By Kathy Murray
There are more than 200 museums dedicated to the ship we know as the Titanic. Some are lucky enough to display actual artifacts from the ship. In fact, almost 6,000 items have been removed from the scene of its demise. And some spirits have come along in the process…
On the evening of April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest passenger steamship in the world at the time, hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank in the early morning hours of April 15. The tragedy claimed 1,517 lives. Some of the bodies and wreckage were recovered not long after the incident, but the ship itself has been at the bottom of the Atlantic ever since. Its exact location was discovered in 1985, 2.5 miles below the ocean's surface. Frozen in time, a square mile's worth of furniture, coins, mirrors and other items surround the ship. Many articles recovered are now on display at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, a moving exhibit that travels to major cities throughout the world, telling the stories of those who lost their lives on that fateful day, as well as those who were lucky enough to escape alive. It appears that the jewelry, dinner plates and broken-off pieces of the ship aren't the only things on display though. No matter what city the Titanic museum visits, the dead seem to follow.
One would expect to feel at least a little sadness when walking through the halls of the exhibit, especially since these were the objects that people once held dear. But most of those who visit the museum have also felt as if they were being watched, as if someone unseen was standing right behind. Even children are not immune to experiencing haunted activity at the museum. One woman brought her 4-year-old grandson to the exhibition. Once they reached the first class quarters’ display, the little boy started asking questions like, “Who is that lady?" and "What is she doing?" Yet they were the only ones in the room.
Paranormal investigators have studied the museum and some have caught EVPs (electronic voice phenomena). Visitors feel invisible hands touch them on the arm while looking at the displays, and some have reported a suffocating feeling, perhaps as if they themselves were drowning. Many people have heard crying coming from the air beside them and have experienced a rocking sensation, as if they were on board a ship. Unexplained shadows are often seen and motion detectors go off at night when no one but night watchmen are in the building.
Did You Live or Not?
If Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition ever comes to a city near you, be sure to check it out, but be ready for an emotional experience. Before you get to see the artifacts, you are given a nametag. This contains the name of one of the actual passengers on the Titanic's maiden—and only—voyage, and you only learn of that person's fate right before you exit the exhibit. Did your person survive or not? Is the person on your nametag the one whose icy breath you feel on the back of your neck while you view the items recovered from the ocean floor? As for the ship itself, experts say that the Titanic won't be around for much longer due to human and environmental factors. One says, "Eventually there will be nothing left but a rust stain.”