The creepiest stories about ghost ships

The creepiest stories about ghost ships

A collection of Halloween myths, mysteries and real stories about ships and the sea that give you the creeps.
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It's Halloween - it's time to go back to your childhood for a while, stock up on candy and turn on a scary movie after which you don't feel sleepy. History knows many horror stories about pirates, brave explorers and unsuccessful sailors who mysteriously disappeared and were buried at sea. There is no shortage of books describing supernatural phenomena, ghost ships and incredible disasters in detail. Boat International has compiled the best marine horrors from around the world in one piece.

The ice terror of Octavius

The Northwest Passage has always attracted seafarers from all over the world. Once inaccessible, it no longer scares experienced navigators. But it took us a long time to get there, and in an attempt to master the route through the Arctic Ocean, a huge number of sailors and captains died, desperate to find a new way to Asia. In the battle against the Arctic ice, there can only be one winner.

These were the realities of the XVII and XVIII centuries, but one ship deserves a separate mention. We're talking about the Octavius, which shared the fate of thousands of other sailors. Its history makes blood run cold in their veins, and you want to make warm cocoa and wrap yourself in a blanket.

The three-mast schooner left England in 1761 and was found only in 1775 off the coast of Greenland. Her captain made a fatal mistake, daring to pass through the then non-existent Northwest Passage on her way home. In 1775, five people stepped on board and saw a scene that they couldn't forget, no matter how much they wanted it: the entire crew of 28 people they found in the sub-deck rooms. Every last one of them froze to death. The captain continued to write in the ship's log, measuring forever with a pen in his hand. The last entry was dated 1762. The crew stayed in this form for 13 years.

The ghosts of SS Ourang Medan

Ghost stories are Halloween classics, and if you haven't heard the SS Ourang Medan story, then you are not familiar with one of the most chilling stories.

According to legend, in 1947, a merchant ship SS Ourang Medan from Indonesia sent an SOS signal saying: «All the officers on board, including the captain, lie dead on the floor of the navigator's and the bridge. There may be no one»left alive. Before the rescue team could react, a second message came in saying: I«'m going to die.

When the help did come, the rescuers had to admit that the unknown sender was right. The whole team was killed and their bodies were lying on the floor, twisted, with their hands in front, as if they were fighting off someone. However, none of the victims were found to have been injured or injured. There was no way to find out what really happened to the crew: the fire in the engine room caused the ship to go down.

This story has since grown into a lot of rumors. In 1948, the newspaper published the words of a survivor who claimed that the disaster was caused by a leak of sulfuric acid. But we still can't be sure even that such a ship existed. There is no SS Orang Medan in Lloyd's Register, but does this mean that the whole story is the subject of someone's fantasy?

Mary Celeste

Ghost ships are always creepy. No Halloween can do without the classic Mary Celeste story, immortalized by English writer Arthur Conan Doyle.

Some things we know for sure. «Maria Celeste did»sail out of New York on November 7th, 1872 and set sail in the direction of Genoa with a cargo of distilled alcohol. About a month later, on the evening of December 5th, she was seen by sailors from the Dei Gratia Brigantina between the Azores. and Portugal.

Captain Dei Gratia Morehouse knew very well the merits of an experienced Captain Briggs with Mary Celeste, so he immediately smelled something wrong. He ordered the Brigantine to be boarded. The whole ship was empty, but the hatch covers had been opened (and the bow had been ripped off its hinges), which had caused water to accumulate in the holds. The lifeboat had disappeared.

Morehouse delivered the Mary Celeste to Gibraltar. We still do not know what happened to Captain Briggs, his wife and children, and seven other crew members. Maybe they fled the ship, afraid of the weather conditions. Or maybe there was some other, more frightening reason?


You don't have to go deep into the distant past to remember something particularly creepy. What's worth the story of Manfred Fritz Bajorat, a German who was found dead at the table on his Sajo yacht in 2016. He was found in this form by fishermen from South Surigao in the Philippines. After the autopsy, it was found... nothing in general. The local police scattered their hands and found that the German had died a natural death without anyone's intervention. Maybe it was a heart attack. Who knows? By the time Sajo was caught by fishermen's eyes, it had been drifting for months, and because of the dry salt air, the German's body was mummified.

Kaz II.

There is another relatively recent story that will make you uncomfortable.

On April 18, 2007 a helicopter pilot flying over the Great Barrier Reef spotted a lone catamaran Kaz II drifting in the middle of an empty ocean. The 9.75m yacht left Australia's Earley Beach a couple of days ago.

On April 20, rescue workers boarded a catamaran that was completely empty. There was food on the table and the notebook screen was still glowing. The boat's engine was running, all systems were fine, the vests and the gun in the drawer under the bed were intact. Only the torn sail aroused suspicion.

Three yachtsmen over 50 years of age should have been on the catamaran. One of them, owner and captain Derek Butten, was an experienced yachtsman with 25 years experience. Where did they go? Pirates, maybe? Or maybe an insurance scam? Some of them couldn't keep their balance and fell overboard, while others rushed to the rescue and drowned? The bodies of three victims were never found, and people are still wondering what happened to them.

Carroll A Deering

In January 1921, a five-mast schooner, Carroll A Deering, ran aground Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. Five U.S. government agencies were involved in finding out what happened to her. It's now one of the most famous marine mysteries in history.

The ship would return to Norfolk after delivering coal to Rio de Janeiro. In Lewis, Delaware, Captain Willis T. Wormell replaced his sick colleague at the helm, Carroll «A. Deering. The new captain didn't get along with the crew, and it looks like a mutiny began on the ship. As a result, when the rescuers boarded on February 4, they found no one. And all the navigation equipment was missing, as were the lifeboats. Strangely enough, food was prepared in the galley. What really happened aboard «Carroll A. Dearing» we'll probably never know again.

A flying Dutchman...

Of course, the Flying Dutchman can't surprise anyone, but without him, no one will take this list seriously. As the legend says, this sailing ship was doomed to eternal sailing without an opportunity to hitchhike to the shore.

The story comes from the 17th century. In many ways it was inspired by Barend Fokke, whose incredibly fast passages from the Netherlands to Java made people think that the devil's intervention was necessary.

Any superstitious sailor one way or another «saw the» Dutchman in the sea, especially in bad weather, which necessarily promised misfortune. King George V, who saw a shining sailing ship off the coast of Australia, is one of the most famous witnesses.

Now everyone knows about the Flying Dutchman thanks to numerous books, pictures and movies. He inspired the opera of the same name by Richard Wagner and even appeared in the movie «Pirates of the Caribbean: The Chest of the Dead».

Japanese ghost ships.

The Coast Guard of Japan consists of brave men. How else, if only about 200 ghost ships have been seen in Japan in the last few years? And that's not a myth like the Bermuda Triangle, but a fact: boats were found - and so were their crew.

A recent incident took place in December last year in Fukui Prefecture, a port city on Honshu Island. The bodies of seven people were found on board a wooden ship. Where these «fishermen»came from, in Japan, they still don't know. One theory is that these are the bodies of defectors from North Korea.

High Aim 6

And this is a real Halloween story, because the ghost ship High Aim 6 left the port of Taiwan on October 31. In January 2003, a 20-meter fishing vessel was found in the Timor Sea 80 nautical miles from Rowley's Australian reefs. Despite the complete absence of a crew, the engines were working properly and the crew's personal belongings were still on board - as was the case with food. The boat was not damaged and no signs of violence were found.

We still don't know what happened. The authorities allegedly found the only survivor who told us about the riot but didn't admit to what had provoked it.

HMS Resolute

The HMS Resolute of the Royal British Navy was found in 1854. The three-masted barque was drifting without a crew near Buffin Land in the Arctic Ocean. At one time, HMS Resolute himself went in search of the missing expedition of John Franklin, but it so happened that the barque shared his fate, stuck in the ice. In 1854, the ship's captain decided to leave with the crew.

When the ship was found by the Americans in 1855, it was a terrible sight: the captain's cabin looked as if nothing had ever happened. There was still a kettle and full glasses on the table. Next to it was the Bible. Someone had covered Captain Kellett's chair with a British flag.

After the repair «Determined» was taken back to the UK. It was from his wood that a desk was created, which was used by almost all the presidents of the United States after Rutherford Hayes.

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