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20 Very Real Images Of Ghost Ships (And 5 That Are Legends)

The term ghost ship is pretty flexible when it comes to talking about mysterious boats on the high seas.

The term ghost ship is pretty flexible when it comes to talking about mysterious boats on the high seas. While it often describes a ship that was found abandoned with no living crew aboard or ships commissioned for scrap but escaped the tow line and are left to aimlessly drift, the term also describes mysterious phantom ships that are rooted in folklore seen by sailors and land dwellers alike but are little more than illusions that do not exist. Sometimes, the term ghost ship is even used to describe both.

Regardless of which type of ghost ship you are referring to, there are plenty of mysteriously fated ship stories recorded throughout history from the mysteriously abandoned Mary Celeste in the 1870s to the phantom SS Baychimo that has been spotted floating aimlessly over the years, and the possible mutiny of the High Aim No. 6 to the spooky sea omen of the Flying Dutchman.

We’ve gathered 20 of the most famous (and mysterious) ghost ships and their histories, along with five legends of phantom ships that are still said to roam the seven seas. Can you solve the mysteries of this eerily fated ships?

25 SS Ourang Medan

In June 1947, a chilling distress signal was set out from the Dutch freighter SS Ourang Medan that said: “All Officers, including the Captain, are dead. Lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This message was followed by a last ominous “I die.”

The American Silver Star was the first to reach the SS Ourang Medan, they attempted to get the attention of the crew but were met with only silence. The Silver Star decided to send a rescue team to board the crew and they were met with a nightmare scene. The entire crew, including the captain, were dead (even the ship’s dog).

The Silver Star decided to two the SS Ourang Medan to port, but it didn’t make it because a while into their journey smoke was seen rising from the towed ship. The Silver Star was forced to cut the two line and barely made it to safety when the SS Ourang Meda exploded.

No one knows what really happened to the crew of the SS Ourang Medan but theories including carbon monoxide poisoning, pirates and even aliens have been floated.

24 The SS Valencia

The SS Valencia was a small iron-hulled passenger steamer that set sail from San Francisco to Seattle in late January 1906. On board were 108 passengers and 56 crew . Not long into her journey, the weather became horrible and the visibility was severely limited rendering their celestial navigation system impossible. The SS Valencia collided with a reef and run aground, and to avoid sinking the Captain ordered her breached but she struck rocks again. She was only 50 meters from the shore but the weather was treacherous. Panicked crew and passengers launched the lifeboats against the Captain’s orders but three flipped as they were being lowered and three capsized in the ocean. Only 37 survived the ordeal.

Because it was a remote area, the wreckage of the ship has remained untouched for the past 100 years. You can find pieces of it along the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island.

23 The Carroll A. Deering

In 1921, the Carroll A. Deering was found run aground in Diamond Shoals with no crew and no explanation. Five months prior to the discovery, in August 1920, the Caroll A. Deering set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, with a cargo of coal. Aboard was an experienced captain along with a 10-man crew from Rio de Janerio.

On January 29, a lightship keeper named Captain Jacobson sighted the Carroll A Deering, the ship hailed Captain Jacobson and an unnamed crew member shared that they had lost their anchors. Jacobson was unable to report the issue because his radio was out but he did later report that the crew of the Carroll A. Deering was suspicious. Two days later, C.P. Brady of the Cape Hatteras Coast Guard Station spotted the Caroll A. Deering, and while it was run around the sails were still set and the lifeboats were missing. When the ship was boarded they found no crew or personal items, also gone were the anchors, some paperwork and key navigational equipment. What happened remains a mystery.

22 The Octavius

The Octavius left London for China with a full crew including the skipper’s wife and son in 1761. They arrived with no incident, changed cargo and set sail back to Britain, but due to the unusually warm weather, the Captain decided to sail the Northwest Passage, even though that journey had not been completed at that time. They were never heard from again.

On October 11, 1775, a whaling ship called the Herald came across the Octavius, weather-beaten and abandoned near Greenland. A boarding crew was sent to search the ship and were met with quite the sight, finding the entire crew frozen, including the Captain with a pen in his hand. It turns out that the Captain had tried to navigate the Northwest Passage but the ship got stuck in the ice, its last recorded position was 75N, 160W, only 250 miles north of Barrow, Alaska.

21 The Joyita

The MV Joyita was a merchant vessel that sailed the seas in the South Pacific in 1955. She left Samoa’s Apia harbor on October 3, 1955, headed for the Tokelau Islands. The ship had 25 people on it, 16 crew and 9 passengers, and its cargo consisted of medical supplies. The MV Joyita was scheduled to arrive on October 5 but never arrived. The New Zealand Air Force was recruited to search the area but found no sign of the ship.

Fast forward five weeks to November 10, Captain Gerald Douglas of the Tuvalu merchant ship spotted the MV Joyita adrift over 1,000 km west of the scheduled route. The ship was partially submerged, and there were no crew or passengers in sight. All the clocks had stopped at 10:25, the log book, sextant, various navigational pieces and firearms that were known to be on the boat were missing, and the radio was turned to the international distress channel. The MV Joyita was designed to be an unsinkable ship, so even while she was partially submerged the crew and passengers would have been save to stay aboard until help arrived but to this day this mystery has not been solved.

20 The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste was found abandoned on December 4, 1872, by the British ship Dei Gratia. It was strange considering the ship had left New York City eight days prior to the Dei Gratia and should have already arrived at its destination in Genoa, Italy. The boarding party from the Dei Gratia found that belowdecks things had been tossed around and three and a half feet of water was sloshing around in the bottom, though the cargo (1,701 barrels of alcohol) was intact and there was still six months supply of food and water left.

It remains a mystery to this day what happened to the missing 10-person crew of the Mary Celeste. Theories from mutiny to pirates have been thrown about, but no one really knows what happened.

19 The Kaz II

The Kaz II was a catamaran that was found drifting 30 km off the Australian coast in 2007. The three-man crew that was supposed to be on board were missing, despite there being a fully-functioning laptop on and open, and a table set with food. The GPS was still operational and the lifejackets were found still on board.

Authorities undertook an extensive investigation and concluded that one of the men must have fallen overboard, and the two remaining men who attempted to rescue him all were unable to return to the boat. None of the men were said to be good swimmers and the seas at that time were extremely challenging.

18 The Jian Seng

The Jian Seng , an abandoned tanker, was found in 2006 off Australia’s Gold Coast by an airplane flying over the area. In response to the mysterious ship, a vessel, Storm, was launched to investigate. The next morning a small boat was launched from the vessel Storm to board the Jian Seng and the boarding party found no one aboard.

Mysteriously the name “Jian Seng” had been painted over, but the boarding party had found documentation to tell them that the ship was, in fact, the Jian Seng. The ship’s engines were inoperable and there was a large rice supply was found in the cargo hold. It was believed that the Jian Seng at one point had resupplied fishing boats but had broken loose from the tow rope when being towed to the scrap yard. Because no owner was ever found the Jian Seng was sunk as an artificial reef.

17 The High Aim No. 6

The High Aim 6 was a registered Taiwanese vessel but flew under an Indonesian flag, she left southern Taiwan on October 31, 2002, and was found drifting in Australian waters without its crew on January 8, 2003. The ship was originally spotted 5 days before it was able to be boarded due to the fact that the motor was running. The boarding party had to wait until the engine died and the rudder was locked to the board. The cargo appeared to be tons of rotting fish and there were seven toothbrushed found.

There were no signs of distress found in the ship and no clear evidence as to why it was abandoned. After a rigorous investigation, only one crew member could be tracked down who admitted that mutiny had been committed against the Captain and engineer. However, they were unable to prove mutiny and the reason for the abandonment remains unclear.

16 The Zebrina

In 1917, the Zebrina was found ashore with its sails intact and its cargo of coal untouched. The sailing barge had earlier set sail for Saint-Brieuc, France, but was found with its five-person crew missing. The most common theory surrounding the mysterious abandonment of the Zebrina was that they were intercepted by a German U-Boat. Some suspect that they were boarded by the occupants of the U-Boat but that it was attached by the Royal Navy before the Zebrina could be sunk. But that doesn’t explain the mysteriously absent crew, the untouched cargo or the fact that no such disturbance was ever reported.

15 The Nina

The Nina , a yacht carrying six Americans and one British man, set sail from the Bay of Islands in New Zealand and May 2013. The crew was last heard from on June 4, after an ocean storm had it. A text message sent from one of the occupants saying that the storm had shredded the sails, they promised to check back in later but were never heard from again.

The Nina, built in 1928 , was on its way to Australia. Authorities searched over 100,000 square nautical miles but were unable to find them and the search was called to a halt. On September 15, 2013, satellite images showed a ship floating approximately 184 nautical miles west of Norfolk Island, but it appears to have not been the ship. The fate of the Nina and its occupants remains unknown.

14 The Sam Ratulangi PB 1600

The Sam Ratulangi PB 1600 was originally built in 2001. It was a container vessel that was completely empty and was last logged in operation in 2009 but was found drifting off of Myanmar’s coast run aground on the beach earlier this year. The ship was being towed to a salvaged factory in Bangladesh but the cables towing the ship broke during a storm. The crew of the towing ship decided to abandon the Sam Ratulangi PB 1600 due to the increasingly bad weather. The ship was completely empty and is more than 177 meters long.

13 The Ocean Wave

Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader built a performance out of his trip, titling it In Search of the Miraculous. His plan was to set sail to a student choir in his art gallery in America and arrive on the other side of the world in Falmouth, England some 8 to 10 weeks later. He was sailing from Cape Cod to Falmouth on a solo voyage across the Atlantic. On July 9, 1975, the 33-year-old said goodbye to his family to set sail on his small boat the Ocean Wave. And three weeks later it was radio silence.

The Ocean Wave was found partially submerged off the coast of Ireland. No one knows what happened to Bas Jan Ader, some believe a freak wave could have swept him away, others wonder if he got disoriented and jumped overboard, some even think he disappeared on purpose.

12 The Pirian Lunatic

On October 25, 2007, 72-year-old Slovenian sailer Jure Sterk set sail from Tauranga on what he planned to be his second trip around the world. He was hoping to break two world records to be the oldest man to sail the world and the first person to sail the world in the smallest boat without an engine.

Sterk was in regular contact with Australian ham radio enthusiasts throughout his trip. On Boxing Day he had mentioned that he had come across bad weather but all was well. But on January 3, a radio operator alerted the Australian Marian Safety Authority that Sterk had ceased communication. On January 26, a merchant vessel called the Aida came across the Pirian Lunatic, which was abandoned. The emergency boat that was attached was missing. Jure Sterk is presumed dead.

11 The Resolven

The SV Resolven is largely touted as the Welsh Mary Celeste. The SV Resolven made regular trips between Canada and Welsh ports, Captained by seasoned seaman John James. On August 29, 1884, the ship was seen by another ship the HMS Mallard. It appeared to be adrift between Baccalieu Island and Catalina, off the northern tip of Newfoundland. A boarding party was sent out and the soon discovered that the ship was empty. They found the SV Resolven’s log book but nothing appeared amiss, there was no evident reason for the crew to have abandoned ship. Even more mysterious, the fire was still lit and food sat on the table. The only clue? One of the lifeboats was missing.

10 Korean People’s Army Ghost Boats

In recent years, mysterious rowboats carrying remains have been washing up on Japanese shores. The boats have no identification, tags or clue as to what they are. These ghost ships have been drifting over for years, but 2017 saw a record number. The Japanese Coast Gaurd counted 95 boats by with 27 remains by December 18.

It is unclear exactly what the boats are but the most common explanation is that they are North Korean commercial fishers that are not equipped to be out on the ocean but are encouraged by their government to travel dangerous distances to make their catch. Inside the boats fishing nets, lures and life jackets can be found.

9 The Sea Bird

In 1750, the 300-ton merchant vessel called Sea Bird was on its way home to Newport, Rhode Island captained by John Durham. However, the ship never made it back. The morning it was supposed to make port in Newport, the Sea Bird was seen drifting off the Rhode Island coast before it ran aground on Easton Beach.

When the ship was boarded searches came across a dog and cat, both happy and healthy. But no one else was oh the Sea Bird, the crew was nowhere to be seen. Everything showed that the crew had just been there including the boiling coffee, the breakfast at the table and the lingering smell of tobacco smoke. Coins were even found out in the Captain’s chambers, out in the open and untouched. The day was clear, the ocean was calm and just two hours earlier another boat captain passed the Sea Bird and waved to Captain Durham who waved back at him. The mystery of the Sea Bird has never been solved.

8 The Eliza Battle

The Eliza Battle was a paddle steamer that moored along the Tombigbee River. Sometime in 1854, a reception for President Millard Fillmore was held on the steamer. The day was beautiful and the trip from Columbus, Mississippi to Mobile, Alabama, was going along fine.

However, on the morning of March 1, 1858, the Eliza Battle had her last journey. Sometime in the late afternoon and early evening, the temperature fell 40 degrees and a strong wind made the ship challenging to steer. On the Eliza Battle was a crew of 45, 60 passengers and up to 1,400 bales of cotton. Just after midnight, a cry of “fire” came from the ship. The water was frozen, the air cold but the ship was going up in flames. Not all of the occupants of the Eliza Battle made it safely off the ship.

7 The Bel Amica

When it was found drifting off the coast of Sardinia in August 2006, there was a half-eaten meal, charts, and piles of clothes on the Bel Amica . There was little to be found on the ship, even the name was a mystery with only a small plaque that read “Bel Amica.” The coast guard boarded the vessel and steered it clear of running aground by no evidence as to who was on or owned the boat could be found.

Eventually, the owner of the Bel Amica was found, no explanation was given as to why she was abandoned or what had happened to the crew. The ship was also not registered to any country.

6 The Flying Dutchman

If you’ve watched the Pirates of the Caribbean, you probably know about the Flying Dutchman. Captained by Davy Jones , the ship that can only dock every 10 years is said to “collect all the poor souls who died at sea.” But many don’t know where the legend comes from.

In 1641, Captain Hendrick van der Decken (the Dutchman) was making a return trip from the East Indies with a loaded ship of spices, silks, and other goods to his home of Amsterdam when a particularly awful storm came upon them. And while his crew begged him to turn around, the Dutchman was determined to pull through. Unfortunately, the storm was too much for the ship and she sank in South African Waters. Every now and again sailors report seeing the Flying Dutchman on the horizon, it is said to be a symbol of imminent doom or danger know as the curse of the flying Dutchman.

The appearance of the Flying Dutchman is said to be explained by a Fata Morgana a type of mirage that is most associated with the open ocean.


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Top 11 Mysterious Ghost Ships and Haunted Stories of the Maritime World

Mystery, fear, and enigma encompass the seafaring ghost ships’ or phantom ships’ tales that have been passed around throughout centuries by sailors, anglers and others.

These mysterious ships are fantasied as spectral phantasms that materialise in the middle of the sea and disappear quickly, apparently a bad omen.

In addition, abandoned ships, which are found adrift, and left desolated under fearsome and cryptic circumstances, are included in this category.

Albeit these all being marine legends and sometimes lacking authenticity, some of these haunted ships continue to provoke speculation and fearful anticipation.

We present you with ten such mysterious ghost ships of the maritime world that would surely give you an eerie feeling and goosebumps.

Flying dutchman

Related Reading:

Top 10 Amazing Ocean Mysteries and Phenomena

Top 10 Amazing Ocean Mysteries and Phenomena – Part 2

Table of Contents

11. SV Kaz II

SV Kaz II was found adrift, 88 miles off the coast of Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef, just five days after it set sail from Airlie beach towards Townsville, Queensland, in April 2007. As per investigation reports, the 12 m catamaran was sailing with a three-person crew who were not experienced, sailors. However, what happened to them remains a mystery to this day.

Their disappearance without a trace has been compared to the crew of Mary Celeste, another ship whose crew went missing under mysterious circumstances. Many believe rough weather conditions could be a reason; others blame pirates or even communists for the same.

Strangely, the vessel was found in perfect condition, except for the one sail, which had been shredded to pieces. The three men were never discovered. According to investigators, they might have drowned while trying to untangle a fishing lure caught in the vessel’s rudder. It is also envisaged that a sea monster could have swallowed them.

10. The Caleuche

It is a legend of the Chilota mythology, where it is described as a ghost ship which comes into being every night near the island of Chiloe. It says the vessel carries the spirits of all the people who have drowned at sea.

The Caleuche is strikingly beautiful, bright and gay, always surrounded by party music sounds and laughter.


However, it only stays for a few moments and then suddenly disappears or submerges itself under the water. Three Chilota’ water spirits’ – the Sirena Chilota, the Pincoya, and the Picoy – who resemble mermaids, summons the spirits of the drowned.

9. The SS Valencia

In 1906, the SS Valencia sank off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, after encountering bad weather near Cape Mendocino and became a subject of mysterious ghost stories.

Eventually, 37 of merely 108 people were saved using lifeboats , among which one disappeared.

Since then, many fishermen have claimed to witness ghost ship sightings with human skeletons even after many decades post sinking.

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste Ghost Ship

  • Unexplained Mystery: The Devil’s Sea (The Dragon’s Triangle)

Top 10 Mysterious Ships Infographics

8. The SS Ourang Medan

In 1947, while passing through the Strait of Malacca, two American ships went off on a rescue mission after receiving a distress call from Ourang Medan.

The caller claimed to be a crewmember and conveyed the message of the death of everyone else on board. His words weirdly ended with “I die”. The rescuers found the ship unharmed, but the entire crew, including the dog, dead with terrified faces and expressions.

Before the further investigation, the abandoned ship caught fire and exploded. The probable reason could be over-exposure to nitroglycerin, which it was carrying illegally. The other mystery revolves around the story of paranormal activities and alien invasion.

7. The Carroll A. Deering

This ship ran aground in the notorious Diamond Shoals near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1921, where it was stuck for several days before any rescue team could arrive. After unloading a coal shipment, the vessel was travelling from Rio de Janeiro back to Norfolk, Virginia.

Later, the Coast Guard found that the navigational equipment, logbook and two lifeboats were missing from the abandoned ship, otherwise undamaged.

Investigation showed that a few other ships had also disappeared under mysterious circumstances around the same time, which could be the pirates’ barbarity, crew mutiny, or extraterrestrial activity around the infamous Bermuda triangle.

6. The SS Baychimo

Built in the early 1920s, this is one of the real-life ghost ships which was, in 1931, trapped in the pack-ice near Alaska, leaving no hopes for the owner Hudson Bay Company but to abandon it.

However, it remained adrift for the next 38 years and was frequently sighted floating aimlessly in the waters off Alaska.

SS Baychimo ship

Weather conditions had always made it impossible to salvage, but since 1969, it has disappeared completely. A few expedition programmes had since been launched to trace back this mysterious ghost ship.

Related Reading

5 Famous Mysterious Stories of the Bermuda Triangle

Top 10 Amazing Facts About the Lost City of Atlantis

5. The Octavius

The Octavius became more than just a legend in 1775 when a whaling ship named the Herald found it aimlessly drifting off the coast of Greenland with all of its crew frozen dead by the arctic cold.

To add to the spooky environment, the ship’s captain was found sitting at his desk, with a logbook in front of him, and finishing a log entry from 1762.

This could mean that the Octavius had been floating for 13 years and completed its passage to the Atlantic while returning to England from the Orient via the Northwest Passage as a ghost ship.

4. The MV Joyita

In 1955 this fishing and charter boat was found abandoned in the South Pacific, five weeks after it had been reported overdue. The air-search mission could not trace it until a merchant ship found it drifting almost 600 miles off its source with no sign of passengers, crew members and cargo. The liferafts were missing, including the firearms and other equipment onboard.

There was a doctor’s bag and several bloody bandages on the deck, and the broken radio was tuned to the universal distress signal . Still, what happened there was never revealed as none of the crew was ever seen again.

3. The Lady Lovibond

An exciting story of love, jealousy and rage complements the tale of this haunted ship. In 1748, the day before Valentine’s Day, it was set to sail as a celebration of the ship’s captain’s wedding.

Nevertheless, his friend, who was too in love with her, out of vengeance, steered the ship into the notorious Goodwind Sands, sinking it and killing all on board.

Since then, it could be seen every fifty years sailing around Kent. 1798, 1848, 1898 and 1948 witnessed this ship’s sightseeing, and some boats had sent out rescuers, assuming it was in distress, but later could not be found. Albeit there was no confirmed spotting in 1998, this famous ghost ship continues to be a legend.

2. The Mary Celeste

British Ship Dei Gratia found the Mary Celeste on 4th Dec 1872, near the Strait of Gibraltar. It was weird as the latter had left New York eight days before the Dei Gratia and should have reached its destination, Genoa, Italy, by now. However, the boarding party from the British vessel discovered that below deck, things looked pretty standard with no signs of any attack.

Probably the most famous real-life ghost ship’s story embraces the Mary Celeste, found adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in 1872 in a completely unharmed condition with all its sails still up, the crew’s personal belongings intact and a cargo hold of over 1500 alcohol barrels untouched.

The only things missing were the lifeboat, the captain’s logbook and most importantly, the whole crew. Since pirate attacks could not be held responsible for such a phenomenon, theories of crew mutiny, waterspout killing, and consumption of poisonous food leading to madness came into being.

However, the most reasonable explanation could be a storm or technical issue, compelling the crew to immediately abandon the ship in the lifeboat and die later at sea. Apart from these, the mystery of this haunted ship surrounds by ghosts and even sea monsters and alien abduction theories.

Captain Morehouse of Dei Gratia knew Captain Briggs of Celeste to be a capable sailor, leading to more suspicions about what actually happened. However, the poor fate of Mary Celeste and its souls has been immortalised in Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story written in 1884, J Habakuk’s Jephson’s Statement.

1. The Flying Dutchman

In maritime folklore, this ghost ship has left the maximum impact like no other by inspiring numerous paintings, films, books, operas, etc. The Pirates of the Caribbean, the Dead Man’s Chest features the story and is the most popular movie made on this legend.

Van der Decken, the captain, on its way towards East Indies, with sheer determination, tried to steer his ship through the adverse weather condition of the Cape of Good Hope but failed miserably even after vowing to drift until the doomsday. Legend says that since then, they have been cursed to sail the oceans for eternity.

To this day, hundreds of fisherman and sailors from the deep sea have claimed to have witnessed the Flying Dutchman continuing its never-ending voyage across the waters.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ghost Ships

1. what is the meaning of the term ‘ghost ship’.

Ghost ships are those sea-going vessels that are associated with some supernatural activity or unexplained powers. Those vessels that have been abandoned by crew and passengers, or have drifted away from their docks or while at sea, are also called ghost ships. Ships still in operation, might also be reffered to as ghost ships, as stories of paranormal activities or eerie experiences spread through the crew and passengers of the vessel.

2. Which ghost ships are currently sailing on the oceans’ unmanned’?

There are many examples of ghost ships sailing without a soul. One such vessel is the MV Lyubov Orlova, an erstwhile Russian cruise ship carrying tourists around the Arctic. Today, its guests are only rats. The vessel was found adrift near the coast of Ireland and will be dismantled soon.

3. When was the last Ghost Ship found?

The last ghost ship was found in 2018 on the coast of Ireland during the Dennis Storm. The MV Alta ran aground close to Ballycotton, County Cork. It was found adrift and unmanned in the Atlantic by the HMS Protector after it became disabled, and the US Coast Guard rescued its crew.

4. What causes the mirage of ghost ships?

Our brain interprets that light travels in a straight line. However, other factors at sea, including refraction, temperature, climate and light waves, creates a mirage of a ship floating above the horizon. Sometimes it may look distorted and above the water surface. The actual ship might be below the horizon or on the other side.

5. How many abandoned ships are in the ocean?

In 2020, the IMO Database mentioned about 438 ships abandoned worldwide. It also listed 5767 crews abandoned since 2004. However, since not all missing cases are brought to the IMO, the number of missing and abandoned vessels is much bigger.

  • The Mystery of Ghost Ships – HMS Erebus and HMS Terror
  • The Unexplained Mystery of the Sea Serpent
  • The Baltic Sea Mystery of the Strange UFO Object
  • The Real Story Behind The “Davy Jones’ Locker”
  • What are Sea Shanties? 

Disclaimer:  The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used in the article, have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight. 

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Don’t forget about the Queen Mary. You can read about her haunted past in Fatal Return Roger Weston- author of Fatal Return

Your forgetting one more? “The queen mary*

Thanks for providing this amazing article. I loved to read blog on historical places and ghosts.Keep doing good work.

I just love to read and experience the ghost stories and this blog is very well written and it is interesting too, never felt a bit boring on your article, looking forward to read more articles from you


hi darling…… kasaak story

The Lady Lovibond…. dont forget the Lady Lovibond story.. wt a story mind blocking…. fasakkkk…

Wow that’s amazing so many ghost ships

Thanks for those informations !

What about the queen mary?

good information about hunted stories.

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21 Famous Ghost Ships You’ve Probably Never Heard About

  • by — Devjot Bath

In the distance, a ship drifts out in the open sea. It moves along peacefully in the night, but something’s not right. The haunting vessel slowly moves as waves crash around it. On the ship, there isn’t a person in sight. There isn’t a captain steering the ship or crew members to maintain it. There aren’t even any passengers. Well, this isn’t any ordinary ship. This is a ghost ship.

A ghost ship is a vessel floating in the sea with no captain, crew member, or person aboard. However, there are clear signs of people being on board at one point. There’s often a lot of mystery and questions surrounding ghost ships. It becomes apparent that something happened, but it’s impossible to piece the puzzle together. Several famous real-life ghost ships are shrouded in mystery while numerous terrifying ships are a myth but will still cause nightmares. Find out more about these ghost ships below.

1. Mary Celeste

Mary Celeste

BuzzFeed Unsolved Network/Youtube

On December 5, 1872, the British ship Dei Gratia noticed the brigantine, Mary Celeste , drifting in the ocean near the Azores. On closer inspection, they realized nobody was on board but nothing seemed out of place. The only thing missing was a lifeboat.

The Mary Celeste set sail one month earlier from New York Harbour. The vessel carried captain Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife Sarah, their two-year-old child, Sophia, and the crew. When the Die Gratia discovered the ship, it was largely undamaged with months worth of supplies. There have been several theories about what happened, including a pirate attack, mutiny, or an attack from a sea monster. The Mary Celeste remains the most famous and mysterious ghost ship. 

2. Flying Dutchman

Flying Dutchman


According to myth, the Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship cursed to sail in the ocean for all eternity and never make dock. In the 19th and 20th centuries, several sightings of the phantom ship occurred, with people claiming it shimmered with a mysterious glow. However, the Flying Dutchman’s appearance is a terrible omen for anyone unfortunate to see it. Regardless, most experts agree the Flying Dutchman is a myth and never existed in the first place. 

MV Alta


In 2019, the modern-day ghost ship the MV Alta ran aground on the Irish coast. It set sail 18 months earlier, but the engines failed in the Atlantic Ocean. The coast guard acted quickly and saved the crew.

However, the vessel continued to drift into the open sea for 18 months. It’s unclear what happened next, but it was possibly hijacked and abandoned a second time. Ships spotted the vessel in 2020 before washing ashore. The MV Alta is still on the coast of Ireland. 

4. Octavius

Octavius Ghost Ship

The Jolly Reiver/YouTube

According to legend, the crew of the Herald discovered the mysterious ghost ship Octavius adrift near Greenland in 1775. As the story goes, Octavius was sailing to the Orient when the captain decided to take a shortcut and got stuck in the ice.

They boarded the Octavius and found the entire crew dead but perfectly frozen. The captain was sitting at his table in the middle of writing in his log. The last entry in the log was dated 1761, meaning the ghost ship was in that state for 13 years. 

5. Ghost Ship With a Cat

Carroll A. Deering ship


On January 31, 1921, the Carroll A. Deering ship showed up floating near the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The mystery became more bizarre as no crew or people were on board, but there was one passenger, a cat.

The mysterious ghost ship baffled the greatest minds for roughly 100 years. Rumors suggest that the Bermuda Triangle had something to do with the disappearance. 

6. Kaz II 

Kaz II ghost yacht

What The French Toast/YouTube

On April 20, 2007, the coast guard found the Kaz II , aka the ghost yacht, adrift near the coast of Australia. On board, everything seemed normal . In fact, a laptop was in the corner, the engine was still running, and the table had dishes and food.

The only thing missing was the three-person crew consisting of Derek Batten, James Tunstead, and Peter Tunstead. Authorities believe the friends fell into the ocean and drowned since they weren’t good swimmers. 

7. SS Valencia

SS Valencia Ghost Ship

Salty Beaver Explores/YouTube

In 1906, the SS Valencia sank off the coast of British Columbia and killed 100 people onboard. However, that was just the beginning of this ghostly vessel. After the sinking, the City of Topeka ship transported survivors back to Seattle.

While traveling, the crew noticed a ship in the distance and decided to tell them about the the Valencia sinking. Shockingly, the vessel was Valencia . The ghost ship continued to its destination with a crew of skeletons on board. 

8. Ourang Medan

Phantom Ship Ourang Medan

The phantom ship Ourang Medan  is part of one of the most haunting stories of the 1940s. According to legend, other ships heard a horrifying distress call before finding the vessel shipwrecked near modern-day Indonesia.

As the story goes, the whole crew died under mysterious circumstances, adding to the mystery. Well, it turns out that the Ourang Medan is an urban legend. There are no records to prove it ever existed in the first place. 

9. Jian Seng

Jian Seng Ghost Ship

Top 10 Archive/YouTube

The Jian Seng is a mysterious ghost ship that appeared in 2006 near Australia. The coast guard found it floating in the water for an undetermined amount of time. There were no signs of the crew, foul play, or violence.

However, the mystery only became more complex when Australian officials couldn’t track down the owners or any documents relating to the ship. It remains one of the most mysterious ghost ships. 

10. Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait

Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait

Top 5 Scary Videos/YouTube

According to Canadian legend , the Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait appears as a warning of a terrible storm. The ghost ship often appears drifting in the body of water that separates Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from Prince Edward Island. As the story goes, the hauntingly beautiful vessel bursts into flames as it floats in the ocean before the storm approaches. 

See more about - 15 Amazing Titanic Artifacts Found In The Ship’s Wreckage

11. High Aim 6

fishing boat High Aim 6


In 2002, the fishing boat High Aim 6 left the port of Taiwan but failed to reach its destination. Instead, the ghost ship ended up floating near Australia. Upon closer inspection, the crew appeared to be missing, but there was no sign of a struggle.

After some investigation, authorities believed that the crew’s ship orchestrated a mutiny. They even found one of the crew members that confirmed the mutiny theory.

12. Mv Joyita

MV Joyita


On October 3, 1955, the MV Joyita set off with its crew and 25 passengers. Along the way, something mysterious happened, and everyone on board disappeared. In November 1955, the MV Joyita showed up near its final destination floating near the Island of Fiji.

However, the ship was empty with no sign of the crew or passengers. Authorities were puzzled for years and couldn’t solve the mystery. Several theories include a mutiny, an insurance scam, or an injury to the captain. It remains one of the ocean’s greatest mysteries. 

13. Lake Superior Ghost Ship 

Lake Superior Ghost Ship 

Jason Asselin/YouTube

Thousands of ships have passed through the Great Lakes, with many shipwrecks over the years. Therefore, if any area would have scary ghost ships, it would be Lake Superior.

In 2016, a man in Michigan filmed a mysterious ship in the distance on Lake Superior. The monstrous ship appeared to survive the choppy water but there was no record of a ship passing through. The footage quickly led to speculation that a famous ghost ship was haunting the Great Lakes. 

MT Iba

TRT World/YouTube

The MT Iba  is  a different kind of ghost ship. After a rough four years at sea, the MT Iba ended up in the Middle East off the coast of Umm Al Quain. The crew was still on the vessel, but the captain had abandoned the ship.

In other words, the captain was the only ghost. However, if the crew left the ship, they wouldn’t be able to claim their pay. Therefore they remained on the ship until they could figure something out. 

15. SS Baychimo

SS Baychimo key ship

The SS Baychimo was a key ship during the 1920s. In 1931, it became stuck in ice but it broke free and drifted away. Eventually, the crew decided to abandon the ship. For the next 38 years, the Baychimo became the most famous ghost ship as it sailed around the world. 

A group of Inuits was last to see the Baychimo before it disappeared forever. Presumably, it finally sank to the bottom of the ocean after floating in the sea for decades. 

16. Bel Amica

ghost ship Bel Amica

In 2006, the ghost ship Bel Amica appeared off the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea. The Coast Guard boarded the ship to steer it away from a group of large rocks.

Once onboard, the coast guard discovered a pile of clothes, French maps, a Luxembourg flag, and half-eaten Egyptian food. The whereabouts of the crew remain a mystery.  

17. Lady Lovibond

Lady Lovibond vessel

In 1748, the Lady Lovibond vessel wrecked off the coast of England. As the story goes, the first mate crashed the ship and killed everyone because he was in love with the captain’s wife. However, the legend of Lady Lovibond was just beginning.

According to folklore, the ghost ship Lady Lovibond appears every 50 years off the coast of England. There have been a few major sightings of the famous vessel in 1798, 1848, and 1948.

18. Zebrina

Zebrina Ghost Ship

The Zebrina is a  famous ghost ship that ran aground off the coast of France in 1917. The puzzling mystery left investigators confused. The mystery became more complex with the crew missing.

The most likely theory is the crew somehow fell off the ship or was washed offboard. Once the crew ended up in the sea, Zebrina just kept going, leaving the crew behind. 

19. Sea Bird

Sea-Bird ship


There are many baffling tales of ghost ships, but few compare with the Sea Bird . In the 1760s, the Sea Bird ran  aground in Rhode Island. The vessel was missing for a while before it turned up abandoned.

The crew appeared to leave the ship quickly as coffee was left on the stove ready to drink. They also left behind a cat and a dog. The Sea-Bird likely drifted off, leaving the crew standard. 

20. Jenny 

ghost ship Jenny

The ghost ship Jenny remains one of the most puzzling mysteries. According to legend, the Jenny schooner left the Isle of Wright in 1822, but she never reached her destination and disappeared into thin air.

In 1840, she reappeared when Captain Brighton discovered Jenny trapped in an ice passage. The cold temperatures and ice froze the crew and preserved them perfectly. Jenny is one of the most terrifying ghost stories. 

21. Eliza Battle

Eliza Battle ship

In 1858, a devastating fire destroyed the Eliza Battle ship and killed 33 passengers. It was one of the worst disasters at the time. However, the Eliza Battle soon became a crucial part of Alabama folklore.

Since the horrible disaster, there have been numerous sightings of the Eliza Battle. Several locals claim to see a burning ship in the distance. The Eliza Battle is easily one of the most horrifying ghost ships of all time.

See more about - 11 Weird History Stories You Have To Read To Believe

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10 Maritime Pictures That Just Might Contain Nautical Ghosts

Jacob Shelton

Already the least explored and understood of earth's ecosystems, the oceans get a little stranger and a lot scarier in these photos of ghosts ships and sea ghosts. Amid the ocean waves, sea specters lurk beneath each crest and ghost ships sail the seven seas, never coming into port. Photos of ghost ships are intriguing due to their distinct size and shapes; regardless of your feelings, these pictures of ghost ships show something drifting by. Similarly, photos of ghosts at sea  possess the eerie, unmistakable quality of a presence haunting the oceans, inlets, and waterways. Keep reading to see photos of haunted bodies of water and real ghost ships.

As you’ll soon come to discover in these pictures of ghost ships , not every haunted vessel looks the same. Some float through the fog around a distant cape, while others float through the air, almost daring you to ignore the possibility that something supernatural is occurring. Meanwhile, these pictures of specters captured on vessels and in bodies of water are too terrifying to ignore, even for non-believers. Keep these photos in mind on your next boating or seaside escapades, because you might catch sight of an elusive nautical ghost. 

A Ghost Is Caught In The Ballroom Of The Queen Mary

A Ghost Is Caught In The Ballroom Of The Queen Mary

That's A Very Big Ghost Ship

That's A Very Big Ghost Ship

Woah, What Is That Under The Boat?

Woah, What Is That Under The Boat?

Ghost Ship Caught Off The Coast Of Halifax

Ghost Ship Caught Off The Coast Of Halifax

Ghost Ship On Lake Superior

Ghost Ship On Lake Superior

Even Ghosts Like Chilling At The Pool

Even Ghosts Like Chilling At The Pool

Classic Ghost Ship Floats Through The Mist

Classic Ghost Ship Floats Through The Mist

Water Sprite Seen Swimming Through China

Water Sprite Seen Swimming Through China

Is That Ghost Chasing A Boy While He Swims?

Is That Ghost Chasing A Boy While He Swims?

Fish Finder Catches Underwater Ghost

Fish Finder Catches Underwater Ghost

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Gaza Strip explained: Who controls it and what to know

A man takes an early morning walk with a cup of coffee along a street in Gaza City on Oct. 3, 2023.

What is the Gaza Strip? 

The Gaza Strip refers to a narrow strip of land wedged between Israel and Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea that is roughly the size of Washington, D.C. Occupied in turn by the Ottoman Empire and then the British Empire, it forms the smaller of the two Palestinian territories — the other being the West Bank. 

After the creation of Israel in 1948, Egypt controlled Gaza for nearly two decades. After Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War against its Arab neighbors, it gained control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. For the next 38 years, it controlled the strip and enabled the construction of 21 Jewish settlements.

In 2005, under international and domestic pressure, Israel withdrew around 9,000 Israeli settlers and its military forces from Gaza, leaving the enclave to be governed by the Palestinian Authority, which also controlled parts of the occupied West Bank.

Today, with over 2 million Palestinians living within roughly 140 square miles, it is “one of the world’s most densely populated territories,” according to Gisha , an Israeli nongovernmental organization. Half of Palestinians living in Gaza are under age 19, but they have few to no prospects for socioeconomic growth and limited access to the outside world.

Palestinian children play outside their home in the Al-Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in August 2023.

Who governs and who controls it ?

Hamas, which has clashed repeatedly with the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank who negotiated the Oslo Peace Accords, is a militant Palestinian nationalist movement currently led by Ismail Haniyeh. It took control of Gaza after it won elections there in 2006. Since then, no elections have been held.

Despite pleas from the United Nations and human rights groups, Israel has maintained a land, air and sea blockade on Gaza since 2007 that has had a devastating effect on Palestinian civilians. Israel says the blockade, which gives it control of Gaza's borders and is also enforced by Egypt, is necessary to protect Israeli citizens from Hamas.

The International Committee of the Red Cross considers the blockade illegal and says it violates the Geneva Convention, a charge Israeli officials deny. The U.N., various human rights groups and legal scholars, citing the blockade, consider Gaza to still be under military occupation by Israel. 

What is Hamas, and whom does it represent?

Hamas is one of the two major political parties in the Palestinian territories. Founded in 1987 during an uprising against Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, the group was originally a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which favors Islamist principles —  a belief that Islam should play a major role in political life. 

Many countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, have designated Hamas a terrorist organization because of its attacks on Israel, which include rocket salvos and suicide bombings. Other countries, including New Zealand, deem only Hamas' military wing to be a terrorist group. Hamas also provides social services for people in Gaza, such as education and medical care in hospitals.

Hamas says it is a freedom-fighting movement to free Palestinians from occupation and reclaim large parts of Israel. Its actions are divisive among Palestinians and those who support establishing a Palestinian state because of its use of violence.

A recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research reported that one-third of Palestinians found the internal and political split between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza to be “the most damaging development that has happened since 1948.” 

The same poll found that more than half of Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank would vote for Hamas over the Palestinian Authority. The group’s popularity grew after a two-week conflict with Israel in 2021, with roughly 75% of those polled viewing Hamas as safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem. 

Hamas receives heavy backing from Iran, which contributes “funds, weapons, and training” to the militant group, according to the Council on Foreign Relations . Though Turkey insists it supports Hamas only politically, it has been accused of  funding Hamas’ terrorism , including through funds diverted from Turkish government aid programs.

Israel reopened the crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel in Gaza, Palestine - 28 Sept 2023

What is it like living in Gaza?

Human Rights Watch likened the conditions in Gaza to “an open air prison,” referring to the restriction of movement Israel enforces on Palestinians there. Israel prohibits Palestinians from entering or leaving the area “except in extremely rare cases, which include urgent, life-threatening medical conditions and a very short list of merchants,” according to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group. 

Israelis, Jewish settlers and foreigners are not subject to those restrictions and are free to travel in and out of Gaza. Over the years, Israel has gradually closed land-border crossings from Gaza into Israel except for one — which is open only to Palestinians with Israeli-approved permits. Egypt sporadically closes its land-border crossing for months on end, which is often the only way people in Gaza can gain access to the rest of the world.

By limiting imports and nearly all exports, Israel’s 16-year blockade has driven Gaza's economy to near-collapse, with unemployment rates above 40%, according to the World Bank . More than 65% of the population live under the poverty line, according to the U.N., with 63% of people in Gaza deemed “ food insecure ” by the World Food Program. Little psychological support exists for a generation of children who are “living with the long-term psychological effects of constant exposure to violence,” according to a U.N. report , which described an uptick of mental health issues, including depression, among young people living in the Gaza Strip.

“The Gaza closure blocks talented, professional people, with much to give their society, from pursuing opportunities that people elsewhere take for granted,” Human Rights Watch said in a 2021 report . “Barring Palestinians in Gaza from moving freely within their homeland stunts lives and underscores the cruel reality of apartheid and persecution for millions of Palestinians.”

In the wake of the recent surprise Hamas attack that killed 700 Israelis, conditions for civilians in Gaza are expected to dramatically worsen. So far, more than 400 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes. An Israeli ground invasion of Gaza is likely, which Hamas has vowed to fiercely resist. On Monday Israel’s defense minister announced “a complete siege” of Gaza, cutting off all electricity, fuel, food and water to the enclave.

pictures of ghost ships

Yasmine Salam is an associate producer with the NBC News Investigative Unit. Previously she worked in the London Bureau, covering international stories.

How the Hamas attack on Israel unfolded

JERUSALEM, Oct 7 (Reuters) - A surprise attack by Hamas on Israel, which combined gunmen breaching security barriers with a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, was launched at dawn on Saturday during the Jewish high holiday of Simchat Torah.

The attack came 50 years and a day after Egyptian and Syrian forces launched an assault during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in an effort to retrieve territory Israel had taken during a brief conflict in 1967.

This is how it took place:


At about 6.30 a.m. (0430 GMT) Palestinian Islamist group Hamas fired a huge barrage of rockets across southern Israel, with sirens heard as far away as Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

Hamas said it had fired 5,000 rockets in a first barrage. Israel's military said 2,500 rockets were fired.

Smoke billowed over residential Israeli areas and people sheltered behind buildings as sirens sounded overhead. At least one woman was reported killed by the rockets.


The barrage served as cover for an unprecedented multi-pronged infiltration of fighters, with the Israeli military saying at 7.40 a.m. (0540 GMT) that Palestinian gunmen had crossed into Israel.

Most fighters crossed through breaches in land security barriers separating Gaza and Israel. But at least one was filmed crossing on a powered parachute while a motorboat was filmed heading to Zikim, an Israeli coastal town and military base.

Videos issued by Hamas showed fighters breaching the security fences, with the dim light and low sun suggesting it was at around the time of the rocket barrage.

One video showed at least six motorbikes with fighters crossing through a hole in a metal security barrier.

A photograph released by Hamas showed a bulldozer tearing down a section of security fence.


Israel's military said at 10 a.m. that Palestinian fighters had penetrated at least three military installations around the frontier - the Erez border crossing, the Zikim base and the Gaza division headquarters at Reim. It said fighting at Erez and Zikim continued.

Hamas videos showed fighters running towards a burning building near a high concrete wall with a watchtower and fighters apparently overrunning part of an Israeli military facility and shooting from behind a wall.

A view of a junction shows the aftermath of a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in the Sderot area, southern Israel

[1/3] A view of a junction shows the aftermath of Saturday's mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in the Sderot area of southern Israel October 7, 2023. REUTERS/Ammar Awad Acquire Licensing Rights

Several captured Israeli military vehicles were later pictured being driven into Gaza and paraded there.


Fighters raided the Israeli border town of Sderot and were reported to be in another border community, Be'eri, and the town of Ofakim 30km (20 miles) east of Gaza, according to Israeli media citing phone calls from residents.

A video verified by Reuters showed several gunmen riding the back of a white pickup truck moving through Sderot.

Many residents of southern Israeli towns have fortified areas in their homes that function as bomb shelters and on Saturday they were using them as panic rooms.

Israel's military ordered residents to shelter inside, saying on the radio "we will reach you".

By mid morning Israel's police chief Yaacov Shabtai said forces were engaging gunmen in 21 locations and at 1.30 p.m. the military said troops were still working to clear communities that had been overrun by gunmen.

A Reuters photographer saw bodies on the streets of Sderot. Israeli news media have reported at least 100 Israelis killed and 800 wounded.

Hamas videos and unverified images circulating on social media showed dead civilians, Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said Hamas gunmen had gone house-to-house killing civilians.


Israeli media has reported that gunmen have seized hostages in Ofakim. Islamic Jihad said it was holding several Israeli soldiers captive and Hamas social media accounts showed footage of appearing to show captives being taken alive into Gaza.

One video showed three young men in vests, shorts and slippers being marched through a security installation with Hebrew writing on the wall. Other videos showed female captives.

Another showed fighters dragging at least two Israeli soldiers from a military vehicle.


At 9.45 a.m. blasts were heard in central Gaza and Gaza city and at 10.00 a.m. Israel's military spokesperson said the airforce was carrying out strikes in Gaza. Medics in Gaza said dozens of people were killed in the strikes.

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Israeli soldiers patrol following a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Sderot

Israel and Hamas at war: Latest news

Reporting by Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Ros Russell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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  1. The 15 Creepiest Ghost Ships Ever Found On The High Seas

    The 15 Creepiest Ghost Ships Ever Found On The High Seas By Gabe Paoletti | Edited By John Kuroski Published October 23, 2021 Updated November 2, 2021 The mysteries surrounding these ghost ships involve everything from sulphuric acid to a famous yacht race. SV Mary Celeste

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