Creepy Legends And Ghost Stories From The Sea

Voting Rules
Vote up the spooky tales that make you want to stay on dry land.

If you've ever set foot around a campfire, you've probably heard your fair share of ghost stories, maybe about a headless man in the woods or the spirit of a long-lost child. But are you familiar with stories of ghost ships and other ghoulish tales that are set out at sea?

Sure, we've all heard Bermuda Triangle stories, but there are plenty of other terrifying tales that take place on the open ocean. Here are some of the scariest ghost ship ghost stories from around the internet.

  • The Crew Of The 'Ourang Medan' Were Found Frozen In Terror
    Photo: Konstantinos Volanakis / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    2,229 VOTES

    The Crew Of The 'Ourang Medan' Were Found Frozen In Terror

    The legend of the Ourang Medan may be one of the creepiest maritime ghost stories ever told. The story goes that sometime in the 1940s, ships near the Strait of Malacca received a distress signal from a Dutch cargo ship, the SS Ourang Medan. When the rescuers boarded the ship to save the crew, they made quite a grisly discovery: The entire crew had perished, but somehow, there were no signs of foul play.

    Legend says that they laid all throughout the ship with faces frozen in terror and arms reaching out for help. But before an investigation could commence, the ship burst into flames, burning any evidence which may have helped solve the mystery of the Ourang Medan.

    2,229 votes
  • 2
    1,361 VOTES

    The 'Mary Celeste' Was Found Adrift At Sea With No Crew In Sight

    In 1872, after just one month at sea en route from New York to Italy, the Mary Celeste was discovered sailing aimlessly near Portugal. A group of curious sailors boarded the ship, only to find the lone lifeboat was gone and the 10-person crew was nowhere to be found.  

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

    Over the years, people have theorized that either the crew abandoned ship, or the Mary Celeste succumbed to the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Either way, legend has it that every time the ship changed hands, bad luck seemed to follow. In the end, the boat was purposefully destroyed by its owner.

    1,361 votes
  • The Crew Of The 'Octavius' Disappeared For 10 Years
    Photo: Samuel Gurney Cresswell / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    1,724 VOTES

    The Crew Of The 'Octavius' Disappeared For 10 Years

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

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

    1,724 votes
  • People Still Claim To See The HMS 'Eurydice' Over A Century After It Sank
    Photo: Josiah Robert Wells / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    1,302 VOTES

    People Still Claim To See The HMS 'Eurydice' Over A Century After It Sank

    On March 1878, en route to Portsmouth from Bermuda and the West Indies, the naval ship HMS Eurydice was caught in an unbelievable snowstorm off the coast of the Isle of Wight. The ship capsized and sank, taking the lives of all but two of the 281 crew members. A young Winston Churchill bore witness to the event. 

    Since the ship capsized, many have reported seeing it afloat just where it is said to have sunk. Some of these reports have even come from reputable sources such as Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, who claimed to have seen the ship sail off into the mist while filming a documentary in 1998 - more than 100 years after the ship's demise.

    1,302 votes
  • 5
    1,453 VOTES

    The Captain Of The 'Jenny' Left An Eerie Note For Rescuers

    The ominous final entry in the captain's book aboard the Jenny reads, "May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive." When the whaling boat Hope came upon the Jenny in 1840, they supposedly found the captain and his crew still aboard, but frozen to death after the ship became trapped in ice.

    Some even claim that the captain was found frozen in his chair, still holding the pen he'd used to write his last words.

    1,453 votes
  • The SS 'Baychimo' Hasn't Been Seen In Over 50 Years
    Photo: Aldus Books London / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    1,333 VOTES

    The SS 'Baychimo' Hasn't Been Seen In Over 50 Years

    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. 

    1,333 votes