Friday, October 31, 2014

Famous Ghost Ships - Halloween

Since it's Halloween, we have gathered a few famous ghost ship stories to celebrate! We hope you enjoy reading through them and have a safe Halloween!


The SS Valencia

Built as a minor ocean liner for the Red D Line in 1882, the SS Valencia was originally constructed for service between Venezuela and New York City. In 1906, after being converted to an iron-hulled passenger steamer, she wrecked off the Vancouver Island, British Columbia coast. One Hundred passengers, including all of the women and children aboard, were killed. With such a devastating end, rumors and ghost stories became popular in regards to the sunken vessel. A lifeboat with eight skeletons was seen in a nearby sea cave at the shoreline of Pachena Bay and similar lifeboats were seen being rowed by The Valencia’s victims’ skeletons. A phantom ship with human figures was witnessed near Pachena Point along with other ghost stories related to The SS Valencia.


The Ourang Medan

In the late 1940s, several ships crossing the trade routes of the straits of Malacca stated they heard a series of SOS distress signals. The unknown vessel’s message was short: “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” British and Dutch listening posts who picked up the distress call believed that it likely came from the Ourang Medan, which was a Dutch freighter. Being the closet to the vessel in distress, the Silver Star (a conscripted American merchant ship) was sent to aid the Ourang Medan. Once aboard the seemingly vacant ship, the Silver Star crew discovered the corpses of the Ourang Medan crew with their eyes wide and faces distorted in horror, however, there was no evidence of foul play or injury to the crew or ship. Once back on the Silver Star, the captain decided to tow the Ourang Medan to port, but it then exploded and sank. In trying to figure out what happened to the Ourang Medan, it was discovered that there are no records of the ship ever existing.


The Octavius

On its way to the Arctic from China in 1762, The Octavius disappeared. Thirteen years later, in 1775, The Herald (a whaling ship) came across The Octavius aimlessly floating off the Greenland coast. Sending a boarding party onto the unresponsive vessel proved horrific when the crew of The Herald discovered the frozen corpses of The Octavius crew below deck. The captain was found midway through a log entry from November 11, 1762 at his desk. A dead woman, boy, and sailor were discovered in the captain’s cabin as well. The Herald’s crew refused to search the ship for fear of a curse and took only the captain’s log with them. Neither The Octavius nor her crew has ever been seen since.


The Lady Lovibond

Every fifty years, The Lady Lovibond reappears off the coast of southeast England where she wrecked on the Goodwin Sands in 1748. Celebrating his new marriage and ignoring the superstition that a woman on board is bad luck, Captain Simon Reed and his new bride Annetta went on a cruise. While the newlyweds and guests celebrated below deck, first mate John Rivers, who was a rival for Annetta’s hand in marriage, in a fit of jealous rage, killed the crewmember at the wheel and steered the vessel into the Goodwin Sands, which killed everyone aboard. Fifty years later, in 1798, two ships reported seeing The Lady Lovibond. In 1848, fifty years after the first sighting, another sighting prompted local seamen, who thought a wreck had occurred, to send out lifeboats to rescue survivors. No sightings were reported in 1898, however, in 1848 Captain Bull Prestwick accounted that he saw The Lady Lovibond and she was giving off an eerie green glow.


The Flying Dutchman

Traveling from Amsterdam, in 1680 Hendrick Vanderdecken set sail to Batavia, a port in Dutch East India, when his ship came upon a brutal storm. His crew believed the storm to be a warning from God; however, Vanderdecken ignored their fears and went on. Neither his ship, nor the crew, survived the storm. As punishment, Vanderdecken and the ship are condemned to sail the waters for eternity. Many claim to have witnessed The Flying Dutchman at sea, but most of the sightings conclude with it vanishing.


The Mary Celeste

In 1872, despite the fact The Mary Celeste was still under sail and in seaworthy condition, she was discovered abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean. One lifeboat, the crew of eight, and two passengers were missing even though the crew was skilled and competent and the weather was not threatening. In route to the Strait of Gibralter, The Mary Celeste had only been at sea for a month. More than six months’ worth of supplies was on the ship along with the crew’s personal possessions, valuables, and the cargo. The crew and passengers of The Mary Celeste were never seen or heard from again.

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