New children’s book dives into the history of the Queen Mary through its most haunted tales

Living in Texas didn’t stop children’s author Shelli Timmons from writing her first book, “The Ghostly Tales of the Queen Mary” which, as you can surmise from the title, is all about the ghost lore of the Queen Mary. Actually, she had a lot of help from ghost hunters/historians Brian Clune and Bob Davis who have dedicated the last 10 years or so to exploring the country’s most haunted places.

They’ve compiled their findings on their website, Planet Paranormal, that also hosts an internet radio show including other paranormal podcasts and a forum for paranormal fanatics to share their experiences.

Clune and Davis say one of their favorite haunted spaces is the Queen Mary and the two published a comprehensive book titled, “Ghosts of the Queen Mary” on all the history and paranormal fascinations—including some 600 ghosts, according to the pair—of the RMS Queen Mary that’s solidified the historic liner as one of the most haunted places in the country.

Distilling Brian and Bob’s research into a fun, young adult version is Timmon’s book, “The Ghostly Tales of the Queen Mary,” set to hit shelves Monday, Sept. 7. The new children’s book is one of eight titles in Arcadia Publishing’s new series, “Spooky America” that samples ghost lore from all regions of the U.S., penned for audiences ages 8 through 12.

Timmon’s book illustrates the ship’s history—from troop transport during WWII, to a luxury ocean liner, to retirement as a hotel and tourist attraction—through the stories of the Queen Mary’s most recognizable ghosts as well as its most famous non-haunted guests, such as Winston Churchill.

Sharing sizeable page space will be Little Jacky, you know, the presumably sweet girl who drowned in the Queen Mary’s second-class pool (why it was called a second-class pool you’ll find out in the book) and the White Lady, dressed in—you guessed it—white, who reportedly haunts the first-class lounge and, therefore, would never have found herself in the second-class pool. Grumpy The Ghost is said to growl at visitors, but since his identity has never been determined, we think it’s much nicer to imagine that Grumpy The Ghost walks on all fours.

The book promises a spine tingling experience, but the unpublished excerpt we read reads more as an amusing history lesson, which might fare better for the parents who prefer their children not wake them, crying and terrified in the middle of the night. Sometimes, it’s nice to read about ghost stories that don’t take themselves too seriously.

“The Ghostly Tales of the Queen Mary” releases Sept. 7 from Arcadia Publishing, you can pre-order a copy on Amazon. Visit Arcadia Publishing’s website to learn more.

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Cheantay Jensen is an editorial intern who covers art and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post.
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