It seems like ever since people have figured out that you can float on water, they’ve been building boats, setting off for the horizon and most times, they’d make it to their destination. That doesn’t always happen, and ships sometimes go missing, only to be discovered floating and abandoned in the middle of the ocean.
It’s happened countless times, and it never gets easier to randomly encounter a ghost ship. These ones here, are some of the creepiest out there; full of mystery and wtf.
I’m gonna stay on dry land for the forseable future.
The Mary Celeste
On November 7, 1872, the Mary Celeste left New York for Genoa Italy. One month later, it was found abandoned off the coast of Portugal. Everything on board was left as is, including the cargo and the crew’s belongings. The last entry in the logbook was on Nov 25th, and only one lifeboat was missing.
Somehow, 10 people just vanished without a trace, and were never seen again.
The Lunatic Piran
Jure sterk was a Slovenian long-distance sailor and author, who crossed all of the oceans single-handedly and wrote about his adventures. Not a bad life to have. In December of 2007, at the age of 70, he started a journey to sail around the world to set the record as the oldest person to do so. He set off from New Zealand and was last heard from, via amateur radio, in Jan of 2009.
Later that month, his boat was spotted off the coast of Australia, with no signs of life aboard. Regretfully, no one went to investigate. When the ship was seen again, 3 months later, finally a science vessel investigated and found the sails torn and no signs of Šterk. His last log entry was from the same day he radioed in. He just disappeared.
The Carroll A. Deering
For all intents and purposes, the first half of this ship’s final journey went pretty well. The ship left Norfolk, Virginia in August of 1920, heading for Rio de Janeiro, laden with coal. After offloading without incident, the ship was set to depart for North Carolina in December of that year.
The ship was then sighted, when it ran aground in Jan of 1921, just off the coast of North Carolina. Due to storms and bad weather, no one investigated the wreck until a month later, when it was found that the ship’s log and navigation equipment was gone, as well as the crew’s personal effects. The rest of the ship seemed like things were proceeding as normal, before the ship was abandoned.
No signs or evidence of the crew were ever seen again, despite an investigation being launched by five federal agencies.
The MV Joyita
The MV Joyita was a merchant vessel that cruised the South Pacific. Originally built as a private vessel, it saw service in WWII in the U.S Navy, then became a fishing and charter vessel.
In 1955, the ship left Samoa towards Tokyo, with 25 people on board. The trip was supposed to take 48 hours, and when they didn’t appear in that timeframe, people got worried. The Royal New Zealand Air Force began a search and rescue and after a week, no sign was found, so they abandoned the search.
Five weeks later, the ship was spotted off the coast of Fiji. It was listing on its side, but since the hull was lined with cork, there was no way the ship would sink. Regardless, the ship was wrecked. There was no sign of the captain, crew or passengers, just a pile of bloody bandages.
The Kaz II
In April 2007, this 32-foot catamaran was found drifting, with no crew aboard. The ship had originally left Australia a few days earlier, crewed by three experienced sailors. Their plan was to sail around the northern coast of Australia, but never made it that far. When rescuers boarded the empty boat, they found everything in it’s right place, with one of the sails shredded. Other than that, everyone was gone.
No one knows what happened to the ship and her crew.
The SS Valencia
In 1906, the SS Valencia was a passenger ship, and she ended up striking a reef on her trip between San Francisco and Seattle. Over 100 people died as the ship took on water. The ship had a total of 5 life rafts and after the disaster, only 4 were found.
Twenty seven years later, the last lifeboat was found completely intact and seemingly un-aged, floating off of the coast of British Columbia, Canada. There was no one aboard, and no indication of how it lasted yearly 30 years at sea, looking as if it just came off the ship. As for the original ship, it was left on the reef to rot.
The Jian Seng
This was a tanker ship that was found floating off the coast of Queensland, Australia in 2006. There is very little known about this ship as when it was boarded, there was no evidence of a crew, and no registration. There was a broken towline at the bow and the interiors were gutted, so it’s assumed that it was being towed to salvage, but no one took ownership of it.
There was no evidence of where it came from, where it was going, and how long it was out there.
The Ocean Wave
In July 1975, a Dutch performance artist named Bas Jan Ader set sail from Cape Cod, MA in a 12 foot boat. His goal was to set a recored for the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic from west to east on a solo journey. After 3 weeks, radio communication was lost. His ship was found 10 months later, adrift off the coast of Ireland, but he wasn’t aboard.
Some believe that this was his last piece of performance art – a dramatic suicide. Others suggest that since he was a novice sailor, he got washed overboard. In either case, his body was never found.
The Lyuobov Orlova
This was a shipping vessel that was impounded in Newfoundland, Canada back in 2010. Originally, the ship was a cruising vessel of Russian origin, specializing in Antarctic and Arctic routes, with a mixed history. She was seized in 2010 due to unpaid debts, and was scheduled to be towed to the Dominican Republic after sitting at a dock for 2 years. Along the way, the tow line snapped, leaving the ship adrift. The Canadian government sent out another ship that just towed it to international waters and set it adrift.
Since then, there’ve been reported sightings of the ship, but nothing confirmed. Some say that it’s filled with canibalistic rats, while others claim to have seen it sink. Or it might just still be out there, floating aimlessly.
The SS Baychimo
The SS Baychimo was a shipping vessel that got trapped off the coast of Vancouver, Canada in 1931. The crew abandoned their ship and sought safety in town, figuring that the ice would melt eventually and they’d get back on their ship and carry on. Two days later, they noticed that their ship had broken free of the ice and started drifting away. Then a storm hit and they lost sight of the ship completely.
The ship drifted for 45 miles until a local hunter caught sight of it. The crew travelled back to their ship, only to find it terribly damaged. They salvaged some of the cargo and abandoned their ship. For the next 23 years, sailors reported seeing the ship floating around in the Arctic. It was last seen in 1969. Whether it’s finally sunk, or is floating around, is up to your imagination.
The Ourang Medan
This is easily the creepiest one on the list. In 1947, the Ourang Medan left China for Puero Rico, then disappeared. Later that year, several ships off the coast of Indonesia reported an S.O.S from the ship, saying “All officers including captain dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” A few minutes later, a second message was sent out: “I die.”
When the ship was finally found, the boarding party found all the crew dead, with terrified looks on their faces. They decided to tow the ship back to land, but it exploded and sank. So far the wreckage has never been found.