alexandra_alexWhen an elementary school science fair welcomes an entry focusing on the paranormal, things might just be okay with the public school system after all.

After submitting a 2009 fair project focusing soley on Long Beach, California’s Queen Mary historic ship, 10 year old Alexandra, also from Long Beach, attended investigation tours at both the Queen Mary and San Diego’s Whaley House Museum. She compared paranormal experiences at the two haunting locations and presented her findings as a new 2010 fair entry.

Billed as The RMS Queen Mary vs The San Diego Whaley House: Which Has More Paranormal Activity?, teacher, student and parent reaction was enthusiastic with large groups huddled around Alexandra’s project board, ready to discover what she had uncovered at the two infamously haunted hot spots.

The RMS Queen Mary vs The Whaley House…
Which Has More Paranormal Activity?

I chose to do this project because I’m interested in the afterlife and want to find proof that ghosts exist.

I want to know which location has more paranormal activity, the Queen Mary or the Whaley House.

I think that the Queen Mary will have more paranormal activity

There are many different scientific tools used on paranormal investigations. On the two investigations I went on, the tools we used are:

EMF meter | The EMF meter measures electromagnetic fields. It must be used correctly to detect changes of energy in the area. It has to be laid on a flat surface with both ends facing North/South. You then must stay at least 3 feet away so it doesn’t pick up on your own body’s electromagnetic field. If there is a change in energy in the area, the EMF detector’s needle will move and it makes a squealing noise.

K2 meter | The K2 meter also measures electromagnetic fields, and the changes in energy are seen when the series of lights light up on the meter. You can try asking the ghosts a question and have them answer you by using their energy to make the lights light up.

Thermometer | Thermometers are used to measure the temperature of the air and to record if the area gets hotter or colder. About a 10-degree difference in a short amount of time shows that something paranormal may be happening.

IR thermometer | IR (infrared) thermometers measure the infrared energy in the area, then converts the energy factor into a temperature reading.

Infrared camera | This camera can detect infrared radiation the way a regular camera can detect light. It can be used in total darkness. Cooler or warmer temperature spots come up on the screen in different colors.

Voice recorder | Voice recorders are used to try to pick up EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). The investigator turns on the recorder, says the date, time, and location of the investigation, then asks the ghosts questions. You have to wait at least 10 seconds in silence before asking next question. After the investigation, you playback the session and listen if you got a response. If you hear something you think is paranormal, there is special software to run it through.

Camera | You use cameras to try to take a picture of a ghost or other paranormal activity. Different ways ghosts can make themselves known are light spots, dark spots, mist, orbs or apparitions.

Video recorder | Video recorders are used like cameras to try to record paranormal activity. You can carry it around or put it on a tripod to record a certain place.

Ovilus | The Ovilus device uses the energy fields around it and changes it into words. It has a synthesizer chip and an English dictionary and will sound out different words. You hold one part of the equipment, and its connected to another part that has the speaker. You ask questions and see if the responses are answers to the questions. Sometimes it will say words that are not in its dictionary, and the thought is that it’s a spirit’s energy answering.

The Queen Mary
The QM was a war ship in WW2. Her nickname was the Grey Ghost. It came to dock for good in Long Beach in 1967. There are many stories of hauntings on the ship. It is said to have the spirits of passengers, soldiers, workmen, POWs, and children. We investigated five areas of the ship.

1st class swimming pool | It is said that the spirit of a little girl named Jackie haunts the pool area. She is often heard giggling or singing. There are no records of a child drowning in the pool. It is also said that an energy vortex is in the changing rooms. There were no abnormal readings on the equipment to report.

alexandra_door13Engine room | It is said that the spirit of John Pedder haunts the Engine Room. During a routine drill John was rushing through watertight door 13 and was crushed. When you walk though watertight door 13 you may feel him touch or softly blow on your hair. There were no abnormal readings to report.

Room B340 |There are many different stories of murders that happened in room B340. But no records exist saying that anyone has been killed in there. Many different ghost hunting T.V. shows have investigated this room and even one has been accused faking a haunting. There were no abnormal readings to report.

Boiler room | When Disney owned the QM, they held shows on a stage where one of the boiler rooms are. They built a small changing room off to the side, which is called the “green room”. The green room is said to be haunted by a mean spirit that has been known to attack or hurt people. There were no abnormal readings to report.

alexandra_whaleyIsolation Ward | The isolation ward is where passengers or crew could be isolated if they got sick while the ship was at sea. Many people died in there while out to sea. There were no abnormal readings to report.

In all of the areas investigated, there were no abnormal equipment readings to record, and no one reported feeling the presence of any spirits. I took many photos and used a voice recorder to try to pick up some EVPs.

The Whaley House
The earliest known spirit to haunt the Whaley House is Yankee Jim. He was hanged for attempted grand larceny in 1852. The gallows he was hung off of are where the Whaley House now is. The Whaley family bought the land and built their home a few years after Yankee Jim died. Soon after they moved in they would hear heavy boot footsteps moving around the house. They felt it was the spirit of Yankee Jim.

Spirits of members of the Whaley family are also said to still be in the house. Thomas Whaley Jr. died in 1858 from scarlet fever at age 18 months old. He has been heard saying “mommy” and sometimes tugs on people’s shirts. Mr. Tanner, who ran the theatre troupe in the upstairs of the house died in 1868, and is sometimes seen around the theatre.

In 1885, Violet Whaley shot herself in the heart with her father’s gun outside, and was brought inside onto the lounge where she died. She has been seen in many photographs around the house. Thomas Whaley died in 1890, and is seen around the house and some people can smell his cigars still. Anna Whaley died in 1913 and can also be seen in different places through the house. Francis Whaley died in 1914, and has been seen around the house. Even Dolly the dog has been heard, seen, and felt in the house.

My mom and I were permitted by the Whaley House staff and San Diego Ghost Hunters to investigate the house by ourselves. It was the anniversary of Thomas Whaley Jr.’s death. We took many photos and used the voice recorder to try to record some EVPs in the theatre. Then during the investigation, we took more photos and did another EVP session in the dining room. We also were able to go into the master bedroom and use the Ovilus to try to communicate with the spirits.

I was able to use the K2 / EMF meter throughout the investigation. No abnormal readings to report. Many people on the investigation said they had felt the presence of spirits in the house. While we were all sitting in the courthouse talking about our experiences through the night, we heard a sound come from above that sounded like a billiard ball being hit hard and falling off the table. The staff told us that there is nothing but an empty loft above, and that there used to be a billiards table many years before that is no longer there.

From all my research and experiences I had at both places, I think the Whaley House has more paranormal activity.

I thought that it was wonderful that I got in contact with a spirit. Next time I would investigate the places many times before deciding if they are haunted or not. It takes a lot of time and research to do paranormal investigations.


Wheelock, Patrick
Founder, Beyond Investigation Magazine
Queen Mary, 1/15/10

Schulz, Matthew
The San Diego Ghost Hunters
The Whaley House, 1/29/10