The Haunted Delta Queen

Now gone, she'll always be a part of haunted Chattanooga

One of our favorite stops on our Chattanooga Ghost Tours is the haunted Delta Queen. Anyone who comes to Chattanooga is bound to see the Delta Queen, docked right on the Tennessee River within the city limits. This historic river boat is said to be home to more than a few ghosts, which is why it was always a main feature on our ghost tours. Unfortunately, some major has happened in the last few years!

The Delta Queen Has Left Chattanooga

A photo of the Tennessee River, which winds through downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was once home to the haunted Delta Queen.

It is with a sad hear that we tell you that one of the most popular stops on our Chattanooga Ghost Tours left Chattanooga in mid-2014. While this brings a little disappointment to us, it has also opened the door to add new stops to our ghost tours in the last few years.

For a while there, the Delta Queen's fate remained up in the air. Did it undock and head for greener (or bluer, as the case may be) pastures? Did it remain in the same port which it has operated for decades? Ultimately, the news of the steamboat's fate came through a group of investors, who agreed to purchase the Delta Queen.

For 80 years, the Delta Queen operated as a steamboat all around the country. Prior to arriving in Chattanooga, the Delta Queen was actually docked in New Orleans. After leaving Chattanooga, it is with a taste for irony that we can tell you that it currently docked in Houma, Louisiana, which is southweat of New Orleans. There are plans in the works to convert the famous steamboat into an overnight cruise, but nothing has been finalized as of yet.

But Wait! What Does this Mean for our Chattanooga Ghost Tours?

Not to worry, The Delta Queen moving has had little effect on our Chattanooga ghost tours. It simply has meant replacing the Delta Queen with a new haunted hotspot, of which Chattanooga has plenty!

We at Ghost City Tours have actually been excited about this new development, as we are always seeking to incorporate new, previously unknown, haunted locations in our tours. So, while we had have to say good-bye to the Delta Queen, we are excited for what new things have landed on our front stoop as a result.

The History and Ghosts of The Delta Queen

A photo of the haunted Delta Queen on the Tennessee River, one of the former stops on Ghost City's all-ages Ghost Tour of Chattanooga.

From 1927 until 2007, the Delta Queen logged over 2 million miles, transporting her guests up and down the rivers and waterways of America. While it can now be found in Houma, Louisiana, the haunted Delta Queen spent many years as a boutique hotel and as a popular stop on ghost tours in Chattanooga.

The Ghost of ‘Ma’ Greene

One of the more popular stories about ghosts on the Delta Queen involves ‘Ma.’ Back in the 1940’s, the Delta Queen had a captain--a female captain (which wasn’t all that common) named Mary Greene.

Mary ran a tight ship, no pun intended. There was no horseplay, no unkept uniforms, no attitude when Mary was on board. While she was a small woman, only around 5'2", Mary ruled the Delta Queen with authority. One thing she was very adamant about . . . there was to never be any alcohol on board the Delta Queen.

Glasses have been known to be thrown across the bar at people enjoying drinks. It doesn’t take much imagination to think this could very well be the ghost of Mary Greene, still refusing to hand over control of the Delta Queen, even after death. ‘Ma’ Greene, as she was affectionately called by the staff, died onboard The Delta Queen. In April 1949, Mary went to her cabin to retire for the night. They had just arrived in Cincinnati Ohio. Tired from the long journey up the Mississippi, Mary was exhausted and needed some sleep. Unfortunately, she never woke up. ‘Ma’ Greene died in her cabin, at the age of 79.

Now, if that was the only thing that has happened on the Delta Queen while docked in Chattanooga, we can see where you would think it was a big leap to assume that this activity was Mary.

You might think that way, until you run into Mary's spirit walking one of the decks of the Delta Queen at night. Yep, that is right. Many guests and staff have reported seeing the ghost of Mary, still patrolling the decks of the Delta Queen. She never seems to acknowledge the people who see her. Instead she just keeps going on about her way.

When The Delta Queen was still docked in Chattanooga, many people on ghost tours often took photographs of the Delta Queen, hoping for a mist or something to appear in one of the frames. When they returned home and looked at their photographs, they almost always saw what appears to be a ghostly apparition floating on the dock.

Visiting the Delta Queen

While the ghost of ‘Ma’ Greene may be the most famous ghost which haunts the Delta Queen, she is far from the only one. We have spent time researching the history of the Delta Queen, even talking to people who have been associated with it for many years. Obviously we can’t spill the beans on the whole ghost story of the Delta Queen, so we save the whole story for our ghost tours. For more information about the ghost tours that Ghost City Tours offers in Chattanooga please visit our Chattanooga Ghost Tours page. To purchase tickets for our ghost tours, you can call our office at 888-859-5375 between the hours of 9 am and 10 pm CST.

Visiting Chattanooga anytime soon?

If you're looking for the perfect way to explore the haunted city of Chattanooga, check out one of our Chattanooga Ghost Tours. We look forward to showing you around our beautifully haunted city.

Do you have any questions for us? Call us toll-free at 1-888-859-5375 or contact us here.