On Wednesday, Jamie and I (Heather) headed down to EVP’s favorite haunt, The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Ca. Armed with nothing more than our cell phone cameras, our goal was simple: to view the ship through fresh eyes. Between changing lease holders and pending developments for the land adjacent, there has been a lot of buzz regarding the ship. Though we are privy to the now age-old and glaringly obvious issues surrounding Her care and maintenance, we wondered what the public, who know nothing of the battle over her treatment, see when they tour her historic decks.
Of course, a trip to the RMS Queen Mary would not be complete without an honorable mention for her resident spirits, of which there are many. However, this time, we also encountered some unusual energies we could not quite place. Before I continue, let me state that this story comes with no proof. For the skeptic it will be, at best, conjecture and, at worst, a fairy tale woven around delusions. But for the many of you out there who have visited the ship and come away with a sense that something strange is afoot, I think you will understand.
I’m not a psychic; however, I do tend to be very sensitive to energies and emotions, particularly when I am on the ship. And when Jamie and I are together, for whatever reason, it seems to amplify our receptiveness. (Jamie doesn’t identify as a psychic either but she totally is one. Sorry about it Jamie!)
Wonder Twin powers…ACTIVATE!
Our team has been on many private investigations and we’ve made countless casual visits. The ship is active at all times of the day but when it is crowded, the energy of the living is like a buffer of white noise that sometimes makes it difficult to focus on which spirits may be coming around to say “hi.” It was nice to be aboard on a quiet day, left to stroll this familiar piece of history without the need to escape a million screaming children or to avoid the large tours.
A quiet Promenade.
Our walk took us down The Promenade Deck where we were greeted by what felt like four men. I could feel their presence so strongly that they felt almost visible and I paused. It’s interesting but dismissible when you feel/see something like that on your own. But when you have a trusted friend with you who also sees it, it’s a relief. After years of dealing with this sort of thing I STILL wonder if I am crazy or making things up. And Jamie’s immediate acknowledgment of exactly what I am picking up on settles what would otherwise be an endlessly muttering argument that does nothing but cast doubts on my perceptions and degrades any further experiences.
The men were standing side by side, lined up and staring at us, their expressions unmoving and rather blank. Their clothes were dirty and their energy was heavy. It felt like they were lost. We concluded that they must have been related to the boiler room and moved on, asking that the spirits give us some space so that we could continue our visit without feeling like we were going to fall over.
Let me explain a bit. I’m sure that different people experience the paranormal in different ways. But our team has come up with a saying that we use amongst ourselves. We call it being “on the boat,” and, amazingly, it did not originate from our experiences with The Queen Mary. Originally, the saying was born from a very horrible cruise I took down to Mexico for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. It think that “my grandmother’s 90th birthday” pretty much sums up my experience but, in case you’re having a hard time visualizing it, let me just say that it felt very much like this:
Anyway, once I was released from the boat-prison disguised as a pleasure cruise and my feet were on solid ground, I noticed the most peculiar sensation. For several days I felt as if I was still on the boat. It took a while to regain my equilibrium. It was actually the best part of the cruise. As it turns out, this is also how it feels when our team comes into contact with spirits. When the energy is particularly strong, it can make you stumble like a drunk. And when we see each other doing this, we now ask “Are you on the boat?”
Energy came and went as we went about our day. We experienced a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar energies that, for the most part, were fleeting. However, neither of us could rid ourselves of the nagging feeling that the four men we first encountered were very out of place. Though we had dismissed them as having come up from the boiler rooms, neither of us were satisfied with this assumption. This may sound too ethereal for some but, it just didn’t feel right.
Towards the end of our day, as we ended our self-guided tour on R Deck in front of the entrance to the First Class Pool, we sat on the steps in front of the now defunct elevators, and began laying out our feelings regarding these gentleman. We concluded that, they could not get back to wherever they had come from, an unusual conclusion to reach for any of the ship’s own ghostly residents, most of whom, in our experience, can find their way with ease throughout the ship.
R-deck. Original entrance to The First Class Pool
If those men had come from the boilers or engine room, was there something going on that would displace them? Wondering if maybe management was doing work in those areas of the ship we headed down to The Queen Mary Story which is housed close to what remains of those areas to see if it would provide us with any obvious answers. Much to our surprise, it did.
Upon entering the lower levels of the museum, we were immediately greeted by a mess of what, at first glance, looked like construction and some pretty chaotic energy. Turns out, a recent temporary exhibit, “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock,” had just ended. The exhibit space now empty, they were in the process of breaking down the remainder of the sets and displays. I imagine that whatever artifacts they had on loan were already on their way back to the lender.
As we sat there, feeling the place out and assembling the pieces of the day’s puzzle, we wondered if the four men we saw on The Promenade Deck had not come from the ship at all, but had instead, arrived with the Alcatraz artifacts. Had they missed their ride home?
Of course, we couldn’t be sure but it felt plausible and likely that this was the case. None too creeped out, we were lucky that our next stop was an awesome metaphysical store called Sage Goddess where we were able to clear ourselves of any unwanted attachments. (Because really, who wants to bring home one or four Alcatraz inmates?)
I’ll taaaake THAT ONE…
On second thought….
We mentioned where we had been, what we had encountered and the lovely running the store immediately got out the sage and smudged us. I do not know WHY we have never done this. I can’t count the number of times one or all of us have brought something home from haunted locations. We often wake up the next day feeling horrible; exhausted, used up, foggy, sore and depressed. Have we ever smudged ourselves? No. Downright irresponsible in retrospect. Why would we cleanse our spaces and not ourselves! It’s a paranormal shower.
I dig Palo Santo wood because Sage smells like armpit.
We learned a lot during our latest visit to The Queen Mary. We saw her through fresh eyes, noticed details we had never seen, met a few surprising historical ghosts and, most importantly, we were reminded of how important it is to protect yourself when dealing with haunted locations. Even when you know a location well and her spirits feel like old friends ready to welcome you back, it is possible that surprises are lurking. So go in and enjoy your experiences but make sure you leave the ghosts behind!
Aside from the link to Sage Goddess above, you can also find Athena’s offerings in her brick and mortar in Torrance, Ca, OR on Etsy!
If hiding under the bleachers could have gotten me out of Phys Ed when I was a kid, I would have never gone. I did not like running, hitting things or being hit by things much less doing any of those things in front of a group of my peers.
And while I LOVED gymnastics and Ice skating, it only took one rotation around the bar for me to realize that I did not like the feeling of having my guts crushed by my own weight and one awkward lap around the ice rink in those green vinyl rental skates to dash my delusions of Olympic gold.
With practice, I could have advanced past my discomfort and fear. I could have achieved some measure of success. But I knew from those first experiences that those muscles would require more work to build than I wanted to put in. In fact, exercise in general would never come naturally to me.
People often wonder if they have psychic ability or if it is something that can be developed. The answer is: YES. You have psychic ability and YES it can be developed. But like everything else, we are each born with an individual aptitude that is part of what determines the ease of our developmental success.
I’ve always been sensitive. When I was little I had no idea that it was unusual. I remember my first trip, of course, to The Queen Mary. It sounds funny but, I had a feeling we were being followed by three unseen people. It didn’t feel unusual. It wasn’t scary. I just took for granted that there were extra kids and, possibly, an extra adult with our group. They followed us on our guided tour and I wondered why the tour guide didn’t mention them.
This type of experience continued as I grew up but it was no more than a peripheral curiosity. I never considered myself “psychic” or a “medium.” And while several people I met throughout the years looked at me and said, “You’re an empath.” I didn’t even know what that meant.
When East Valley Paranormal began pursuing investigations, I noticed that my abilities grew. Just like athletes work out their physical muscles, I was working out my psychic muscle. Repeated contact with the dead expanded my awareness; leaving me open to clearer connections. What once were just “feelings” expanded into very palpable interactions.
I remember our first investigation. It was a large group of people. There was a lot of noise. But I remember Bob Davis of Planet Paranormal could hear familiar voices that belonged to no one in our group. I watched him closely that night. And I wondered if he was fooling himself….until I listened to the audio recordings. Sure enough, when he heard something, we would inevitably catch something on audio.
As we continued investigating, I found that I could hear more than I previously could. “Did you hear that?” became my catch phrase to the point where I became so conscious of it that I had to make myself stop saying it!
Here are a couple of clips from a pretty wild investigation we did in Pasadena. The first, is a clip of me talking about something (I have no idea what). You can hear Brian respond but in the middle, I heard something say my name. It felt like they were right in my ear…like a bug had flown into it. It still makes me cringe when I hear it.
You can hear in my tone how uncomfortable it made me.
This is the sound I heard, isolated.
It STILL makes me uncomfortable!
While investigating is one way to stretch and build your psychic muscle, it is by no means the only way to improve it! In fact, The hardest step in learning to use your psychic muscle is following your intuition; having faith in what your gut tells you. Remember multiple choices tests?
Test tip: If you are unsure of the answer, follow your first instinct.
It sounded so easy! But it wasn’t! The moment you tried to let go and fill in the bubble to which your first instinct guided you, you paused, grunted, thought about it, and changed your mind. Why? Were you afraid of getting it wrong? I know I was. In fact, fear like this guides most of what we do.
But the illusion of control to which we cling is holding us back in so many ways. Intuition is our introduction to the unseen world we want to understand. And we have little to lose when it comes to listening to it. It taps into knowledge we have tucked away, information we are not conscious of. To access it, we must learn to hear and then listen to our inner voice, a voice we ALL have. Practicing this helps us learn not only to trust ourselves, but to open ourselves to a source of guidance we often disregard. And the more we listen, the better we hear. It speaks to us more often than you think! But we must be willing to risk being wrong or feeling “crazy” in order to reap the possible rewards.
Another method for building that psychic muscle is meditation. This is something that I am usually too lazy or unmotivated to do. Interestingly, there is science behind the act of meditation. Time even did an article on it!
(TIME also did an article drawing a link between farting and how it may cure cancer but, I’m sure this proved to be a better day for them.)
Meditation is a way to put the computer at the front of your brain at the disposal of the automated processes in the back of your brain. Your task as the executive (of your life) is to be presented with information, and then to decide how important it is. You tell the rest of the computer if it needs to continue processing it as a high priority. The goal is for your decision process to remain passive. Whatever comes up for you in the meditation, you observe and assign no importance to it. Whatever meditation presents you, you let it pass by. It’s all just data. This does two things.First, you are assigning a low emotional valence to the thoughts. This lowers the priority it gets for consolidation. That lightens your processing demands. Secondly, your undivided attention is actually providing additional processing power to the thoughts. Once you become aware of them, it takes less time to put them in long-term storage. Most of what we think is fairly repetitive. Processing through them with meditation frees up your computer to do other things.
Edited excerpt from Synchronicity by Dr. Kirby Surprise
I’ve been thinking a lot about investigating lately and how it has changed my awareness regarding my own array of abilities. It’s been quite a while since the team has been out on an official hunt (official defined as: darkness, equipment, free run of an historic locale, the whole nine yards); amazing how one’s life can get in the way of one’s predilection with death. But while other obligations keep us from collecting our cameras, audio recorders and meters, I will continue to build my psychic muscles through research and by listening to my intuition. Sometimes you need only focus on the first step of a journey in order to embark.
It was recently brought to my attention that a historical location that is very near and dear to our organization is once again being mishandled by its management group.
The Queen Mary which is docked in Long Beach as a “floating” hotel/ museum and is registered as both a historical site and a historical hotel:
National Historical Registry
RMS QUEEN MARY *** (added 1993 – – #92001714)
Also known as HMT QUEEN MARY
Pier J, 1126 Queensway Hwy. , Long Beach
Historic Significance: Event
Area of Significance: Military, Entertainment/Recreation, Social History
Period of Significance: 1925-1949
Historic Function: Defense, Transportation
Historic Sub-function: Naval Facility, Water-Related
Current Function: Domestic, Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Hotel, Museum
Here is the purpose of the National Historical Registry noted from their website:
The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The Queen Mary is also listed on the website of Historic Hotels of America. This is what they have to say about the Queen Mary:
The Queen Mary
Los Angeles, California
Rich in history, The Queen Mary® is renowned as the grandest ocean liner ever built since her maiden voyage in 1936. These early years distinguished the majestic steamship as the only civilized way to travel for high society’s elite, and instantly drew the attention of celebrities like Fred Astaire, political figures like Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan, and dignitaries such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
It is quite clear that our country on a whole recognizes the historical importance and significance of this grand ship.
So why is it so difficult for the ship’s current management to get with the program?
Time after time we’ve heard complaints that there is no money to restore her to her former glory. We’ve been told that making changes like including iPod docks in all of the staterooms is a valid way to stimulate the ship’s revenue. Some improvements have been made in the last fifteen years. A huge section of promenade decking was re-finished and replaced a few years ago by a former management company.
This ship is a virtual roller coaster of management companies. Each one swears that it’s bigger, better, and more knowledgeable than it’s predecessor.
It’s ultimately assumed that everything the previous company did is wrong and that the new team must start over from scratch. The management companies they hire are only experienced in managing a hotel. The Queen Mary is much more than a hotel. It’s an experience. And the experience that the customer is getting leaves much to be desired.
If you come to the Queen Mary for the first time today, you will be disappointed. If you are planning to stay in a stateroom reminiscent of the opulent 30’s & 40’s you can lay that dream to rest. What you will find is late 80’s decor covering up what’s left of the 1930’s interior: cheap carpet, ugly bedspreads, chintzy window treatments, along-side beautiful 1930’s fans that no longer work.
As you roam the decks you’ll find sad displays haphazardly assembled with no regards for the integrity of the historical documents and artifacts inside. They are dusty, and often littered with rat fecal matter.
You will also find poor patch jobs in the ceiling where water damage occurs. The beautiful wood paneling which Winston Churchill himself told the soldiers during WWII mustn’t be touched is now showing the wear of its 76+ years at sea, and still awaiting restoration.
The Spa which inhabits some of the ship’s former suites has a decrepit & lackluster sign pointing the way to your “luxury” services.
If you overlook the staterooms and hallways and look instead towards the ship’s restaurants, I have some good news and some bad news. Sir Winston’s is the premiere restaurant on the ship…and for good reason. The restaurant manager J.B. is amazing. He’s been with the ship for over 10 years and truly understands how to accommodate his guests, giving them the grand reception that they would expect from a luxury liner. You will however, pay well for this privilege.
The other restaurants on the ship are poorly managed with mediocre food at best. Imagine a Denny’s ….in Compton…at midnight and you’ll begin to get a grasp for what they offer: over priced, over cooked, under whelming food. The service is slow and surly. The prices average $15 per plate. Oh, and by the way, if you thought you could just sit by the window while you sip your morning English Tea and pretend you’re in South Hampton, think again. The only tea you’ll find on this English ship is Lipton’s. The Duchess of Windsor is turning in her grave at this very moment.
The Queen Mary is also touted as a museum. It’s true. There are scattered exhibits (which are poorly maintained). But the guides really understand her history, architecture and art. They keep her spirit alive and are some of the nicest people I’ve met aboard the ship. They stay, not because of the great pay, nor do they stay to support her ever-changing management. They stay out of loyalty and love for this Grand Lady.
Now, so far this might just sound like another bitter yelp review(of which there are plenty). But, it was a recent find from a fellow investigator that prompted this blog post.
In an attempt to draw in a bigger, more diverse audience and make some cold,hard cash the management has decided to let a team of motocross performers loose on the ship.
Yes , you heard me, ON THE SHIP.
This is wear I had posted a link to the YouTube video. It has since been made private.
This video demonstrates just how much these management companies understand about the property they are running.
After the video started receiving some unfavorable press there was a comment posted by one of the riders:
“All this was taken into consideration prior to filming. We worked long and hard with the Queen Mary to preserve the integrity of the ship. The locations that were used were places that had already been remodeled or altered. No historic or original locations were used. The idea was to make something cool to bring attention to such an awesome ship. There was no more harm than the average foot traffic from tourists”.
If you know the ship at all, you understand that areas like the First Class Pool, the engine room, and boiler rooms are indeed original and historical areas. While they weren’t doing burn-outs on board, the weight and pressure of the bike is damaging and disrespectful. This isn’t the type of attention or the type of event that the ship needs . I don’t blame the riders. I blame the management for, once again, sending the wrong message to the public.
It’s time for the company who manages her to show that they understand the difference between RENOVATION and RESTORATION. She is an important part of history and instead of updating her, she needs to be brought back to life.
A friend recently posted this information for those of us who like to become more active in helping The Queen Mary:
If you want to voice your concerns and speak out about the horrible mistreatment of the Queen Mary, send an email or call the following:
Long Beach’s Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal – The Queen Mary is in her district (she is also counsel person for district 2), so she should be watching out for the damage being done to historic landmarks on 2 levels. She can be reached at email@example.com, Suja.Lowenthal@longbeach.gov, ph:562-570-6684.
Mr. Milford Wayne Donaldson – Head of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). They can take a more active role in trying to stop the management where we can’t. You can read more about the SHPO and get further contact information here:http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21755, firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 916-445-7050.
If enough of us speak out and demand they do something, there is a good chance they will. Please spread this information to as many people you know and get them to write or call in too.
As our introduction post says, we’ve been discussing a lot lately and it’s much more than the website can handle.
This Blog will become our Sounding Board where we can rant until we feel as though our minds have been momentarily cleared.
Although Paranormal Research is a passion that we all share. Life sometimes chooses your priorities for you and often the paranormal is the activity that gets sent to the back burner. We have come to discover that this is fine. Our otherworldly friends will wait for us. Maybe not patiently, but they’ll wait for us.
As life has pushed us around on the game board we’ve taken solace in the fact that we can return to visit our friends from the other side in a more casual way and still find amazing results.
Not sure where I’m going with this? Let me explain.
If you know our Team you know that our greatest Love is The Queen Mary. A Historical and Design Marvel that sits thankfully in our own back yard. We’ve been investigating the Ship for several years now and the most difficult part of being so close is not being able to visit her enough when day-to-day happenings get in the way.
We can drive there in under an hour and yet….work, medical issues & life in general often keep us at their beck and call disallowing us to make even short trips.
I don’t think we realized that we could really casually visit the Queen once we had started seriously investigating there. Every trip was a checklist of equipment and a plan for what we could accomplish in the amount of time we had. While it’s good to always be prepared, we forgot that beyond the spirits that draw us there the Ship it’s self calls us back. Her grandeur, her architecture, her history as a luxury Liner and as the Grey Ghost are all reasons why we want to keep coming back.
Last December was our last full-scale investigation on the Ship. We had not set foot on her decks in months . In May we were contacted by some of our fellow investigators very last-minute to simply Meet Up and say hi on the ship. We hadn’t seen each other since the previous investigation and everyone wondered what happened to us. Nothing really happened of course, life just stepped in and redirected us for the time being.
We jumped at the chance to be on the ship and see everyone. I don’t even think we brought a digital recorder with us. This was going to be our first non-working visit to the Ship in a very long while.
I remember the swell and rush of excitement we all felt as we rounded the curve on the overpass to enter the Ship’s grounds. There she was, magnificent and just as we left her, but with a few noticeable improvements underway. She had received a fresh coat of paint in a few areas and they were taking the time to begin restoring her lifeboats. Both were very good signs.
The minute we stepped on board it was like coming home. Everything was familiar,the sounds, the smell it was great to be back.
As we rounded the corner to enter the hall just before the observation bar we noticed that the old music room was actually restored to its former self. They had been using it to display original artifacts from the 1st & 3rd class nursery .It was a change for the better and very nice to see,but there was a sense of upheaval that we could not shake.
We soon found our friends,gave a round of hugs and chatted for just a few minutes.
Although we wanted to see them, we were now in the grasps of the Ship and wanted to find out exactly what had been happening in our absence.
A friend filled in a few blanks …that the Ship had new management and that our contract to investigate had been hanging in the balance,but that it looked as though what had already been put in place was going to be upheld for the future.
There was a collective sigh of relief from the team.
At that point we parted ways and eagerly roamed the Ship looking for more surprises.
No equipment, no grand plans,we were just stopping in.
We were noticed. We could feel that our paranormal friends were with us . They were happy to see us and eager to show us what was happening. We felt pulled all over the ship to R deck , to B deck, to M deck. It was a mix of excitement, confusion and fear. It was almost as if they were looking to us for answers as much as they were showing us what has changed. We spent a few hours there, just roaming and feeling the energy shift that surrounded us. We knew that the next several months would be very active. Since that trip we’ve been back about 5 times. each time with just a handful of very basic equipment. Digital audio recorder, old digital camera and maybe a K-2 or a Mel. No plan in mind, just going were the energies lead us.
We’ve discovered that our 3 favorites will now follow us anywhere on the Ship.
It doesn’t matter where we plop ourselves down or what equipment we bring. We are seeing more with the naked eye and hearing more during our visits, fully audible without help recorders. It’s opened us up to explore more. It has also opened up boat loads of questions(no puns intended).
There is such a feeling of connection now that we know they know who we are. Not that there hadn’t been a connection before, but that the connection has changed and that there now resides a bond of trust in addition to what we had before.
So, naturally new questions exist. Will they answer more difficult questions now?, Do they trust us to know more about them?, What “time” are they existing in? What does the ship look like to them?, how far away from us are they really?
There are really too many to list. but surely you will hear them all if you continue to read this blog.
We feel as though we are getting closer to the answers we seek everyday. I feel as though they are trying to help us understand in a way that they had not previously been comfortable enough to reveal.
I’m excited for the future and the discoveries that we will make.
With that I leave you as we begin to prepare for our first official full-scale investigation back on the Queen Mary. Not that we need to arrange one in order to communicate, but this time more like arranging a special dinner with a friend where you can take the time to chat as long as you’d like without interruption from the outside.
….Jamie- signing off………