From left to right: The Queen Mary on last voyage, The Poseidon Adventure movie poster, The HMS Curacoa, John Pedder, Watertight Door 13 in Shaft Alley, The Munich, Indrid Cold sketch
The Queen Mary ship is a retired ocean liner that sailed for the Cunard Line between 1936 and 1967. Launched on September 26, 1934, the Queen Mary traveled 13 feet to the gallon, contained 40,000 hp turbine steam engines, 4 propellers weighing 35 tons each, and a 140 ton rudder weighing 81, 234 tons. Not only did the Queen Mary ship sail for three decades across the Atlantic entertaining its passengers, but also was used during World War II to escort over 800,000 troops more than 600,000 miles. Carrying on average 1957 passengers serviced by a crew of 1174, the Queen Mary ship has been recorded as one of the largest passenger liners ever built.
With such a varied and intriguing past it’s not surprising that the Queen Mary has been voted one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America by Time magazine. The Queen Mary has become legendary for it’s haunted areas and paranormal hotspots, including numerous reported apparitions. Among the ghosts reportedly still hanging around are a sailor who died in the ship’s engine room, a “lady in white,” and children who drowned in the ship’s pool.
However, this podcast episode is about the floating hotel that the RMS Queen Mary has become and how she treats a couple of guests who’ve selected her for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway.
John Pedder was an 18-year-old fireman/cleaner from Skipton, Yorkshire, England. While on voyage 483, he was tragically found, crushed to death in water-tight door #13 on July 10, 1966 at approximately 3:45 am. Some history on the death of John Pedder.
Another brief site discussing the death of John Pedder at watertight door #13.
The München was presumed to be proceeding smoothly, until the night of December 12/13. Between 00:05 and 00:07 (all times GMT) München’s radio officer Jörg Ernst was overheard during a short radio communication on a “chat” frequency. He reported bad weather and some damage to the München to his colleague Heinz Löhmann aboard MS Caribe, a German cruise ship 2,400 nautical miles (4,440 km) away. Ernst also transmitted München’s last known position as 44°N 24°W. The quality of the transmission was bad, so that not everything was understood by Löhmann. Since it was a standard communication, the information was not relayed back to the ship’s owner until December 17. The Munich and the story as it’s understood about her sinking.
The HMS Curacoa
On 2 October 1942 about 60 km north of the coast of Ireland she was escorting the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary carrying 10,000 American troops. At 2:15 PM the Queen Mary started the starboard turn for the first leg of her zig-zag, cutting across the path of the Curacoa with insufficient clearance, striking her amidships at a speed of 28 knots and cutting her in two. Here’s the wikipedia entry on the HMS Curacoa.
Indrid Cold (The Grinning Man) was thought to be an alien trying his best to gain the physical traits of a human. Indrid Cold was first seen on October 16, 1966 when two boys in New Jersey were walking on Fourth Street, when they saw a surreal figure standing near a fence. As they walked closer, the figure was a tall bald man wearing a metal green suit who was staring right at them with a huge grin. The idiosyncratic man chased them until they got away from him. A good page on Indrid Could.
The Poseidon Adventure (original 1972)
One of the best original disaster movies there is, inspired by the Queen Mary and her brush with capsizing. The Poseidon is a cruise ship out for its last voyage and it is New Year’s Eve. The guests are all celebrating while deep beneath the ocean’s surface an earthquake is happening. The earthquake sets off a huge tsunami and the ship is knocked upside down. In order to be saved, a small group of people heads for the engine room at the bottom (make that top, since the ship is upside down) of the ship. At first, the ocean claims hundreds of the passengers until they are whittled down to about 10 people left. From here there are plenty of tense moments and a power struggle for control of the survivors. Typical disaster movie fare but done rather well. The making of The Poseidon Adventure.
- The Wikipedia entry on the Queen Mary.
- The award for the fastest Atlantic crossing by a cruise ship, the Blue Riband.
- A timeline of her history from the Hotel website.
- Some amazing older photos of her.
- The Queen Mary during World War II from the Hotel Website.
- A great article on rogue waves, including the one that hit the Queen Mary.
- A brief page on hauntings aboard her. There are many hundreds of websites on this.
- Here’s a page detailing WWII troop crossings, aboard her.
- More amazing photos of her history.
- Another great site on her history.
- More on Queen Mary hauntings.
Episode 002 – ‘Queen Mary and the Haunted Valentine’ Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess, Ryan McCullough Sound Design, Scott Philbrook Editing. Special guests ‘Marty’ & ‘Alice’ wish to remain anonymous. Copyright Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess 2014, All Rights Reserved.