this is most likely camera or photographer error, it would appear that a ghostly face can plainly be seen looking down at us and smiling — but you be the judge for yourself.

In yet another spooky event, at times throughout our tour, Larry would lag behind the group to photograph a certain area after our crowd had move out of it. In one instance, we walked through a door to find a beautiful ornate hallway with dark wood paneling, obviously some of the ship’s cabins. While kneeling down to capture a photograph of the hallway at an upper angle, the first few pictures failed to come out when looking at them on the LCD screen of the camera. Moving down the hallway a bit and trying it again, the photographs of the hallway appeared just fine. Standing up he noticed that he was standing in front of cabins B-338 and B-339, which meant that the cabin where the pictures wouldn’t come out was the ghostly cabin B-350, which had it’s cabin number removed due to all of the publicity surrounding the cabin.

At around 4:00 a.m., we disembarked the ship to head home, and while we didn’t witness anything out of the ordinary on our Halloween Ghost Hunt, the tour was very exciting nonetheless and it had everyone on edge at one point or another.

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