known ghost ships

  • Creepiest Ghost Ships Ever ...
  • Disappeared & Never Found
  • The Sunken SS Andrea Doria
  • Shipwrecks That Ended in Ca...
  • Haunting Pics of Underwater...
  • Ghost Stories from the Ocean
  • The Graveyard of the Atlantic
  • What Happened During 'The P...
  • The Mysterious Mary Celeste
  • Satellite Views of Famous S...
  • The Legend of the Hollow Ship
  • The Real Story Behind 'Adrift'
  • Are These Pics of Nautical ...
  • They Called It 'Murder Island'
  • The Horrifying Tale of the ...
  • Grisly Murders That Happened On Or Were Directl...
  • Skeletons on the Shores of ...
  • Awesome Tragic Old Shipwrecks

The Creepiest Ghost Ships Ever Found

Jen Lennon

What are ghost ships? They are empty vessels that have been found abandoned at sea. Often, the crew’s disappearance is mysterious. There is no obvious evidence left on board to explain what happened to the boat or its passengers.

So are ghost ships real? Have people really seen ghost ships? Definitely. While there are some purely mythical tales of specter-like ships like The Flying Dutchman floating on the dark sea, most ghost ship stories are all too real.

This list includes stories of real ghost ships that were found floating on the open ocean without their crew. Sometimes there’s an explanation for what happened, but many times there isn’t. If you’re afraid of the ocean, you should probably steer clear of this list, it’s going to absolutely terrify you.

The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste

On November 7, 1872, the Mary Celeste left New York for Genoa, Italy. On December 5, 1872, the ship was found abandoned near the coast of Portugal. Everything on board, including the cargo and the crew’s belongings, was undisturbed. The last entry in the log book was dated November 25 and the only thing missing was a single life boat. Ten people had simply vanished, leaving behind no trace of what happened to them.

The Lunatic Piran

The Lunatic Piran

Jure Šterk was an accomplished sailor who had completed a solo trip around the world between 1991 and 1994. In 2007, he set out from New Zealand on another journey. At 70 years old, he was looking to become the oldest man to ever sail around the world without touching land. In April 2009, his sailboat, the Lunatic Piran , was found adrift off the coast of Australia. Its sail was torn to shreds.

The last entry in the log book was from January 1, and Šterk was nowhere to be found.

The Carroll A. Deering

The Carroll A. Deering

The first half of the Carroll A. Deering ’s last journey went smoothly. The schooner delivered its cargo of coal to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, without a problem. It was the journey back to North Carolina that went wrong.

On January 31, 1921, the boat was spotted after it ran aground off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC. The water was too dangerous to approach at the time, but when rescue crews arrived on February 4, they found the ship abandoned. The crew’s belongings were gone, along with the ship’s navigation equipment and logs. Its two lifeboats were missing.

An investigation was launched by five federal government departments, but no one ever figured out what happened aboard the ship.

The MV Joyita

The MV Joyita

The trip from Samoa to Tokelau was only supposed to take 48 hours. The MV Joyita was carrying twenty-five people, and somehow, over the course of two days, they all disappeared.

There were signs that something was wrong on October 6, 1955. The merchant vessel was due in Tokelau on October 5, and when it didn’t arrive, the Royal New Zealand Air Force began a search and rescue operation. But by October 12, there was still no sight of the ship. The rescue mission was called off.

Five weeks later, the captain of another ship spotted the Joyita off the coast of Fiji. It was more than 600 miles west of Tokelau. It was practically laying on its side: thanks to its cork-lined hull, it was nearly impossible to sink, but the ship was clearly wrecked. There was no sign of the captain, crew, or passengers. There were blood-stained bandages found on the deck, and it was clear that the boat had sprung a leak, but no one could figure out why everyone abandoned ship. To this day, it’s a mystery that remains unsolved.

The Kaz II

In April 2007, a 32-foot catamaran was spotted by a helicopter off the northwest coast of Australia. The helicopter pilot noticed that the catamaran seemed to be drifting, and no crew was spotted aboard. Two days later, search and rescue teams boarded the Kaz II . There was no sign of the crew.

The Kaz II left Queensland, Australia on April 15, 2007. It was manned by three people: Des Batten, the owner, and Peter and James Turnstead. They had planned to sail around the northern coast of Australia back to Perth, in western Australia, where they lived. But when rescuers boarded the empty boat five days later, they were puzzled. Everything was in its proper place, including the life jackets and the emergency beacon. The only thing wrong was that one of the sails was shredded. And yet, all three men were gone.

There was an investigation, hearings, coroner’s reports. In the end, it was believed that one of the brothers had fallen into the ocean while trying to untangle a fishing line. The other two fell in trying to rescue him, and all three drowned. But their bodies were never found, and no one will ever really be sure what happened aboard the Kaz II .

The SS Valencia

The SS Valencia

The SS Valencia was a passenger ship that struck a reef on a journey between San Francisco and Seattle in 1906. Over 100 people died as the ship filled with water. The Valencia was equipped with five life rafts; in the aftermath of the disaster, only four were found.

Twenty-seven years later, the last lifeboat was found. It was floating, completely intact, in the Barkley Sound, off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. There was no one aboard, no indication of how it had survived so long at sea. It just appeared, empty, seemingly out of thin air. And the Valencia ? It was left to rot on the reef. For years afterward, sailors claimed they saw it, floating, unmanned, out in the sea.

The Jian Seng

The Jian Seng

The Jian Seng was a tanker ship found floating near Queensland, Australia in 2006. There was no crew, and weirdest of all, no registration. There was a broken tow line at the bow, and it was inoperable, with the interiors gutted, so Queensland police surmised that it was being towed to a salvage yard.

But they were never able to find out anything else about it: not where it came from, not where it was going, not how long it had been at sea. All they knew was that it was called the Jian Seng and it was adrift, and the rest remained a mystery.

The Ocean Wave

The Ocean Wave

In July 1975, Dutch performance artist Bas Jan Ader set sail from Cape Cod, MA, in a twelve-foot boat. His goal was to set a record for the smallest boat to ever cross the Atlantic from west to east on a solo journey. After three weeks, radio communication with Ader was lost. Ten months later, his ship was found adrift off the coast of Ireland. He was nowhere to be found.

Some people speculate that his journey was his last performance piece; that he had intended to commit suicide once he set sail. Others think he may have accidentally fallen overboard, which is not an unreasonable assumption for an inexperienced seaman. But whether or not his disappearance was intentional, the body of work he left behind has turned Ader into something of a folk legend.

The Lyuobov Orlova

The Lyuobov Orlova

The Lyuobov Orlova was a shipping vessel that was impounded in Newfoundland, Canada, in 2010. Its owner was in serious debt, and its crew hadn’t been paid in months. In 2012, the ship was scheduled to be scrapped after being towed to the Dominican Republic. Once its journey was underway, though, the tow line snapped, leaving the Orlova adrift. The Canadian government sent out another tow ship which successfully regained control of the Orlova , but rather than bringing it back to Newfoundland, they just dragged it out into international waters and let it go.

In 2014, it was feared that the ship was going to crash onto the coast of Ireland; a satellite picked up a large mass in the ocean near Scotland, but search crews found nothing. That didn’t stop the UK press from running wild with theories about the ghost ship, though. Many articles claimed that the ship’s landfall was imminent and it was filled with cannibalistic rats . But the ship was never actually sighted and it is presumed to have sunk.

The SS Baychimo

The SS Baychimo

The SS Baychimo was a shipping boat that got trapped in some ice off the coast of Vancouver, Canada in 1931. The crew abandoned ship and sought safety in a nearby town, figuring that they could return to the ship once some of the ice melted. But when they went back two days later, the ship had broken free of the ice and was floating freely in the water. A storm set in and they were unable to board it, eventually losing sight of the ship altogether.

They figured that it had sunk, but later that week, they heard from a local hunter that he had seen it floating 45 miles away. The crew tracked down the ship, but they decided it was too badly damaged to sail. They salvaged some of its cargo and abandoned the ship for good. For the next 23 years, sailors reported seeing the Baychimo floating around the Arctic. It was last seen in 1969, but no one really knows if it finally sunk, or if it’s still out there, floating around in the far north.

The Zebrina

The Zebrina

In 1917, the Zebrina left England for France. Only two days after its departure, the ship was found off the northern coast of France. It had run aground, and the captain and crew were missing. The boat was perfectly intact, which led some to speculate that the crew had been held hostage and taken aboard a German U-boat, which was then sunk.

While there is no evidence to support that theory, a ghost ship found during World War I is awfully suspicious.

The High Aim 6

The High Aim 6

Australia has some serious bad luck when it comes to ghost ships. In January 2003, the High Aim 6 , an Indonesian fishing boat, was found floating off the coast of Australia. The captain, chief engineer, and all ten crew members were missing. The captain hadn’t been in contact with anyone since December. Phone records showed that the engineer’s cell phone had made numerous calls after the ship was found.

When police tracked down one of the crew members, he said that there had been a mutiny, the captain and engineer were killed, and the crew had gone home. Just another day of murdering and fleeing the scene, NBD. The crew member couldn’t explain why the captain and engineer were killed, and no charges were ever filed. The police never found the rest of the crew.

The SS Ourang Medan

The SS Ourang Medan

In 1947, the Ourang Medan left China for Puerto Rico. In June of that year, several other ships in the Strait of Malacca, Indonesia, received an S.O.S. from the Ourang Medan . It read, “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” After a moment, another message was transmitted: “I die.”

When the crew of another ship was finally able to board the Ourang Medan , they found all of its crew dead, with terrified looks on their faces. They decided to tow the boat back to land, but before they could do that, the Ourang Medan exploded and sank. Its wreckage has never been found.

There is speculation that the ship was carrying highly toxic chemicals; some even allege it was carrying biological weapons. Many believe that the Ourang Medan is just a myth, that it never existed at all. Maybe it’s just sailor’s lore, but with a story this good, does it really matter?

  • Graveyard Shift
  • Strange True Stories
  • Tales from the Internet

Visiting the mysterious empty and sunken vessels of the deep blue sea.

Disappeared & Never Found

10 Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships

By bess lovejoy | jul 3, 2015 | updated: nov 2, 2021, 2:00 pm edt.

shaunl/iStock via Getty Images

The sea can be a haunted place. Maritime lore is rife with stories about ghost ships , whether they’re at-sea apparitions that bewilder viewers before vanishing into thin air, or mysterious vessels found sailing the oceans with no one aboard.

The most famous ship in the latter category is likely the Mary Celeste , discovered adrift near the Azores in 1872 without a soul in sight. Its story has continued to fascinate, helped along in part by Arthur Conan Doyle 's 1884 short story "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement."

But while explanations connected to ships like the Mary Celeste will be endlessly debated, ghostly ship apparitions belong to a different realm—one of the imagination. And while plausible scientific explanations have been put forth to explain these sighting and the legends around them—from optical illusions to rotting vegetation—it can sometimes be fun to consider these tales just for themselves, and their ability to captivate our imaginations.

1. Flying Dutchman

The story usually goes something like this: An anxious captain paces the deck of his massive ship as it struggles against a storm, vowing to pass the Cape of Good Hope whatever the cost. A mysterious voice hears his oath and, as punishment for his recklessness to the crew, condemns him to sail the seas around the cape for eternity, his glowing ship serving as a warning to other mariners of bad weather and the cost of hubris.

First noted in the late 18th century, the legend of Flying Dutchman is the most famous story of a phantom vessel in European and American lore. It has inspired the imaginations of Washington Irving, Richard Wagner, Sir Walter Scott, and many others. The earliest accounts describe the apparition in connection with the crew of a Dutch ship lost off the Cape of Good Hope in a storm or due to disease, perhaps as punishment for some kind of horrible crime. An 1821 account in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine introduced the name Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken, said to have sworn an oath vowing to pass the Cape in a storm even if it meant eternal damnation.

Sightings of the Flying Dutchman (the name can refer to both the ship and its captain) have continued into the 19th and 20th centuries. Even the future King George V described seeing a ship glowing with a “strange red light” off the coast of Australia in 1881. In March 1939, about a dozen people claimed to have seen the vessel off the coast of South Africa. During World War II, German Admiral Karl Dönitz said that members of the crew of one of his U-boats had seen the Dutchman while patrolling off Cape Town.

Some reports mention a crew of skeletons dancing in the rigging. Others warn that the ship has the ability to lure other vessels onto the rocks— supposedly the captain is jealous of other ships who might pass the cape, and will do everything in his power to prevent them, whether that means spoiling their food or ensuring their death in a storm.

2. Baron Falkenberg

Germany’s North Sea is haunted by the legend of the medieval Baron Falkenberg, whose story is said to begin when his long-lost brother returned home rich and planned to marry a village maiden that the baron himself had his eye on. At the wedding feast, the plentiful food and champagne temporarily soothed the baron’s soul. But not for long—according to one telling, the baron’s brother “touched him up in the wrong place," whereupon the baron picked up a champagne bottle and bashed his brother over the head. The groom fell down dead, and his bride ran screaming into the room. The baron tried to convince her of his love, but she declared she would rather die than accept him. The baron took her declaration literally and stabbed a knife into her heart. Then the baron fled to the beach, where he found a boat and a man who stood up and said "The captain has been expecting you." The baron got into the boat, which took him to a gray ship, and he hasn’t disembarked for 600 years.

Those who have seen the baron’s vessel say it’s always heading north, without helm or helmsmen, and that the masthead flickers with a blue flame—illuminating the sight of the baron on deck, playing dice with the devil for control of his soul.

To make the story even more meta, some historians say it may be connected to a Norse saga in which a Viking sea captain named Stotte stole a magic ring from the gods. As punishment, Stotte was transformed into a living skeleton covered in fire, and condemned to spend the rest of eternity affixed to the mast of a ghostly, black-hulled longship.

3. Yellow Jack

Another centuries-old ghost ship tale concerns a vessel laden with gold and spices that was once preparing to leave the Indies. Before departing, the ship took on an unsavory character known only as "Yellow Jack." Apparently, his reputation was so bad the ship was forbidden to enter any port she called upon, forcing the vessel to endlessly cruise the seas. Eventually, the crew went mad and murdered each other. Some say the ship is still sailing, crewed by the ghosts of the dead sailors, forever searching for a port she can enter.

The story may have historical origins connected to shipborne diseases: “yellow jack” is another name for yellow fever, which spread frequently on Atlantic vessels , and the "yellow jack" was historically the flag flown by a ship infected with the plague, cholera, or similar deadly contagion . It seems likely that the unsavory “Yellow Jack” was not so much a person as a pathogen.

4. The Caleuche

The waters around Chile's Chiloe Island are known for terrible storms, and for sightings of the Caleuche —a demon ship with luminescent white sides and blood-red sails. More than just your average ghost ship, the Caleuche is a sentient being who can glide across the surface of the water at impossible speeds or dive beneath it like a whale. Observers say that when it passes, you can hear the cackling of its demon crew, who hop around on one leg and have faces that spin backwards. The ship is also crewed by sailors both dead and alive, either dragged from the deep or stolen from passing ships. However, the Caleuche only has use for the officers it finds, and spills the others—driven half-insane—onto local beaches. In other versions of the tales about the ship, it is piloted by the souls of the drowned. Merchants who trade with the boat become suddenly wealthy, while those who see it supposedly wear crooked smiles forever.

5. Lady Lovibond

The Goodwin Sands, off the coast of Kent in southeast England, is famous for a number of shipwrecks, and for several ghost ship legends. The most notable concerns the Lady Lovibond , said to have been deliberately wrecked in the 18th century and to reappear as a phantom every 50 years on the anniversary of its destruction.

The story goes that a captain was celebrating his recent marriage with a voyage to Portugal in 1748, bringing his new wife, her mother, and various wedding guests aboard the ship. Unfortunately, the first mate had hoped to be the groom himself. While the wedding party drank toasts to the happy couple, the first mate felt his blood begin to boil. In a jealous rage, he grabbed a wooden pin and struck the helmsman, killing him. Then he drove the schooner directly onto the Goodwin Sands, wrecking the boat and killing everyone aboard.

Supposedly, the glowing ship has reappeared to reenact the crash in 1798, 1848, and 1948, when she reportedly gave off a strange green glow. Locals have even set out to rescue survivors, only to discover the sands are bare.

6. The Palatine Light

If you ever find yourself near Rhode Island's Block Island during the quiet week between Christmas and New Years, try gazing out into the water at night. Supposedly, you just might see an 18th century ship blazing against the darkness. The apparition is known as the Palatine , or the Palatine Light, and it’s one of America’s best-known ghost ship legends.

While there’s no record of any ship known as the Palatine wrecking in the area, folklorists believe the story might be based on the sad story of another ship. In 1738, the Princess Augusta ran aground on Block Island carrying a load of German Palatines seeking a new life of religious freedom in America. A deposition taken from the crew (though only rediscovered in 1925) recounted that a "fever and flux" had killed many of the passengers and crew, and the acting captain refused to let the starving, shivering passengers go ashore.

While little else is known for sure about the wreck, a story developed over the next century saying that the Block Islanders had lured the ship onto the shoals so they could salvage its contents, then murdered the remaining passengers and burned the ship to conceal their crime. That version of events was enshrined in John Greenleaf Whittier's 1867 poem "The Palatine," which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and made the story famous.

However, Whittier's version was far different from the one that developed among the Block Islanders, who emphasized their kindness in saving the shipwrecked passengers and nursing them back to health. One historian, Samuel Livermore, blamed the more troubling version of events, and the story of the ghostly apparition, on a notorious local woman known as ''Dutch Kattern," a survivor who stayed on the island and became known as a witch. According to Livermore , Kattern “had her revenge on the ship that put her ashore by imagining it on fire, and telling others, probably, that the light on the sound was the wicked ship Palatine , cursed for leaving her on Block Island." Whether Kattern was responsible for the idea or not, locals continue to insist that many have seen the ship shining at night during that one week each year.

7. Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait

Since the late 18th century, people have reported seeing a ghostly three-masted schooner on fire in Canada’s Northumberland Strait, the body of water that separates Prince Edward Island from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Sightings seem to occur most often in the fall; some are reported as lasting just a few minutes, while others say they've seen the illusion last as long as an hour. In some cases, would-be rescuers have tried to sail out to help those on board, only to watch the ship vanish as they come close. The story gained popularity after being immortalized in local singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant’s song, " Tales of the Phantom Ship ." On Friday, June 13, 2014, Canada Post even launched a postage stamp depicting the ship as part of a "haunted Canada" line.

8. Gardiner's Bay Phantoms

On March 18, 1754, the New York Gazette published a letter written by a group of men from Plum Island, on Long Island's far eastern end, who had been fishing for menhaden in nearby Gardiner's Bay when they saw three ghostly ships. The ships were apparently so close the men could see the sailors walking about on deck. The trio of ships fought a gun battle among themselves for about 15 minutes before silently fading away. More than a century later, in 1882, the New York Sun ran a letter from a menhaden fisherman who also had a spectral tale to tell about Gardiner's Bay. Supposedly, the letter writer had been sleeping on deck when he was awoken by a distraught-looking first mate, who claimed that a giant schooner had appeared out of the darkness heading straight for their boat. Just as it looked like it was about to hit the boat, it dissolved. One theory offered for the sight, and published in Scientific American , argued that the oily menhaden had somehow produced a glow that mirrored the schooner itself.

9. Fireship of Chaleur Bay

According to the city of Bathurst , in New Brunswick, Canada, tens of thousands of people have seen the apparition of a ship that appears to be on fire cruising Chaleur Bay, located between New Brunswick and Quebec. The apparition usually appears at night, sometimes hovering for hours in a single spot and other times skimming across the waves. Viewing it by telescope brings out no details. Scientists have explained the sight, which continues to be seen today, as being caused by St. Elmo's Fire (an electricity phenomenon), inflammable gas released beneath the sea, or phosphorescent marine life. Locals have connected the story to various shipwrecks in the region, including the story of a Portuguese captain who abused local Indians. One woman on Heron Island, a Mrs. Pettigrew, even reported being approached by the specter of a burned sailor who came to her farm house for help. When she turned to rush inside, it brushed past her and she discovered the figure was legless.

10. SS Valencia

It's been called the worst disaster in the "Graveyard of the Pacific," a treacherous stretch of coastal water from Oregon to Vancouver Island. On January 22, 1906, the Valencia , a coastal passenger liner en route from San Francisco to Seattle via Victoria, snagged on a submerged reef on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. Would-be rescuers were thwarted by the jagged, uncharted rocks and a fierce storm, and many lifeboats capsized in the roiling waters. For 36 hours, scores of passengers clung to the deck or the rigging, enduring a series of strategic errors by rescuers and crew. Finally, a giant wave swept most of them out to sea. Only 37 of the 136 passengers survived, and all of the ship's women and children perished. An investigation into the disaster resulted in the creation of the Pachena Point Lighthouse and a life-saving trail for shipwrecked mariners, which later became the West Coast Trail.

Several strange occurrences have been reported in connection with the disaster. Some onboard another nearby ship reported seeing an image of the Valencia take shape in the exhaust cloud formed by the rescue ship City of Topeka , which managed to save some survivors. For years afterward, sailors on the west coast of Vancouver Island reported seeing a phantom Valencia foundering on the waves, its terrified passengers and crew still holding on for dear life. There were also reports of Indian fisherman discovering a lifeboat either crewed by skeletons and on the water, or filled with skeletons and mysteriously hidden inside a cave. But perhaps most incredible of all is the fact that the Valencia ’s lifeboat No. 5 was found drifting in Barkley Sound in 1933, still in decent condition 27 years after the disaster. Part of the lifeboat later went on display at the Maritime Museum in Victoria, B.C.

This story originally ran in 2015; it has been updated for 2021.

10 Abandoned Ghost Ships & The Stories Behind Them (& Where To 'See' Them)

From the Mary Celeste to the Bel Amica, the chilling stories of these abandoned ghost ships around the world blur the line between history and legend.

  • The Mary Celeste, a famous ghost ship found adrift in 1872, continues to captivate with its mysterious disappearance of the crew.
  • The Carroll A. Deering's fate remains unknown despite official investigations, leaving behind unanswered questions.
  • The tragedy of the Kaz II, a modern ghost ship found drifting with no crew in 2007, remains a chilling maritime mystery.

A ship without a crew is known as a ghost ship and is truly an eerie sight to behold. Throughout history, folklore, and media, the mysteries surrounding ancient maritime wrecks , the world's most haunted shipwrecks, and ghost ships have served as somber reminders of the dangers of maritime travel. These abandoned vessels are often the site of great tragedies and unexplained mysteries.

Some assume ghost ships are relics of the past, but modern vessels are constantly being found abandoned, as drying up lakes and seas cause more and more ghost ships to be uncovered (like those in the Aral Desert, once a sea now peppered by a ghost ship fleet ).

From pirate attacks and mutiny to devastating storms and powerful forces of nature, the reasons why crew members and passengers had to leave these ships continue to captivate adventurers, maritime enthusiasts, and fans of the supernatural. Here are a handful of mysterious abandoned ghost ships and the captivating stories behind them.

Related: 10 Deep Dives Into Bermuda’s Most Haunted Shipwrecks

1 The Mary Celeste - The Azores, Portugal

The S.S. Mary Celeste is perhaps the most famous ghost ship in history. Found adrift in 1872 near the Azores with no crew onboard, this vessel has fueled countless legends and theories about the mysteries of the deep sea. The ship was found with not a single crew member in sight, even though the ship's cargo and provisions were intact.

The lifeboat was missing, but the last log gave no details of what had happened. Theories of foul play, piracy, giant squid attacks, and supernatural forces have tried to explain what happened to the Mary Celeste, as neither the ship's captain nor any members of the crew were ever seen again.

The ship was salvaged and continued to sail under a new company until it was purposefully shipwrecked in 1885 by its captain for insurance fraud purposes. This, along with the fact that Arthur Doyle wrote a short story about the ship, further fueled rumors the ship was mysteriously cursed. While the original ship no longer exists, the Mary Celeste's story continues to capture the imaginations of many.

  • Year abandoned: December 4, 1872
  • Location Found Abandoned: Off the coast of the Azores, Portugal
  • Fate of Souls Aboard: Unknown

2 The Carroll A. Deering - Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA

The S.S. Carroll A. Deering is another famous ghost ship whose fate remains unknown. Less than two years after its first launch, the ship was found abandoned off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1921. Strangely, not only was the crew absent, but some lifeboats, navigational equipment, and personal belongings were also missing.

Though attempts were made to salvage this ship, it was deemed too hazardous, and in the end, the vessel was destroyed with dynamite. Five departments of the United States government conducted official investigations to uncover what happened to the Carroll A. Deering, but nothing was ever discovered.

Theories surrounding the incident range from everything from bad weather and mutiny to piracy and supernatural forces, yet conclusive evidence remains elusive. The Carroll A. Deering's eerie fate and the unanswered questions it poses stand as a testament to the enigmatic nature of the high seas.

  • Year abandoned: January 1921
  • Location Found Abandoned: Off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

3 The Monte Carlo - Coronado, California, USA

The S.S. Monte Carlo is linked with the Prohibition era of American history. In the 1930s, this concrete oil tanker was converted into a high-stakes casino that catered to all sorts of nefarious activity. The Monte Carlo was purposefully anchored off the coast of California in international waters, and patrons would take ferries and taxis to the ship. Maritime law was on the Monte Carlo's side, making it impossible for the United States government to stop the gambling, drinking, and other illicit activities taking place aboard.

During a brutal storm in 1937, the anchor lost its hold, and the ship drifted onto the Coronado Shores ( Coronado is now famous for being one of the iconic shipwreck beaches around the world). Once back on American soil, where Prohibition laws were in place, no one ever claimed ownership of the ship or tried to put it back in business. The ghost ship would remain abandoned. The remains of the wreck can still be seen today, and the legends surrounding the Monte Carlo live on.

  • Year abandoned: January 1937
  • Location Found Abandoned: Off the coast of Coronado Island, California
  • Fate of Souls Aboard: No deaths as the ship's casino was closed at the time of the storm

4 The Kaz II - Whitsunday Islands, Australia

The Kaz II, also known as the "Ghost Yacht," is one of the youngest ghost ships on this list. In 2007, it was found drifting aimlessly off the Whitsunday Islands (which offer plenty to do as a tourist destination) with its sails up but no crew onboard. One of the sails, however, was badly shredded.

The vessel's eerie abandonment immediately sparked speculation. Derek Batten and brothers Peter and James Tunstead had set sail on the Kaz II on a routine journey, but all three vanished without a trace. Meticulously stocked supplies on the Kaz II suggested no distress, leaving baffling questions about the three men's fate.

Theories range from sudden accidents to foul play, but the truth behind their disappearance in the open sea remains unanswered, making the Kaz II a chilling modern maritime tragedy.

  • Year abandoned: April 2007
  • Location Found Abandoned: Off the coast of the Whitsunday Islands, Australia
  • Fate of Souls Aboard: Unknown but presumed dead

Related: Staten Island's Boat Graveyard Is Home To Ghost Ships Of Eras Past

5 The Ayrfield - Homebush Bay, Australia

Not all ghost ships are shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Some vessels are abandoned by their crew when they no longer serve a purpose. The S.S. Ayrfield is a haunting spectacle in Homebush Bay, Australia, that tells a story of nature's power to reclaim manmade structures.

Originally a transport vessel during World War II, the Ayrfield was later repurposed as a collier ship. Once decommissioned, the Ayrfield was left abandoned on the bay. Over the decades, the ship has become an unexpected haven for the mangrove trees that grow on its rusted hull, creating an eerie blend of rusted steel and thriving greenery.

  • Year abandoned: 1972
  • Location Abandoned: Homebush Bay, Australia

6 The Baychimo - Utqiagvik, Alaska, USA

The SS Baychimo is one of the longest sailing ghost ships in history. Its crew was forced to abandon this trading vessel when the ship became trapped in ice off the coast of Alaska in 1931. The fate of the crew is unfortunately unknown, but the Baychimo defied all odds and became unstuck from the ice.

For almost 40 years, the ship was occasionally sighted drifting through the Arctic waters. Several failed rescue attempts were made to salvage the ship, adding to Baychimo's reputation as the "Ghost Ship of the Arctic."

  • Year abandoned: November 1931
  • Location Found Abandoned: Off the coast of Utqiagvik, Alaska (one of the northernmost points in America with Point Barrow)

7 The Lyubov Orlova - North Atlantic Ocean

Another modern ghost ship, the MV Lyubov Orlova, has gained notoriety as a "cursed" ship. Plagued by countless financial issues and legal disputes, this Soviet-era cruise ship was seized by Canadian authorities in 2010 due to substantial unpaid debts. While the ship was being towed to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped, the cable hauling the Lyubov Orlova broke, and the ship drifted away.

Transport Canada reported it managed to regain control of the vessel but cut it loose once in international waters due to safety concerns. The ship's current whereabouts remain a mystery. Some believe it sank, while others believe the Lyubov Orlova is still drifting in the ocean.

  • Year abandoned: February 2013
  • Location Found Abandoned: Off the coast of Canadian waters

8 The Joyita - Pacific Ocean

In October 1955, the MV Joyita vanished without a trace in the Pacific Ocean, creating one of the most enduring maritime mysteries. Weeks later, the ship was found adrift, 600 miles from its original route. Its crew and passengers were missing.

Partially submerged in water, the Joyita had suffered some substantial damage; much of the cargo it had been carrying was gone, and the radio was tuned to the international distress channel. Theories on what happened to this ghost ship and its crew range from pirate attacks to foul play, yet what truly transpired aboard remains unknown.

  • Year abandoned: October 1955
  • Location Found Abandoned: North of Vanua Levu, Fiji

Related: You Can Hike To Kentucky's Only Abandoned Ghost Ship

9 The Zebrina - Rozel Point, France

The MV Zebrina is another one of the most mysterious ships in the world; she was a British ship found abandoned in Rozel Point, France, in 1917 during World War I. The ship and cargo were intact, but the crew was missing.

Speculation quickly rose that German forces had taken the crew, but the truth of what really happened remains largely unknown, with theories ranging from submarine attacks and espionage to heavy storms throwing the five crew members overboard. The Zebrina's bleak discovery and the puzzling story of the crew's disappearance stand as a testament to the mysteries woven into maritime history.

  • Year abandoned: October 1917
  • Location Found Abandoned: Rozel Point, France

Related: Kiptopeke's Ghost Ships Are Still Decaying At This Cape Charles Park

10 The Bel Amica - Sardinia, Italy

Discovered off the coast of Sardinia, Italy, in 2006, the SV Bel Amica is a ghost ship that baffled authorities and caused international intrigue from the start. This luxury sailboat had not been reported missing, and there was little trace of the crew or its owners.

The items found aboard didn't help shed light on the mystery of who had been aboard the ship. There was half-eaten Egyptian food, a flag of Luxembourg, and maps of the North African seas. The owner was eventually located, and they explained that they had to abruptly leave their boat to take care of an emergency at home.

This explanation was criticized by some, and the Italian media suggested the owner of the Bel Amica had been attempting to avoid paying taxes owed on the ship.

  • Year abandoned: 2006
  • Location Found Abandoned: Off the coast of Sardinia, Italy

Marine Insight

Top 11 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Stories of the Maritime World

Mystery, fear, and enigma encompass the seafaring ghost ships’ or phantom ships’ tales that have been passed around throughout centuries by sailors, anglers and others.

These mysterious ships are fantasied as spectral phantasms that materialise in the middle of the sea and disappear quickly, apparently a bad omen.

In addition, abandoned ships, which are found adrift, and left desolated under fearsome and cryptic circumstances, are included in this category.

Albeit these all being marine legends and sometimes lacking authenticity, some of these haunted ships continue to provoke speculation and fearful anticipation.

We present you with ten such mysterious ghost ships of the maritime world that would surely give you an eerie feeling and goosebumps.

Flying dutchman

Related Reading:

Top 10 Amazing Ocean Mysteries and Phenomena

Top 10 Amazing Ocean Mysteries and Phenomena – Part 2

Table of Contents

SV Kaz II was found adrift, 88 miles off the coast of Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef, just five days after it set sail from Airlie beach towards Townsville, Queensland, in April 2007. As per investigation reports, the 12 m catamaran was sailing with a three-person crew who were not experienced, sailors. However, what happened to them remains a mystery to this day.

Their disappearance without a trace has been compared to the crew of Mary Celeste, another ship whose crew went missing under mysterious circumstances. Many believe rough weather conditions could be a reason; others blame pirates or even communists for the same.

Strangely, the vessel was found in perfect condition, except for the one sail, which had been shredded to pieces. The three men were never discovered. According to investigators, they might have drowned while trying to untangle a fishing lure caught in the vessel’s rudder. It is also envisaged that a sea monster could have swallowed them.

The Caleuche

It is a legend of the Chilota mythology, where it is described as a ghost ship which comes into being every night near the island of Chiloe. It says the vessel carries the spirits of all the people who have drowned at sea.

The Caleuche is strikingly beautiful, bright and gay, always surrounded by party music sounds and laughter.

Caleuche

However, it only stays for a few moments and then suddenly disappears or submerges itself under the water. Three Chilota’ water spirits’ – the Sirena Chilota, the Pincoya, and the Picoy – who resemble mermaids, summons the spirits of the drowned.

The SS Valencia

In 1906, the SS Valencia sank off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, after encountering bad weather near Cape Mendocino and became a subject of mysterious ghost stories.

Eventually, 37 of merely 108 people were saved using lifeboats , among which one disappeared.

Since then, many fishermen have claimed to witness ghost ship sightings with human skeletons even after many decades post sinking.

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste Ghost Ship

  • Unexplained Mystery: The Devil’s Sea (The Dragon’s Triangle)

Top 10 Mysterious Ships Infographics

The SS Ourang Medan

In 1947, while passing through the Strait of Malacca, two American ships went off on a rescue mission after receiving a distress call from Ourang Medan.

The caller claimed to be a crewmember and conveyed the message of the death of everyone else on board. His words weirdly ended with “I die”. The rescuers found the ship unharmed, but the entire crew, including the dog, dead with terrified faces and expressions.

Before the further investigation, the abandoned ship caught fire and exploded. The probable reason could be over-exposure to nitroglycerin, which it was carrying illegally. The other mystery revolves around the story of paranormal activities and alien invasion.

The Carroll A. Deering

This ship ran aground in the notorious Diamond Shoals near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1921, where it was stuck for several days before any rescue team could arrive. After unloading a coal shipment, the vessel was travelling from Rio de Janeiro back to Norfolk, Virginia.

Later, the Coast Guard found that the navigational equipment, logbook and two lifeboats were missing from the abandoned ship, otherwise undamaged.

Investigation showed that a few other ships had also disappeared under mysterious circumstances around the same time, which could be the pirates’ barbarity, crew mutiny, or extraterrestrial activity around the infamous Bermuda triangle.

6. The SS Baychimo

Built in the early 1920s, this is one of the real-life ghost ships which was, in 1931, trapped in the pack-ice near Alaska, leaving no hopes for the owner Hudson Bay Company but to abandon it.

However, it remained adrift for the next 38 years and was frequently sighted floating aimlessly in the waters off Alaska.

SS Baychimo ship

Weather conditions had always made it impossible to salvage, but since 1969, it has disappeared completely. A few expedition programmes had since been launched to trace back this mysterious ghost ship.

Related Reading

5 Famous Mysterious Stories of the Bermuda Triangle

Top 10 Amazing Facts About the Lost City of Atlantis

The Octavius

The Octavius became more than just a legend in 1775 when a whaling ship named the Herald found it aimlessly drifting off the coast of Greenland with all of its crew frozen dead by the arctic cold.

To add to the spooky environment, the ship’s captain was found sitting at his desk, with a logbook in front of him, and finishing a log entry from 1762.

This could mean that the Octavius had been floating for 13 years and completed its passage to the Atlantic while returning to England from the Orient via the Northwest Passage as a ghost ship.

The MV Joyita

In 1955 this fishing and charter boat was found abandoned in the South Pacific, five weeks after it had been reported overdue. The air-search mission could not trace it until a merchant ship found it drifting almost 600 miles off its source with no sign of passengers, crew members and cargo. The liferafts were missing, including the firearms and other equipment onboard.

There was a doctor’s bag and several bloody bandages on the deck, and the broken radio was tuned to the universal distress signal . Still, what happened there was never revealed as none of the crew was ever seen again.

The Lady Lovibond

An exciting story of love, jealousy and rage complements the tale of this haunted ship. In 1748, the day before Valentine’s Day, it was set to sail as a celebration of the ship’s captain’s wedding.

Nevertheless, his friend, who was too in love with her, out of vengeance, steered the ship into the notorious Goodwind Sands, sinking it and killing all on board.

Since then, it could be seen every fifty years sailing around Kent. 1798, 1848, 1898 and 1948 witnessed this ship’s sightseeing, and some boats had sent out rescuers, assuming it was in distress, but later could not be found. Albeit there was no confirmed spotting in 1998, this famous ghost ship continues to be a legend.

The Mary Celeste

British Ship Dei Gratia found the Mary Celeste on 4th Dec 1872, near the Strait of Gibraltar. It was weird as the latter had left New York eight days before the Dei Gratia and should have reached its destination, Genoa, Italy, by now. However, the boarding party from the British vessel discovered that below deck, things looked pretty standard with no signs of any attack.

Probably the most famous real-life ghost ship’s story embraces the Mary Celeste, found adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872 in a completely unharmed condition with all its sails still up, the crew’s personal belongings intact and a cargo hold of over 1500 alcohol barrels untouched.

The only things missing were the lifeboat, the captain’s logbook and most importantly, the whole crew. Since pirate attacks could not be held responsible for such a phenomenon, theories of crew mutiny, waterspout killing, and consumption of poisonous food leading to madness came into being.

However, the most reasonable explanation could be a storm or technical issue, compelling the crew to immediately abandon the ship in the lifeboat and die later at sea. Apart from these, the mystery of this haunted ship surrounds by ghosts and even sea monsters and alien abduction theories.

Captain Morehouse of Dei Gratia knew Captain Briggs of Celeste to be a capable sailor, leading to more suspicions about what actually happened. However, the poor fate of Mary Celeste and its souls has been immortalised in Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story written in 1884, J Habakuk’s Jephson’s Statement.

The Flying Dutchman

In maritime folklore, this ghost ship has left the maximum impact like no other by inspiring numerous paintings, films, books, operas, etc. The Pirates of the Caribbean, the Dead Man’s Chest features the story and is the most popular movie based on this legend.

Van der Decken, the captain, on its way towards East Indies, with sheer determination, tried to steer his ship through the adverse weather condition of the Cape of Good Hope but failed miserably even after vowing to drift until the doomsday. Legend says that since then, they have been cursed to sail the oceans for eternity.

To this day, hundreds of fisherman and sailors from the deep sea have claimed to have witnessed the Flying Dutchman continuing its never-ending voyage across the waters.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ghost Ships

1. What is the meaning of the term ‘Ghost Ship’?

Ghost ships are those sea-going vessels associated with some supernatural activity or unexplained powers. Those vessels that have been abandoned by crew and passengers or have drifted away from their docks or while at sea are also called ghost ships. Ships still in operation might also be referred to as ghost ships, as stories of paranormal activities or eerie experiences spread through the crew and passengers of the vessel.

2. Which ghost ships are sailing on the oceans’ unmanned’?

There are many examples of ghost ships sailing without a soul. One such vessel is the MV Lyubov Orlova, an erstwhile Russian cruise ship carrying tourists around the Arctic. Today, its guests are only rats. The vessel was found adrift near the coast of Ireland and will be dismantled soon.

3. When was the last Ghost Ship found?

The last ghost ship was found in 2018 on the coast of Ireland during the Dennis Storm. The MV Alta ran aground close to Ballycotton, County Cork. It was found adrift and unmanned in the Atlantic by the HMS Protector after it became disabled, and the US Coast Guard rescued its crew.

4. What causes the mirage of ghost ships?

Our brain interprets that light travels in a straight line. However, other factors at sea, including refraction, temperature, climate and light waves, create a mirage of a ship floating above the horizon. Sometimes, it may look distorted and above the water’s surface. The actual ship might be below the horizon or on the other side.

5. How many abandoned ships are in the ocean?

In 2020, the IMO Database mentioned about 438 ships abandoned worldwide. It also listed 5767 crews abandoned since 2004. However, since not all missing cases are brought to the IMO, the number of missing and abandoned vessels is much bigger.

  • The Mystery of Ghost Ships – HMS Erebus and HMS Terror
  • The Unexplained Mystery of the Sea Serpent
  • The Baltic Sea Mystery of the Strange UFO Object
  • The Real Story Behind The “Davy Jones’ Locker”
  • What are Sea Shanties? 

Disclaimer:  The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used in the article, have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight. 

Image credits:

blogspot, buy lovely, angels ghosts, top apps, scary for kids, PhotoBucket, hauntedamericatours

Do you have info to share with us ? Suggest a correction

Related Posts

Things I Regret Not Doing In My Sea Career

Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.

Latest Life At Sea Articles You Would Like :

10 Important Points of Useful Information For Seafarers

10 Important Points of Useful Information For Seafarers

10 Things The World Should Learn From Seafarers

10 Things The World Should Learn From Seafarers

Ways to Keep Your Mind and Body Fit On board Ships

Top 15 Ways to Keep Your Mind and Body Fit On board Ships

13 Best Practices For Ship’s Junior Engineers On Their First Voyage

13 Best Practices For Ship’s Junior Engineers On Their First Voyage

5 Things Seafarers Expect From Maritime Industry in 2014

5 Things Seafarers Expect From Maritime Industry in 2014

10 Free Mobile Apps Seafarers Must Have

10 Free Mobile Apps Seafarers Must Have

11 comments.

Don’t forget about the Queen Mary. You can read about her haunted past in Fatal Return Roger Weston- author of Fatal Return

Your forgetting one more? “The queen mary*

Thanks for providing this amazing article. I loved to read blog on historical places and ghosts.Keep doing good work.

I just love to read and experience the ghost stories and this blog is very well written and it is interesting too, never felt a bit boring on your article, looking forward to read more articles from you

hahahahahahahahahah

hi darling…… kasaak story

The Lady Lovibond…. dont forget the Lady Lovibond story.. wt a story mind blocking…. fasakkkk…

Wow that’s amazing so many ghost ships

Thanks for those informations !

What about the queen mary?

good information about hunted stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Marine Insight Daily Newsletter

" * " indicates required fields

known ghost ships

Boat logo

The global authority in superyachting

  • NEWSLETTERS
  • Yachts Home
  • The Superyacht Directory
  • Yacht Reports
  • Brokerage News
  • The largest yachts in the world
  • The Register
  • Yacht Advice
  • Yacht Design
  • 12m to 24m yachts
  • Monaco Yacht Show
  • Builder Directory
  • Designer Directory
  • Interior Design Directory
  • Naval Architect Directory
  • Yachts for sale home
  • Motor yachts
  • Sailing yachts
  • Explorer yachts
  • Classic yachts
  • Sale Broker Directory
  • Charter Home
  • Yachts for Charter
  • Charter Destinations
  • Charter Broker Directory
  • Destinations Home
  • Mediterranean
  • South Pacific
  • Rest of the World
  • Boat Life Home
  • Owners' Experiences
  • Interiors Suppliers
  • BOAT Showcase
  • Boat Presents
  • Events Home
  • World Superyacht Awards
  • Superyacht Design Festival
  • Design and Innovation Awards
  • Young Designer of the Year Award
  • Artistry and Craft Awards
  • Explorer Yachts Summit
  • Ocean Talks
  • The Ocean Awards
  • BOAT Connect
  • Between the bays
  • Owners' Club
  • Captains' Club
  • Boat Pro Home
  • Pricing Plan
  • Superyacht Insight
  • Product Features
  • Premium Content
  • Testimonials
  • Global Order Book
  • Tenders & Equipment

The spookiest ghost ship stories from around the world

To get you in the mood for Halloween 2021, BOAT rounds up the best spooky stories of haunted ghost ships through the years, from the disappearing crew of Carroll A. Deering to the mystery of Mary Celeste ...

Although the earth's warming temperatures mean that the Northwest Passage  is now free (albeit not easy) to sail through, this was not always the case. The search for the elusive passage claimed the lives of many ambitious sailors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; keen to find an alternate trade route to Asia, their ships would become lodged in Arctic ice, sealing their fate in the Great White North. The Octavius was one of many to meet such a fate, but the grim scenes found on board was what made the story of this ghost ship particularly terrifying.

The three-masted schooner departed from England in 1761, but was found off the coast of Greenland in 1775. Her captain had, unluckily decided to try and use the then nonexistent Northwest Passage (which superyacht  Rosehearty has since cleared) to return home. The five men who boarded the derelict ship in 1775 were confronted with a ghostly sight; the entire 28-man crew was below deck, but frozen to death. The icy figure of the ship's captain was discovered sitting at his desk, writing in his logbook, pen still in hand. The last logbook entry was in 1762 - the ghost ship and her crew had been lost at sea for 13 years before being found.

SS Ourang Medan

One of the most notorious ghost ship stories, the tale of the SS Ourang Medan is shrouded in mystery. The legend goes that in 1947 a cargo ship off the coast of Indonesia put out a distress call with the words: “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” Before help could arrive, a second message was radioed in with just two words: “I die.”

Rescue workers who boarded the ship discovered to their horror that the crew members were indeed deceased with their bodies contorted and arms outstretched as if fending off an attacker, but without any signs of injury. An engine room fire then caused the ship to be abandoned and eventually sink, taking its ghastly secret, and any chance of an autopsy investigation, to Davy Jones’ locker.

Later reports contradicted this supernatural tale, however, with a 1948 newspaper article citing a survivor who blamed the deaths on a leak of its deadly cargo — sulphuric acid. What’s more, there is no record of the SS Orang Medan in Lloyd’s Registry, leading some to conclude that this ghost story is pure fabrication.

Mary Celeste

No ghost ship compendium would be complete without the tale of the brigantine Mary Celeste . Her fate has passed into maritime myth thanks in large part to a short story by Dr Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer and creator of Sherlock Holmes . What we do know is that the Mary Celeste had sailed from New York on November 7, 1872 bound for Genoa with a cargo of alcohol. Almost a month later on the afternoon of December 5, she was spotted drifting somewhere between the Azores and Portugal by Dei Gratia , another brigantine on an Atlantic crossing.

Captain Morehouse of the Dei Gratia knew Captain Briggs of the Mary Celeste to be a capable sailor and was suspicious. He ordered a boarding party to the Mary Celeste and his crew found a deserted ship in seaworthy condition. Captain Morehouse split his crew and sailed the Mary Celeste to Gibraltar. To this date, the fate of Captain Briggs, his wife, child and crew of seven remains unsolved. Whether Briggs abandoned ship because of bad weather or whether there is a more sinister reason for their disappearance, will never be known.

This more recent tale concerns the catamaran Kaz II , which was found deserted off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The 9.75 metre yacht was seen drifting by a helicopter on April 18, 2007 a few days after she had set off from Airlie Beach, Queensland. When she was boarded on April 20 the maritime authorities found everything normal but no crew. Food was on the table, a laptop was on and the engine was running. The only indication of something out of the ordinary was a ripped sail.

Conspiracy theories as to the fate of the three men, inexperienced sailors in their 50s and 60s, abounded, ranging from pirates, insurance fraud and even paranormal activity. A coroner’s court found something far more prosaic – that the three friends had drowned after falling overboard as a result of their lack of nautical nous, though one cannot say for certain as their bodies have never been found.

The body of German sailor Manfred Fritz Bajorat was found slumped over the desk of his yacht Sajo in early 2016. The grim discovery was made by fishermen when they boarded the drifting yacht off Barabo in Surigeo del Sur province. After a post-mortem was carried out, local police said there were no signs of foul play and it was believed Bajorat died of natural causes, possibly a heart attack. It is thought his yacht had been adrift for many months before it was discovered and the dry, salty conditions on board had caused his body to mummify.

The Flying Dutchman

The most iconic ghost ship in maritime culture is certainly The Flying Dutchman . The legend tells that this haunted ship is unable to make port and is cursed to sail the seas forevermore. The fable of this Dutch man-of-war ship first appeared in the seventeenth century. The supposed captain of the ghost ship was apparently inspired by stories of Barend Fokke, whose exceptionally fast trips from the Netherlands to Java were presumed to be aided by the devil.

Sightings of the phantom ship, which apparently occur in bad weather, are supposed to be bad omens for those who pass her. The most famous report of The Flying Dutchman was by King George V, who apparently saw her all aglow along the coast of Australia as they were sailing in the Bass straight. The ship has become a famous trope in literature, art and movies since; she inspired Richard Wagner's opera of the same name, and more recently made an appearance in the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest .

Carroll A Deering

The fate of the crew of five-masted schooner Carroll A Deering , which ran aground off North Carolina in January 1921, was investigated by no less than five US government departments. In the process, it became one of the most infamous maritime mysteries of all time. The ship was returning to Norfolk, Virginia after delivering a consignment of coal to Rio de Janeiro. The captain, W B Wormwell, had been drafted in on the first leg of the journey due to the illness of the original captain and was said to have an uneasy relationship with the crew. Thus, mutiny was suspected as the most likely reason when the Carroll A Deering was found deserted after being boarded by rescuers on February 4, 1921. The ship’s navigation equipment and lifeboats had gone but, to add the mystery, food had been prepared for the next meal.

Japanese ghost ships

The Japanese Coast Guard has reported around 200 instances of ghost ships over the last few years. However, unlike the Bermuda Triangle, the boats have been found, and with human cargo on board. One such recent incident happened off Fukui, a port city on the main Honshu island. The decomposing corpses of seven people were found on a drifting wooden fishing vessel in mid-December last year. The Japanese authorities are said to be puzzled by the fate of the ‘fishermen’ but one theory for this and the other floating ghost ships is they were defectors from the totalitarian North Korean regime across the treacherous sea to the west.

Auspiciously timed, this ghost ship was last seen leaving a port in Tawain on Halloween, 2002. The 20-metre boat was then found abandoned in the Timor Sea, within an 80 nautical mile range of Australia's Rowley Shoals. The fishing boat's owner had last been in touch with the captain in December of that year, but by January 2003, High Aim 6 was discovered unmanned. Strangely, the vessel was found with its engines fully fuelled and running, with all of the crew's personal belongings and provisions on board. There were also no apparent signs of struggle or damage above or below deck. The mystery remains unsolved; the only information the authorities received was from a single crew member they had managed to track down and take into custody. He claimed that the crew of High Aim 6 had mutinied, but no reason was given as to why.

HMS Resolute

HMS Resolute was a British Royal Navy ship found in 1854, abandoned and adrift, off the coast of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic . She had originally been sent to find the remains of another lost expedition, that of Sir John Franklin's to locate the then frozen Northwest Passage, but met a similar fate. HMS Resolute had become lodged in an ice floe and abandoned by the crew, of whom no trace was ever found.

An eerie scene met those who had discovered the ghostly ship in 1855; the captain's cabin remained undisturbed with a teapot, bible and glasses full of liquor on the desk. A British Flag had been left draped over the chair of the ships's commander, Captain Kellett. HMS Resolute was eventually retrieved and retired in 1879. Her timbers were used to construct the Resolute desk, which has been used by almost every American president in the Oval Office since the 19th century.

Sponsored listings

History Hit

Subscribe Today

Use code "WINTERSALE" to pay £1 per month, for your first 3 months.

known ghost ships

The History Hit Miscellany of Facts, Figures and Fascinating Finds

  • Early Modern

6 of History’s Greatest Ghost Ship Mysteries

known ghost ships

Harry Sherrin

27 oct 2021.

known ghost ships

Seafaring has always been a dangerous game: lives can be lost, disasters can strike and even the hardiest ships can sink . In some instances, vessels are found after tragedy has hit, adrift across the ocean with their crew members nowhere to be seen.   

These so-called ‘ghost ships’, or vessels discovered without a living soul on board, have featured in sailor’s tales and folklore for centuries. But that’s not to say stories of these unmanned ships are all fictional – far from it.  

The infamous  Mary Celeste , for example, was found sailing across the Atlantic in the late 19 th century without a crew member in sight. The fate of its passengers has never been confirmed.  

More recently, in 2006, a vessel labelled  Jian Seng  was discovered by Australian officials, yet it had no crew on board and no evidence of its existence could be found the world over.   

Here are 6 terrifying tales of ghost ships from throughout history.  

1. Flying Dutchman

The story of the  Flying Dutchman  is one that has been embellished and exaggerated for centuries. Probably closer to folklore than reality, it’s nonetheless a fascinating and much-famed ghost ship tale.  

One of the most popular versions of the  Flying Dutchman  tale relays that in the 17 th century, the vessel’s captain, Hendrick Vanderdecken, sailed the ship into a deadly storm off the Cape of Good Hope, vowing to defy God’s wrath and continue on his voyage.   

The  Flying Dutchman  then suffered a collision and sank, the story goes, with the ship and its crew forced to sail the region’s waters for eternity as punishment.   

The myth of the cursed ghost ship became popular again in the 19 th  century, when a number of vessels recorded supposed sightings of the ship and its crew off the Cape of Good Hope.  

known ghost ships

2. Mary Celeste  

On 25 November 1872, the British ship  Dei Gratia  spotted a vessel adrift in the Atlantic, near the Strait of Gibraltar. It was an abandoned ghost ship, the now infamous SV  Mary Celeste .   

The  Mary Celeste was in relatively good condition, still under sail, and plenty of food and water were found on board. And yet none of the ship’s crew could be found. The vessel’s lifeboat was gone, but after a thorough investigation, there seemed no apparent explanation for why the crew had abandoned their ship other than a minor amount of flooding in the hull.  

A pirate attack didn’t explain the ship’s missing crew, because its cargo of alcohol was still on board. Perhaps, then, some have speculated, a mutiny took place. Or maybe, and most probably, the captain overestimated the extent of the flooding and ordered the ship to be abandoned.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  immortalised the tale of the  Mary Celeste  in his short story  J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement , and it has puzzled readers and sleuths ever since.   

3. HMS Eurydice  

Disaster struck the Royal Navy in 1878, when an unexpected blizzard hit southern England out of the blue, sinking the HMS  Eurydice  and killing more than 350 of its crew members.   

The vessel was eventually refloated from the seabed, but it was so severely damaged that it couldn’t be restored.   

The sad tragedy of the HMS  Eurydice  later morphed into a curious local legend. Decades after the sinking of the Eurydice  in 1878, sailors and visitors reported sightings of the ship’s ghost sailing around the waters off the Isle of Wight, where the ship and its crew perished. 

known ghost ships

The wreck of Eurydice by Henry Robins, 1878.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

4. SS Ourang Medan

“All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This was the mysterious message picked up by British vessel the  Silver Star  in June 1947. The distress signal continued, “I die,” before cutting out.  

Upon investigating, the SS  Ourang Medan  was discovered adrift in the Strait of Malacca, in Southeast Asia. As the SOS message had warned, all of the ship’s crew were dead, apparently with expressions of horror etched across their faces. But there seemed no evidence of injury or reason for their deaths.  

It’s since been theorised that the crew of the  Ourang Medan  were killed by the vessel’s cargo of sulphuric acid. Other rumours involve a secret shipment of Japanese biological weapons accidentally killing the crew.   

The reality will likely never be revealed because the crew of the Silver Star  evacuated the  Ourang Medan  swiftly after finding it: they had smelled smoke, and shortly after an explosion sank the vessel .

5. MV Joyita  

A month after the merchant vessel  Joyita  set off on what should have been a short 2-day voyage, it was found partially submerged in the South Pacific. Its 25 crew members were nowhere to be seen.   

When discovered on 10 November 1955, the  Joyita  was in a bad way. Its pipes were corroded, its electronics were poorly wired and it was listing heavily to one side. But it was still afloat, and in fact many said  Joyita ’s  hull design made her practically unsinkable, raising the question of why the ship’s crew had deserted.  

known ghost ships

MV Joyita after being found deserted and damaged in 1955.

Various explanations for the crew’s fate have been put forward. One remarkable theory suggests that Japanese soldiers, still active 10 years after World War Two ended, attacked the vessel from a secret island base.   

Another explanation posits that Joyita’ s   captain may have been injured or killed. Without his knowledge of the boat’s ability to stay afloat, minor flooding may have led inexperienced crew members to panic and abandon the vessel.  

6. Jian Seng  

In 2006, Australian officials discovered a mysterious vessel adrift in the ocean. It had the name  Jian Seng  emblazoned on its hull, but no one on board.   

Investigators found a broken rope attached to the ship, possibly having snapped while towing the vessel. That would explain it being empty and adrift.  

But there was no evidence of SOS messages broadcast in the area, nor could officials find any record of a ship named  Jian Seng  in existence. Was it an illegal fishing vessel? Or perhaps something more sinister? The ship’s purpose remained elusive, and the fate of its crew is still a mystery to this day.  

known ghost ships

You May Also Like

known ghost ships

10 Facts About the Battle of Shrewsbury

known ghost ships

5 of Our Top Podcasts About the Norman Conquest of 1066

known ghost ships

How Did 3 People Seemingly Escape From Alcatraz?

known ghost ships

5 of Our Top Documentaries About the Norman Conquest of 1066

known ghost ships

1848: The Year of Revolutions

known ghost ships

What Prompted the Boston Tea Party?

known ghost ships

15 Quotes by Nelson Mandela

known ghost ships

The History of Advent

known ghost ships

The Princes in the Tower: Solving History’s Greatest Cold Case

known ghost ships

Henry Kissinger: Statesman and Diplomatic Luminary

known ghost ships

JFK’s Assassination: The Leading Conspiracy Theories

known ghost ships

JFK’s Assassination: What Prompted The Conspiracy Theories?

American Oceans

What Are Ghost Ships? The Mysterious Phenomenon of Abandoned Vessels

Ghost ships have long captured the imagination of people. These are vessels that are found adrift or abandoned at sea with no crew on board.

a ghost ship floating in the sea at night

Ghost ships can be traced back to the early days of seafaring, and their mysterious nature has led to many stories and legends surrounding them.

The history of ghost ships is a long and varied one, with accounts of abandoned vessels dating back centuries.

Despite the supernatural connotations of ghost ships, they have had a significant impact on the maritime industry.

The discovery of abandoned vessels can lead to investigations into safety and security practices, and the recovery of valuable cargo from these ships can be a lucrative business.

In this article, we will explore the history and legends of ghost ships, as well as the impact they have had on the maritime industry.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Ghost ships are vessels found adrift or abandoned at sea with no crew on board.
  • The history of ghost ships dates back centuries, and some of the most famous include the Mary Celeste and the Flying Dutchman.
  • Ghost ships have had a significant impact on the maritime industry, leading to investigations into safety and security practices and the recovery of valuable cargo.

History of Ghost Ships

a floating ghost ship in the ocean

Ghost ships have been a part of folklore for centuries, and stories of these eerie vessels have been passed down through generations.

These ships are often believed to be cursed, abandoned, or lost at sea, and sightings of them have been reported throughout history.

In this section, we will explore the early folklore surrounding ghost ships and some of the more modern sightings that have occurred.

Early Folklore

The earliest stories of ghost ships date back to ancient times, with tales of cursed vessels and haunted seas appearing in Greek and Roman mythology .

In Norse mythology, the ship Naglfar was said to be made entirely of the nails of the dead, and would sail to the final battle of Ragnarok.

In the Middle Ages, ghost ships were often associated with the Wild Hunt, a spectral procession of hunters and hounds that was said to portend death and disaster.

One of the most famous ghost ships in history is the Mary Celeste, a brigantine that was found adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872 with no crew on board. The ship was fully provisioned and in good condition, but the crew had vanished without a trace.

The mystery of what happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste has never been solved, and the ship has become a popular subject of ghost stories and legends.

Modern Sightings

In more recent times, there have been several sightings of ghost ships that have captured the public’s imagination.

The SS Valencia, a passenger steamer that sank off the coast of Vancouver Island in 1906, is said to haunt the waters to this day.

The Carroll A. Deering, a five-masted schooner that was found abandoned off the coast of North Carolina in 1921, is another famous ghost ship that has never been fully explained.

Other modern sightings of ghost ships include the SS Baychimo, a cargo steamer that was abandoned in the Arctic Ocean in 1931 and was last seen in 1969, still adrift and intact.

The Lady Lovibond, a British schooner that sank off the coast of Kent in 1748, is said to reappear every 50 years, while the Eliza Battle, a steamboat that caught fire and sank in the Tombigbee River in Alabama in 1858, is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the passengers who died in the disaster.

More recent sightings of ghost ships include the Ryou-Un Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel that was swept away by the 2011 tsunami and was last seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean , and the SV Kaz II, a catamaran that was found drifting off the coast of Australia in 2007 with all three crew members missing.

The Teignmouth Electron, a trimaran that was found abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean in 1969, is another famous ghost ship that has never been fully explained.

Famous Ghost Ships

a rendering of the flying dutchman ghost ship

Throughout history, there have been many tales of ghost ships that have captured the imagination of people around the world. Here are some of the most famous ghost ships:

The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman is perhaps the most famous ghost ship of all time. Legend has it that the ship was cursed to sail the seas forever , never able to make port.

The story of the Flying Dutchman has been passed down for centuries and has inspired countless works of art and literature.

The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste is another famous ghost ship. In 1872, the ship was discovered adrift in the Atlantic Ocean with no crew on board.

The ship’s cargo was still intact, and there were no signs of a struggle. The fate of the Mary Celeste’s crew remains a mystery to this day.

The Octavius

The Octavius was a British trading vessel that was lost at sea in the late 1700s. The ship was discovered in 1775, almost 13 years after it had disappeared, by a whaling ship. The crew of the Octavius was found frozen solid, still sitting at their posts.

The MV Joyita was a small passenger and cargo ship that went missing in the South Pacific in 1955. The ship was found five weeks later, adrift and empty. The fate of the passengers and crew of the MV Joyita remains a mystery.

The Kaz II was a catamaran that was found drifting off the coast of Australia in 2007. The ship’s engine was still running, and its sails were up, but there was no sign of the crew. The fate of the crew of the Kaz II remains unknown.

These are just a few examples of the many ghost ships that have captured the imagination of people around the world.

While the stories behind these ships are often shrouded in mystery, they continue to fascinate and intrigue people to this day.

Causes of Abandonment

an abandoned ship

Ghost ships are often abandoned vessels found adrift on the high seas with no crew or passengers on board. There are several reasons why a ship may be abandoned, including natural disasters, piracy, and technical failure.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, typhoons, and tsunamis can cause a ship to sink or run aground. In these situations, the crew may have no choice but to abandon ship and try to survive on life rafts .

In some cases, the ship may be so badly damaged that it sinks quickly, leaving no time for the crew to issue a distress signal.

Piracy is another common cause of ship abandonment. Pirates may board a ship, take control of it, and force the crew to abandon ship.

In some cases, the pirates may steal valuable cargo and equipment before leaving the ship to drift aimlessly.

Technical Failure

Technical failure is another reason why ships may be abandoned. Navigational equipment may fail, causing the ship to drift off course and become lost at sea.

In other cases, the ship’s engines may fail, leaving it adrift and unable to move. In extreme cases, a fire may break out on board, forcing the crew to abandon ship.

When a ship is abandoned, a rescue team may be dispatched to locate and retrieve the vessel. However, in some cases, the ship may continue to drift for weeks or even months before being discovered.

Firearms may be left on board, posing a danger to other vessels that may come into contact with the drifting boat.

Ghost Ships and Supernatural

an abandoned ghost ship washed ashore

Ghost ships have been a source of fascination and fear for centuries. These vessels appear to be abandoned, yet they continue to sail on their own, often with no crew or passengers on board.

Some believe that these ghost ships are the result of paranormal or supernatural activity, while others attribute their existence to more mundane causes.

Paranormal Activities

Many people believe that ghost ships are the result of paranormal activities. Some claim that these vessels are haunted by the spirits of their former crew and passengers, while others believe that they are the work of malevolent supernatural forces.

There are numerous reports of strange and unexplained phenomena associated with ghost ships, including ghostly apparitions, disembodied voices, and strange sounds.

Haunted Ships

There are many stories of haunted ships, some of which have become legendary. One of the most famous is the story of the Flying Dutchman, a ghost ship that has been sighted numerous times over the centuries.

According to legend, the Flying Dutchman is doomed to sail the seas forever, unable to make port.

Another famous ghost ship is the Mary Celeste, which was found adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872 with no crew on board. The Mary Celeste has been the subject of numerous books and movies, and its mysterious disappearance has never been fully explained.

While many ghost ships are the stuff of legend, there have been numerous reports of real-life sightings of these vessels. Some believe that these sightings are the result of optical illusions or natural phenomena, while others maintain that they are evidence of the supernatural.

Impact on Maritime Industry

an illustration of an abandoned cruise ship

Ghost ships have a significant impact on the maritime industry. The presence of these abandoned vessels poses safety risks and legal implications.

This section will explore the impact of ghost ships on the maritime industry, including safety measures and legal implications.

Safety Measures

The presence of ghost ships in the ocean poses a significant safety risk to other vessels. These abandoned vessels can cause collisions, and their presence can be dangerous to other ships.

The lack of maintenance and upkeep on these vessels can lead to structural damage, which can cause them to sink or break apart, creating a significant hazard for other vessels in the area.

To mitigate these risks, the maritime industry has implemented several safety measures. For example, lifeboats and other safety equipment are required on all vessels to ensure the safety of the crew and passengers in case of an emergency.

Additionally, the industry has implemented strict regulations regarding the decommissioning and disposal of vessels to prevent them from becoming ghost ships.

Legal Implications

The presence of ghost ships can also have legal implications. When a vessel is abandoned, it becomes a derelict vessel, which can lead to legal issues for the owner and the maritime industry.

For example, if a ghost ship is found to be leaking oil or other hazardous materials, the owner may be held liable for any environmental damage caused by the vessel.

Furthermore, the presence of ghost ships can also impact the cruise industry. Passengers on cruise ships may be concerned about the potential danger posed by these abandoned vessels, which can lead to a decrease in bookings and revenue for the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history behind ghost ships.

Ghost ships have been a part of maritime history for centuries. These vessels are usually abandoned or lost at sea, and their crews are missing or dead.

Many ghost ships have been discovered with no apparent signs of foul play, leading to speculation about how they became abandoned.

What are some famous ghost ships?

Some of the most famous ghost ships include the Mary Celeste, the Flying Dutchman, and the Baychimo.

These vessels have been the subject of numerous books, movies, and TV shows, and have captured the imagination of people around the world.

How do ships become abandoned and turn into ghost ships?

Ships can become abandoned for a variety of reasons, including weather conditions , mechanical failure, human error, and piracy. When a ship is abandoned, it can drift for years, becoming a ghost ship as it slowly deteriorates.

Are ghost ships dangerous to people who come across them?

While ghost ships may seem eerie and mysterious, they are not typically dangerous to people who come across them.

In fact, many ghost ships are discovered by other ships or planes, and are often towed to shore or salvaged for scrap.

What is the significance of ghost ships in popular culture?

Ghost ships have been a popular subject in literature, film, and other forms of media for many years. They are often used as symbols of mystery and danger, and are a common theme in horror stories and other works of fiction.

How many ghost ships are estimated to be in the world’s oceans?

It is difficult to estimate the number of ghost ships in the world’s oceans, as many of them may never be discovered or reported. However, it is believed that there are thousands of ghost ships scattered throughout the world’s waterways, waiting to be found and explored.

Add comment

Cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Latest Articles

  • What’s the Difference Between a Cottonmouth and a Water Snake?
  • Sea Creatures That Are Scarier Than a Great White Shark
  • The Ultimate Showdown Between a Great White Shark and Giant Squid
  • Sharks in Baltimore Harbor?
  • Jaw-Dropping Ocean Facts That Prove It’s a Whole Different World Than Ours
  • Are There Sharks in Puget Sound?

About American Oceans

The American Oceans Campaign is dedicated primarily to the restoration, protection, and preservation of the health and vitality of coastal waters, estuaries, bays, wetlands, and oceans. Have a question? Contact us today.

Explore Marine Life

  • Cephalopods
  • Invertebrates
  • Marine Mammals
  • Sea Turtles & Reptiles
  • Sharks & Rays
  • Shellfish & Crustaceans

Copyright © 2024. Privacy Policy . Terms & Conditions . American Oceans

  • Ocean Facts

known ghost ships

  • History Classics
  • Your Profile
  • Find History on Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on YouTube (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on Instagram (Opens in a new window)
  • Find History on TikTok (Opens in a new window)
  • This Day In History
  • History Podcasts
  • History Vault

What Happened to the Mary Celeste?

By: Sarah Pruitt

Updated: August 23, 2023 | Original: July 21, 2015

The Mary Celeste.

The fate of the captain and crew of the Mary Celeste remains one of the most enduring maritime mysteries in history.

On November 7, 1872, the 282-ton brigantine set sail from New York Harbor on its way to Genoa, Italy. On board were the ship’s captain, Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife, Sarah and their 2-year-old daughter, Sophia, along with eight crew members. Less than a month later, on December 5, a passing British ship called Dei Gratia spotted the Mary Celeste at full sail and adrift about 400 miles east of the Azores, with no sign of the captain, his family or any of the crew. Aside from several feet of water in the hold and a missing lifeboat, the ship was undamaged and loaded with six months’ worth of food and water.

Mary Celeste had a shadowy past. Originally christened Amazon, it was given a new name after a series of mishaps (including the sudden illness and death of its first captain and a collision with another ship in the English Channel). An investigation into whether to grant payment by its insurers to the Dei Gratia’s crew for salvaging the “ghost ship” found no evidence of foul play. Mary Celeste would sail under different owners for 12 years before its last captain deliberately ran it aground in Haiti as part of an attempted insurance fraud. 

In 2001, best-selling novelist and adventurer Clive Cussler claimed to have found the wreck of Mary Celeste, but later analysis of the timbers retrieved from the ship he found showed the wood was still living at least a decade after Mary Celeste sank.

Meanwhile, one of the most famous maritime mysteries in history endures: Why would an experienced captain such as Briggs, or his sailors, abandon a perfectly sound ship? Theories over the years have ranged from mutiny and pirate attack to assault by giant octopus or sea monster, while the more scientifically minded proposed an explosion caused by fumes from the 1,700 barrels of crude alcohol in the ship’s hold. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even weighed in with a short story published in 1884, in which the inhabitants of the ghost ship fell victim to an ex-slave seeking vengeance. On the less-sensationalized end, an investigation chronicled in the 2007 documentary “The True Story of the Mary Celeste” was able to offer no definite conclusion, but did suggest a scenario in which a faulty chronometer, rough seas and a clogged onboard pump could have led Briggs to order the ship abandoned shortly after sighting land on November 25, 1872. 

According to the last entry in the ship’s log book, made that morning, Mary Celeste was within sight of the Azores island of Santa Maria, some 500 miles from where the Dei Gratia would find it nine days later.

known ghost ships

HISTORY Vault: Ancient Mysteries

From the Lost Ark to the quest for the Holy Grail, explore videos about ancient mysteries.

known ghost ships

Sign up for Inside History

Get HISTORY’s most fascinating stories delivered to your inbox three times a week.

By submitting your information, you agree to receive emails from HISTORY and A+E Networks. You can opt out at any time. You must be 16 years or older and a resident of the United States.

More details : Privacy Notice | Terms of Use | Contact Us

Eerie! 6 Haunting Tales of Ghost Ships

Ghost ships have long sparked fascination and fear, from mariners and nonmariners alike. These spooky vessels run the gamut from phantom ships that appear as eerie apparitions to real-life abandoned wrecks to those craft that disappeared mysteriously with no survivors, such as the HMS Erebus that was lost in the Canadian Arctic in 1845. Here's a look at some of the most haunted ships throughout history.

El Caleuche

El Caleuche is a ghost ship said to sail the waters off the coast of Chile. "El Caleuche always sails at night and appears suddenly through the fog or mist, brightly lit," writes author Ann Bingham in her book "South and Meso-American Mythology A to Z" (Chelsea House, 2010). The ship "guards the waters and punishes those who bring hardship to the sea or the creatures that live in it." 

The ship’s crew is said to consist of dead, shipwrecked, sailors along with witches. The witches are said to leave the ship by riding a seahorse named Caballo Marino Bingham added. Apparently the witches and shipwrecked sailors are a happy crew. "On calm nights, it is said, music and laughter can often be heard coming from the ship," Bingham writes. [ The Top 10 Most Famous Ghosts ]

HMS Erebus and Terror

On May 19, 1845, two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, departed England and set sail for the Canadian Arctic. Their goal was to travel through the treacherous waters of  the Northwest Passage  that separated the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Led by Sir John Franklin, the ships were to collect samples and conduct scientific studies along the way. Out of the 134 officers and men on the expedition, not a single one ever returned. 

Messages later discovered by a rescue mission indicate the ships became trapped in ice off of King William Island in the Canadian Arctic. Franklin died on June 11, 1847, and the ships were abandoned on April 22, 1848. The initial survivors attempted to cross the ice and reach safety on the Canadian mainland. [ See Photos of the Lost Ship from the Franklin Expedition ]

Recently, Parks Canada archaeologists  found the wreck of the HMS Erebus  during the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition. (Image Credit: © Parks Canada)

København

On Dec. 14, 1928, the København, a Danish East Asiatic Company sailing ship left the Rio de la Plata (an area between Uruguay and Argentina) en route to Australia. It was notable for having five masts.

"She was a well-found vessel, fitted with wireless (radio) an auxiliary engine and ample lifeboats,"  writes Hamish Ross in Sea Breezes Magazine . "A training ship, she had a crew of 60 men, many of whom were cadets, some from very prominent Danish families."

The ship was in touch, through radio, with the Norwegian steamer William Blumer on Dec. 21, but after that it was never heard from again. 

"Following the København's disappearance, many theories sprang up as to her loss, but the most likely seems to be that she struck an iceberg in darkness or fog," writes Ross. "There were also reports of sightings of a phantom five-masted vessel in 1930." In 2012, a wreck was found at the island of Tristan da Cunha that could potentially be the København. (Image Credit: State Library of Queensland, courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

HMS Eurydice

In 1878, the HMS Eurydice, a Royal Navy training vessel, was lost while sailing near the Isle of Wight. A sudden snowstorm sunk the vessel, killing 364 crewmembers, on what had been a calm day. The storm occurred so suddenly, the ship's crew didn't have enough time to react, according to news reports. 

The "Eurydice continued at full sail with her gun ports open before disappearing in the midst of the blizzard," writes Victoria Bartlett in  an article on the BBC website . Ultimately, there were only two survivors, Bartlett notes. The ship was refloated but, being heavily damaged, was scrapped. 

Since then, there have been stories of a ghostly HMS Eurydice haunting the area where the ship sank. "Sailors and visitors are also said to have witnessed sightings of a 'ghost ship' off the Isle of Wight," writes Bartlett. In the 1930s, a British submarine reported encountering the ghostly vessel. Additionally, "Prince Edward reportedly saw the ship while filming an ITV documentary in 1998," Bartlett writes. (Image Credit: public domain, courtesy Wikimedia)

Mary Celeste

On Dec. 4, 1872, a boarding party on the British brigantine ship named the Dei Gratia found a ship named the Mary Celeste adrift at sea in the Atlantic Ocean, not far from the Azores. The ship was completely deserted, the boarding party found. 

Of the 10 people known to have sailed aboard the Mary Celeste, none were ever found. A lifeboat was missing, but the ship's log gave no indication as to why the Mary Celeste was abandoned. The boarding party found that there had been some flooding, with at least one pump out of order. The ship was carrying over 1,700 barrels of alcohol, a few of which had spilled open. 

There was little damage, and the flooding posed little problem. A crew from Dei Gratia pumped out the water and sailed the Mary Celeste to Gibraltar where the British authorities began an investigation into what happened. They were unable to come up with a definitive answer, and the case of the Mary Celeste has remained unsolved ever since. 

Different ideas have been put forward. A few barrels of alcohol had spilled open, which might have made the crew afraid that their hold was going to explode. This could have prompted their captain, Benjamin Briggs, to order them to abandon ship. It's also been proposed that Briggs thought the flooding was worse than it actually was. With at least one pump not working, he may have given the order to abandon ship. [ In Images: Ancient Maps and Sea Monsters ]

Other, more far-fetched ideas involve  sea monsters , mutineers or pirates. (Image Credit: Public domain, courtesy Wikimedia Commons) 

Flying Dutchman

The  most famous ghost ship  of all is the Flying Dutchman, said to haunt the waters near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. 

"The term 'Flying Dutchman' actually refers to the captain, not his ship," writes Angus Konstam in his book "Ghost Ships: Tales of Abandoned, Doomed and Haunted Vessels" (Lyons Press, 2005). 

There are several variations of the story, but the most famous one is that the ship's pilot, Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken, who lived in the 17th century and served with the Dutch East India Company, encountered a storm off the Cape of Good Hope, Konstam notes. "He swore that he would spite God's wrath, and take his ship into Table Bay, despite anything that God and the elements could throw against him," Konstam writes. But the ship hit a rock and sank, taking the entire crew along with it. 

As punishment, the captain and his ghostly crew are said to sail the waters for all eternity, hoping one day to be forgiven. "They were hence refused admittance into every port, and are ordained still to traverse the ocean on which they perished, till the period of their penance expires," reads a story, published in an 1803 book by John Leyden, describing how the crew's punishment worked. (Image Credit: PLRANG | Shutterstock.com)

Follow us  @livescience ,  Facebook   &  Google+ . 

Sign up for the Live Science daily newsletter now

Get the world’s most fascinating discoveries delivered straight to your inbox.

Owen Jarus

Owen Jarus is a regular contributor to Live Science who writes about archaeology and humans' past. He has also written for The Independent (UK), The Canadian Press (CP) and The Associated Press (AP), among others. Owen has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University. 

 alt=

'Yeti hair' found in Himalayas is actually from a horse, BBC series reveals

Haunting 'mermaid' mummy from Japan is a gruesome monkey-fish hybrid with 'dragon claws,' new scans reveal

American burying beetle: The meat-eating insect that buries bodies for its babies to feast on

Most Popular

By Nicoletta Lanese January 12, 2024

By Jennifer Nalewicki January 12, 2024

By Robert Lea January 12, 2024

By Robert Lea January 11, 2024

By Jennifer Nalewicki January 11, 2024

By Melissa Hobson January 11, 2024

By Sascha Pare January 11, 2024

By Wei Gordon, Nadav Ahituv January 11, 2024

By Harry Baker January 11, 2024

By Owen Jarus January 11, 2024

By Marta Zaraska January 11, 2024

  • 2 James Webb telescope finds 'vanishing' galaxy from the dawn of the universe
  • 3 Intergalactic 'stream of stars' 10 times longer than the Milky Way is the 1st of its kind ever spotted
  • 4 Temple linked to Hercules and Alexander the Great discovered in ancient megacity in Iraq
  • 5 6 million-year-old 'fossil groundwater pool' discovered deep beneath Sicilian mountains
  • 2 How many times has Earth orbited the sun?
  • 3 Clouded leopard: The cat with saber-like teeth that can walk upside down in trees
  • 4 Inflammation is a 'mismatch between our evolutionary history and modern environment,' says immunologist Ruslan Medzhitov
  • 5 'If you don't have inflammation, then you'll die': How scientists are reprogramming the body's natural superpower

known ghost ships

Ghost Ships: Haunting World of Abandoned Vessels

Maritime ghost stories have long captured the imagination of sailors and landlubbers alike. The vast and often treacherous oceans have claimed countless lives and ships over the centuries. It is no surprise that these waters are said to be haunted by the ghosts of those who perished at sea.

These stories are often steeped in mystery, folklore, and superstition. They also offer a glimpse into the rich maritime history of the world.

The Flying Dutchman

The mary celeste, the ss valencia, rms titanic, the ghost ship of northumberland strait, the cursed crew of the ss baychimo, the haunted lighthouse of st. augustine, the phantom crew of the mary alice, the ghostly lights of the diamond shoals.

One of the most famous maritime ghost stories is that of the Flying Dutchman. According to legend, the Flying Dutchman was a ghost ship that was cursed to sail the seas forever. The ship was said to be captained by a man named Vanderdecken, who had defied the heavens by trying to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in a storm. The ship was struck by lightning, and all aboard were condemned to sail the seas until the end of time.

Flying Dutchman

The legend of the Flying Dutchman has been popularised in literature and film. It has since become a symbol of the dangers and mysteries of the sea. Many sailors have claimed to have seen the ghostly ship. Sightings have been reported as recently as the 21st century.

The Mary Celeste is one of the most famous ghost ships in maritime history. The ship was discovered adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872, with no crew on board. The ship was fully seaworthy and there were no signs of struggle or foul play. All of the crew’s personal belongings were still on board, as well as a six-month supply of food and water.

The discovery of the Mary Celeste sparked a mystery that has never been fully solved. There have been countless theories and speculations about what happened to the crew. These range from mutiny to piracy to natural disasters. Some have even suggested that the ship was haunted or cursed.

Read More:  HMS Edinburgh Shipwreck Had $222 Million Worth of Gold Onboard

One of the most popular theories is that the crew abandoned ship due to a malfunctioning or exploding alcohol stove. This caused a fire and forced them to abandon ship in the lifeboat. Another theory is that the crew encountered a waterspout, a rare weather phenomenon that can cause violent storms and damage to ships.

Mary Celeste

Despite numerous investigations and inquiries, no definitive explanation for the Mary Celeste’s mysterious fate has ever been found. The ship has since become a symbol of maritime mystery. Its story has been retold in countless books, movies, and TV shows. The Mary Celeste remains a haunting reminder of the many unexplained events and tragedies that have occurred at sea over the centuries.

Another chilling maritime ghost story is that of the SS Valencia. The SS Valencia was a passenger ship that sank off the coast of Vancouver Island in 1906. The ship was carrying over 100 passengers and crew, and only 37 survived. The rest perished in the icy waters, and their ghosts are said to haunt the area to this day.

According to legend, the ghosts of the Valencia victims can be seen wandering the beaches and cliffs of Vancouver Island.

Read More:  USS Johnston the Deepest Shipwreck Ever Found

They’re believed to be searching for their loved ones and trying to find peace. Many locals have reported strange sightings and eerie sensations in the area. Some even believe that the ghosts of the Valencia are responsible for a number of shipwrecks and other accidents in the region.

The sinking of the Titanic is one of the most well-known maritime disasters in history. It has spawned countless stories and legends over the years. One of the most haunting tales is that of the ghostly figure of a man who was seen walking along the deck of the ship on the night it sank.

Titanic

According to eyewitness accounts, the man was dressed in old-fashioned clothing and had a sad expression on his face. He was seen by several passengers and crew members, and some believe that he was the ghost of a man who had died on the ship’s maiden voyage. The ghostly figure has been immortalized in literature and film, and he is a reminder of the tragedy and loss that occurred on that fateful night.

The Northumberland Strait is located off the coast of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia in Canada. It is said to be haunted by a ghost ship that appears out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly. According to legend, the ship is a schooner called the Palatine, which was wrecked off the coast in the 18th century. The ship was carrying German immigrants who were fleeing persecution, and it is said that their spirits haunt the waters to this day.

The SS Baychimo was a cargo ship that was used to transport furs and other goods in the Arctic Circle in the early 20th century. In 1931, the ship became trapped in ice and the crew was forced to abandon it. However, the ship did not sink and was spotted drifting in the Arctic waters over the next several years.

Read More:  WW1 Shipwreck Contains Wine Worth Millions

Despite numerous attempts to salvage the ship, it was never recovered and was eventually declared lost at sea. Legend has it that the crew of the Baychimo was cursed and that their ghosts still haunt the Arctic waters to this day.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida is said to be haunted by the ghosts of two women who died during its construction in the late 19th century.

Marlborough

One woman, named Maria, fell to her death while painting the lighthouse. The other, named Elizabeth, died of illness during the same time period. Visitors to the lighthouse have reported seeing the ghostly apparitions of the two women, as well as hearing strange noises and feeling cold spots.

The Mary Alice was a schooner that sank off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1918, killing all on board. However, in the days and weeks following the sinking, several fishermen reported seeing the ghostly apparitions of the Mary Alice’s crew sailing the waters in a ghost ship. According to legend, the ghostly crew can still be seen sailing the waters of the Bay of Fundy to this day.

The Diamond Shoals is located off the coast of North Carolina. it’s an area known for treacherous currents and shifting sands, which have caused countless shipwrecks over the years. According to legend, the shoals are also haunted by ghostly lights that lure ships to their doom. The lights are said to be the spirits of sailors who perished in the treacherous waters. They are known to confuse and disorient sailors, causing them to run aground on the shoals.

Read More:  Japanese Submarine her 80-man Crew Still Entombed

Maritime ghost stories are an intriguing and eerie aspect of maritime history. Whether based on fact or folklore, these tales offer a glimpse into the dangers and mysteries of the sea. They remind us of the many lives that have been lost to the waters over the centuries.

You may also like

Battleship in Bogen Bay.

Cultura Colectiva

  • Celebrities
  • Photography

Cultura Colectiva

The Little-Known Stories of the Ghost Ships That Haunt the Seven Seas

If you imagine a ghost then you most likely think of an old haunted house, hotel, cemetery or battlefield. however, there are ghost ships that haunt the high seas..

Joshua Nathan

We’ve all heard of how people will stick messages in a bottle that will wash ashore years and many thousands of miles away from where it was thrown into the ocean for someone random to find and read. Well, imagine that, but instead of a piece of paper stuffed into a glass bottle, it is a whole ship that has no crew or passengers as it floats around the ocean.

Ghost ships are when a ship’s crew disappeared without a trace and are said to be haunting the ocean as the unmanned ships float around without a destination. There are a few ships that have become famous for the mystery surrounding how the crew disappeared.

The Most Famous Ghost Ships in History

Mary celeste.

Ghost ships history 5 - the little-known stories of the ghost ships that haunt the seven seas

On November 5, 1872, Mary Celeste left New York harbor en route to Genoa, Italy, with Captain Benjamin Briggs, an experienced sea captain, in charge of the merchant ship with seven crew members, as well as his wife and daughter. On December 4, the ship Dei Gratia was on her way to Gibraltar and following the same route as the Mary Celeste though she had left New York ten days later.

The Dei Gratia’s crew alerted their captain of a ship nearby that seemed to be either in distress or lost. A boarding party found the ship empty. There was no sign of anybody on board though they found the ship’s daily log, which was dated November 25, and put the ship 400 nautical miles away from where it was found 9 days later.

There was no sign of damage to the ship nor blood or evidence of violence. There was plenty of food onboard, and everything was where it should be, except the people and one tiny lifeboat. The captain of the Dei Gratia, Captain Morehouse, sent half his crew to sail the abandoned Mary Celeste to take the ship to Gibraltar where he could claim a hefty sum for the merchandise still onboard. Nobody ever found out what happened to Captain Briggs, his family, and his crew, who were never seen again.

Ghost ships history 4 - the little-known stories of the ghost ships that haunt the seven seas

On October 3, 1955, the MV Joyita left Apia harbor in Samoa en route to Tokelau Island,s just 270 miles away, with sixteen crew members and nine passengers. The trip was supposed to take about 48 hours. However, the ship never arrived, and it wasn’t until five weeks later, on November 10, that a merchant ship caught sight of the MV Joyita and radioed in the location.

The ship was over 600 miles away from the route it was supposed to be on when it was found. There was nobody on board, and the ship was listing heavily to one side and showing signs of damage from having been drifting around in rough seas for a few weeks. The mystery deepened when investigators realized that the ship’s log and navigational equipment were missing.

There was a doctor’s bag found that had blood-stained bandages in it. The radio was tuned to 2182 kHz, which is the international distress channel. The twenty-five passengers were never found, and it was never determined why the crew would abandon the ship leaving it a mystery that may never be solved.

Flying Dutchman

Ghost ships history 3 - the little-known stories of the ghost ships that haunt the seven seas

The Flying Dutchman is a true ghost ship since it may have never existed, and like other mysterious sea creatures, it is an ominous sight for any sailor to see. It has been part of nautical lore ever since the late 1700s when sailors began telling tales of seeing a ghostly ship that left them terror-stricken.

It has been allegedly seen near Australia, the middle of the Atlantic, and just about anywhere else as it apparently drifts unable, possibly due to a curse, to enter a port. Sailors have said that the Flying Dutchman has come alongside their ships, and ghostly-looking sailors have tried to send messages to land for dead people, who are still waiting for the crew to arrive.

King George V of England claimed to have seen the Flying Dutchman while off the coast of Australia in 1881. The legend of the Flying Dutchman continues, to this day, especially through film, theater, art, literature, and of course, sailors who claim to have seen the ghost ship.

Lady Lovibond

Ghost ships history 2 - the little-known stories of the ghost ships that haunt the seven seas

The Lady Lovibond is said to have run ashore and been wrecked off the coast of southeast England in the 1740s and returns every once in a while as a ghost ship that is spotted by sailors and people on land. However, there are no records of the ship ever existing or of a shipwreck where it is said to have been wrecked.

The story goes that the ship’s captain had just gotten married and decided to take his wife aboard for a trip abroad for their honeymoon. For centuries, sailors thought that having a woman onboard was bad luck, and Lady Lovibond is used as evidence of this.

Since then, though, ships have seen the Lady Lovibond in the area and have even attempted to get close but have never been successful. Even though historians doubt it ever excited the sailors who have come across Lady Lovibond swear that she is real and out there haunting the coast of England.

Joshua Nathan

© Cultura Colectiva 2023

  • Código de Ética
  • Aviso de Privacidad

known ghost ships

Nautical Study Empowering Maritime Education and Knowledge Sharing

Prime 10 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Tales of the Maritime World

by nauticalstudy | Sep 9, 2023 | Trending Now | 0 comments

known ghost ships

Thriller, worry, and enigma embody the seafaring ghost ships’ or phantom ships’ tales which have been handed round all through centuries by sailors, anglers and others.

These mysterious ships are fantasied as spectral phantasms that materialise in the midst of the ocean and disappear shortly, apparently a foul omen.

As well as, deserted ships, that are discovered adrift, and left desolated underneath fearsome and cryptic circumstances, are included on this class.

Albeit these all being marine legends and generally missing authenticity, a few of these haunted ships proceed to impress hypothesis and fearful anticipation.

We current you with ten such mysterious ghost ships of the maritime world that will absolutely offer you an eerie feeling and goosebumps.

Associated Studying:

Prime 10 Wonderful Ocean Mysteries and Phenomena

Prime 10 Wonderful Ocean Mysteries and Phenomena – Half 2

11. SV Kaz II

SV Kaz II was discovered adrift, 88 miles off the coast of Australia, close to the Nice Barrier Reef, simply 5 days after it set sail from Airlie seashore in the direction of Townsville, Queensland, in April 2007. As per investigation reviews, the 12 m catamaran was crusing with a three-person crew who weren’t skilled, sailors. Nonetheless, what occurred to them stays a thriller to this present day.

Their disappearance with no hint has been in comparison with the crew of Mary Celeste, one other ship whose crew went lacking underneath mysterious circumstances. Many consider tough climate situations may very well be a cause; others blame pirates and even communists for a similar.

Surprisingly, the vessel was present in excellent situation, aside from the one sail, which had been shredded to items. The three males had been by no means found. In response to investigators, they may have drowned whereas making an attempt to untangle a fishing lure caught within the vessel’s rudder. It’s also envisaged {that a} sea monster may have swallowed them.

10. The Caleuche

It’s a legend of the Chilota mythology, the place it’s described as a ghost ship which comes into being each night time close to the island of Chiloe. It says the vessel carries the spirits of all of the individuals who have drowned at sea.

The Caleuche is strikingly lovely, shiny and homosexual, at all times surrounded by celebration music sounds and laughter.

Nonetheless, it solely stays for a couple of moments after which all of a sudden disappears or submerges itself underneath the water. Three Chilota’ water spirits’ – the Sirena Chilota, the Pincoya, and the Picoy – who resemble mermaids, summons the spirits of the drowned.

9. The SS Valencia

In 1906, the SS Valencia sank off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, after encountering dangerous climate close to Cape Mendocino and have become a topic of mysterious ghost tales.

Ultimately, 37 of merely 108 individuals had been saved utilizing lifeboats , amongst which one disappeared.

Since then, many fishermen have claimed to witness ghost ship sightings with human skeletons even after many many years put up sinking.

The Thriller of the Mary Celeste Ghost Ship

Unexplained Thriller: The Satan’s Sea (The Dragon’s Triangle)

8. The SS Ourang Medan

In 1947, whereas passing via the Strait of Malacca, two American ships went off on a rescue mission after receiving a misery name from Ourang Medan.

The caller claimed to be a crewmember and conveyed the message of the loss of life of everybody else on board. His phrases weirdly ended with “I die”. The rescuers discovered the ship unhurt, however all the crew, together with the canine, lifeless with terrified faces and expressions.

Earlier than the additional investigation, the deserted ship caught hearth and exploded. The possible cause may very well be over-exposure to nitroglycerin, which it was carrying illegally. The opposite thriller revolves across the story of paranormal actions and alien invasion.

7. The Carroll A. Deering

This ship ran aground within the infamous Diamond Shoals close to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1921, the place it was caught for a number of days earlier than any rescue crew may arrive. After unloading a coal cargo, the vessel was travelling from Rio de Janeiro again to Norfolk, Virginia.

Later, the Coast Guard discovered that the navigational gear, logbook and two lifeboats had been lacking from the deserted ship, in any other case undamaged.

Investigation confirmed that a couple of different ships had additionally disappeared underneath mysterious circumstances across the similar time, which may very well be the pirates’ barbarity, crew mutiny, or extraterrestrial exercise across the notorious Bermuda triangle.

6. The SS Baychimo

Constructed within the early Twenties, this is among the real-life ghost ships which was, in 1931, trapped within the pack-ice close to Alaska, leaving no hopes for the proprietor Hudson Bay Firm however to desert it.

Nonetheless, it remained adrift for the subsequent 38 years and was ceaselessly sighted floating aimlessly within the waters off Alaska.

Climate situations had at all times made it unimaginable to salvage, however since 1969, it has disappeared utterly. Just a few expedition programmes had since been launched to hint again this mysterious ghost ship.

Associated Studying

5 Well-known Mysterious Tales of the Bermuda Triangle

Prime 10 Wonderful Info In regards to the Misplaced Metropolis of Atlantis

5. The Octavius

The Octavius grew to become greater than only a legend in 1775 when a whaling ship named the Herald discovered it aimlessly drifting off the coast of Greenland with all of its crew frozen lifeless by the arctic chilly.

So as to add to the spooky setting, the ship’s captain was discovered sitting at his desk, with a logbook in entrance of him, and ending a log entry from 1762.

This might imply that the Octavius had been floating for 13 years and accomplished its passage to the Atlantic whereas returning to England from the Orient by way of the Northwest Passage as a ghost ship.

4. The MV Joyita

In 1955 this fishing and constitution boat was discovered deserted within the South Pacific, 5 weeks after it had been reported overdue. The air-search mission couldn’t hint it till a service provider ship discovered it drifting nearly 600 miles off its supply with no signal of passengers, crew members and cargo. The liferafts had been lacking, together with the firearms and different gear onboard.

There was a physician’s bag and several other bloody bandages on the deck, and the damaged radio was tuned to the common misery sign . Nonetheless, what occurred there was by no means revealed as not one of the crew was ever seen once more.

3. The Woman Lovibond

An thrilling story of affection, jealousy and rage enhances the story of this haunted ship. In 1748, the day earlier than Valentine’s Day, it was set to sail as a celebration of the ship’s captain’s marriage ceremony.

Nonetheless, his good friend, who was too in love along with her, out of vengeance, steered the ship into the infamous Goodwind Sands, sinking it and killing all on board.

Since then, it may very well be seen each fifty years crusing round Kent. 1798, 1848, 1898 and 1948 witnessed this ship’s sightseeing, and a few boats had despatched out rescuers, assuming it was in misery, however later couldn’t be discovered. Albeit there was no confirmed recognizing in 1998, this well-known ghost ship continues to be a legend.

2. The Mary Celeste

British Ship Dei Gratia discovered the Mary Celeste on 4th Dec 1872, close to the Strait of Gibraltar. It was bizarre because the latter had left New York eight days earlier than the Dei Gratia and may have reached its vacation spot, Genoa, Italy, by now. Nonetheless, the boarding celebration from the British vessel found that beneath deck, issues appeared fairly commonplace with no indicators of any assault.

Most likely probably the most well-known real-life ghost ship’s story embraces the Mary Celeste, discovered adrift within the Atlantic Ocean in 1872 in a totally unhurt situation with all its sails nonetheless up, the crew’s private belongings intact and a cargo maintain of over 1500 alcohol barrels untouched.

The one issues lacking had been the lifeboat, the captain’s logbook and most significantly, the entire crew. Since pirate assaults couldn’t be held liable for such a phenomenon, theories of crew mutiny, waterspout killing, and consumption of toxic meals resulting in insanity got here into being.

Nonetheless, probably the most affordable clarification may very well be a storm or technical concern, compelling the crew to right away abandon the ship within the lifeboat and die later at sea. Aside from these, the thriller of this haunted ship surrounds by ghosts and even sea monsters and alien abduction theories.

Captain Morehouse of Dei Gratia knew Captain Briggs of Celeste to be a succesful sailor, resulting in extra suspicions about what truly occurred. Nonetheless, the poor destiny of Mary Celeste and its souls has been immortalised in Arthur Conan Doyle’s quick story written in 1884, J Habakuk’s Jephson’s Assertion.

1. The Flying Dutchman

In maritime folklore, this ghost ship has left the utmost influence like no different by inspiring quite a few work, movies, books, operas, and many others. The Pirates of the Caribbean, the Useless Man’s Chest options the story and is the most well-liked film made on this legend.

Van der Decken, the captain, on its manner in the direction of East Indies, with sheer willpower, tried to steer his ship via the hostile climate situation of the Cape of Good Hope however failed miserably even after vowing to float till the doomsday. Legend says that since then, they’ve been cursed to sail the oceans for eternity.

To this present day, a whole lot of fisherman and sailors from the deep sea have claimed to have witnessed the Flying Dutchman persevering with its unending voyage throughout the waters.

Often Requested Questions About Ghost Ships

1. what’s the that means of the time period ‘ghost ship’.

Ghost ships are these sea-going vessels which are related to some supernatural exercise or unexplained powers. These vessels which have been deserted by crew and passengers, or have drifted away from their docks or whereas at sea, are additionally referred to as ghost ships. Ships nonetheless in operation, may also be reffered to as ghost ships, as tales of paranormal actions or eerie experiences unfold via the crew and passengers of the vessel.

2. Which ghost ships are at present crusing on the oceans’ unmanned’?

There are numerous examples of ghost ships crusing with no soul. One such vessel is the MV Lyubov Orlova, an erstwhile Russian cruise ship carrying vacationers across the Arctic. In the present day, its visitors are solely rats. The vessel was discovered adrift close to the coast of Eire and will probably be dismantled quickly.

3. When was the final Ghost Ship discovered?

The final ghost ship was present in 2018 on the coast of Eire in the course of the Dennis Storm. The MV Alta ran aground near Ballycotton, County Cork. It was discovered adrift and unmanned within the Atlantic by the HMS Protector after it grew to become disabled, and the US Coast Guard rescued its crew.

4. What causes the mirage of ghost ships?

Our mind interprets that gentle travels in a straight line. Nonetheless, different components at sea, together with refraction, temperature, local weather and light-weight waves, creates a mirage of a ship floating above the horizon. Typically it might look distorted and above the water floor. The precise ship is likely to be beneath the horizon or on the opposite aspect.

5. What number of deserted ships are within the ocean?

In 2020, the IMO Database talked about about 438 ships deserted worldwide. It additionally listed 5767 crews deserted since 2004. Nonetheless, since not all lacking circumstances are delivered to the IMO, the variety of lacking and deserted vessels is far larger.

You may also wish to learn.

Disclaimer:  The authors’ views expressed on this article don’t essentially mirror the views of Marine Perception. Information and charts, if used within the article, have been sourced from out there info and haven’t been authenticated by any statutory authority. The writer and Marine Perception don’t declare it to be correct nor settle for any duty for a similar. The views represent solely the opinions and don’t represent any pointers or advice on any plan of action to be adopted by the reader.

The article or photographs can’t be reproduced, copied, shared or utilized in any kind with out the permission of the writer and Marine Perception. 

Picture credit:

blogspot, purchase pretty, angels ghosts, prime apps, scary for youths, PhotoBucket, hauntedamericatours

Life At Sea You Would Like :

Newest life at sea you would like :.

Get the Newest Maritime Information Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, quick, and enjoyable publication on the worldwide maritime trade, delivered on a regular basis.

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

 Yes, add me to your mailing list

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Maritime Manual Logo

Top 13 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Stories of The Maritime World

Top 13 Mysterious Ghost Ships And Haunted Stories Of The Maritime World

We all have enjoyed mysterious ghost stories in our childhood. In the maritime world, there are lots of ships on which mysterious events took place.

The stories of these mysterious ships are always very interesting. Here are some of the famous ghost ships of the maritime world.

Top 13 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Stories

Top 13 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Stories of The Maritime World 1

1) OCTAVIUS

The story about this ship is very fascinating. On October 11, 1775, the whaler ship Herald found it. The crew of the Herald thought was probably a weather-beaten boat and they decided to give it a closer inspection.

They discovered the 28 sailors, frozen stiff, motionless, and blue . And when they reached the Captain’s office, they found his body frozen at his desk, still holding the pen.

The inkwell and other everyday items were still in their place on the desk. Turning around, they saw a woman wrapped in a blanket on the bunk, frozen to death, along with the body of a young boy.

This ship had started its journey in 1761 and was found by Herald after 14 years. The crew of the Herald were frightened of the Octavius and feared that it was cursed, so they simply left it adrift. To this day, it has never been sighted again.

2) SS OURANG MEDAN

In 1947 the Dutch Freighter SS Ourang Medan sent a cryptic SOS in Morse code; “ All Officers, including the Captain, are dead. “

Lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead. This communication was followed by a burst of indecipherable Morse code, then a final, grim message: “I die.”

Radio directional equipment established the ship’s last position and an American merchant ship some 19hrs away, the Silver Star, was sent to investigate and render aid. The ship was found adrift approximately 50 miles from her Indicated position.

The decks of the vessel were littered with the corpses of the Dutch crew; their eyes wide, their arms grasping at unseen assailants, their faces twisted into revolting visages of agony and horror. Even the ship’s dog was dead. The rescue party noticed several things that seemed strange.

When the ambient temperature was over 100 F. They felt a disturbing chill that was emanating from somewhere on the ship. The bodies of the dead crewmen had no injuries to account for their deaths. It could also be seen that the bodies were decomposing quicker the normal.

The ship didn’t seem to have suffered any damage itself. That is why the Captain of the Silver Star ordered the S.S. Ourang Medan to be towed back for salvage. When the ships were tied together, the smoke was seen to be coming from the No.4 cargo hold of the freighter.

3) MARY CELESTE

On December 5, 1872, while sailing through rough weather, the British brig Dei Gratia sighted a seemingly abandoned ship drifting through the Atlantic near the Azores Islands about 1,000 miles west of Portugal.

When the crew of the Dei Gratia boarded the Mary Celeste, they found everything in perfect order with even the crew’s clothes neatly packed away, yet no people anywhere to be found.

The only clues about the lack of people were a disassembled pump in the hold and a missing lifeboat. So began one of the most enduring mysteries of the sea. There were six months of food and water aboard.

Some believed that the crew had drunk the alcohol and mutinied. But there was no sign of violence. Some said the ship must have been raided by pirates, but no valuables were missing. Sea monsters and waterspouts were also proposed.

In April 2007, the Kaz II was traveling with its three-man crew along the northwest Australian coast, when air surveillance noticed it drifting oddly. Upon boarding, no trace of the crew members could be found .

However, no sign of trouble was discovered either. A laptop computer was still running, and the engine was on. Eating utensils were laid out on the table, while life jackets remained in their cases. The only indication of something out of the ordinary was a ripped sail.

Conspiracy theories as to the fate of the three men, inexperienced sailors in their 50s and 60s, abounded, ranging from pirates, insurance fraud, and even paranormal activity.

A coroner’s court found something far more prosaic – than the three friends had drowned after falling overboard as a result of their lack of nautical nous, though one cannot say for certain as their bodies have never been found. The bizarre and disturbing mystery of Kaz II essentially remains unsolved.

More recently, the body of German sailor Manfred Fritz Bajorat was found slumped over the desk of his yacht Sajo in early 2016.

The grim discovery was made by fishermen when they boarded the drifting yacht off Barabo in Surigeo del Sur province.

After a post-mortem was carried out, local police said there were no signs of foul play and it was believed Bajorat died of natural causes, possibly a heart attack.

It is thought his yacht had been adrift for many months before it was discovered and the dry, salty conditions on board had caused his body to mummify.

6) CARROLL A DEERING

When the Carroll A. Deering was discovered in 1921, its crew vanished and its hull run aground on the treacherous rocks of Diamond Shoals, speculation ran wild.

The ship’s navigation equipment and lifeboats had gone but, to add the mystery, food had been prepared for the next meal. That speculation continues to this day, and no satisfactory explanation for the crew’s disappearance has ever been proven.

7) THE FLYING DUTCHMAN

The Flying Dutchman, 1900 for Collier’s Weekly, December 8, 1900. Howard Pyle (1853-1911). Oil on canvas, 72 1/4 x 48 1/8 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 1912.

The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever. The fable of this Dutch man-of-war ship first appeared in the seventeenth century .

The supposed captain of the ghost ship was apparently inspired by stories of Barend Fokke, whose exceptionally fast trips from the Netherlands to Java were presumed to be aided by the devil.

Sightings of the phantom ship, which apparently occur in bad weather, are supposed to be bad omens for those who pass her.

The most famous report of The Flying Dutchman was by King George V, who apparently saw her all aglow along the coast of Australia as they were sailing in the Bass straight.

The ship has become a famous trope in literature, art, and movies since; she inspired Richard Wagner’s opera of the same name, and more recently made an appearance in the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

8) THE LADY LOVIBOND

There is a legendary story of a ghost ship called the Lady Lovibond that appears every 50 years near Kent, England which was reputedly involved in one of the hundreds of marine tragedies associated with the hazardous Goodwin Sands.

The Lady Lovibond’s legend is one of the most famous ghost ships overwhelmed with romance, jealousy, and revenge. Also, involve an old sailors’ superstition that it was bad luck to bring a woman during a cruise.

The legend began when Simon Peel (some account named Simon Reed), the newlywed captain was celebrating the occasion with a cruise on February 13, 1748. The ship was on its way from London to Oporto in Portugal.

However, John Rivers, the ship’s first mate, fell in love with the captain’s bride, Annetta.

Filled with jealousy and anger, he deliberately steers the ship towards the Goodwin Sands, which often causes a shipwreck. The crash killed all passengers almost instantly, leaving no survivors.

The sightings of the Ghost Ship Lady Lovibond were first seen in 1798. On February 13th, 1798, the Edenbridge’s skipper made a log entry to the effect that he had almost collided with a schooner, a three-master, which was sailing straight for the Goodwin Sands.

Fifty years later, the next sightings occurred in 1848, when the lifeboat crew from Deal went to the rescue of a schooner that seemed to be in distress on the notorious sands. When they reached the spot where they had last seen it, there was no trace of any vessel at all.

9) HIGH AIM 6

Auspiciously timed, this ghost ship was last seen leaving a port in Tawain on Halloween, 2002. The 20-meter boat was then found abandoned in the Timor Sea, within an 80 nautical mile range of Australia’s Rowley Shoals.

The fishing boat’s owner had last been in touch with the captain in December of that year, but by January 2003 High Aim 6 was discovered unmanned.

Strangely, the vessel was found with its engines fully fuelled and running, with all of the crew’s personal belongings and provisions on board. There were also no apparent signs of struggle or damage above or below deck.

The mystery remains unsolved; the only information the authorities received was from a single crew member they had managed to track down and take into custody.

He claimed that the crew of High Aim 6 had mutinied , but no reason was given as to why.

10) THE CALEUCHE

This is a mythical ghost ship in Chile mythology. According to the legends, Caleuche is a large ghost ship seen sailing the seas around Chiloe island at night.

The ship is described as a beautiful and bright white sailing ship full of lights and sounds of a party, dancing, and laughter on board but when sighted it quickly disappears with no traces and evidence of its existence.

It is also claimed that the ship is seen sinking and navigating underwater. It is believed that Caleuche is crewed by those who lost their lives at the sea brought to the ship by Mythological figures: The Sirena Chilota, Pincoya, and Pincay (water spirits).

The dead crew resumes their existence as they were alive. It is also believed that fishermen are kidnapped to serve as human slaves on the ship after being turned into sea creatures.

There are no documented sightings of the ship, (only witness claimes) nor there are any documented incidents of a ship with the same description given by witnesses. The Caleuche is featured in film stories, documentaries, and even songs.

11) THE SS VALENCIA

SS VALENCIA

It was a passenger steamer ship that sunk off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia in 1906. The ship encountered bad weather drifting it off course, struck a reef, and started to sink.

The crew quickly began lowering lifeboats holding 108 passengers into the water. Only 37 of 108 people survived , some lifeboats sunk in the rough waters others simply disappeared.

Five months later, a fisherman claimed he had found a life raft with 8 skeletons in it in a nearby cave. A search was launched to find the bodies of the missing crew but nothing was found.

SS Valencia eventually became the source of many ghost ship stories. Sailors would often claim they could see the specter of the streamer drifting away leaving no traces.

27 years later after the sinking of SS Valencia, one of the rafts was found empty, floating peacefully in open water. The raft was in remarkable condition and even still had most of its original paint remaining.

The raft’s template is displayed in the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. The official report of the deaths was 136 people.

Only 37 survived. Every woman and child in Valencia died in the disaster. In 1910, sailors claimed to have seen a phantom ship near Pachena Point resembling Valencia.

12) THE BAYCHIMO

This ship was built in 1914 in Sweden. The vessel was used in World War I and it was given to Great Britain after that. In the hands of Great Britain, the boat was used for exploring the Arctic passageways during the 1920s.

In the fall of 1931 on the way back home the boat got stuck in the ice because of the bad weather. With the weather only getting worse the crew had to leave the ship to get to safety.

The crew returned to attempt to free the ship when the conditions were better, only to find that the ship completely vanished out of sight.

Several months later reports from various parties in the Antarctic waters report of seeing the Baychimo drifting freely in the waters.

Many parties managed to board the ship to investigate and explore but weather conditions never allowed for the ship to be retrieved.

During the 1930s the freely drifting vessel became known as the ghost of the arctic waters.

13) THE JOYITA

MV Joyita

It was acquired by the US Navy and outfitted as a patrol boat. This fishing and charter boat was found by the Merchant ship, five weeks after it had been reported overdue.

It was drifting almost 600 miles off its original source with no sign of crew and cargo. The recovery party noted that the radio was discovered tuned to 2182 kHz, the international marine radiotelephone distress channel.

A break was found in the antenna cable, which would have limited the effective range of the distress calls to about 2 miles. The cable had been painted over, obscuring the break.

A doctor’s bag was found on deck, containing a stethoscope, a scalpel, and four lengths of blood-stained bandages. She did not carry life jackets for everyone on board.

She had a ship’s boat and 3 rescue life rafts that were apparently deployed. Her logbook, navigation equipment were all removed. What happened actually there was never revealed as none of the crew was ever seen again .

known ghost ships

Similar Posts

Amazing Magdeburg Water Bridge: Longest Navigable Aqueduct in the World

Amazing Magdeburg Water Bridge: Longest Navigable Aqueduct in the World

The Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany is the longest navigable aqueduct that connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittelland Canal, crossing over the Elbe River. What comes to your mind first when we say a bridge? Right, the first thing that comes to our mind is that a Bridge is a structure that acts as…

Hydrostatic Release Unit: A Complete Guide

Hydrostatic Release Unit: A Complete Guide

A Hydrostatic Release Unit (HRU) is a pressure-activated mechanism. It is designed to automatically deploy a life raft under certain pressure. In case a vessel sinks, the HRU will activate and release the life raft at a depth between 1,5 and 4 meters. The pressure of the water against a diaphragm within the sealed casing…

15 Deepest Parts Of The Ocean

15 Deepest Parts Of The Ocean

The earth is known as the ‘blue planet’ because of its blue appearance from space. This blue color obviously comes from the oceans on earth which comprise nearly 70% of the total surface of the planet. Oceans are an important field of research as they comprise currents, volcanoes, mountains, tectonic plates, shallow waters, deep trenches,…

Who Is A Marine Biologist?

Who Is A Marine Biologist?

What is Marine Biology? Marine biology is a branch of science that deals with the study of marine life and the organisms found in the sea. It can also include the study of the ocean itself as well as human relations with the marine world. It is a very broad field and requires a lot…

Straddle Carriers [ULTIMATE GUIDE]

Straddle Carriers [ULTIMATE GUIDE]

A straddle carrier or also known as a straddle truck is a lifting apparatus. Straddle carriers helps in lifting the containers for stacking them on the terminals. It ensures easy and smooth movement of containers from one place to another. The working of a straddle carrier is different from that of a conventional truck which…

Oil Spills And Their Impact

Oil Spills And Their Impact

What is an Oil Spill? The accidental disposal of oil into the water of oceans and seas due to careless handling or human error is called an oil spill. Oil spills cause widespread destruction of the aquatic ecosystem as well as huge economic loss. The indispensability of oil in our day-to-day lives is unquestionable. The…

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Read More

Toptenz.net

Top 10 Ghost Ships That Still Haunt the Seas

Evan Andrews

Ghost ships, or phantom ships, make up a big part of the seafaring lore that has been passed down by sailors and fisherman throughout the years. The ships are said to be spectral apparitions that materialize on the horizon before quickly disappearing, and they are believed to be a sign of bad things to come. The term is also used to describe abandoned vessels that are found adrift with no crew or passengers, often under frightening and mysterious circumstances. Whether real stories of these derelict ships or legends about phantom craft trawling the seas, the following are the ten most famous ghost ships that continue to provoke speculation and mystery in the nautical world.

10. The Caleuche

9. the ss valencia.

SS Valencia in 1904.

The SS Valencia was steamer ship that sank off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia in 1906. The ship had encountered bad weather near Cape Mendocino, and after drifting off course, struck a reef and began taking on water. The crew quickly began lowering lifeboats holding the ship’s 108 passengers into the water, but several of these capsized, and one simply disappeared. The Valencia eventually sank, and only 37 of the roughly 180 people on board survived. Five months later, a fisherman claimed he had found a life raft with 8 skeletons in it in a nearby cave. A search was launched, but it found nothing. Thanks to its dramatic end, the Valencia eventually became the source of numerous ghost ship stories. Sailors would often claim they could see the specter of the steamer drifting near the reef in Pachena Point, and to this day the ship is the source of frequent wild theories and ghost ship sightings. In a bizarre twist , 27 years after the sinking of the Valencia, one of its life rafts was found floating peacefully in nearby Barkley Sound. The “ghost raft” was said to be in remarkable condition, and even still had most of its original coat of paint.

8. The Ourang Medan

Image result for Ourang Medan

The story of the Ourang Medan begins in 1947, when two American ships received a distress call while navigating the Strait of Malacca, off the coast of Malaysia. The caller identified himself as a member of the crew of the Ourang Medan, a Dutch vessel, and supposedly claimed that the ship’s captain and crew were all dead or dying. The messages became jumbled and bizarre before trailing off and ending with the words: “I die.” The ships quickly raced to the scene to help. When they arrived, they found that the Ourang Medan was undamaged, but that the entire crew—even the ship’s dog— was dead, their bodies and faces locked in terrified poses and expressions, and many pointing at something that was not there.  Before the rescuers could investigate further, the ship mysteriously caught on fire, and they had to evacuate. Soon after, the Ourang Medan is said to have exploded and then sank. While the details and the overall veracity of the Ourang Medan story are still widely debated, there have been a number of theories proposed about what might have caused the death of the crew. The most popular of these is that the ship was illegally transporting nitroglycerin or some kind of illegal nerve agent, which was not properly secured and seeped out into the air. Others, meanwhile, have claimed the ship was a victim of a UFO attack or some other kind of paranormal event.

7. The Carroll A. Deering

Carroll A. Deering as seen from the Cape Lookout lightship on January 28, 1921. (US Coast Guard) This image is a work of a United States Coast Guard employee, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Perhaps the most famous ghost ship of the Eastern Seaboard is the Carroll A. Deering, a schooner that ran aground near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in 1921. The ship had just returned from a commercial voyage to deliver coal in South America, and had last been spotted just south of Hatteras by a lightship near Cape Lookout. It ran aground in the notorious Diamond Shoals, an area famous for causing shipwrecks, and sat there for several days before any help was able to reach it. When they did arrive, the Coast Guard found that the ship was completely abandoned. The navigation equipment and logbook were missing, as were the two lifeboats, but otherwise there were no signs of any kind of foul play.

A massive investigation by the U.S. government followed, which discovered that several other ships had disappeared under mysterious circumstances around the same time. Several theories were eventually put forth, the most popular being that the ship fell victim to pirates or rumrunners. Others suggested that mutiny might have been the cause, as the Deering’s first mate was known to bear some animosity toward its Captain, but no definitive proof has even been discovered. The mystery surrounding the ghost ship has encouraged wild speculation, and many have argued that paranormal activity might have been responsible, citing the ship’s passage through the infamous Bermuda triangle as proof that some kind of otherworldly phenomena might be to blame.

6. The Baychimo

Cargoship Baychimo somewhere in Canada.

One of the most amazing cases of a real-life ghost ship concerns the Baychimo, a cargo steamer that was abandoned and left to drift the seas near Alaska for nearly forty years. The ship was owned by the Hudson Bay Company, and was launched in the early 1920s and used to trade pelts and furs with the Inuit in northern Canada. But in 1931, the Baychimo became trapped in pack ice near Alaska, and after many attempts to break it free, its crew were eventually airlifted out of the area to safety. After a heavy blizzard, the ship managed to break free of the ice, but it was badly damaged and was abandoned by the Hudson Bay Company, who assumed it would not last the winter.

Amazingly, the Baychimo managed to stay afloat, and for the next 38 years, it remained adrift in the waters off Alaska. The ship became something of a local legend, and was frequently sighted aimlessly floating near the frozen ice packs by Eskimos and other vessels. It was boarded several times, but weather conditions always made salvaging it nearly impossible. The Baychimo was last sighted in 1969, again frozen in the ice off of Alaska, but it has since disappeared. The ship is believed to have sunk in the intervening years, but recently a number of expeditions have been launched in search of now nearly 80-year-old ghost ship.

5. The Octavius

Image result for ghost ship jenny 1823

Although it is now considered more legend than anything, the story of the Octavius remains one of the most famous of all ghost ship stories. The tale dates back to 1775, when it is said that a whaling ship called the Herald stumbled across the Octavius floating aimlessly off the coast of Greenland. Crewmembers from the Herald boarded the Octavius, where they discovered the bodies of the crew and passengers all frozen solid by the arctic cold. Most notably, the crew found the ship’s captain still sitting at his desk, midway through finishing a log entry from 1762, which meant the Octavius had been adrift for 13 years. According to the legend, it was eventually discovered that the captain had gambled on making a quick return to England from the Orient via the Northwest Passage, but that the ship had become trapped in the ice. If true, this would mean the Octavius had completed its passage to the Atlantic as a ghost ship , its crew and captain long dead from exposure to the elements.

4. The Joyita

known ghost ships

The Joyita was a fishing and charter boat that was found abandoned in the South Pacific in 1955. The ship, along with its 25 passengers and crew, were en route to the Tokelau Islands when something happened, and it was not until hours later that the Joyita was reported overdue and a rescue attempt launched. A massive air search was undertaken, but it failed to find the missing ship, and it was not until five weeks later that a merchant ship stumbled upon the Joyita drifting some 600 miles off its original course. There was no sign of any of the passengers, crew, cargo, or life rafts, and the ship was damaged and listing quite badly to one side. Further inspection by authorities found that the ship’s radio was tuned to the universal distress signal, and a search of the deck uncovered a doctor’s bag and several bloody bandages. None of the crew or passengers was ever seen again, and the mystery of what happened has never been revealed. The most popular theory is that pirates killed the passengers and threw their bodies overboard, but other claims have included everything from mutiny and kidnapping to insurance fraud.

3. The Lady Lovibond

https://youtu.be/t6c3AKXV1-A?t=477

The UK has a long tradition of legends about ghost ships, and of these the Lady Lovibond is perhaps the most famous. As the story goes, the Lady Lovibond’s captain, Simon Peel, had just gotten married, and decided to take his ship out on a cruise to celebrate. He brought his new bride along—going against a longstanding seafaring belief that bringing a woman on board a boat is bad luck—and set sail on Feb. 13, 1748. Unfortunately for Peel, his first mate was also in love with his new wife, and after watching the celebrations, the man became overwhelmed with rage and jealousy and intentionally steered the boat into the deadly Goodwind Sands, a sand bar notorious for causing ship wrecks .

The Lady Lovibond sank, killing all those aboard. As the legend goes, ever since the wreck the Lady Lovibond can be seen sailing the waters around Kent every 50 years.  It was sighted in 1798 by a few different ship captains, as well as in 1848 and 1898, when it supposedly appeared to be so real that some boats, thinking it a vessel in distress, actually sent out life rafts to help it. The Lady Lovibond was again seen in 1948, and while there were no confirmed sightings on its most recent anniversary in 1998, it continues to be one of the most well-known ghost ship legends in Europe.

2. The Mary Celeste

Brigantine Amazon entering Marseilles in November 1861. In 1868 she was renamed Mary Celeste. She was found drifting with nobody aboard in November 1872, and is the source of many maritime "ghost ship" legends.

Undoubtedly the most famous of all the real-life ghost ships, the Mary Celeste was a merchant ship that was found derelict and adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872. The ship was in a seaworthy condition, with all its sails still up and a full store of food in its cargo hold, but its life boat, captain’s log book and, more importantly, the entire crew, had mysteriously vanished. There was no sign of a struggle, and the personal belongings of the crew and cargo of over 1500 barrels of alcohol were untouched, seemingly ruling out piracy as a possible explanation. In the years since its bizarre discovery, a number of theories have been proposed regarding the possible fate of the Mary Celeste’s crew. These include that those aboard were killed by a waterspout, that the crew mutinied, or even that eating flour contaminated with fungus led all the passengers to hallucinate and go mad. The most probable theory remains that a storm or some kind of technical issue led the crew to prematurely abandon the ship in the lifeboat, and that they later died at sea. Still, the mystery surrounding the Mary Celeste has led to much wild speculation, and others have proposed everything from ghosts to sea monsters and alien abduction as possible explanations.

1. The Flying Dutchman

known ghost ships

In maritime folklore, no ghost ship is more famous than the Flying Dutchman, which has inspired numerous paintings, horror stories, films, and even an opera. The ship was first mentioned in the late 1700s in George Barrington’s seafaring book Voyage to Botany Bay, and since then its legend has continued to grow, thanks to numerous sightings of it by fisherman and sailors. As the story goes, the Flying Dutchman was a vessel out of Amsterdam that was captained by a man named Van der Decken. The ship was making its way toward the East Indies when it encountered dangerous weather near the Cape of Good Hope. Determined to make the crossing, Van der Decken supposedly went mad, murdered his first mate, and vowed that he would cross the Cape, “even if God would let me sail to Judgment Day!”

Despite his best efforts, the ship sank in the storm, and as the legend goes, Van der Decken and his ghost ship are now cursed to sail the oceans for all eternity. To this day, the Flying Dutchman continues to be one of the most-sighted of all ghost ships, and people from deep-sea fishermen to the Prince of Wales have all claimed to have spotted it making its never-ending voyage across the oceans.

25 Comments

known ghost ships

I enjoyed reading about the ghost ships.

known ghost ships

You need to add the most recent ghost ship, MV Lyubov Orlova ( http://whereisorlova.com ) to this list.

known ghost ships

im writing a book called Atlantic disasters: Steam liners. I just happened to come across this site.

known ghost ships

YOU NEED ANY RESEARCH I I CAN HELP GLAD TO .

known ghost ships

Your information about the Valencia is not entirely accurate. She was wrecked off the coast of Vancouver Island at Cape Beale and Pacheena point (within the Pacific Graveyard). The Captain miscalculated the directions and took them on the wrong path. They hit as low as 20-30 fathoms before the Captain tried to change course, by then it was too late. The Valencia caught on rocks and reef and was stuck between cliffs as high as 100 feet. There was no assistance by men on land or rescue crews on water. It was estimated that there were approx 130-180 passengers, but the Valencia was liceensed for 286 passengers. Check out the book ‘The Valencia Tragedy’ by Michael C Neitzel for a ton more info on the Valencia and other ships which parished int he Pacific Graveyard.

known ghost ships

ya, the last ship of the FLYING DUTCHMAN is very extrardinary… very hard…………..

known ghost ships

The leaking alcohol theory washed up and gone, if the want to prove that one to be true everything has to be exact not using gas, flame and paper cubes, use the right type of barrels, alcohol and space, temps everything exact then prove it. Until then it is still unsolved.

I find it all very interesting lost ships, ghost ships, lost treasures I love it all.

known ghost ships

I want ask you a question if you are so smart

I was listen to podcast about the crew of the ship Mary Caleste

they said that they had found some lifeboats witn bodies in it

couldn’t identfiy the bodies they might be the crew

known ghost ships

The explanations of Mary Caleste is so strange but I guess It's quite scientific.

known ghost ships

Well……….. the mystery of the Mary Celeste have been solve.If you want to know the truth of what happened to Mary Celeste gop to http://paranormal.suite101.com/article.cfm/mary_c … or http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/inthenews ….

I really want to know what happened to the other ships but I am only 12.

I think I know what happen to the crew of the Mary Celeste

when you say DID SHE GO INTO THE BURMUDA TRIANGLE HAVE A MAP IN FRONT OF ME THAT SAYS YES,SHE SKIRTED IT IN THE NORTH.BOARDER LINE HIT.

everything seem normal when they did sail in to Burmuda Triangle Mary Celeste must sail right into a certain area of the burmuda triangle there was kind of a white void that Mary Celeste sail right into the void by accdent .

Now I do think that the Burmuda triangle must have made the Mary Celeste to reapper where it was

found but with out the crew and the crew is now in the void in the burmuda trangle

FACTS ABOUT MARY CELESTE, LAST ENTRY INTO SHIPS LOG ON NOV 25 1872 LAT 36 DEGREES NORTH LONG 27 DEGREES WEST.ON THE DAY IT WAS SIGHTED DEC 5 1872 HER POSITION WAS 500 MILES FURTHER EAST.SHE WAS BETWEEN THE AZORES AND PORTUGAL.

DID SHE GO INTO THE BURMUDA TRIANGLEHAVE A MAP IN FRONT OF ME THAT SAYS YES,SHE SKIRTED IT IN THE NORTH.BOARDER LINE HIT.

NOW THIS STORY IS REALLY REMARKABLE WHY BECAUSE A SHIPWRECK IS A SHIPWREK IS A SHIPWRECK.THE TOTALLY INTERESTING SIDE STORY TO THIS ONE. A WRITER BY THE NAME OF DR ARTUR CONAN DOYLE(RING A BELL) INVENTED A CHARACTER IN THE ENGLISH HISTORY THAT YOU WILL RECOGNIZE SHERLOCK HOLMES. WELL BACK IN 1884 HE WROTE A STORY ABOUT THIS SHIP AND REACHED THE ATTENSION OF MANY PEOPLE. NOW HIS CUP OF TEA IS MYSTERY RIGHT TO THIS DAY THE MARY CELESTE HAS MORE ATTENSION FROM HIS WRITING ABOUT THEN ANY OTHER SHIPWRECK. HIS INVOLVEMENT INTO THIS THEATER OF A NAUTICAL ADVENTURE TURNED THE HEADS OF THE WONDERING PUBLIC MORE SO THEN NORMAL

YOU ENJOY PERHAPS THE STORY OR THE SAGA OF THIS ADVENTURE EITHER WAY BLAME HIM NOT THE STORY IT IS THE TELLING OF THE STORY . DEEP MYSTERY OF COURSE THAT IS HOW HE WROTE IT JUST LIKE SHERLOCK HOLMES. ONE HUNDRED YEARS LATER STILL TALKING ABOUT IT . SOME WHERE HE IS LOOKING DOWN ON US AND SMILING WHILE DRINKING HIS CUP OF TEA.

known ghost ships

No Queen Mary????????

I want to know did The Mary Celeste ever go into the Bermuda Triangle

Any one interested into this era the high seas look up a publication,myteries of the sea ,by ROBERT de la croix. his explanation is maybe just better then most.But some of his stories a grain of salt is needed but fun to read.

that would be [email protected]

I have been doing this research for 25 years. One of many sites you could look up is mine. I sell a booklet and chart of the WRECKS AND DERELICTS IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN 1887 THRU 1893. This gives the location,publication and destuction of these ships.

known ghost ships

I just love that last picture (flying dutchman). Can anyone enlighten me as to the origins of that picture?

known ghost ships

It’s by the surrealist painter George Grie. It’s called “The Flying Dutchman Phantom”.

known ghost ships

Love stuff like this! The sea and it's many mysteries…

known ghost ships

"….and after watching the celebrations, the man became overwhelmed with rage and jealousy and intentionally steered the boat into the deadly Goodwind Sands…."

If everyone aboard died, how do we know? Sorry, couldn't resist asking 🙂

"I would like to learn the real reasons behind the ghost ships"

Mirage is one explanation. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Dutchman#Poss …

Another is our natural fascination with the mysterious, and that we like to scare ourselves.

Great post!

known ghost ships

who even kills people by sinking a ship that would mean killing youself your friends and your family 0_0 dang

known ghost ships

This is a really great list. I really enjoyed reading it. I have heard of but a couple of these. I would like to learn more about them. I would like to learn the real reasons behind the ghost ships, instead of everyone writing them off to ufos or paranormal stuff. That gets very old.

known ghost ships

im so interested in the Bermuda Triangle or The Devils Triangle im so curious what happen to the people on those ships and planes

known ghost ships

How about the morrigan the Aquila the queen Anne’s revenge these are the basic ship legends

Type above and press Enter to search. Press Esc to cancel.

Most Famous Ghost Ships in History

Ghost Ship

A ghost ship, also called a phantom ship, is a ship that has no signs of life and is left drifting sometimes for years before its discovery.

There are many tales of ghost ships that are unverified, but some vessels were actually discovered on the high seas. Whether they sailed for business or pleasure, how they became derelict and abandoned remains a mystery. 

These are the most famous ghost ships in history.

22. HMS Resolute

HMS Resolute

Location: Baffin Island, Canada

Year of discovery: 1854

Bottom line: The British Royal Navy once owned this barque-rigged ship, which was specifically used for Arctic exploration, but once it became trapped in ice, it was abandoned. 

An American whaler recovered it, and the United States repaired it and sent it back to Queen Victoria as a token of goodwill between the two countries. It sailed for another two decades. 

When the ship was retired, it was salvaged for its timber, which was later used to construct a desk for U.S. presidents , beginning with Rutherford B. Hayes. With the exception of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford, who all used another desk during their time in office, it has been in use ever since.

21. SV Mary Celeste

SV Mary Celeste

Location:  Between Portugal and the Azore Islands

Year of discovery: 1872

Bottom line: Mary Celeste is probably the most well-known ghost ship in the world. Another ship, Dei Gratia, discovered it still seaworthy, but with no passengers or crew. Their personal effects remained as did most of their cargo, which was about 1,700 barrels of alcohol.

There was about three feet of water in the hold, but that’s not unusual for a ship of that kind at that time. However, a longboat was missing, which led investigators to believe that the ship was abandoned quickly . 

While there have been dozens of theories about the ship over the decades, from pirates to alien abduction, it seems that the captain believed Mary Celeste was going under and ordered it abandoned, as he felt he, his family and crew were close enough to land to reach it.

But they never did. 

20. SV Resolven

SV Resolven

Location: In the waters between Baccalieu Island and Catalina, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Year of discovery: 1884

Bottom line: When Resolven was discovered, food was cooking on the stove, but no one was found onboard. Its logbook was intact, and while there was some minimal damage to its side, it was still seaworthy. 

It wasn’t until 2015 that some clues were unearthed. A Newfoundland woman named Daisy Bailey contacted researcher Will Wain, who is also the great-grandson of the boat’s captain, John James. She told him she had heard her stories of her great-grandfather finding the body of a sea captain on nearby Random Island with several gold coins on his person. 

Wain attempted to reach the island, but was unable to do so because of the weather. He plans on excavating what he believes is his great-grandfather's body to see if there’s a DNA match. It said to be in an unmarked grave at a nearby fishing village.

19. SV The Twenty One Friends

Ghost Ship

Location: Ireland

Year of discovery: 1885

Bottom line: This three-mast ship with an unusual name was owned by a group of 21 Philadelphia Quakers. It was returning to the city with a load of lumber from Georgia when it was rammed by another ship. 

Feeling as though its days above water were numbered, the captain and crew abandoned Twenty One Friends. The ship, however, held on for another two years and made its way across the Atlantic. 

When it finally came ashore, it was salvaged and turned into a fishing boat . 

18. SV Carroll A. Deering

SV Carroll A. Deering

Location: Diamond Shoals near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Year of discovery: 1921

Bottom line: The Carroll A. Deering was manned by a crew of 10 with a very experienced captain when it set out from Norfolk, Virginia, bound for Rio de Janeiro. After it reached its destination and unloaded its cargo, it set a course for home, but never made it. 

When the abandoned schooner was found, its sails were set, its lifeboats were missing, and so was its crew. To this day, no one knows why they left in a hurry, but they were never found.

The ship was sunk, and its timber was used to build houses in the area.

17. SV Governor Parr

Four-Masted Schooner

Location: The Canary Islands (last known location)

Year of discovery: 1923

Bottom line: The crew abandoned Governor Parr after it was damaged in a storm on its journey from Nova Scotia to Buenos Aires. Despite the significant damage it suffered, it never sank, even with deliberate attempts to it. 

Over the next several years, the ship covered large spans of the Atlantic and made it as far away as the Canary Islands before it met its watery fate.

16. SS Baychimo

SS Baychimo

Location: Chukchi Sea off the northwestern Alaskan coast 

Year of discovery: 1931

Bottom line: SS Baychimo was trapped on ice near Barrow, Alaska, when it was abandoned by its crew. It was thought it would sink sooner than later. 

However, the ship had other ideas. It floated around the Chukchi Sea over the next 40 years, from 1931 to 1969. People boarded the vessel many times, but their attempts at salvaging it fell prey to bad weather or a lack of experience. 

15. MV Joyita

MV Joyita

Location: Vanua Levu, Fiji

Year of discovery: 1955

Bottom line: Of all the ghost ships on this list, the loss of the passengers and crew of Joyita holds the most mystery. The boat, which was designed to be virtually unsinkable, was found tilting to one side without any sign of life.

Some believed that the captain died mid-journey, while others say that everyone onboard was murdered by a Japanese fishing crew after witnessing illegal acts, but the most recent theory, and likely most plausible, is mutiny. The ship was taking on water, and its occupants abandoned it, taking the captain hostage.

It is thought they had radioed for help, not knowing the radio was broken. They waited on rafts for help to arrive, and eventually drowned or were killed by sharks. 

14. SV Teignmouth Electron

Donald Crowhurst and SV Teignmouth Electron

Location: North Atlantic Ocean

Year of discovery: 1969

Bottom line: Businessman Donald Crowhurst was having financial problems when he entered an around-the-world yacht race in 1968 in hopes to win the cash prize. 

His lack of experience and issue with the boat left him lagging far behind other competitors almost from the beginning, but he reported false positions to make it appear as if he was not only doing well but far ahead of everyone else.

The British press expected he would head home a victor, but just before he was meant to arrive, he vanished. When the boat was found, his logbooks revealed the truth. Trapped in his own lie, he jumped overboard .

The decaying boat remains on the shore of the Cayman Islands to this day. 

13. SV Ocean Wave

SV Ocean Wave

Year of discovery: 1975

Bottom line: Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader took to the seas for art and disappeared. He attempted to cross the Atlantic solo as part of a performance piece called  "In Search of the Miraculous." 

Three weeks into the trip, Ader lost radio contact and was presumed dead. The boat was found 10 months later without him on it.

The Ocean Wave was taken to Coruña, Spain, where it was later stolen and never recovered. 

12. MV High Aim 6

MV High Aim 6

Location: Rowley Shoals, Broome, Australia

Year of discovery: 2002

Bottom line: When High Aim 6 was found, its crew was missing, but there were no signs of distress. Their personal effects remained with their fuel and provisions intact. The ship, equipped for long-line fishing, was holding thousands of pounds of rotting fish in its cargo. 

Despite a forensic examination of the vessel, no one knew what had happened to the captain or crew, but it was soon discovered that calls were still being made from the boat engineer’s cell phone . After checking phone records, Taiwanese police suspected mutiny. 

One member of the crew was finally tracked down. He confessed that the captain and the engineer were killed by the crew, and those that remained went back to their homeland. There was no further explanation as to their motive. 

11. SV Bel Amica

SV Bel Amica

Location: Punta Volpe, Sardinia, Italy

Year of discovery: 2006

Bottom line: The Bel Amica was found drifting off the coast of Sardinia. It had no crew, but there were recent signs of people, including a half-eaten meal and piles of clothes. 

When the Italian Coast Guard boarded the ship, it was only ID’d by a wooden plaque, but had no country of origin. It was originally thought to be an antique, which only added to its mystery.

It was soon found to be a modern yacht, and the owner, a Luxembourger man, Franc Rouayrux, didn’t register it to avoid paying taxes.

9. SV Kaz II

SV Kaz II

Location: Weipa, Queensland, Australia

Bottom line: When three men set off to travel the waters around the coast of Australia, they had no idea their story would end in tragedy. Kaz II, which was carrying Des Batten, and brothers Peter and John Tunstead, was found drifting with a functioning GPS and radio, life jackets, and a laptop open on the table. 

While some nefarious theories cropped up, the Townsville, Queensland, coroner insisted it was just a freak accident that caused the men’s demise. He believed one of them fell overboard while trying to detangle a fishing line. When a second man tried to rescue him, he also fell in. The third dropped the sails to turn the boat around and was knocked off the yacht by a sail boom . 

"Once the three men were in the water, there was very little chance they could get back on the boat. It would be beyond their reach in seconds. From that point, the end would have been swift," the coroner said. 

8. MV Tai Ching 21

MV Tai Ching 21

Location: Kiribati 

Year of discovery: 2008

Bottom line: No one knows what happened to the crew of Tai Ching 21, but officials knew they would never be found alive. The boat was gutted by fire when it was found off the coast of Kiribati.

Tai Ching 21 had not sent a mayday call. A lifeboat and three rafts were missing, as were all 29 members of the crew , with no real explanation ever found for their disappearance. 

7. SV Lunatic

SV Lunatic

Location: Indian Ocean

Year of discovery: 2009

Bottom line: At 72, Jure Šterk, was an expert sailor who had crossed many oceans and sailed around the world alone more than once. It was his goal to become the oldest sailor to circumnavigate the globe in the smallest boat without stopping.

He never finished the trip. His boat was found without him on it, by the crew of the RV Roger Revelle, a science ship.

They picked up his log books and one of his last entries read: "Towards the evening, I prepared tools and spare parts which I might need tomorrow on the mast – two D-shackles (large and small), cotter pins - Nothing else. The tools (pliers, cutting pliers, screwdriver, hammer) are in the other pocket of the seat. Who knows how many times I’ve gone through the action in my head? I only hope that the mast holds!"

Also missing were his wallet, a camera, a camcorder and a lifeboat. Šterk is believed to be lost at sea . 

6. MV Ryou-Un Maru

Ryou-Un Maru

Location: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada

Year of discovery: 2012

Bottom line: Ryou-Un Maru was a 164-long fishing boat that went adrift during the 2011 tsunami, making its way all the way across the Pacific from Japan to the Gulf of Alaska. 

A Canadian fishing vessel claimed salvage rights to the boat and attempted to tow it, but failed. The Coast Guard stepped in and decided to sink it instead of spending the money and time to tow it to port.

5. T.T. Zion

T.T. Zion

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Year of Discovery: 2012

Bottom Line: Guma Aguiar was an oil and gas tycoon who vanished off the coast of Florida just after his wife threatened him with divorce. He was allegedly depressed and on medication when boarding the boat and sped off.

When it was found, its navigation lights were on, and the throddle was in the forward position. However, the engine was dead. 

About four miles offshore, Aguiar began having steering issues due to a broken tie rod. Experts believe he fell overboard as the boat lurched through the tumultuous waves.

Aguiar was worth about $100 million at the time of his death. While some believe he faked his demise to avoid the costly divorce, he was declared lost at sea three years after he vanished. 

4. MV Lyubov Orlova

Lyubov Orlova

Year of discovery: 2013

Bottom line: Built in the 1970s, Orlova was, at first, a cruise ship. It became a freighter in the mid-1990s before being refurbished for cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula in 2000. Within a decade, it was seized after her owners lost a lawsuit to a haulage contractor for $250,000 in unpaid fees.

Caribbean buyers purchased the vessel two years later, but it broke free of its tow line on the way to a scrapyard in the Dominican Republic. 

Attempts to find Orlova by the Canadian Coast Guard were unsuccessful. The last verified sighting of the ship took place in February 2013, by the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which spotted it in the North Atlantic.

Since then, there have been a few unverified sightings, but the Orlova is believed to be sunk. That is a good thing, if you follow news reports. There were rumored to be cannibal rats onboard. 

Sayo

Location: Philippine Sea

Year of discovery: 2016

Bottom line: In a story that’s less mysterious than tragic, Manfred Fritz Bajorat was found dead in his yacht by local fishermen in the western North Pacific Ocean near the Philippines. He had died of a heart attack or stroke and was found slumped over a desk, perfectly mummified by the ocean air.

Investigators found identifying materials, one of which was a letter to Bajorat’s deceased wife , which read: "Thirty years we’ve been together on the same path. Then the power of the demons was stronger than the will to live. You’re gone. May your soul find its peace. Your Manfred."

2. Unidentified North Korean Ghost Ship

Unidentified North Korean Ghost Ship

Location: The Coast of Japan

Year of discovery: 2017

Bottom line: A wooden boat believed to be from North Korea washed up on the beach in northern Akita Prefecture. It carried eight partially skeletonized passengers.

North Korean vessels have been washing up on Japanese shores for several years, and its Coast Guard has had to rescue passengers on more than one occasion.

Officials believe that citizens of the starving nation are taking to the seas in search of food. Desperate fishermen board older vessels without the proper equipment and end up too far out to sea, which often leads to disastrous consequences. 

MV Alta

Location: Ballycotton, County Cork, Ireland

Year of discovery: 2020

Bottom line: When Storm Dennis battered the coast of Ireland in early 2020, it brought with it a mystery.  Alta, which was built in 1976, had been floating around the Atlantic with a cargo of intact oil barrels but no humans for at least 18 months before it reached Ireland’s shore. In October 2018, as it traveled from Greece to Haiti, its engines failed, and its crew was saved by the U.S. Coast Guard near Burmusa.

No one knows what happened to the abandoned ship after that. Some believe another ship attempted to tow it Guyana, only to abandon it again. When they cut it loose, it slowly drifted around the Atlantic before it grounded in Ireland. 

The government begged people to stay away from the wreckage due to its dangers, but they continue to board to take photos. In April 2021, someone started a fire on the ship, which was put out before it could spread.

The ship remains stranded as a salvage operation would potentially cost millions, and its owners have not been identified. 

IMAGES

  1. 15 of the Most Chilling Ghost Ship Stories Ever

    known ghost ships

  2. 10 Ghost Ships That Still Haunt The Oceans

    known ghost ships

  3. 5 of the most Mysterious Ghost Ships!

    known ghost ships

  4. 10 Ghost Ships That Still Haunt The Oceans

    known ghost ships

  5. The 13 Creepiest Ghost Ships Known To Exist

    known ghost ships

  6. Top 6 Legendary Ghost Ships

    known ghost ships

VIDEO

  1. Top 10 REAL GHOST SHIPS That ACTUALLY EXIST

  2. "Ghost Ships" at Rehearsal #drums #drumming #drummer #metal

  3. Ghost Ships On The Sea Horizon

  4. Ghost Ship ‘

  5. மர்மமான 10 பேய் கப்பல்கள்! 10 Most Mysterious Ghost Ships

  6. Top 10 Haunted Ghost Ships

COMMENTS

  1. The 15 Creepiest Ghost Ships Ever Found On The High Seas

    The 15 Creepiest Ghost Ships Ever Found On The High Seas By Gabe Paoletti | Edited By John Kuroski Published October 23, 2021 Updated November 2, 2021 The mysteries surrounding these ghost ships involve everything from sulphuric acid to a famous yacht race. SV Mary Celeste

  2. Ghost ship

    A ghost ship, also known as a phantom ship, is a vessel with no living crew aboard; it may be a fictional ghostly vessel, such as the Flying Dutchman, or a physical derelict found adrift with its crew missing or dead, like the Mary Celeste.

  3. The 13 Creepiest Ghost Ships Known To Exist

    The Mysterious Mary Celeste Satellite Views of Famous S... The Legend of the Hollow Ship The Real Story Behind 'Adrift' Are These Pics of Nautical ... They Called It 'Murder Island' The Horrifying Tale of the ... Grisly Murders That Happened On Or Were Directl... Skeletons on the Shores of ... Awesome Tragic Old Shipwrecks

  4. 21 Famous Ghost Ships You've Probably Never Heard About

    Mary Celeste BuzzFeed Unsolved Network/Youtube On December 5, 1872, the British ship Dei Gratia noticed the brigantine, Mary Celeste, drifting in the ocean near the Azores. On closer inspection, they realized nobody was on board but nothing seemed out of place. The only thing missing was a lifeboat.

  5. Ghost Ship Mysteries That Can't Be Explained!

    The Jian Seng Some ghost ships are so mysterious, they barely even have a backstory. In 2006, the Australian Coastwatch found a ship floating in the sea. It had a broken tow rope, so being...

  6. 10 Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships

    The most famous ship in the latter category is likely the Mary Celeste, discovered adrift near the Azores in 1872 without a soul in sight. Its story has continued to fascinate, helped along in...

  7. 10 Abandoned Ghost Ships & The Stories Behind Them (& Where ...

    The S.S. Mary Celeste is perhaps the most famous ghost ship in history. Found adrift in 1872 near the Azores with no crew onboard, this vessel has fueled countless legends and theories about the mysteries of the deep sea. The ship was found with not a single crew member in sight, even though the ship's cargo and provisions were intact.

  8. Top 10 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Stories of the Maritime World

    The Caleuche It is a legend of the Chilota mythology, where it is described as a ghost ship which comes into being every night near the island of Chiloe. It says the vessel carries the spirits of all the people who have drowned at sea. The Caleuche is strikingly beautiful, bright and gay, always surrounded by party music sounds and laughter.

  9. The spookiest ghost ship stories from around the world

    One of the most notorious ghost ship stories, the tale of the SS Ourang Medan is shrouded in mystery. The legend goes that in 1947 a cargo ship off the coast of Indonesia put out a distress call with the words: "All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead."

  10. Flying Dutchman

    The Flying Dutchman ( Dutch: De Vliegende Hollander) is a legendary ghost ship, allegedly never able to make port, but doomed to sail the seven seas forever. The myths and ghost stories are likely to have originated from the 17th-century Golden Age of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) [1] [2] [3] and of Dutch maritime power.

  11. 6 of History's Greatest Ghost Ship Mysteries

    2. Mary Celeste. On 25 November 1872, the British ship Dei Gratia spotted a vessel adrift in the Atlantic, near the Strait of Gibraltar. It was an abandoned ghost ship, the now infamous SV Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste was in relatively good condition, still under sail, and plenty of food and water were found on board.

  12. The World's Most Famous Ghost Ship Is an Enduring Symbol of Empire

    The World's Most Famous Ghost Ship Is an Enduring Symbol of Empire The Flying Dutchman's long afterlife began with a British power trip. by Isaac Schultz October 24, 2019.

  13. What Are Ghost Ships? The Mysterious Phenomenon of Abandoned Vessels

    11 min read Ghost ships have long captured the imagination of people. These are vessels that are found adrift or abandoned at sea with no crew on board. Ghost ships can be traced back to the early days of seafaring, and their mysterious nature has led to many stories and legends surrounding them.

  14. What Happened to the Mary Celeste?

    The ghost ship found floating off the coast of the Azores in 1872 became an enduring maritime mystery. The fate of the captain and crew of the Mary Celeste remains one of the most enduring ...

  15. Category:Ghost ships

    Articles relating to ghost ships, vessels with no living crew aboard; they may be ghostly vessels, such as the Flying Dutchman, or physical derelicts found adrift with their crew missing or dead, like the Mary Celeste.

  16. Eerie! 6 Haunting Tales of Ghost Ships

    The most famous ghost ship of all is the Flying Dutchman, said to haunt the waters near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. "The term 'Flying Dutchman' actually refers to the captain, not his ...

  17. Ghost Ships: Haunting World of Abandoned Vessels

    The Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste is one of the most famous ghost ships in maritime history. The ship was discovered adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872, with no crew on board. The ship was fully seaworthy and there were no signs of struggle or foul play. All of the crew's personal belongings were still on board, as well as a six-month ...

  18. The Little-Known Stories of the Ghost Ships That Haunt the Seven Seas

    The Most Famous Ghost Ships in History Mary Celeste. On November 5, 1872, Mary Celeste left New York harbor en route to Genoa, Italy, with Captain Benjamin Briggs, an experienced sea captain, in charge of the merchant ship with seven crew members, as well as his wife and daughter. On December 4, the ship Dei Gratia was on her way to Gibraltar ...

  19. Prime 10 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Tales of the Maritime World

    SV Kaz II was discovered adrift, 88 miles off the coast of Australia, close to the Nice Barrier Reef, simply 5 days after it set sail from Airlie seashore in the direction of Townsville, Queensland, in April 2007. As per investigation reviews, the 12 m catamaran was crusing with a three-person crew who weren't skilled, sailors.

  20. 13 Mysterious Ghost Ships & Haunted Stories in Marine World

    There is a legendary story of a ghost ship called the Lady Lovibond that appears every 50 years near Kent, England which was reputedly involved in one of the hundreds of marine tragedies associated with the hazardous Goodwin Sands. The Lady Lovibond's legend is one of the most famous ghost ships overwhelmed with romance, jealousy, and revenge ...

  21. Top 10 Ghost Ships That Still Haunt the Seas

    One of the most well known legends of the Chilota mythology of southern Chile describes the Caleuche, a ghost ship that appears every night near the island of Chiloe. According to local legend, the ship is a kind of conscious being that sails the waters around the area, carrying with it the spirits of all the people who have drowned at sea .

  22. Real Ghost Ships Lost on the High Seas

    shaunl / Getty Images A ghost ship, also called a phantom ship, is a ship that has no signs of life and is left drifting sometimes for years before its discovery. There are many tales of ghost ships that are unverified, but some vessels were actually discovered on the high seas.

  23. Mary Celeste, The 'Ghost Ship' Found Abandoned In The Atlantic

    The Crew Of The Dei Gratia Finds The Mary Celeste Abandoned At Sea. On Nov. 7, 1872, a merchant ship with a cargo of denatured alcohol left New York Harbor for Genoa, Italy. The Mary Celeste sailed forth, helmed by Captain Benjamin Briggs and his handpicked crew of seven men. Accompanying the sailors were Briggs' wife and two-year-old daughter.