HauntedAmericaTours.com - Information on Ghost, Hauntings and Stories of the Unexplained!
 Haunted America Tours
Haunted America Tours © 2004-2013
Haunted America Tours Home Page Breaking Paranormal News Online Shopping Events Links Contact Us

Web www.hauntedamericatours.com


Book The Real Things You Want To Do Worldwide!

We offer over 5,500 sightseeing tours and activities in over 400 destinations

Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/america4ghost/public_html/phpincludes/sidemenu.php on line 473

Warning: include(http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/phpincludes/top10mostread.php): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/america4ghost/public_html/phpincludes/sidemenu.php on line 473

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/phpincludes/top10mostread.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/america4ghost/public_html/phpincludes/sidemenu.php on line 473




Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan



"The Flying Dutchman" by Albert Pinkham Ryder.

Ghost ships, death visitants, harbingers of danger, cursed pirates, melancholy scavengers from Davey Jones’ depths – these and many others fill the haunted tales and legends of the dark and rolling sea…

Story by A. Pustanio, artwork by Ricardo Pustanio.

Haunted New Orleans Tours © 2006.

The innumerable stories told of ghostly encounters at sea would come as no surprise to anyone who has spent any amount of time upon its vast and often treacherous territory. There, far away from the numbing distractions of city life, man is most near to the natural magic and tremendous forces – both seen and unseen – that the sea can evoke. According to one old salt, “…one never feels so near to God as when there’s a storm blowing;” nor, it might be added is one more near the primal energy of all creation than when one experiences the deep, natural magic the sea holds.

The most changeable of nature’s beings, the sea is unpredictable and untamed, a wild territory where one minute a gentle breeze may softly puff the sails and the next a wild torrent might toss the unwary seafarer into the watery depths.

Danger lurked everywhere, above and beneath the waves. The unfortunate might die of scurvy or food poisoning or starvation far from a friendly port; the most unfortunate might be tossed overboard by wave or pirate raid; the truly cursed may be called to join the phantom crew of one of the many ghost ships that traversed the wide oceans of the known world (and many say still do).

A ship might be caught motionless for days on end in the doldrums, baking under a horrible sun, with no hint of wind to bring relief; it might become entangled in the mires of Sargasso and seaweed that drift about the ocean in horrible, moldy green fields; or, worse, the doomed vessel might be caught in one of the great maelstroms of the ocean, or be dragged to the deep by any number of horrid sea creatures that lurked beneath the glassy surface of the waves.

Reefs, shoals and coves appeared out of nowhere and seemed to work in tandem with the mighty storms to claim as many ships and sailors as possible. Many sailors believed that the sea demanded a certain number of lives. This conviction was so strong that many sailors never learned to swim believing that it was futile to fight against the conquering sea. Still others refused to rescue a drowning man out of fear that the sea would claim another life to replace the one saved.

The arms of the sea are cold and unloving; all-encompassing, a sailor who fell into them would be dragged swiftly under the towering swells to a bed on the dark ocean floor. There fish and crustaceans would nibble their flesh and eyes; their bones would become the roots of branching coral, empty skulls rolling away with the ceaseless tides. Men of the sea call this grave “Davey Jones’ Locker, though no one knows for certain where the name ever came from. Still all knew Davey was a hard taskmaster and took his toll in lives over the long years. To encounter Davey Jones or any of his ghostly crew was a warning of certain doom, and death or destruction usually followed speedily after.

From man’s earliest seafaring days men sought to understand the power of the deep and made attempts to guard against it in any way they could and so every aspect – from the building of the vessel, to its launching and handling at sea – was attended to in the most minute detail.

In the seagoing countries of the North the keel of the ship was laid on hallowed ground, a place consecrated to either the Old Gods or the new, Christian one. Building could only commence on a day auspicious to the purpose – Wednesday, for instance, once sacred to the chief of the Old Norse gods, Odin – but never on a Thursday or Friday, or on any day connected with any spirit charged with the collection of human souls. Other factors that promised a fortunate life for the vessel would be to build it only on sunny days and during a full moon or high tide.

The choice of wood was important, as well, for some woods were consecrated to certain benevolent gods or saints; others were sure to attract both the devil and lightning. In early times, the hull of the ship would be painted with huge eyes to ward off the malevolent magic of the Evil Eye. In later times, the figurehead was introduced to serve the same purpose and often the figurehead was a woman in honor of Hecate, the goddess of witches who was also the patron of seamen. Usually this female figure would be bare-breasted in memory of the ancient belief that a woman who showed herself naked to a storm would allay it and bring about calm. Blood, too, was an essential part of the building and launching of ancient vessels – Vikings spattered the bow with the blood of infants and ran the keel over the chests of slaves as the vessel was launched, all in an effort to assuage the wrath of the Sea gods; Greeks used the blood of animals in similar fashion. Ancient Romans and later Christians christened vessels with wine and offerings of flowers and peasant cakes to the ancient deep in hopes it would cradle the new ship softly and lead it into fair winds. Gold and silver played a part in these ship rituals as well, from the silver coins and iron horseshoes nailed under the mast steps to ensure friendly winds to the golden earrings in sailors’ ears as tithe to the sea gods to let them pass.

Indeed, sailors as a class are known to be both religious and overtly superstitious. Strict rules about order and activity aboard ship are observed even in these latter times because any gap in the order of things was a hazard that could allow the natural disorder of the sea to prevail, and these laws governed actions as well as surroundings.

The Raft of the Medusa

Painting Gericault, Theodore The Raft of the Medusa 1819 Oil on canvas 491 x 716 cm Musee du Louvret

Painting Gericault, Theodore The Raft of the Medusa 1819 Oil on canvas 491 x 716 cm Musee du Louvret

"This picture commemorates a contemporary disaster at sea ... On July 2, 1816, the French frigate Medusa hit a reef off the west coast of Africa. The captain and senior officers boarded six lifeboats, saving themselves and some of the passengers. The 149 remaining passengers and crew were crammed onto a wooden raft, which the captain cut loose from a lifeboat. During the thirteen-day voyage that followed, the raft became a floating hell of death, disease, mutiny, starvation, and cannibalism. Only fifteen people survived." Laurie Adams, A History of Western Art

In many places certain animals and people were forbidden to be kept onboard: the presence of a cat, a hare or a fox onboard a ship could cause mutiny among the crew, so strong was the belief that witches traveled in these guises. Similarly, sailors were uneasy with women aboard ship and they preferred not to carry men of the cloth, for fear that the presence of the patrons of the “new” god might incur the wrath of the old. But most numerous were the superstitions regarding carriage of the dead onboard ships – entire crews have been known to jump ships carrying coffins (empty or occupied). The presence of an actual corpse onboard was thought to cause storms and to bring about fogs or to attract the sea’s dead who wandered the ghastly waves in search of company. When someone died aboard ship the crew wasted no time in giving the sea its due.

The burial was designed in such a fashion as to preclude any risk of haunting – or so the crew hoped. The dead seaman was washed and properly dressed then was committed to the ship’s sail master who promptly sewed the corpse into a canvas shroud, passing the last stitch through the corpse’s nose to keep him in his death garment. Chainshot or shackles were attached to the corpse’s feet so that it would sink – and so that it could never free itself to rise and haunt the living. Then the sailors gathered in the stern and after some brief prayers the corpse was placed on a plank and slipped into the water.

But even a seafarer thus properly committed to the dark deep might never find real rest. Those who had died by drowning or in warfare, or who were murdered at sea were seen by other seamen for centuries after, drifting about as a fearsome torment and a harbinger to the living. Many languished in the waters where they died; many others traveled the wide, rolling tides of the sea and drifted alongside vessels in the far corners of the world, omens of death and doom to come.


Sir Walter Scott, in his Demonology and Witchcraft tells the story of how an elderly member of the crew of a slave ship from Liverpool was shot in a fit of temper by the captain, whose agreeable disposition could become tyrannical and cruel under provocation.

This elderly man, Bill Jones, had incurred the captain’s wrath by giving him an insubordinate answer. As he lay dying, he looked fixedly into the captain’s eyes and said: “Sir, you have done for me, but I will never leave you!” The captain cursed and abused the dying man, telling him he would have him thrown into the slave-kettle (in which food for the [slaves] was prepared). The dead man was actually thrown into the slave-kettle. Thereafter the ghost of the dead sailor was seen frequently by members of the crew, who dared not mention it to the captain for fear of his wrath. But one day the captain told his mate: “He told me he would never leave me, and he has kept his word! At this very moment I see him!” In desperation the captain hurled himself overboard and, as he was drowning, shouted to the mate: “He is with me now!”


Gregory Robinson  illustration of Rudyard Kipling Poems ... THE SEVEN SEAS 1891-1896, A lone Ship encounters the Flying Dutchman

No roving phantom of the sea is more famous or more feared than the spectral ship known as The Flying Dutchman. This ghostly vessel, carrying on board a phantom crew and the maniacal captain who commanded them in life, has been sighted in every ocean of the world for centuries. Sometimes it will loom out of the darkness of the night, appearing without warning, sails set in fair weather or foul; sometimes its lights are seen, casting a greenish glow on the ghastly wake surrounding it; oftentimes its crew can be seen, ranks of skeletons in tattered clothing, still occupied as in life with the vessel’s chores – painting and chipping, climbing the rigging, or looking out from the crumbling mizzen mast. On occasion, the captain himself has been seen, standing firm footed behind the great ship’s wheel, eyes blazing red like hell’s fire, face fixed in a ghoulish grin, hair fluttering like a guttering flame. Sight of The Flying Dutchman terrified all who saw her, for seamen knew she brought storm and madness in her wake.

One account, entered into the log of a British ship, has come down through history as one of the most accurate descriptions of an encounter with this famous phantom vessel:

“She first appeared as a strange red light, as of a ship all aglow, in the midst of which light, her masts, spars and sails, seemingly those of a normal brig, some two hundred yards distant from us, stood out in strong relief as she came up. Our lookout on the forecastle reported her close to our port bow, where also the officer of the watch from the bridge clearly saw her, as did our quarterdeck midshipman who was sent forward at one to the forecastle to report back.”

But the ghost vessel vanished as the British ship approached her. Later that same day, the man who had first caught sight of her fell from the topmast to the deck and was killed instantly. The captain later succumbed to a fatal illness when he reached home port and was never seen at sea – in human form, at least – again.

The actual identity of the ghostly Flying Dutchman and its phantom captain and crew varies from legend to legend. One account even names the ill-fated captain – Vanderdecker – and claims that he incurred his fate in a pact with the Devil who took his soul in exchange for nefarious winds that magically made the Dutchman’s ship the fastest on the sea. When the time came due to pay his debt, it is said, Vanderdecker attempted to outrun the Devil and was summarily cursed to sail the sea forever, in fear of the evil pursuing him. While his crew withered away to animated skeletons, the Dutchman was preserved, living life in death, unchanging until his debt was clear and the Devil had collected his due.

Sir Walter Scott described The Flying Dutchman as, “a harbinger of doom,” and refers to the ship as a phantom seen near the Cape of Good Hope, easily identified because it bears a press of sail when all others fail to show an inch of canvas. The legend, according to Scott, is that she was originally a treasure ship and that she was boarded by pirates who, after an orgy of murder and loot, were repaid for their wickedness by a frightful plague. In desperation they attempted vainly to put in at port after port, but so great was the fear of contagion that they were never allowed to anchor. They drifted until all died – and so that shade of the ship looms up at unexpected moments to strike terror and apprehension into the heart of the toughest sailor.

The Wreck of the Neptune

Cornish tradition tells of a spectre ship to the westward of St. Ives’ Head, which appeared in the 18th century.

One night a gig’s crew was called to go to the rescue of a ship – thought from appearance to be a foreign trader – in distress. She was a schooner-rigged vessel and had a light over her bows. The men roved with a will until the helmsman yelled, “stand by to board her!” The sailor rowing the bow oar slipped it out of the row-lock and prepared to spring aboard. The ship was so close that its crew could clearly be seen, and at the right moment the oarsman made a grasp at the bulwarks. But his hand grasped air, despite what his eyes told him and he fell back into the boat telling his mates that there was simply nothing there. The ship and lights towards which they had rowed, and which they had held constantly in sight until they were next to it, just disappeared.

The next morning the Neptune … from whom the gig’s crew had been dispatched … was wrecked at Gwithian with the loss of all hands. The ghostly ship had appeared as a presage of the Neptune’s impending doom.

But the Dutchman’s cursed vessel is not the only phantom ship known to haunt the seas of the world.

“Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony."

In the 19th century there were frequent reports of the appearance of the ghostly flagship of a fleet sent by England’s Queen Anne to attack the forts near Cap d”Espoir on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and which was wrecked there. The phantom ship, it is said, appears carrying lights and on the bow stands an officer pointing forlornly toward the shore while a ghostly woman in white stands at his side. There is a scream, the lights go suddenly out, and the vessel appears to sink into the waves.

In 1872 the Mary Celeste was found sailing off the Azores abandoned with no one on board and no clue of what happened to her captain, crew or passengers.

Launched in 1860 as the Amazon, the Mary Celeste began an ill-omened life. The Amazon was involved in many accidents and went through several owners before being sent to a New York salvage yard where she was sold for $3,000 and re-christened the Mary Celeste.

Under her new captain, Benjamin Briggs, the Mary Celeste set sail from New York in November 1872 for Genoa, Italy. Captain Briggs was accompanied by his wife and young daughter and a crew of 8; she was carrying a cargo of 1700 barrels of raw grain alcohol.

On December 5, 1872, the ship Dei Gratia encountered the Mary Celeste derelict at sea. Seeing no one aboard and no signs of life, crewman from the Dei Gratia boarded the Mary Celeste to determine what, if anything had happened.

The ship, still seaworthy, was found in good condition though it appeared that the she had been abandoned in a hurry. The chronometer and sextant were missing; there was water between the decks and the galley was a wreck. No lifeboats were found on board which led the men of the Dei Gratia to assume that the boats must have been deployed; a rope was found dangling over the side of the vessel into the water. Everything on board was soaking wet.

The Dei Gratia hauled the Mary Celeste into port and discovered nine empty alcohol barrels among the ship’s cargo.
To this day, nothing is known of the fate of the crew of the Mary Celeste. Over the years there has been plenty of speculation – most experts feel the cargo may have become unstable forcing the captain and crew to deploy the lifeboats, while keeping tethered to the main ship; they speculate that the captain navigated from the lifeboats and only boarded the ship periodically to set the heading as needed. But did the lifeboats lose their fragile lifeline to the main ship? Only this could explain why they, too, were not found adrift when the vessel was found.

And what happened to the captain, his family and crew? Some feel that they were the victims of foul play, that, quite possibly, the Mary Celeste may have been boarded by pirates who killed the family and crew and cast them overboard. Ultimately, these renegades may have fallen victim to the noxious atmosphere of the vessel’s hold and they may have deployed the lifeboats, leaving the Mary Celeste abandoned and adrift.

The actual facts will never be known.

The Mary Celeste herself was refurbished and put back out to sea and sailed for another 12 years under different owners and masters. Ultimately, she was wrecked on a reef off the coast of Haiti and was partially salvaged by a nearby shipbuilder. The remains of the Mary Celeste were identified in 2001 by a modern salvage team.

Despite this, there are reports from the sea lanes of the Atlantic that the Mary Celeste continues to sail, in phantom form, still trying to complete the voyage to Genoa that she began in 1872. Several merchant seamen and even members of the Navy have reported sightings of a ghostly vessel, the name Mary Celeste clearly visible on its bow, drifting aimlessly in forlorn seas.

Can it be that the tragedy of its life and the eerie abandonment of the Mary Celeste have been imprinted forever in the long memory of the grey Atlantic? Is it possible that, like a sad film, the ship’s lonely fate plays out again and again?

“Sweet Remembrance”
Urged by love’s ever conquering spell
My trembling pen in truth would tell
How dearly prized art thou to me
How my soul’s hopes are fixed on thee.

One night in the early 1900’s a young English woman awoke to see the figure of a young man standing in her bedroom door, looking at her forlornly, water dripping from head to toe. The next day she overheard her mother telling a neighbor that it was so many years ago that her brother – the girl’s uncle – was drowned when the HMS Eurydice foundered in a terrible squall off the Isle of Wight in March of 1878, with the loss of over 300 lives. At the very hour and day that it foundered, the reverend of the local Anglican church was preaching to the seamen in Southsea, quoting from the Psalms: “Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters, the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.”

The ghost that the woman saw was that of James Turner who was a 24-year-old marine at the time of his death. Among his correspondence, collected from his assignment on a previous vessel of the British Royal Navy, was the poem rendered above, but never finished. His appearance at his sister’s house marking the sad anniversary of his death, so many years before, is a sad example of ghosts of the sea occasionally coming back to land.

A particularly sad example of such a ghost is that of a young boy, pressed into service in World War I and who, dying at sea while his mother was employed as a house maid in London, returned there in phantom form many years later – his mother long dead. Had it taken him that long to find his way from his grave in the watery depths to the front steps of the London home where he last knew his mother to live?

During the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990’s a woman in Baltimore, Maryland, was awakened by a loud noise and a jarring that shook her bed. Fully awake, she turned to see the form of her husband lying beside her on the bed, looking directly into her eyes. She reached out to touch him and found him wet and clammy; his skin was ice cold to the touch. His face was filled with a look of longing and sadness. Strangely comforted, the woman fell back to sleep. When she awoke the next morning she decided it must have been a dream, so comforting had it been. Within a day, however, the dream turned deadly real when she was informed, by the usual military chain of command, that her husband had been among the men killed in the attack on the Navy vessel the USS Cole.


No watch is more hated by sailors at sea than the dreaded middle watch, from midnight to four in the morning. These are the longest hours of any watch, slow, hardly bearable; the night hours drag on interminably toward dawn. On this watch, while his shipmates sleep below, the seaman is alone except for an occasional breeze in the riggings or the sound of the waves lapping against the hull.

The middle watch is the time when the unburied dead of the sea prowl and the waves, their languid grave, open wide to set them loose.

A merchant seaman who looked in every respect the image of the buccaneer – seasoned by the sea, dark skinned and lean, with penetrating dark eyes – never forget his encounter with the ghost of a departed friend as long as he lived.

While on a particularly lonely midwatch on an oiler in the North Sea, the ghost of the second mate who had served with him on a previous voyage – and who had unaccountably not rejoined the ship – suddenly appeared to him. Around the ghost, which was without a doubt that of his missing friend, was the unmistakable scent of death and a feeling of intense cold accompanied by a kind of metallic humming sound.

The anchor, or mariners cross, was used in Catholic jewelry as a symbol of hope based in the faith in Christ to protect them from the evil sea.


Terrified, probably for the first time in his life, the seaman abandoned his watch and fled to his cabin below deck. But the dreadful apparition followed him there and approached his bedside, repeating the words, “Come and find me,” until it vanished into nothingness.

It was later discovered that the missing second mate had been robbed and murdered at port in Lisbon, Portugal and his body had been weighted and thrown under the docks there. Before the end of his North Sea hitch, word reached the merchant seaman of his friend’s fate.

Ultimately, however, it became apparent that the ghostly second mate had brought a ghastly forewarning to his friend.

The merchant man, too, met a horrible fate. Beaten and robbed on the docks of Marseilles, France, his body slipped into the waters at dockside and he was drowned.

Across the wide oceans of the world, the sea gives up her dead in the midnight hours and any vessel passing over the place where a ship went down or men were lost will arouse the melancholy desire of those specters to live and breath again.
Sometimes, however, there is something of compassion left within them, and they will help to cheat the sea of taking more lives. Thus it was that once a phantom saved a ship and its crew from shipwreck.

The vessel the Society was heading for the Virginia colony from England in 1664, with many women and children on board, and was heading for the Capes, believing them to be some three hundred or more miles ahead. Suddenly a vision appeared to the vessel’s captain; it gestured to him to turn about and told him, in a disembodied voice, to “look closely.” The captain looked but did not see anything unusual. Then the phantom appeared again and told him to “heave the lead.” When the captain did this he was stricken with terror to discover that his reading was only seven fathoms. He immediately tacked ship and when dawn rose he and the crew discovered that instead of being far out at sea they were actually upon the Capes. Had the ghostly visitor not appeared to warn the captain of approaching danger, the ship, its crew and all its passengers would have been lost.

The many thousand tales of ghosts and hauntings at sea must be weighed against these facts of a sea-going life: monotony of routine and the fact that the waves can combine on the horizon to form fantastic shapes - that a flash of moonlight on waters far off, lasting for only a fraction of a second before being lost behind clouds, can produce amazing images to the eyes and in the mind of the seaman dulled by the onerous boredom that goes hand-in-hand with the excitement and drama of seafaring. These, surely are factors that the discerning paranormal investigator would certainly take into account.

But so many of the occurrences that come to us through the reports of rational and sensible individuals who have personally experienced the otherworldly aspects of the sea cannot be discounted and therefore must be taken seriously.

The legends and ghostly lore of the sea is as old as man’s exploration of it, and as long as man continues to sail and live and fight and die upon it the sea will continue to haunt and mystify us as much as it gives us life and draws us irresistibly back, over and over again …

“I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.”

Excerpts from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Copyright © The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Major Authors Edition, 1972.
Additional Material Copyright © D. Bardens, 1965 and Time Life Books, 1985


Cam’ Ye O’er The Waves to Me

“… and every road I walk will take me down to the Sea
with every broken promise in my sack,
and every love will always send the ship of my heart
over the rolling Sea…”

A community of people who live out their lives beside the sea is nothing short of a family. As with all families, its members will do almost anything to protect each other from harm or from the intrusion of outsiders on the relationships that generations of sea-going habits have forged. Like all families, a community of seafarers will keep secrets well, hiding them like pirate treasure in the watery caves of the passing years. But on occasion no amount of careful concealment will keep a secret that the Sea wishes to tell.

Such was the case some years ago along the rough and ragged coasts of Cornwall where in a village whose name is now forgotten there lived such a caste of seafaring folk. Through all the seasons of the year the men fished the rough waters of the Channel, far into the Atlantic; their women stayed to home, waiting and worrying until all were safe on land again. Everyone knew one another; everyone looked out for one another.

Into their midst, one January day, there came a stranger in the form of a dark, mysterious woman. She was nothing like the other women in the village. Widowed, or so it was put out, she lived alone in a small, wind-blown cottage overlooking the gale-swept headlands of the Cornish coast. Once or twice a week she would come down into the village to purchase some minor commodities; each time, her appearance would create a stir. For unlike the stout and dour seamen’s wives, she was dark and beautiful, with hair as black as midnight and eyes that glowed with a smoldering fire. She never spoke, except to obtain those things she needed, but always nodded politely to the gaping sailors she seemed always to attract on her brief forays. Unaware of the growing resentment she was causing among their wives, the dark woman went about her errands silently and alone. Silent and alone she tread the long, dark path back to her lonely abode.

Within a short time, the gossip began. “She’s a witch!” was the worst of it. “Living out there all alone, who knows what she is up to?” Others said she was a danger to the village, that her presence would bring bad luck – but some were quick to point out that the fishing had been unusually good since the arrival of the dark woman in their midst. They did not know what to make of it.

As the winter ended and the world gave way to the onset of spring, the dark woman was seen more frequently along the road between the headlands and the village. Sometimes she was accompanied by her black dog – her only protection in the remote area where she lived. On one occasion she brought the pet with her into town and as she was going about her business the dog suddenly bolted and ran off. The dark woman was distraught, even more so when no one would offer to help find the animal.

Despondent and alone she took the road home. Evening was passing and night was drawing on and with it the last of the winter chill would return. Suddenly from behind she heard the familiar barking of her beloved pet. She stopped to see her dog running toward her followed by a man. The dog happily jumped at his mistress, knocking her down in his enthusiasm. Just as quickly, the man was over her, his hand extended.

Thanking him, she rose to her feet. They stared at each other for a long moment, still holding hands. Suddenly the man let go. “Will you be alright, then?” he asked her.
“Aye,” she replied and to him her voice seemed as fine and smooth as June honey. “It’s but a short way now. Thank ye, for bringing back my Shuck.”

The man started. “That’s a bold name for a dog!” he laughed, nervously eyeing the animal as it loped along the headland slopes.

The dark woman only smiled. She nodded and then turned in silence and began to walk away. The man didn’t know what to make of it. Perhaps she was “strange” as the women in the village were saying – maybe she was a witch and he was safer out of there. With these thoughts in his mind, he turned and began to walk briskly away. Suddenly, he heard the honey voice of the mysterious woman call him by his given name, which he had not mentioned: “Come ye back this way soon, Owain Gwithian! And I’ll be waiting.”

A rainy spring came in that year and turned to a golden summer and Owain Gwithian was a changed man. Between his hitches at sea and his clandestine visits to the dark lady of the headlands, his family and other villagers barely saw him. No one knew, of course, what kept him away; most assumed he was crewing more than one vessel, but his pockets were not full enough for this to be so. At last some began to consider the unthinkable and one night a group of his shipmates, at the behest of his close family, followed Owain on his secret journey, all the way from the quayside and the briny docks up the headland road to the little cottage where he fell into the waiting arms of his secret love.

In considerable fear and confusion the seamen returned to where their wives and Owain’s wife waited. All listened aghast as they related their tale. The wife of Owain Gwithian sat in stunned silence, but soon her mother sidled up to her.

“Ye have these boys to consider,” she said, hissing like a snake in her ear. “Ye will make him give her up and together we will put the fear in him! He will be cut off from all of us if he does anything but! And we shall drive her away from our midst!”

Owain Gwithian returned to a dark and cold house and these were the conditions he was met with. He looked at the angelic faces of his sleeping sons and peered into the cold eyes of his wife and mother-in-law. What could he do? He must end it for in every respect it appeared that he was wrong.

In the days that followed, as summer gave way to autumn, Owain’s mother-in-law used her influence and money to secure him a place as waterman on a schooner that sailed out of Polgrain for the Java Islands. He would be away long months, and in those months his dark lover could learn nothing of his whereabouts, for the whole village, like a family in a crisis, shunned her in silence. Alone and forlorn, she would wander the headlands with her black dog as her only company, looking out to Sea and pondering the fate of her lover and the future for herself. Distraught and alone, there seemed only one thing left to do.

In the dreaded middle watch on a starry night off the reefs of Java, Owain Gwithian continued to fret and ever his thoughts turned to the woman of his dreams whom he had left behind. The tradewinds blew her scent to him, the ripples of the sea about the ship’s hull looked to him like the black tresses of her long hair, the stars shimmered like the gleam of her eyes or were lost altogether in an image of her face. This night, lost in his musings, he did not at first sense the complete stillness that surrounded him. The lapping of the waves against the vessel’s hull had ceased, the tapping of the rigging in the soft breezes had stopped completely. Nothing stirred. The night seemed to hold its breath around him.

Suddenly, in the ship’s bow, there appeared a mist, and as Owain watched it took on the form of a woman. Grey, grainy, like a charcoal rendering of some artist’s vision, the vision took shape before him and suddenly he recognized it: He was seeing the very image of his lover before him. She held out her arms and spoke to him in a voice like June honey: ““Come ye back this way soon, Owain Gwithian! And I’ll be waiting.”

Owain’s eyes filled with tears as the image began to fade. “I’m here!” he called after her. “Don’t leave me!”

The men sleeping below were roused from their beds by the strangest sounds. All agreed later, as they told their fantastic tale, that they had been awakened by the wild barking of a dog, and in the midst of this strange event they heard the heavy footsteps of the watch – in this case Owain Gwithian – running across the deck in the direction of the animal’s bark. After this, they recounted, there was a loud splash. By the time the crew and officers made it to the deck, Owain had already cast himself overboard. The strange thing was that he had disappeared entirely in a slick, calm sea.

Back in the little village beside the sea, the sailor’s family had found the cottage of his paramour empty. No trace of the dark woman or her black dog could be found. Most assumed that she had lost her footing along the headland path and had fallen to her death in the waves below; the dog, had it not run off into the woods, may have followed its mistress over the edge, into the pounding surf. But no bodies were ever found, not of mistress, or of pet.

Nor did Owain Gwithian return with his shipmates from that strange voyage to the Java waters. Though his loss overboard was obvious, the circumstances were never explained to everyone’s satisfaction, least of all his mean-hearted mother-in-law who insisted that somehow he had managed to rendezvous with the hated adulteress and together they had disappeared to parts unknown.

Most would have accepted her theory as fact, except that many have said, that as the autumn breezes fall to a hush among the dying sea oats, and the winter winds begin to howl over the headlands, the image of the two lovers returns and they are seen walking hand in hand, her dark hair about both their faces. Framed against the steel grey of the winter sky where it meets the tumultuous sea, they are seen locked forever in a long embrace, with the ghostly black dog playing about their feet. And they are waiting no more.

Based upon an old Cornish sea legend. Copyright © 2006 Haunted America Tours



The Ghost of Jean Lafitte
and the Phantom Pirates of Barataria

Blackbeard’s Pirate Treasure


Davy Jones as depicted in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Image of Davy Jones hand painted from Promotional Trailer freely available to view at Disney's website. May 30th, 2006.

Davy Jones' Locker is an idiom for the bottom of the sea — the resting place of drowned seamen. It is used as a euphemism for death at sea (e.g. to be "sent to Davy Jones' Locker"). Davy Jones is a nickname (used primarily by sailors) for what would be the devil of the seas. His origins are unclear, and many theories have been put forth, including incompetent sailors, a pub owner who kidnapped sailors, or that Davy Jones is another name for the devil. Davy Jones has also been known to give captured sailors a chance to serve him for 100 years instead of dying.

The story's reputation has been widespread among sailors since its popularization, and nautical traditions have been created around him. He is also very popular in the broader culture, with references to him in various forms of media, most recently in his depiction in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

According to folklore, the Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship that can never go home, but must sail "the seven seas" forever. The Flying Dutchman is usually spotted from afar, sometimes glowing with ghostly light. If she is hailed by another ship, her crew will often try to send messages to land, to people long since dead.

Flying Dutchman on the internet

The most famous of the phantom vessels, supposedly seem in stormy weather off the Cape of Good Hope but now and then reported in other latitudes. Flying Dutchman actually refers to the captain, not his ship.

Legend has it that this maniacal Dutch sea captain was struggling to round the Cape of Good Hope in the teeth of a terrible gale that threatened to sink his ship and all aboard.


The Flying Dutchman legend
This is the legend of the Flying Dutchman, a ship that was doomed to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa forever.


The Flying Dutchman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Flying Dutchman is usually spotted from afar, sometimes glowing with ghostly ... Many have noted the resemblance of the Flying Dutchman legend to the ...


Flying Dutchman Winery
Flying Dutchman winery is a family owned winery situated on a bluff high above the Pacific ocean.


The Flying Dutchman - Richard Wagner
The Flying Dutchman - review of opera by Richard Wagner performed at the Paris Opera:'The superb quality of the soloists, the chorus, the orchestra and the ...


Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman - Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussion, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Photos, Showtimes, Link to Official ...


The Seven Seas, Rudyard Kipling text


Blackbeard’s Pirate Treasure