All of us love a great mystery, possibly even a ghost story. Since the first days of humankind’s interaction with the ocean, we’ve learned to honor the power of the seemingly endless expanse of nature in its most tempestuous form. Then you will find ghost ships, and all other sorts of horrors out in the sea. Creaking, empty boats that drift through fog and rain, these boats have been occupying our nightmares for decades, along with the fear of what slithers below the waters. Some are tales, others are just rumors. But some are extremely real. Many of these ancient haunting tales out in the ocean come from the past few centuries, when much of trade was done by traversing the open wide seas.
The horrors that exist out in the ocean aren’t always about horrendous sea monsters or ghosts wandering below the depths. Many of the ghosts come in forms of paranormal anomalies that linger out in the sea, from burning ships out in the middle of the ocean, to ships full of missing crew nowhere to be found, and everything in between. What scares us the most is that many of these stories date back years and years, but these situations continue to happen, with the latest one occurring just nearly 10 years ago in Australia. What’s happening to these people who venture out in the sea?
15. The Mary Celeste
On December 5, 1872 the team of sailing boat Dei Gratia unintentionally stumbled upon a few of the planet’s scariest mysteries: the Mary Celeste. However, an eerie air surrounded the boat. The Mary Celeste was completely empty. Literally, not a soul was to be found anywhere. The lone lifeboat was lost, and the team was nowhere to be seen.
There were not any indications of violence, nor any symptoms of mutiny. There were absolutely no indications of tragedy. Even though the narrative about the meals on the captain’s desk still being warm when they were found is false, the empty boat was still sufficient enough to start up the finder’s imagination. Through time, everything from the Bermuda Triangle to evil omens have been blamed for the mysterious missing ghost boat’s crew. However, the actual explanation is likely much simpler. The puzzle of the Mary Celeste has been haunting our minds for well over hundreds and hundreds of years.
14. The Ourang Medan
The Ourang Medan’s Narrative is unsettling and creepy. Back in 1947 (some sources state 1948), two American boats picked up an urgent distress call in the Dutch cargo ship off the coast of Indonesia. Approaching, they discovered the boat drifting, seemingly abandoned… and with an extremely gruesome surprise waited on the boat
The ghost boat was littered with dead bodies. Literally everywhere. In every single room, hallway and all over the ship. The corpses of the sailors lay in heaps, covering the majority of the inside of the ship along with their animals. Virtually all of the bodies had a look of absolute terror on their faces. A fire ended up breaking out upon that ship that ultimately claimed the entire crew.
13. The Lyubov Orlova, A Modern Ghost Ship
This Lyubov Orlova’s destiny is very bizarre and extremely real. If a giant flying hulk ship wandering aimlessly among one of the ice fields of the Arctic Circle, crewed by hordes of cannibal rats, seems like the setup for some horror story, think again. A luxury cruise-liner from the former Yugoslavia was impounded to pay back the debts of the owner. They led the boat to drift away, presumably in the hopes that it would sink in an oncoming storm, after the government wasn’t able to sell off it for scraps of any kind.
The Lyubov Orlova drifted off and away, now overrun with cannibalistic rats eating each other to stay alive. Ever since then, there have been sightings of it in Britain. The Orlova is presumed sunk. There is a risk that the ghost ship out there. Perhaps surprises are in store for the unlucky sailors who stumble upon it.
12. SS Baychimo
Not many ghost ships are frightful harbingers of rats and doom. For over 38 decades, the vacant SS Baychimo has been an eerie, haunted-upon-the-seas favorite.
Originally abandoned after a blizzard that happened in Alaska in 1931, the Baychimo created a name for itself by seemingly being unsinkable. Already many decades old from the time it had been cast adrift, the prior cargo boat continued to haunt the seas around Newfoundland before 1969 as it had been last observed caught in packed ice. Dozens of sightings have been reported. Nowadays, it’s believed that the Baychimo currently resides on the sea floor, even though Alaska authorities have been trying to find the phantom ship’s mess, which has been completely ineffective. Sometimes we just never know.
11. HMS Eurydice
One of the most tragic of all naval disasters you could image was The HMS Eurydice. In 1878, the ship ended up getting caught up in terrible weather conditions off the coast of the UK. Literally, within only minutes, the entire ship ended up capsizing and pulling its entire 317 members of crew down with her. It wouldn’t be long after until curious visitors and sightseers started noticing and reporting a bizarre phantom-like ship sailing the ocean, exactly where the ship had sunk before.
The creepiest thing about the whole thing is that so many people have actually seen it. It was actually in 1930 that a British submarine was forced to turn away, as the ghost ship approaching directly above them on the open sea. Practically a whole 70 years later now, Mr. Edward ended up sighting the ghost ship in a TV Interview. It only slowly faded away more and more into the mist after that. Since then, there have been many claims of seeing the haunting ship among the seas.
On December 14, 1928, The Kobenhavn disappeared when it was en route to the Rio de La Plata, an area between Argentina and Uruguay. This was the last place where it was seen.
The ship was in touch with its radio communications all the way up to December 21st, but it was never heard from again after that. Of course, after its disappearance, there were many theories that had come up to try to explain the ship’s disappearance. It is more than likely that it had struck an iceberg in the nighttime fog of the ocean. It wasn’t many years later until people started seeing the mysterious phantom ship at sea.
9. The Flying Dutchman
One of the most well-known and famous haunted ships of all time still haunts the waters off of Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The name of the ship comes from the captain, and no one is quite sure what happened. The most notable theory is that Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken encountered a terrible storm and ended up hitting a large rock, which in turn sunk the ship and took down everything with it, including the crew.
The ship is said to sail the seas as ghosts, looking for forgiveness for going against the wrath of God and Mother Nature. It is even believed that as a ghost ship, they are restrained from any boat port and are forced to travel the open waters of the ocean on which they perished until the end of time.
8. The Carroll A. Deering
There is a lot of speculation that revolves around this particular ship. Many people believe that this vessel fell prey to the Bermuda Triangle. Of course, there are other theories that include pirates, smugglers, supernatural events and just about everything else you can think of, but there was no official ruling ever made as to the disappearance.
The story goes that in 1921, a little off the shore line of North Carolina, the ship was found with literally the entire crew gone. Upon further inspection of the boat, the navigation equipment, and all the crews personal belongings and the two lifeboats that were attached to the ship were gone as well. It was so startling at the time that the government actually launched a full-on investigation but came up with nothing.
7. The SS Valencia
This boat has some of the most supernatural encounters since its demise in 1906. The ship itself was filled with nine officers, 108 passengers, as well as over 50 different crew members, and it set sail from San Francisco to Seattle. Unfortunately, it did not make it. After hitting some horrible weather with atrocious amounts of wind, some of the lifeboats ended up flipping and capsizing.
There are disturbing accounts that you can read by some of the survivors. What’s even worse is that the death toll was a staggering 136. What’s really creepy is that only 27 years after the ship had sunk, people started seeing lifeboats from that same ship in near-perfect condition, floating around where the ship had sunk.
Zebrina was originally set for sale to France, but was actually found washed ashore in 1917 with all of its cargo, which was full of coal and its sales were perfectly intact. It had an extremely small crew of five people, and all five of them were missing. Upon further inspection of the boat, there were no clear signs of any sort of struggle, but it is believed that they could have possibly been intercepted by a U-boat from Germany and from there, brought aboard their vessel. From there on out, it seems possible that everybody was actually attacked by the Royal naval ships before the Germans could actually do anything to the boat, therefore it washed ashore empty. Of course, nobody really knows and it is all just speculation. The creepy thing is that people still to this day, a hundred years later, see the Zebrina sailing around off the coast of France.
5. The Jenny
The Jenny has probably one of the most interesting stories to it, as it is dubbed the Ship of Ice by an Australian poet by the name of Rosemary Dobson. The Jenny ended up being a ship that actually got trapped and preserved in Antarctic ice.
One of the unique and extremely haunting things about this ship is that the captain’s diary was found, in which he claims that there had been no food for over 70 days and that he was the only one left alive. When he was found, he was actually frozen along with the rest of his entire crew. Like the rest of the ships, the ghost ship was actually spotted twenty-odd years after it went missing and it continues to be seen to this day along the Arctic Waters.
4. MV Joyita
This is another perfect case of a haunting ghost ship. It was thought to be an unsinkable merchant ship hanging out in the South Pacific in 1955. Like many of the other stories, the passengers and crew were all found missing, but there is speculation that there was panic when supposedly the captain had died. Others believe that the crew just so happened to come upon some Japanese fishing boats that were partaking in illegal fishing activities. The most widely accepted theory is that mutiny took over and water pump failure ended up taking over the ship. It’s more than likely that it was just left abandoned in the stormy Pacific Ocean. The creepy thing is that the passengers and crew, which supposedly escaped, were never heard from again, nor is there any record of them appearing anywhere.
3. The Kaz II
This is another missing ship that has continued to baffle investigators and go on unexplained. In 2007, the ship The Kaz II was found drifting along the coast of Australia. The small three-man crew aboard were nowhere in sight. The table and boat was fully stocked with fresh food and a fully functioning laptop was not only on, but sitting open.
Even the GPS and radio were fully operational and received full signal. Every life jacket was accounted for. It was as if they had literally just vanished. There’s speculation that one man fell overboard and the others jumped in to save him only for all of them to meet their fate in the sea. They were never found and to this day, it continues to be an open investigation.
2. Lady Lovibond
This is a classic love tragedy at its finest. Apparently, the ship had wrecked on Goodwin Sands in the English Channel in 1748. It’s suspected that the first mate purposely crashed the boat after the captain’s wife shot down all of his advances towards her. However, since then there has been this eerie, extremely creepy glowing ship that appears right at the site of the sinking every 50 years. There have been multiple sightings of the same apparition ghost ship in 1798, 1848, 1898, and again in 1948. What’s bizarre is that there was no sighting for the 250th anniversary 1998. Could it all just be an urban legend?
1. Burning Ships
In Canada, it’s reported that the Northumberland Strait and the coast of Nova Scotia are said to be constantly haunted by the sight of burning phantom ships. Sightings of these burning ships have been reported all over the world. There are of course many reports of ships catching fire and burning and sticking to the sea, but these particular ones seem to come out at night.
Rhode Island even has its own phantom flaming ship. In Alabama, there’s an old ship that sailed on the river that is still said to haunt the riverways of the Tombigbee river.
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