The Delta Queen Riverboat; Eloquent, Historic & Haunted

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 5th Jan 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Paranormal>Ghosts & Spirits

The dark and murky waterways of the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers are home to some of the most malevolent and mischievous ghosts of the south, and the Delta Queen steamboat with her eloquent steam paddle wheel, who rides quietly along those rivers is considered one of the most haunted national treasures currently floating today.

Paranormal Activity & Nostalgia, Reminders from the Steamboat's Only Female Pilot

The Delta Queen is not only considered one of the most historic ships around still today, it could quite possibly be the most haunted. Rumors of paranormal activity surfaced after Mary Greene passed away while on the ship. Mary Greene was one of the founders of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, and she was the first female pilot to navigate the massive vessel. She was opinionated, caring and loved by all who knew her. Due to her mothering tendencies, she was dubbed "Ma Greene" by those who were the closest to her. Ma Greene wanted the boat to run in accordance with what would be considered family friendly, making everyone feel welcome. She strictly denied the use of alcohol on the ship despite the many protests from the crew and the visitors who rode on the ship. Sales of alcoholic beverages were simply not considered a part of the package.

In 1949 at the age of 80, Mary Greene died her cabin, room 109, located on board the Delta Queen. Not long after her death, a saloon was set up, offering passengers cocktails, shots and other forms of libation. The results of this obvious betrayal of the former boat pilots wishes resulted in a catastrophic wreck with a barge. This day was soon marked in history as being one of the strangest by far where the steamboat was concerned. Paranormal activity quickly became evident on a daily basis. Most of the crew felt that the ghost lurking around the ship was none other than Ma Greene, showing her disapproval of the sales of alcohol on her beloved Delta Queen Riverboat.

A Historic Landmark Is Transformed Back to Her Glory days

The nostalgic vessel was built in the 1920's. The Delta Queen was at one time used for transporting goods and later the Navy commissioned her services during WWII when the river boat transported wounded soldiers to hospitals in need of medical treatment. Since her early days the Delta Queen has gone through millions of dollars of repairs, bringing the historic landmark back to her former glory days. The haunted ship was moored dockside up until 2014 during the time of her intense renovations.

The Haunting of Cabin 109

Several crew members and hundreds of passengers have witnessed strange activity in and around cabin 109. An apparition of an elderly woman has been seen walking around the ship and a few people have reported that the ghost has actually come right out and announced that she was cold and needed a blanket. When staying in room 109, passengers have claimed to have been woke up by someone whispering in their ear. Ma Greene is also known to slam doors to get the attention of crew members when they try to ignore her requests. Crew members sometimes receive calls in the middle of the night that come from cabin 109. Once they arrive to the room they discover that it is empty, but are often graced with a grandmotherly presence who is none other than Ma Greene. She doesn't pose any threats, she is just doing the job she loves, watching over her beloved Delta Queen.

Today the Delta Queen is owned by a private company who wishes to preserve and protect her. Cornel Martin, president and chief executive of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co., said his goal is to complete extensive mechanical and hotel renovations on the vessel and return it to service in 2016. The Delta Queen is formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is classified as a National Historic Landmark. The National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the Delta Queen as a National Treasure.



Alcohol, Beverages, Boat, Delta Queen, Mary Greene, Millions, Mississippi, National Treasure, Navy, Ohio, Paddle Wheel, Pilot, Renovations, Repairs, River, Riverboat, Ship, Steamboat, Tennessee, Vessel, Wwii

Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
5th Jan 2016 (#)

Sherri, excellent article as always! You never fail to give me goosebumps. This is one of the best ghosts stories to date. If I were the new owners I'd make sure there's no alcohol served. Ma Green doesn't like it. I can assure you I will not be going on a ride on the Delta Queen Riverboat. It's too scary for me.

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