10 Ghost Ship Mysteries That Can’t Be Explained

by Khushbu Agarwal2 years ago
Picture 10 Ghost Ship Mysteries That Can’t Be Explained

Oceans are obstructed with mysteries. The sea is home to many abandoned and haunted ships some of which boarded from a port but never reached their destination, whereas some ships have no identity or record. These vessels have vanished into thin air and showed up later with mind-boggling questions. All of these doomed ships have a story of their own from a ship being lost in the Northwest Passage to a lover killing all the crew for revenge.  Let’s see a round-up of the 10 ghost ship mysteries from around the world.

1 On November 7, 1812, the Mary Celeste set off from New York to Genoa with a cargo full of alcohol. On December 5, she was found abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was found in a seaworthy condition with no signs of distress. To this day no one knows what happened to the ship’s Captain Briggs and his family.

Mary Celeste
Image credit: smithsonianmag.com

The Mary Celeste is possibly the most famous real-life ghost ship that was found abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean, That happed on December 5, 1812. The ship was sailing from New York to Italy on November 7, 1812, with Captain Briggs, his wife, his two-year-old daughter, and seven crewmen, along with a cargo full of alcohol. A month later, a British ship saw the Mary Celeste drifting in the Atlantic, so they went aboard and checked her out but found her empty.

The lifeboat was gone, but there was still enough food for six months. She was covered in three feet of water but not beyond repair. It was still in seaworthy condition. The possible explanation for abandoning the ship was that the captain had little knowledge of the damage and ordered the crew to abandon the ship. To this date, no one knows what happened to Captain Briggs and his family. (source)


2 The Carroll A. Deering never made it back to Norfolk, Virginia after delivering a consignment to Rio de Janeiro. She was found deserted by the coast guard after being boarded by rescuers on 4 February 1921. The lifeboats and ship’s navigation equipment were gone, but surprisingly food had been laid out for the next meal.

Carroll A Deering
Image credit: listverse.com

The Carroll A Deering set sail from Norfolk, Virginia to Rio de Janeiro to deliver a consignment of coal in August of 1920, The ten-man crew successfully made it to the destination, but they never made their way back to Virginia. While returning, the ship was passing near the Cape Lookout Lightship, the lightship keeper reported that a crewman with no officer-like behavior reported the ship had lost its anchors. 

The next day, a ship spotted the Carroll A. Deering near the Outer Banks which was a strange area and would have been an unusual course for a ship on its way to Virginia. This was the last time anyone saw or heard of the Carroll A. Deering until she was found abandoned by the coast guard. The ship was empty, but surprisingly the food was laid down for the next meal. A major investigation was launched by the US government, but no one knew ever found out what happened to the ship or those ten crew members. (source)


3 In 1775, the Octavius was found off the coast of Greenland 13 years after its departure from England. The ship hit its misfortune when her captain decided to try to find the nonexistent Northwest Passage to return home. The entire 28-mam crew was found below the deck frozen to death. The captain was found sitting at his desk with a pen in his hand.

Image credit: thevintagenews.com

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the search for the elusive Northwest Passage claimed the lives of many sailors. The Octavius was one of them who got lodged in Arctic ice and sealed its fate in the Great White North. The story opens as Octavius was sailing a roundtrip from London to China in 1761. While heading back home, the captain checked, and the weather was warm, so he decided to try to find the non-existent Northwest Passage. After this, no one heard of the ship, and Octavius was declared lost.

In 1775, the five men who were on board a whaling ship saw a sailing ship. When they searched the vessel, they found a ghostly scene. The entire 28-man crew was found below the deck frozen to death. The captain of the ship was sitting at his deck, frozen to death, poised to write in his logbook, pen still in hand, and the last logbook entry was in 1762. (source)


4 In 1947, a cargo ship off the coast of Indonesia put out a distress call saying, “All officers are dead including the captain, they are lying in chartroom and bridge.” Then a second message arrived, “I die”. When rescuers arrived, it was the SS Ourang Medan. The crew members were dead but with no injuries. The ship sank in a fire accident with its secrets.

SS Ourang Medan
S.S. Silver Star was the closest ship to Ourang Medan’s estimated location. Image credit: downthechupacabrahole

The SS Ourang Medan is one of the most notorious ghost ships that is still shrouded in mystery. The legendary story goes like this… In May 1947, a cargo ship off the coast of Indonesia radioed a distress call saying, “All officers are dead including the captain.” The message continued saying, “They are lying in the chartroom and bridge, probably whole crew dead.” After a while, a second message arrived, “I die.”

These messages would have disturbed anyone, but someone had to go out and face the actual horror. When the rescuers arrived, the ship was the SS Ourang Medan. When rescuers checked the ship, they discovered the horror that the whole crew was indeed dead but with no signs of injury. Before the autopsy could be performed, an engine room fire caused the ship to sink with its dreadful secrets. (source)


5 In 1748, the day before Valentine’s Day, the Lady Lovibond sailed along the Thames to Portugal to celebrate the wedding of the ship’s captain. However, the Captain’s friend was in love with the bride. Out of vengeance, his friend sank the ship killing everyone on board. Since then, the ship appears every fifty years sailing around Kent. 

Lady Lovibond
Image is used for representational purposes only. Image credits: Ivan Ayvazovsky/Wikimedia

The fate of the Lady Lovibond was sealed, and a disastrous love story became the reason for its sinking. Back then, it was believed that taking a woman on board is bad luck, but newly wedded Simon took a stand against that belief and took his new bride with him on this voyage. The Lady Lovibond set sail on February 13, 1748, from the Thames to Portugal. The ship sailed to celebrate the wedding of the ship’s captain, Simon Reed. However, little did Simon know about the secret love of his friend John Rivers towards his wife. Out of vengeance, Rivers intentionally steered the ship into the Goodwin Sands, an area famous for shipwrecks. 

The ship wrecked and sank killing everyone on board. To this day, a legendary tale surrounds the ill-fated Lady Lovibond, and that is she can be seen sailing the coastline around Kent every fifty years. People have seen Lady Lovibond reappear in 1798, 1848, 1898, and 1948. Some rescue boats had been sent out in case of distress, but later the ship couldn’t be found. (1, 2)

Also Read:
10 Mysteries That Remain Unsolved to This Day

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