I’m scared of large bodies of water. What terribly scares me about large bodies of water is being near them, at night. There’s something quite frightening about being around a lake or beach in the late hours. The sounds of the lapping waves almost gives the hint of something approaching from somewhere beyond. You never know what’s going to sail in from the sea.
About two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. There are five major interconnected oceans; the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic. Beneath the ocean there’s a world still very much undiscovered by scientists. The ocean is a massive watery world, and many ships have fallen victim to those waves. I have read too many tales of ghostly ships moving along those great bodies of water, and resting beneath the surface awaiting the right time to reappear.
I prefer to stay on land in order to avoid ever having to encounter a ghost ship’s crew. Following is a list of several ghost ships in folklore, legend, and myth.
The Flying Dutchman
Perhaps one of the most famous ghost ships, The Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship that is thought to never make port as it’s cursed. In 1795, writer George Barrington made the first reference of a ship lost off the Cape of Good Hope. Sailor reports surfaced of a ship aggressively approaching them in the sea, and many believed it to be The Flying Dutchman. In 1803, another reference to the infamous ship appeared stating that those on board had been guilty of some horrific crime, and were thus cursed to sail the seas forever.
On December 5th, 1872 the Mary Celeste was discovered in the Atlantic. A single life boat was missing as well as the crew of seven men. At the time of the discovery of the empty ship, the weather in the area was pleasant, there was enough food on board to last the crew months, and all personal belongings, valuables, and the cargo were intact and in place. The crew were never seen or heard from again.
There are no official records for this supposed ghost ship. Its story first appeared in a Dutch-Indonesian newspaper in 1948. Legend says that the Ourang Medan was a shipwreck and its entire crew were killed. American vessel Silver Star near the Strait of Malacca said they picked up a signal from the Ourang Medan. Morse code messages received included “S.O.S. Ourang Medan,” followed by “Probably whole of crew dead.” The Silver Star claimed to have located the Ourang Medan, but when they went on board they found the ship full of corpses. A fire is said to have broken out in the cargo hold. The rescuers fled and the ship continued to burn, eventually sinking.
People claim to see the Caleuche sail around Chiloe, a small island off the coast of Chile. People claiming to have seen the ship describe it as a massive bright white structure covered in brilliant light. People have also claimed to have seen the ship navigating under water. Chilean mythology believes that the ship carries the souls of the drowned. The crew are dead fishermen and sailors who were kidnapped and killed at sea.
We hope you all never have to encounter a ghostly ship. If you do, just decline any invitation to board.