Since time immemorial, horror stories have piqued our interest and still continue to enthrall us with the other-worldly details. However, you might be surprised to learn that it is not just poor human souls that drift around in unrest and haunt others. The fluctuating authenticity of the stories are passed on from sailors, fishermen, anglers etc. by word of mouth till they are transformed into captivating legends of the maritime world. Some claim to have witnessed mysterious appearances or disappearances and consider these sightings as a premonition of imminent disaster.
The Lady Lovibond
Nobody could have imagined that an eerie ghost ship could be born out of the eternal pangs of love! As history dates to 1748, the Lady Lovibond sailed on its last journey on the eve of Valentine’s Day, raising a toast to the grand wedding of the captain (Simon Reed). However, villainy in the form of unbearable jealousy overtook the captain’s friend (John Rivers) who was hopelessly in love with his wife. He steered the ship into the infamous Goodwind Sands, which resulted in its inevitable destruction and killed one and all. The legend has it that this ghostly ship makes its presence seen every fifty years around the Kent region, confusing many surrounding ships as they presume it is calling for distress. There have been records of the sightings in 1798, 1848, 1898 and lastly, 1948. Interestingly, the ship had not resurfaced in 1998 and we wonder now if it is a dying legend?
The SS Valencia
The SS Valencia roused an aura of mystery following its tragic drowning near the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia after encountering a bout of bad weather conditions at Cape Mendocino. Only 37 people survived on lifeboats, while 108 were on the ship. But, it is said that one lifeboat disappeared without any trace and thereafter, many fishermen have claimed that they have seen this ghost ship filled with human skeletons.
In maritime folklore, this spectral phantasm is a part of the Chilota mythology according to which it materializes every night near the Chiloe Island. Luckily, this ship does not radiate signs of negativity or evil and is usually accompanied with beautiful decorations, loud music and joyful laughter. The Caleuche is supposed to be carrying the spirits of all those unfortunate people who have drowned at sea. The ship stays afloat for a short moment and abruptly immerses itself into the water. To add to the extraordinary story, it is believed that the three ‘water’ spirits, known as the Sirena Chilota, the Picoy and the Pincoya, summon the drowned souls in the guise of lovely mermaids.
The Carroll A. Deering
In 1921, the tragic fate of this ship led it to shoals near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Later, the rescue team noticed the weird disappearance of the ship’s logbook, equipment and two lifeboats, while the rest of the vessel remained intact. With further investigation, the unexplained disappearances of several other ships in that area has been brought into light and it might be due to the supernatural activities around the notorious Bermuda Triangle!being stuck for several days in the dangerous Diamond
In 1955, this abandoned vessel was finally found in the South Pacific region, five weeks since its disappearance. After the failure of the air-search mission, it was discovered without any sign of crew or cargo, by a nearby merchant ship. It is said that a doctor’s bag and a few bloody bandages were spotted lying on the deck with the ‘distress signal’ on its radio. The spooky element is that there was no trace of a living soul and there has never been so!
The Flying Dutchman
This legendary phantom ship has achieved worldwide popularity and has served as the inspiration for various books, operas, films and paintings. As the saga unfolds, the captain (Van der Decken) of the ship gave it his best shot in trying to protect and steer his ship safely out of the deadly weather conditions around the Cape of Good Hope, but without any success. So, the cursed ship continues to drift aimlessly ever since and has been spotted by travelers on the sea.
The Mary Celeste
In 1872, the ship was found afloat in the vast Atlantic Ocean without any harm or damage, with the crew’s personal belongings and a cargo consisting of 1500 barrels of alcohol in perfect state. The frightening thing is that apparently, the whole crew had vanished along with the captain’s logbook and the lifeboat. Although this could have been caused due to a terrible storm or technical difficulties where the crew had to abandon the ship immediately, folklore believes an alien abduction or colossal sea monsters were behind it.