Do you believe in supernatural phenomena like vampires, ghosts, or honest politicians? We can’t be certain about the other two, but ghosts are very real. Ghost ships, for example, have evoked fear in weak-minded humans for centuries. Their ominous fleet consists of ships that were crashed, abandoned, and ships that just mysteriously disappeared, only to then suddenly pop-up in front of some horrified sailors without a camera.
Here are some of the most infamous ghost ships that haunt the world of the living!
1. El Caleuche
“On windless nights, eyewitnesses say, you can hear music and laughter coming from El Caleuche.”
El Caleuche appears at night, slowly floating out of the fog covering the Chilean coast. The superstitious locals claim that the ship guards coastal waters and punishes those who want to harm the ocean and its inhabitants. According to self-proclaimed experts, the ship crew consists of sailors and witches who died in shipwrecks around this area.
2. Erebus and Terror
On May 19, 1845, the Royal ships of Great Britain, Erebus and Terror, departed from the coast of England in the direction of the Canadian Arctic. The scientific expedition, led by Sir John Franklin, was planned to go beyond the deadly waters of the Northwest Passage, which separates the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. But something went horribly wrong. Of the 134 soldiers and officers, none returned. As the rescue mission participants later discovered, the ships were most likely trapped in an ice trap near King William Island. On June 11, 1847, Franklin kicked the bucked, and by April 22, 1848, both ships were completely dead.
3. Copenhagen (København)
The Danish sailing ship Copenhagen left Rio de la Plata on December 14, 1928, heading for Australia. It was a rather rare vessel for that time, but it was well equipped and had a radio, an auxiliary engine, and spacious lifeboats at its disposal. “Copenhagen” maintained radio contact with the Norwegian steamship “William Bloomer,” but after December 21, the connection was lost along with any sign of the ship. There were many theories concerning its mysterious disappearance, but most likely, the ship collided with an iceberg. Two years later, sailors began to whisper about encounters with a similar five-masted ship. Some say it’s still haunting the local waters.
In 1878, Eurydice, a British Navy training ship, was wrecked off the Isle of Wight after being struck by a sudden blizzard that emerged in the middle of a calm day. The crew did not have enough time for a coordinated response, and 364 out of 366 members were killed, leaving only two survivors. The ship hit the shore and was eventually dismantled but ever since then, witnesses reportedly saw a ghostly vessel cruising near the Isle of Wight. Euridice has been spotted many times both from the sea as well as land. In the 1930s, a British submarine encountered a mysterious ship, and in 1998 a documentary film crew saw it with their own eyes. At least that’s what they said.
5. Mary Celeste
On December 4, 1872, a British brigantine team discovered Mary Celeste drifting in the Atlantic Ocean near the Azores with no crew on board. Of the ten people who were supposed to be present on Mary Celeste’s last voyage, none were ever found. One lifeboat was missing, and almost all the barrels with alcohol were untouched, but there was no record in the logbook about why Mary Celeste was abandoned. The ship was transported to Gibraltar, where the British authorities started an investigation. So what did they find out? Absolutely nothing. But many rumors have spread since then, ranging from an emergency evacuation and ending with a sea monster attack.
6. The Flying Dutchman
When it comes to ghost ships, no-one can beat the “Flying Dutchman,” said to scare the sailors around Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Did you know that the nickname “The Flying Dutchman” actually refers to the captain, not the ship? Even though there are many versions of the story, the most famous legend tells about Captain Hendrik Vanderken, who served in the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. He was caught on his ship in a violent storm near the Cape of Good Hope. The captain swore that despite God’s wrath, he would reach Table Cove, even if nature itself turned against him. But, as if to spite the audacious captain, the ship sank along with the entire crew. Since then, it has been said that the ghosts of the captain and his crew are forced to sail forever as punishment for their hubris.