Graveyard Shift
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Ghost Stories And Creepy Legends From The Arctic Circle

Updated August 20, 2019 3.4k votes 943 voters 49k views12 items

List RulesVote up the stories that send an arctic chill up your spine.

The Arctic Circle is a frozen region in the northernmost part of the globe, spanning Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and various other icy lands. Like many desolate places, the Arctic has its share of ghost stories and haunted legends floating around the frigid, largely wild areas of its domain. It has long been a popular site for exploration, with early expeditions seeking to uncover the realm's many secrets and study the strange animals living within it.

Alas, with the exploration of such freezing, wild lands, comes the expiration of its visitors - and the basis for the creepy tales that emerge from it. According to some, spirits still hold court over specific locations, unleashing their power upon the unfortunate and uneducated who dare trespass upon their territory. From haunted hotels built on centuries-old land to ships facing misfortune at sea, more than a few lingering souls remain desperate to make their presence felt throughout the Arctic Circle.

  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    A Cargo Ship Still Sails Off The Coast Of Greenland, Manned By A Frozen Crew

    The cargo ship Octavius met its demise in 1761 after leaving China and setting sail for Britain via the Northwest Passage. No ship had ever successfully navigated the Northwest Passage at that time; the Octavius disappeared, proving it was no exception. A whaling ship came upon the damaged remains of Octavius on October 11, 1775, boarding it to look for survivors and cargo. When the whalers ventured into the below-deck quarters, they found the ship's captain frozen at his desk, mid-entry in the ship's log. The rest of the crew were similarly encased in ice throughout their rooms.

    The whalers snatched up the ship log and fled the Octavius, leaving behind all, including the first and last entries, which were unyieldingly stuck to the captain's frozen desk. The log revealed that the Arctic temperatures and ice captured the Octavius 250 miles from Barrow, AK, where all those aboard perished on November 11, 1762. The whalers, however, found the boat near Greenland, meaning it somehow made its way through the Northwest Passage - even with its crew frozen solid.

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  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    A Woman Disappeared Into A Mysterious Dimension For Three Days

    Shamans in the Eskimo culture speak of eight physical worlds that exist on the edge of their own reality. YouTube channel XenoHunters shared the story of an unnamed tribal elder that, as a young girl, mistakenly fell into one of these alternate planes for three days. At the age of 8, the girl was playing with her father outside, when suddenly the world seemed to shift and change around her. In a moment, the world looked somehow different, ensconced in tall grass and a strange dreamlike feeling.

    After spending around 20-30 minutes examining and exploring this world, the young girl decided to clamp her teeth on her hand to awaken herself. Blood poured down her hand, alleged to have a scar to this day, but the world she knew slowly shifted back into focus. Upon finding her father searching for her, the girl found out the half-hour she experienced was three days in our world.

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    A Wrecked Ship Still Sails The North Atlantic

    The SS Baychimo was built of steel and powered by steam in 1914 Sweden. Weighing more than 1,300 tons, the ship took cargo from Sweden to Germany and back again until WWI, when it was sent to the Hudson's Bay Company in Scotland. The ship once again carried trade goods across the ocean, but to Canada and Alaska instead of Europe. On October 1, 1931, the Baychimo was caught in a perilous storm as it sailed for British Columbia. As the vessel became trapped in ice, the captain and crew evacuated to wait out the storm in nearby Barrow, AK, before relocating to a frosty outcropping closer to the ship.

    They waited for the Baychimo - alternately trapped in ice or drifting at sea - until October 15, when the Hudson's Bay Company rescued 22 crew members. The remaining captain and sailors stubbornly refused to abandon their ship; they stayed in their camp, subsisting on supplies from their employer until November 24, when Baychimo disappeared from view. With the vessel considered lost, an Inuit spotted it in the ice 45 miles from its last known location. The ship, badly damaged by the winter, was boarded by the captain and crew to retrieve the more expensive cargo, and then left to sink in the ocean.

    Instead of sinking, the Baychimo became a spectral legend of the North Atlantic, spotted in the waters repeatedly over the years, with the ship avoiding most would-be explorers with the deftness of a manned vessel. Those who manage to board the cursed ship find themselves surrounded by ice floes seemingly summoned by Baychimo itself, unable to collect any cargo still on board. In 1933, a group of Inuit scavengers got trapped on the ship for 10 days while a frigid storm raged around the ship. Last spotted in 1969, the Baychimo is assumed wrecked and resting on the bottom of the Atlantic - although there are no plans to prove it with a diving expedition.

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  • Photo: Charles Keene and Joseph Swain / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    The Late Augustus Richard Peers Refused To Leave Until His Demands Were Met

    On March 15, 1853, fur trader Augustus Richard Peers passed while working as a post manager for the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort McPherson. It was known that Peers wished for his remains to be interred at any location other than Fort McPherson; his supervisor, Roderick MacFarlane, ignored that wish and buried him in the same place where he passed. Around December 1859, MacFarlane received prompting from Peers's widow to dig Peers up and relocate his body. After finishing a sturdier coffin to securely transport the body, workers unearthed Peers and found him looking much as he did during his life - free of six years' worth of decay and decomposition. The group was unnerved.

    Traveling via dog sled, the team began their journey with Peers to Fort Good Hope, 300 miles from Fort McPherson. On March 21, 1860, Peers and his transportation made it to Fort Good Hope, but not without incident. Six days before reaching their destination, they heard a voice - conspicuously reminiscent of that of the departed - warning of approaching wolves. Three days later, the voice spoke out again in MacFarlane's encampment, alerting the crew of a wolverine supposedly intending harm on the in-transit body.

    Two days after arrival, Peers found his final resting place while MacFarlane prepared to return to Fort McPherson. At one point, MacFarlane recalled feeling the spirit of Peers surround him. Later that night, MacFarlane awoke to find the ghost of Peers staring at him and his roommate as they slept. Both men saw Peers before them, but covered their heads and tried to will the specter away instead of daring to interact with it.

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