Graveyard Shift

Creepiest Ghost Stories From The Sea 

Stephen Tompkins
Updated February 4, 2020 13.2k votes 2.8k voters 214.5k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the scary tales that make you afraid you'll see ghosts the next time you're sailing the high seas.

If you've ever stepped foot around a campfire, you've probably heard your fair share of ghost stories. Maybe it was about a headless man in the woods or the ghost of a child long lost. But are you familiar with the tales of ghost ships? Ghost stories that take place on the sea? Sure, we've all heard about Bermuda Triangle stories, but there are plenty of other terrifying tales that take place on the open ocean. Prepare to be spooked while reading through some of the scariest ghost ship ghost stories from around the internet.

The Ourang Medan
The Ourang Medan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Creepiest Ghost Stories From The Sea
Photo:  Konstantinos Volanakis/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The legend of the Ourang Medan may be one of the creepiest maritime ghost stories ever told. It goes as follows: sometime in the 1940s, ships near the Strait of Malacca received a signal from a Dutch cargo ship, the SS Ourang Medan, in distress. When the rescuers boarded the ship to save the crew, they made quite a grisly discovery. The entire crew had perished, without any signs of foul play.

It is said that terror was frozen on their faces, they laid all throughout the ship, and many had their arms reaching out for help. Before an investigation could get underway, the ship burst into flames, burning any evidence which may have helped solve the mystery of the Ourang Medan.

Is this creepy?
The Octavius
The Octavius is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Creepiest Ghost Stories From The Sea
Photo:  Samuel Gurney Cresswell/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Legend has it that the Octavius traveled from England to the Orient in 1761 and made it there the following year. However, on the trip back home - while traveling through the Northwest Passage - it became lodged in ice, and its crew members perished.

The Octavius was found drifting off the coast of Greenland by a whaler in 1775. The crew members were still below board, frozen more than a decade after their disappearance.


Is this creepy?
The Jenny
The Jenny is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Creepiest Ghost Stories From The Sea
Photo:  ddzphoto/Pixabay/Public Domain

"May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive," reads an ominous entry of the Jenny's captain's logbook after his ship became trapped in ice.

When whaling boat Hope came upon the Jenny in 1840, they supposedly found the captain and his crew aboard, frozen.

Is this creepy?
The SS Baychimo
The SS Baychimo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Creepiest Ghost Stories From The Sea
Photo: Aldus Books London/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The cargo ship SS Baychimo was an abandoned ship found lodged in ice in the Arctic Ocean in the 1930s. The ship eventually broke free of the ice and began floating, sans-crew, onto the ocean. Several attempts were made to board and stop the ship, but to no avail.

The last sighting of the SS Baychimo, which up until then had been frequent, was in 1969, decades after its initial discovery. Though a 2006 investigation by the Alaskan government was launched to find the ship's whereabouts, these attempts were unsuccessful, and the SS Baychimo presumably still sails the sea to this day. 

Is this creepy?