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Long Beach

My trip to the Queen Mary was not only fun but historical as well.  I wasn’t sure what to expect upon my arrival, I had only heard stories about the magnitude of this ship.  With its vast decks and blast from the past interior, I knew immediately that this was going to be a memorable experience. 

As we arrived we caught an elevator ride with the well known and well respected psychic investigator, Peter James in which we were to take the Haunted Encounters tour with later that evening.  Peter James is known for his contributions on the TV show Sightings and has dedicated his life to ghost research.  The Queen Mary allows Peter James to access any part of the ship that he wishes for his investigations which meant that we were going to be able to see areas that are not normally open to the public.  I could hardly wait for the night to begin!

We checked in at the front desk and had to take a moment to soak in our surroundings.  I felt like I was in a different era.  Everything reeked of nostalgia.  My cabin was more than I had expected.  Although it was small, I couldn’t help but feel I was the passenger from a different place in time.  The original faucets still remained in the bathroom (although no longer functional) with the options of either salt or fresh water.  I had two small bunks in the on each side of the room and a small sitting area with a porthole view off to the side.  Although the quarters were small, it was very quaint and comfortable.

My team and I freshened up and then went to meet Peter James and the rest of the group in the Observation bar.  The Observation bar was adorned in art deco style furnishings and panoramic windows and used to serve the first class passengers during the Queen Mary’s sailing days.  I took a picture of two of my team members while we were there and captured an orb.  Although I am a little skeptical when it comes to orb shots, they seemed to be abundant in my photographs of the Queen Mary. 

The first part of the tour entailed interesting information on the history of both the ship and its specters.  This section of the tour wasn’t meant to be scary but meant more as an educational segment that helped you to better understand the dark and long history behind this massive ship.  We then joined Peter James in Sir Winston’s restaurant for a wonderful 3 course meal and a chance to ask Peter James questions and listen to other people’s paranormal experiences.  He is very eccentric man and he has a fantastic way of capturing the groups’ attention with his vast knowledge on the subject of the spirit world and the spirits that reside on the Queen Mary.

After dinner we then proceeded to part two of our Ghosts and Hauntings Tour. 

Now we were getting to the exciting stuff!

One of the most memorable parts in this section of the tour was the First Class Swimming Pool which is closed to the public.  It is rumored that the most common entity there is the spirit of a little girl named Jackie that haunts this section of the Queen Mary.  Peter James claims to be able to contact Jackie and has had numerous occasions where other people in his tour group claim to hear a little girl’s voice and sometimes wet footprints mysteriously appear on the floor around the pool.  What used to be the revolving door that entered the pool area is thought by Peter James to be a porthole or vortex that allows many spirits to enter into this area.  He calmly said at one point “if you have a digital camera, take a picture by the revolving door and an orb will appear in your photo”.  I immediately pulled out my camera and starting shooting.  Sure enough, there was an orb that seemed to move in each shot I took.  It appeared that this small ball of energy was moving.  Other people from the group experienced the same anomaly as well.  We then went to the engine room where there is thought to be the spirit of a young man who was crushed in a doorway.  While the engine room was indeed creepy, at the time I didn’t experience or feel anything out of the ordinary.  We then proceeded to the 4th deck to view a room in which a Man killed his wife and children, slaughtering them in the bathtub.  Many people who have stayed in this room have experienced the sensation of someone sitting on the bed, disembodied voices and apparitions that have appeared.  As we approached the room, on of the women on our tour gasped and said “this is my room!”  Her friend that was also staying in the room told us of an odd encounter that she had had earlier in the day.  She claimed she had been waiting for her friend to arrive when she decided to take a nap.  She closed the curtains and laid down for about an hour.  When she woke up the curtains were drawn open and the television was turned on.  She thought maybe it was her friend who had come in while she was sleeping but found out that her friend had not even arrived at the Queen Mary yet!  We had the opportunity to tour this room as the two ladies occupying it were more than willing to let us go inside and take a look around.  Once they discovered that their room was considered to be one of the most haunted rooms on the ship though, they seemed to re-consider spending the night there.  I tried my best to offer them the cabin I was staying in and said I would be more than willing to bunk there but in the end, they decided to stay where they were.  Darn!  After touring the rest of the ship we all went back to the lobby and ended our evening with Peter James with an opportunity to have our photo taken with him.

Now…. our night was really about to begin!

We all went back to our cabins to freshen up and regroup.  We waited until about midnight and then set off to explore this huge ship on our own.  Although it was risky, we eventually figured out how to access the non-accessible parts of the ship.  We explored every singe inch of the Queen Mary from bow to stern.  The only place we were unable to access again was the First Class pool area which was a disappointment but it was all still well worth the effort.  We walked around the entire bottom of the ship where everyone on my team heard footsteps walking behind us.  Since we were not supposed to be in this area it caused us alarm thinking someone from the crew was going to catch us but each time we hid, nobody ever came.  The dankness and darkness at the bottom of the ship had us all on edge and we walked around and took pictures and searched for any change in the electro magnetic field with the EMF Detector. 

We then made our way back up to the engine room, looked around and took more pictures.  What we didn’t realize was the best part of our investigation was being saved for last.  Around 3:00am we decided to head back upstairs and get ready to go back to our cabins.  In a last ditch effort we headed up to the fourth deck again to try and get some photos or capture something on the EMF.  As we were walking down the hallway past the room we learned earlier was considered to be the most haunted, the EMF suddenly went crazy!  I whipped out my camera and started firing away.  What came out was a rather large orb that seemed to be traveling down the hallway at a considerable speed.  It started off quite large in the picture and successively got smaller as it went down the hall.  It was very clear to me that this wasn’t a speck of dust because of the sudden change in size and the location of the orb in comparison from the first photo to the last.  Once it had traveled completely down the hallway and disappeared, all activity on the EMF stopped.  I personally cannot explain what exactly happened at that point in time but I do believe it was something that most likely had no explanation. 

We then retired to our rooms for a few hours of shut eye before packing up and leaving the next morning.  My sleep was restful except for an occasional loud banging noise that would wake me up.  Nobody else on my team experienced this noise but I figure it had to have been pipes or something within the ship. 

All and all, the Queen Mary was a very exciting, interesting and unique place to investigate.  I will definitely be going back again to do another investigation.  If anyone happens to be in the Long Beach, CA area I would highly suggest stopping by and visiting this dry docked treasure.  Even if ghost hunting isn’t you thing I have no doubt that you will have a fun and memorable experience there.

San Diego

The Whaley House

First off, the Whaley House in San Diego is listed by the United States Department of Commerce as an authentic haunted house - a designation given to only 29 other places in the entire country.  This house has had a mind-boggling amount of paranormal activity reported by competent, reliable witnesses.

Thomas Whaley built his house in 1857. The land was originally a settlement of the Kumeyaay indians, who were in their decline at the time, due to disease and conflict - but who reportedly helped with the construction of the house.  Many of the Kumeyaay were buried in a nearby Catholic cemetery that is thought have extended to the land on which Whaley built the house.  Just to make it more interesting, in the years before the house was built, the land was also apparently the site of the public gallows, where the most notable execution was of a man named Yankee Jim Robinson.  Jim was accused of stealing a boat, but ran from the authorities.  A few days later, someone recognized him and hit him over the head, after which he was jailed and sentenced to die on the gallows.  On execution day, he was quite delirious from the head wound, and when the order was given to kick the mules out from under his feet, his toes hit the ground, making for a slow strangulation that took approximately 45 minutes.  Whaley is reported to have been an onlooker during this execution.

The Whaleys went on to build their house and had six children while living there.  One son died as a toddler, and a daughter ran into a taut clothesline while playing one day, crushing her throat.  She died in Whaley's arms.  Another daughter died under odd circumstances by swallowing poison.  The Whaleys rented out portions of their house for various reasons, and one room was used as a courtroom - and sometimes a temporary morgue, while other rooms were used for meeting rooms and for storage of records.  As the city progressed, the records were apparently seized at gunpoint from Whaley's wife while he was away, and Whaley was apparently obsessed over this matter for the rest of his life.

All the players in the Whaley drama have been recognized as spirit entities in the house, along with many others who are not as easy to name.  Phenomena experienced here includes sounds, smells, apparitions, orbs, cold spots, touching, and even feelings of choking at the spot where Jim is believed to have been hanged. Many pictures of phenomena have been taken both in the house and in the adjoining gardens, and during the daily tours of the house, the ghosts often put on a show by moving objects, scenting the air with cigars or perfumes, and appearing in mirrors.

The Whaley house is a true unexplained phenomena, and we believe that it may be yet another "portal" where many entities are constantly passing through.   Though the spirits here seem mostly benign, I read one report from an experienced ghost hunter who had an opportunity to be in the house alone at night - and now refuses to even talk about his experiences there.

This house is a MUST for those serious about the paranormal, so do be sure that you make a point of seeing it if you find yourself in the San Diego area.

Below is a picture submitted by Mrs. M of the back of the Whaley House.  She writes:

This is a picture of one of the windows (taken from the back) of he Whaley House in "Old Town" in San Diego, CA.  My husband and I see a woman (or something) on the left-hand side & a man with his head tilted, holding a baby on the right-hand side.  I am including the totally unedited original picture.

Unlike some pictures of the house that I have seen, there is NO way that this is my or someone else's reflection.  Ones I've seen of the inside of the house can totally be a person's reflection off the plexiglass that blocks the room off, but this picture is of the outside of the upstairs windows.  No way this is a reflection of anyone, PLUS because of the plexiglass, you cannot get into this room, so it can't be people inside the room either.

The Whaley House is located at 2842 San Diego Drive, San Diego, CA  (619) 297-7511.  Tour hours are 10:00 - 4:30 daily except Tuesday.  There is a minimal admission charge.

Click Here for More Whaley House Pictures!


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