Event Recap: Illusions of the Passed, A Theatrical Seance
Photo Credit: Matthew Martinez

In a strange coincidence, I had the opportunity to visit the Queen Mary on October 2, the very same day 76 years earlier that the HMS Curacoa collided with the Queen Mary killing 338 sailors. Much like a butcher’s cleaver, the bow of the Queen Mary rode up on the Curacoa splitting the ship in-two killing the vast majority of the Curacoa crew. Not surprisingly, the bow of the Queen Mary, with a small area known as the Rope Room Locker, is regarded as one of the most haunted areas of the ship. This Halloween season, the Queen Mary is offering guests the opportunity to embark on a paranormal investigation in this very room to communicate with the dead.

In 2019, the Queen Mary is bringing back master illusionist, Aiden Sinclair, to bridge the gap between magic and seance in Illusions of the Passed. During this 60 minute theatrical seance, guests will have the opportunity to learn about the departed passengers of the Queen Mary and witness seemingly impossible feats of magic. After the show, VIP patrons can experience a private Paranormal Investigation in the historic Rope Room Locker using special ghost hunting equipment. Attendees are left with the uneasy anticipation and eerie suspense of whether they encountered an other worldly entity.

Photo Credit: Matthew Martinez

There is a reason why Aiden Sinclair is regarded as a Master Illusionist. In his Illusions of the Passed experience, he combines history and sheer talent to achieve incredible acts of magic that can challenge even the greatest skeptic. It is clear that he puts a considerable amount of research into his performance by combing historical facts about the Queen Mary and archaic occult rituals. A major highlight is learning about the haunted history of the Queen Mary which is not only interesting but also helps immerse guests in the space by setting a mysterious tone for the experience. Occult rituals for communicating with the dead are also sprinkled in throughout the set which sets it apart from other magical performances. Grave bells, Bibliomancy, and a 1886 Key test, are all used as a way guests can experience an interaction with the beyond. Another highlight is that there is a significant amount of guest participation in the experience. Members of the audience may be asked to participate however have the freedom to decline. Using audience members makes Sinclair’s performance even more thrilling and difficult to explain. Even if you don’t believe in magic, there is a lot to appreciate about Illusions of the Passed. At $45 per person, it is absolutely worth a trip to the Queen Mary to experience this very well thought out and thrilling performance.

Photo Credit: Matthew Martinez

For an additional $50, ten attendees per evening can purchase the Paranormal VIP package and hunt for ghosts in the haunted Rope Room Locker, a point of impact in the 1943 collision with the HMS Curacoa killing 338 people. Shortly after the conclusion of Illusions of the Passed, Sinclair introduces equipment that will be used to detect the presence of spirits. A data logger that senses temperature, electromagnetic fields, vibration, and humidity is used as well as instruments that light up upon touch. Most notably, SB7 Spirit Box which is essentially a radio scanner propels the investigation. Sinclair explains, using the Estes method popularized at the Stanley Hotel, one blindfolded individual listens to the SB7 and shouts out words, images, and sensations, while the rest of the group asks questions to a spirit. Having never done a ghost investigation, I felt very eager and nervous to see if any of our questions were being answered through this peculiar process. It was difficult to determine for certain if there was or wasn’t a ghost or multiple ghosts present during the encounter. Some questions seemed to be answered whereas other vocalizations didn’t seem to fit. Sinclair prefaced the experience as sometimes there are visitors and other times there is not ensuring guests always receive a unique experience. Whether or not you interact with the beyond, the paranormal ghost investigation is bound to be a unique and interesting encounter. Particularly because no matter what you get access to the rarely seen Rope Room Locker which is an eerie dark alluring space rich with history. For adventurous guests who are open to the possibility of encountering the paranormal the Paranormal VIP package is a worthy endeavor aboard the Queen Mary.

With 49 reported deaths on the ship, years of service in WW2, and decades of supernatural accounts from visitors, the Queen Mary is one of the most ideal places to experience the paranormal. Beginning October 5th, for a limited time only guests can have a delightfully spooky experience on the Queen Mary. With the Paranormal VIP package attendees can experience Illusions of the Passed and the paranormal investigation for $95 per person. For guests that would just like to experience an outstanding theatrical seance, Illusions of the Passed tickets start at $45 per person. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.queenmary.com/tours/tours-exhibits/illusions-of-the-passed/

Photo Credit: Matthew Martinez
Danielle Nicole
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