Antarctica is touted as the most haunted place in the world. Sure, this number is based on the number of ghosts per capita, but with a population fluctuating between 1,000 brave folks in the winter to 4,000 during the summer, there is roughly one perturbed spirit for every nine people that inhabit the desolate continent.
The spirits of explorers, scientists, and tourists are believed to wander the icy wasteland and the abandoned buildings they once inhabited during their lifetimes. Whether by plane crash or exposure to the extreme temperatures, many have involuntarily included themselves among the Antarctic ghosts.
The Ghost Ship 'Jenny' Has A Crew Of Frozen Men
The schooner Jenny left port in 1823 and was never seen again until a whaling ship named Hope allegedly made a horrifying discovery in 1840. According to the crew, an ice wall broke open and the trapped Jenny was released from the wall's icy grip. Sailors noticed people on Jenny's deck, but when they boarded, they realized the people had been frozen solid.
The captain of Hope ventured deeper into the ship and found Jenny's captain frozen in perfect tableau writing in his journal. His last entry is nothing short of chilling:
"May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive."
Hope's crew allegedly took the log book but left Jenny to sail on as a ghost ship.
Robert Falcon Scott And Some Of His Team Still Haunt Their Hut
In the early 1900s, the race was on to be the first to reach the geographic South Pole. In 1911, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott put together a team and set out on the Terra Nova Expedition. When they reached Antarctica, they built a hut where some men stayed while the rest of the team attempted to reach the South Pole.
The expedition did not go completely as planned; a rival reached the pole about a month before his team. Scott and four other men he had selected to join him on the expedition died on their way back to the hut. Frostbite, gangrene, and starvation plucked them off one by one. On March 2, 1912, Scott recorded his final journal entry:
"Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity but I do not think I can write more. R. Scott. Last entry. For God's sake look after our people."
Scott's hut still stands, and people who have visited said they felt uneasy and uncomfortable. Voices and footsteps have been heard, and some people felt like they were being watched. There is also a cross placed close to the hut in memory of three men from Shackleton's Ross Sea Expedition, who also used the cabin but died nearby. Perhaps the two teams joined up after death.
Explorer Edmund Hillary Met Sir Ernest Shackleton's Ghost
Sir Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer and explorer who climbed Mount Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. On May 29, 1953, they became the first people to reach the summit.
Seeking an even more extreme exploration, Hillary reached Antarctica five years later. Hillary was following in the footsteps of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton and his team had a hut set up in Antarctica, and it was still stocked with food - preserved by the cold - when Hillary arrived in May 1958.
Hillary believed he saw Shackleton's ghost in the hut:
"I remember when I first went to Shackleton's hut - and I'm not a person who really sees things very much - but I went inside the door... when I opened the door - it's a rather sort of bare hut inside - but I distinctly saw Shackleton walking towards me and welcoming me and then it all sort of flashed away and he was gone."
Hundreds Of Plane Crash Victims Haunt Ross Island
Antarctica became a frequent tourist destination in the 1970s. Tourists booked day-trip flights from New Zealand and enjoyed a leisurely, aerial view of the harsh, icy continent. One such trip turned fatal due to low visibility and pilot error. The plane crashed into the side of Mount Erebus at 300 mph, and the impact instantly killed all 257 passengers.
The corpses were stored at McMurdo Station, an American base on Antarctica's Ross Island, and many visitors to the site believe the ghosts of the victims are still hanging around. Visitors claim to hear voices, see short trails of unexplained footprints, and feel strange presences.
One McMurdo Station worker remembers:
"As soon as I entered, something was weird. I took a couple of steps in and the hair on the top of my head stood on end - footsteps upstairs; undeniably footsteps. A slow cadence of footsteps. I froze. It went from the back of the building to the front."