Hi Reading Friends,
I have to write this like a letter today, because I’m still so wrapped up in last week’s trip to Long Beach, CA and the Bouchercon experience. But, just so that this doesn’t become too blah, blah, blah . . .
I ended up with some great stuff from the event, and I’d like to share it with you. Please read my next few posts on Bouchercon, and you may win some of the SWAG (Stuff We All Get) from my adventure.
My Ghostly Adventure
At the conference I was lucky enough to stay on board the Queen Mary cruise ship. I only brought my phone for photos this time and didn’t do a great job of snaps, but my friend, Catherine Dilts, has some terrific shots on her blog this week.
The Queen Mary is permanently docked in Long Beach and acts as a hotel now. The atmosphere has been restored to that of its glory years from 1936 to 1939, when she carried such luminaries as Bob Hope, Clark Gable, Winston Churchill, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The promenade decks have the original wood floors, there are life sized posters of photos from the grand era, and the main ballroom is an exquisite art-deco period room (yes, I got to see it on the tour). In short, if you have a chance to visit and don’t, you need to turn in your historian of the year badge. This place is great!
Anyway, the first evening on board I went on the Queen’s ghost tour. Oh my goodness! Our guide, Thomas, took us to places you can’t go to normally. He told us wonderfully creepy stories of people being woken in the night by strangers holding wrenches and lights who shake them awake then disappear in the shaking of sheets. Then we went to a room that the hotel stopped renting out because people reported such frightening experiences they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) stay in it another night. The room had been stripped bare even of the beautiful wood veneer that lined the walls of the ship. It was cold, dark and creepy. I was thrilled.
Needless to say, by the end of the tour, I was whispering in the dark that the ghosts could skip visiting my room if they’d like.
The next morning, I started recording “ghosties,” my personal experiences with the “not-quite-normal.” Here are a couple of them:
“6:15am – Just a moment ago, my alarm went off–for the second time this morning. It is set for 5:15 and I had woken to the alarm an hour ago, turned the thing off completely, even acknowledging the “if you turn this off, it won’t ring again” warning. I rechecked and the alarm is indeed off.” Ghostie!
“7:04 am – Well, not really, but odd. I’m at the Passport Bus Stop waiting for the free bus to take me over to the convention. A taxi pulls up and the driver asks if I called for a cab. I said no, and he says to me, “So your name’s not Lisa?” I replied, “Yes, I’m Lisa, but I didn’t call a cab.” He rephrased his question saying that the front desk had called for me, but again I said no. The cab drove off into the parking lot. I looked down at my reading and thirty seconds later there’s no sign of him or the cab.” Ghostie!
Whether or not these are true ghostly experiences, I had the thrill of a chill, and they may just make story sparks sometime.
And the locals seem to believe that the Queen Mary is truly haunted. A couple of the bus drivers mentioned it and a special needs man was absolutely certain the ship is haunted. He said “everybody knows it’s haunted. It’s haunted all right.”
Do you believe in ghosts?
Even though science has yet to prove the existence of ghosts and form after death, almost 50% of Americans believe in them. A CBS poll in 2005 had 48% of Americans believing and a 2013 Huffington Post survey confirmed 45% hold on to this thought. Where do you stand? Are ghosts a part of your life? Do you like ghost stories?
Have a creep-free, but perhaps chilling week, my friend.