What’s Happening in These Photos from the Queen Mary?

In January, we had a day layover in Los Angeles before we flew to Singapore. Perfect excuse to do something I’d long been wanting to do: book a room and stay aboard The Queen Mary.

Other than to see it as we boarded a Carnival cruise from the cruise port next door, I hadn’t been to the Queen Mary since I was little (maybe nine or ten). My dad had taken me. Not for an overnight stay, though. The Spruce Goose used to be right next door. (Actually, in what is the cruise port now.) That’s what he’d really wanted to see. But since the Queen Mary had been right there back then, we toured it also.

I’m positive they’ve enhanced their tours since my first visit all those years ago. (Almost 40!)

I didn’t remember much from way back then except the wood decks and being amazed anyone would want to tour such a thing as an old ship. Bo-ring. (Typical kid.)

Which made it even funnier I had found my way back again. On purpose. Ah, the things I do for my love of ghosts…

Anyway, I was determined to make the most of my visit this go around, which meant not only spending the night but also taking one of the ghost tours.

But which one to choose?

Queen Mary Tours

We got in too late Thursday night and were leaving too early Friday evening to take the Paranormal Ship Walk. We weren’t staying on a day they offered the Paranormal Investigation.

That left only two paranormal tours to choose from:

  1. Haunted Encounters
  2. Ghosts & Legends

The Ghosts & Legends tour was only 30 minutes and included special effects. It was more of a canned ghost experience. I didn’t want that.

I wanted to see some of the hot spots, hear some of the ghost stories, and still get a good dose of the ship’s history. The best way to do that was via the Haunted Encounters tour.

Admit one, please
One of the tour meeting spots
The Starboard Lounge’s Lady in White

Our first stop was to the Starboard Lounge. Our guide told us about a Lady in White with dark hair who has been spotted all over the ship, but who is often spotted near the piano. The piano is currently in the Starboard Lounge, but it hasn’t always been.

He then went on to tell us about how her ghost had been caught on camera. Her reflection had shown up on top of the piano while the bartender was playing it. He told us to Google it when we had a chance, as that image was one of the first that usually came up. It was pretty notorious.

I made a mental note to do that, but as he talked I was busy trying to get a good photo of the piano. The trouble was the glare from the two door/windows behind the piano.

I’m including two photos here that I took later that night of the lounge because (a) I was hoping maybe the Lady in White would show up, and (b) I really liked the architectural detail of the door.

The lounge later that evening.
The door with a view of downtown Long Beach/Shoreline Village across the bay.

You can’t see it from this shot, but that door? There’s nothing on the other side. No deck. No walkway. If you were able to open it, you’d have to be prepared to jump. I’m mentioning it for a reason which I’ll get to in a second.


I didn’t have time to Google “Queen Mary ghost caught on camera pics” until almost three weeks later when we had Internet access again. (The cruise we took wanted $300 for Internet service. That wasn’t going to happen. And I had limited access to WiFi during our trip, so I had to be patient.)

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I really had a chance to start reviewing my photos from the entire trip, including our visit to the Queen Mary.

That’s when I discovered two things:

  1. Something odd in two photos I took during the Haunted Encounters tour, and
  2. That the online ghost photos our tour guide told us about were not the reflection of a woman’s face in the piano, but of a man’s!

In the consideration of time, that second revelation will be a post for another time. But there is definitely more to that story!

Who (or what) Is In My Photos?

Here are the photos:

Headless apparition behind the piano?
What’s the apparition looking at?

The first one really made me do a double, then a triple, take.

“I don’t remember anyone being in my shot,” I thought as I enlarged it on my phone.

What I saw freaked me out. It looked like a headless ghost in a military uniform.

What the…

But my rational mind kicked in: “There has to be an explanation. Are there any other photos like this? If so, it’s likely a person.”

Sure enough. The very next one, which is the second photo above, also showed the figure.

My first thought was, “Okay, it’s got to be the guide. It’s just his reflection.”

Especially because when I blew up that second photo it didn’t look like a military uniform anymore, but a hoodie. And it looked like someone was looking at a cell phone.


Here’s why I’m having trouble explaining it away that it’s just the guide’s reflection:

  1. The guide wasn’t standing behind the piano. He was standing off to the side and slightly in front of it addressing our tour group.
  2. He also wasn’t standing facing that window/door behind the piano. If I did catch his reflection, it should be of his back.
  3. Also, if it is a reflection, why aren’t any other tour goers showing up? People were standing right near our guide.
  4. Upon closer look at the second photo where the figure is looking down (at what I assumed was a cell phone), I don’t see a cell phone in his palm. I can’t quite see what he’s looking at, but it doesn’t appear to be a phone.
  5. Neither photo looks as much like a reflection as it does someone’s standing on the outside of the door/window. But that’s impossible, because, as I mentioned above, there’s nowhere to stand on the other side of the glass.
  6. Our guide was dressed all in black but I don’t recall him wearing a hoodie. I thought he had a vest on. However, this doesn’t prove much except maybe I have a bad memory for details.
Verifying Info

Perplexed (and intrigued), I asked my husband if he remembered where the guide was standing and what he remembered about the ghost appearing on the piano story.

He said he remembered the guide standing in the same place as I did, and there was some girl who had supposedly showed up by the piano and there was supposed to be a photo of her online.

I then showed him the photos and let him examine them.

All he could say was, “That is very weird. I don’t know how this could have even happened. No one was behind the piano. The guide was facing us. These are weird shots. You’re creeping me out.”

I also asked if he remembered if our guide, or anyone else on the tour, was wearing a hoodie. He didn’t know about the guide, but he felt sure a couple of the other ladies might’ve had hoodies on.

My Theory

If it is a ghost, I have a possible explanation. It has to do with the misinformation about the online ghost image.

The guide said it was the dark-haired Woman in White. After Googling it, that’s not what showed up at all. A face of a man did.

Maybe he showed up in my photos trying to set the story straight?

I don’t know, but the story of those other photos our guide was referring to is also interesting.

But like I said, this post is already too long. That will be a story for another day…

Boo-k Your Stay Aboard the Queen Mary with Expedia

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