200 Souls Find Their Way Ashore

PHOTO A 1930s cruise ship turned World War II vessel is now a modern day floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, Calif.PlayPhotos Courtesy The Queen Mary
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As far as spirits go, the 200 or so thought to be haunting the Queen Mary open portholes to a level of paranormal activity worthy of expert interpretation.

Erika Frost fits the bill for the cruise ship turned World War II vessel turned floating hotel and museum, which is permanently docked in Long Beach, Calif.

Leading the Queen Mary's daytime "Ghosts and Legends" tour, Frost guides visitors through the 76-year-old retired ocean liner's history by way of the most notorious spots for paranormal activity.

Among the highlights: the engine room where at least two men were crushed to death by the infamous "Door 13" and the defunct swimming pools where the sights and sounds of people reportedly still linger.

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In other words, who needs the dark when Frost can turn a creepy ghost tale before lunch?

But for those who savor nighttime ghostly encounters, the "Grey Ghost" still lives up to its nickname. The internationally recognized ship boasts thousands of visitors each year, with many calling it one of the most haunted places in the world.

Those who dare to step aboard the ship during its "Dark Harbor" nights must first navigate through a 220-foot maze and encounter 160 monsters just to get inside. Once in the "Submerged," "Containment" and "Hellfire" mazes, more than a few visitors are sure to find themselves lost in what one reviewer described as a "sense of place unlike any other haunt in the area."

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The Queen Mary's most infamous tale of terror occurred Oct. 2, 1942. The ship accidentally cut across the path of the HMS Curacoa liner escorting it across seas, slicing it in half and killing 200 people. The souls of the victims are said to account for much of the unexplained occurrences aboard the ship today.

"There is no other destination like the Queen Mary at Halloween, combining history with haunting," Queen Mary spokeswoman Julie Wright says.

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Up for the ultimate scare? The Queen Mary invites you to spend the night, offering packages for two, starting at about $200.

Hope you make it out in the morning.

For more information, go to the Queen Mary website.