View of the wreck of the US merchant ship Alkimos off the coast of Perth, Australia (21 November 2006). Image by Orderinchaos. Image Source: Wiki.
The world counts amoung its most famous mysteries its ghost ships, abandoned but undamaged, or not abandoned - but with the entire crew mysteriously found dead. For the centuries before air travel became the norm, shipping formed the global web of communication and trade. Terrible things could happen between ports, and months or years could transpire before a troubled ship turned up, if it turned up at all. The ultimate ghost ship legend comes from the height of the sea trade, the 18th century Flying Dutchman. Some of the most frightening stories are probably of the Mary Celeste, found undamaged but completely abandoned, with food still cooking in the mess (which inspired a 1935 classic film starring Bela Lugosi; it was a tale that even frightened Stephen King); the Ourang Medan, found in Indonesia with its crew dead, "frozen, teeth baring, gaping at the sun" (chillingly described at Cinema Suicide here); the Seabird, on which the only remaining creature, living or dead, was the ship's dog; the Baychimo, abandoned in 1931, but sighted sailing, empty, for nearly 40 years after that; and the Kaz II, found abandoned with one sail shredded and often considered a Millennial version of the Mary Celeste.
As for haunted ships, a recent famous example is the Alkimos (above), an American ship built in World War II. She sailed for twenty years before falling on troubles that, some say, resulted from a cursed construction. It is rumoured that she was built so quickly that some of the welders were sealed between the hulls. She was semi-wrecked in 1963 off the West Australian coast and had a number of on board custodians and repair personnel in residence. They were terrorized by a series of apparitions related to a murder-suicide that had occurred on the ship. While the Alkimos was stranded, 8 successive owners suffered ill luck and deadly illnesses until they sold the ship, whereupon the bad streak abruptly ended. Other people who researched the ship or swam or flew nearby were plagued by sudden bad luck or mortal accidents, until the whole area around the wreck became associated with drownings, accidents and engine failures. Workmen were finally chased off by an unexplained fire, leaving the wreck in shallow waters off the coast, where it can still be seen.
Queen Mary Ghost. Ghost photo by Joe LaRocca. Source: Haunted America Tours.
Caption for the above photograph: While aboard the Queen Mary a few years back my Uncle George took this picture of what he thought was an ordinary vestibule. When he got home he printed out his pictures but wasn’t expecting to find what looks like a ghost walking down the hall. My Uncle is 78 and does not believe in ghosts, but this freaked him out. He doesn’t even like to talk about the incident. I was just watching a special on the 10 most haunted places and when the Queen Mary was listed I felt compelled to send in the picture.
There are plenty of frightening stories about the notoriously haunted Queen Mary. The retired Cunard ship is now docked in California and used as a floating hotel. Two of the ship's swimming pools are apparently haunted, as is the engine room; cabin B340 is not let out due to constant reports of paranormal activity. You can see investigations of Queen Mary hauntings below the jump. The British production, in particular, is the height of Millennial Paranormal Reality TV; their experiments are as convincing as you want them to be.
Queen Mary investigation. Video Source: Youtube.
Caption for the above video: Nineteen years ago legendary psychic Peter James spoke to Jackie the Queen Mary Ghost child for the first time. Now after nineteen years Jackie the Queen Mary talking child ghost speaks again for 17 minutes to Bob Davis and Brian Clune of Planet Paranormal Investigations. What is presented here is some highlights of that 17 minute conversation. Included here is audio from the late Peter James investigation to use for comparison.
Investigation of the Queen Mary. Video Source: Youtube.
The British TV production, Most Haunted, did an extended investigation of the Queen Mary, below.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 1. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 2. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 3. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 4. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 5. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 6. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 7. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 8. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 9. Video Source: Youtube.
Most Haunted: Queen Mary, Part 10. Video Source: Youtube.
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