Graveyard Shift

Creepiest Ghost Stories from the Sea  

Stephen Tompkins
12.4k votes 2.6k voters 208.9k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the scary tale that makes you afraid you'll see ghosts 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: two American ships received a signal from a Dutch cargo ship in distress. When the rescuers boarded the ship to save the crew, they made quite a grisly discovery. The entire crew was dead, without any signs of foul play.

It is said that terror was frozen on the faces of the corpses, which lie all throughout the ship, many with their arms reaching out for help. Before an investigation could get under way, 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 died. The Octavius was found drifting off the coast of Greenland, the crew members still below board, frozen to death, 13 years later.

Is this creepy?
The Mary Celeste
The Mary Celeste is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Creepiest Ghost Stories from the Sea
Photo:  RedCoat10/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In 1872, after just one month at sea, the Mary Celeste was discovered sailing aimlessly near Portugal. Curious, the discoverers boarded the ship, only to find the lone lifeboat was gone and the crew was nowhere to be found.  

Piracy and mutiny were ruled out—there weren't any signs of violence aboard the ship, and the crew's belongings were left untouched.

Over the years, people have both theorized that the crew abandoned ship, or that the Mary Celeste succumbed to the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Either way, legend has it that every time the ship changed hands, the new owner would sell it after hearing about its history of bad luck. In1887, the boat was purposefully destroyed by its owner.
Is this creepy?
The HMS Eurydice
The HMS Eurydice is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Creepiest Ghost Stories from the Sea
Photo: Illustrated London News/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

On March 24, 1878, en route from Bermuda to Portsmouth, the naval ship HMS Eurydice was caught in an unbelievable snow storm off the coast of The Isle of Wight. The ship capsized and sank, killing all but two of the 319 crew members. A young Winston Churchill bore witness to the event. 

Since capsizing, many reports have been made of having seen the ship afloat just where it is said to have sunk. Some of these reports have even been made by reputable sources, like Prince Edward, who claimed to have seen the ship sail off into the mist during a TV interview some 70 years later.
Is this creepy?