15 Real Life Ghost Ships

(c) Aberdeenshire Museums Service; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

From abandoned ships stripped of their every identification, to men that vanished from their boat mid-meal without explanation, we count 15 creepy stories about forsaken ships forever sailing on the open sea

15 – T.T. Zion


  • A recent one from 2012, a 31-foot center console Jupiter boat that landed on Fort Lauderdale Beach east of Las Olas Boulevard
  • It drifted ashore with navigation lights still on and engines running, but nobody aboard
  • They discovered the boat’s owners wallet and cell phone, but no sign of the man or other passengers was found
  • Authorities searched up and down the beach but found nobody, and that ever since then there’s been no significant leads in the case

14 – Young Teazer

Young Teazer

  • This was a schooner destroyed in 1813 in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia by one of its own crewmates
  • It was said for the following two years, the Teazer showed up as a ghost ship that vanished in flames at the same location it exploded with sightings from a large number of individuals
  • Ships that frequent the spot have reported a ship shows up to ram theirs, a phenomenon to do with fog now known as the “Teazer Light”

13 – Zebrina


  • A barge that set sail for France in 1917, but instead wound up ashore with its cargo of coal and sails still up
  • All five members of the crew had gone missing, with no sign of struggle but the common theory is that a German U-Boat had boarded them to quietly take them aboard
  • If this is true, then it’s entirely possible a Royal Navy ship spotted and destroyed them before they could realise they were carrying prisoners, leaving this ghost ship adrift for quite a while

12 – SV Lunatic


  • In 2007, a 70 year old man Jure Sterk set sail around the world on his boat Lunatic
  • He used his amateur radio to communicate with land, but on the 1st of January 2009 his broadcasts ceased
  • One month later, his boat looking ragged and mossy turned up off the coast of Australia with no sign of him aboard
  • Three months later, the same boat was again spotted in the middle of the sea by Science Vessel RV Roger Revelle, forever drifting without its captain

11 – Kaz 11


  • This is a 33 ft catamaran found 88 nautical miles off the Australian coast in 2007
  • It was discovered with engine running and a table with dinner waiting, but none of its three passengers
  • The radio was working, computers running, boat in basically perfect condition and life jackets aboard with no evidence of foul play or third party involvement
  • It’s a question of: what could make three grown men disappear off a fully functional boat in calm conditions?

10 – Jian Seng


  • 2006, the Australian coast, a mysterious ship turns up with no evidence of human activity – in fact, it’s been stripped of name or identifying features of any merit
  • Since a lot of illegal activity happens at sea from fishing to human trafficking, it’s possible they abandoned ship when things started to get dangerous – but would that explain the rice onboard, the only thing left?
  • Since no owner ever turned up the boat, it was intentionally sunk

9 – Ourang Medan


  • This is a Dutch cargo ship from 1947, that wrecked in Indonesian waters and when rescuers came aboard they found the crew all dead with no visible injuries
  • The dead crew all had their arms outstretched, their faces contorted in horror, but then a fire broke out in the cargo hold preventing anyone from investigating further
  • A morse code message was discovered with the words “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.”
  • This was followed by another message reading “I die.”
  • Rumours suggest the ship carried sulfuric acid which leaked and wiped out the crew, either that or Voldermort sent Death Eaters to Avada Kedavra them to death

8 – Bel Amica


  • 2006, a classic style schooner unlike anything seen before is found off the coast of the island of Sardinia with no crew aboard
  • The story goes this ship contained a half-eaten meal of Egyptian food, some French maps of North African seas, some clothes and a flag of Luxembourg – a ridiculous mish-mash from a ship not registered with any country, as if this boat had sailed from hundreds of years in the past manned by time travelling chameleons
  • Sadly, turns out some rich dude owned it but never registered it to evade tax
  • He might still be a time traveller, but he’s definitely a cheapskate

7 – Carrol A. Deering


  • This one took place in everyone’s favourite mystery area, the Bermuda Triangle
  • It set sail from Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, but right from the word go problems arose between the captain and his crew – they claimed he didn’t know what he was doing, but then he addressed everyone’s concerns and things calmed down
  • On January 28th, 1921, contact was lost with the Deering and three days later it was found off Cape Hatteras, and the rescuers found it completely abandoned with meals halfway through preparation left on the table, as if they’d all vanished on the spot
  • There has never been any answer or clues to this mass disappearance since

6 – Lady Lovibond


  • This was a schooner that wrecked off the coast of Kent in south-east England in 1748
  • On the 13th of February of that year, captain Simon Reed had been celebrating his recent marriage on his way to Portugal when his first mate John Rivers who was madly jealous over his marriage took control of the ship and crashed it into the Goodwin Sands, killing all aboard
  • 50 years later, there was a sighting of the same ship in the same area, then, another 50 years later, lifeboats were sent after seeing the same ship once again
  • Every 50 years it was believed the Lady Lovibond returned, and it did until 1998 when, sadly, it never turned up

5 –  MV Tai Ching 21


  • This is from October 2008, a Taiwanese fishing vessel that turned up empty the next month near Kiribati
  • Its lifeboat and lift rafts were missing, and the Taiwanese vessel showed evidence of fire several days previous – however, no mayday call was ever received, and a 21,000 square mile search of the Pacific Ocean turned up no clue to the whereabouts of its 29 crew personnel
  • The empty boat was shortly after shipped back to Taiwan

4 – High Aim 6


  • This was another Taiwanese ship found in 2003 near Australian waters without a single crew member on board
  • All their fuel and provisions remained aboard, along with personal belongings and a hold filled with seafood
  • A 7,300 mile search of the area turned up no results, but then 10 days following the ship’s discovery, a missing crewman used a phone from the ship in Indonesia, and authorities quickly tracked him down
  • He claims the captain and engineer had been murdered, and that the crew left shortly after
  • But no reason was ever given

3 – Schooner Jenny

(c) Aberdeenshire Museums Service; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

  • It was 1823 when the captain of this schooner wrote in his journal the message, “No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive”
  • The Antarctic weather froze him in his chair, still a pen in hand when 17 years later another ship passing by found him
  • As a sign of respect, the crew of the whaling ship that found them buried all the passengers, including a dog, out at sea

2 – Kobenhaven


  • A Danish five-masted barque used as a naval training vessel in the 1920s – at the time, it was considered the world’s largest sailing ship, and young cadets often boarded to learn how to sail
  • Then, in 1928, the last call was heard en route from Buenos Aires to Australia
  • 75 people were aboard, including 45 cadets, and it’s commonly accepted they hit an iceberg or somesuch
  • For the next two years though, frequent sightings of a phantom ship fitting the exact same ships description kept cropping up, and for the next ten years little parts of the boat would resurface

1 – Rouse Simmons


  • A three-masted schooner from 1912, bound for Chicago with a cargo of Christmas trees
  • A violent storm brewed up at the time it was en route, and it eventually destroyed the ship, killing all aboard
  • A message in a bottle was found washed ashore on Sheboygan with the message from a crewman “Friday … everybody goodbye. I guess we are all through. During the night the small boat washed overboard. Leaking bad. Invald and Steve lost too. God help us.”
  • Frequent ghost ship sightings have made this a tourist attraction, and trees found from the bottom of the sea make for spectacles












  • Creepy (41%)
  • Epic (24%)
  • Wat (14%)
  • Lewd (11%)
  • No (11%)