My Ghostly Encounters

Because of a fascination with all things ghostly, I'm always delighted when we're going to stay at a hotel and learn that it's haunted.

The Queen Mary, permanently moored in Long Beach, CA has a long history of being haunted. Once a troop ship during WWII, it was attacked and many died. They have a ghost tour (phony, but fun) which of course I took. We went to a convention of the Queen Mary and stayed for three days and four nights. Believe me, you can feel the presence of other beings--or at least the echo of former presence. Everything on the QM is more or less as it used to be. One night I took the elevator to my deck and found myself all alone in the long corridor. Believe me, it was definitely eerie--even more so when I couldn't find my room. I had to go all the way to the middle of the ship and walk back in order to find it. Someone took photos and the awards ceremony and interesting little phantom blogs showed up all around people.

The old hotel across from the Alamo was said to be haunted. In the night, someone kept knocking on doors. My thought was, why didn't people give their roommates or kids a key so we didn't have to put up with all that annoying knocking? Finally I peeked out--the knocking continued, but no one was there.

We stayed at the Bella Magfoire Bed and Breakfast in Ventura CA--once a hotel, a rooming house, then a flop house that was said to have a ghost. The room we stayed in definitely had an aura--but it wasn't the haunted room. The next time we went we asked for the haunted room 17. It was dinky and shared a balcony with another larger room. Because the hotel is near the beach, it isn't air-conditioned. But our room was overly warm despite two fans. The only window was a transom over the door, so we left the door open. At least until our neighbor warned us he was having a surprise birthday party on the balcony at 10 p.m. for his girlfriend with live music.

We shut the door when we went to bed. At 10 the party began, lovely music actually with a Spanish harp and a guitar and romantic songs. The party only lasted about an hour. Finally, to sleep but no ghost, not even any feelings of a ghost.

My daughter said she looked up the hotel and learned Room 17 was haunted by a prostitute who had committed suicide, but she only appeared to men. My husband slept through the party, so he probably slept through any attempts the ghost made to seduce him.

My son-in-law, a law enforcement officer, was killed in the line of duty. Terribly sad time, my daughter was devastated as were her three young sons. I went up to be with her and took care of her 3 year old son and a friend's five year old daughter at her house while everyone went to the rosary. I was in the living room where I could see both outside doors, the little girl came out from playing in the bedrooms and said, "Marilyn, there's a big man in Lori's bedroom."

Though I didn't see him, I knew it was my son-in-law. Later, when everyone came back to the house, his radio in the garage came on really loud on the Country Western station he loved to listen to. I think he wanted people to know he was still around.
My daughter and her children all felt him kiss them goodbye.

(I wrote a book with some similarities to what happened called Lingering Spirit that will soon be available on Kindle.)

We live in a very old house where many people have come and gone. All my grandkids say it's haunted. All I can say is doors do open and close when no one is there.

What do I believe about ghosts? One, I don't think they can hurt you. I think sometimes people are surprised when by their death (as in cases of accidents) and are reluctant to move on. I'm a Christian and definitely believe in Heaven and everything else the Bible says, but even the Bible talks about spirits and admonishes us not to call spirits back.

I also think that echoes of people who once inhabited a place can be felt--as on the Queen Mary. It is so much the way it used to be when it was the famous luxury liner, the past radiates from within its walls.

And if I have the opportunity to stay in another haunted hotel, believe me, I will.



Brian Kavanagh said…
Marilyn, I recall an experience on board the Queen Mary. About twenty-five years ago I was in LA with a friend and we went on board to tour the old ship. We joined a small group who were guided around on the tour and somehow or other we lost the group. We went down corridor after corridor and eventually found ourselves in the engine room! Eventually we found the way back on deck, but in all that time we never saw the group again, or any other living person. It was as though we had been led to the deserted engine room. Very strange and it certainly had an odd feeling.
Yes, that's how the Queen Mary is--strands you with no one around.

I've got a romance on Kindle with ghostly overtones based on my daughter's experiences when my son-in-law died


Popular posts from this blog

it's Not a Cozy! by Mar Preston


The Power of Identity by Donna Urbikas