Ghost Moons and Phantom Ships
Tuesday’s Tales of Terror July 15, 2014
The ghost moon is when phantom ships are said to appear. I love haunted tales of the sea, ghost ships, and sea superstitions (don’t kill an albatross as they carry the souls of dead sailors; whistling and flowers onboard are bad luck). Ghost ships are said to haunt the oceans even today. There are plenty of real stories or legends that come to mind: The Flying Dutchman of the 1700s; Greenland’s Octavius, the English Schooner Jenny in 1823, France’s Zebrina in 1917, Mary Celeste in 1872.
One of my favorite true ghost ship stories is the Russian Ivan Vassili (1897).
“Everything was business as usual as the ship left the port (Africa) and took to sea, but the crew suddenly felt that a presence was on board. Something just didn’t feel right. No one knew exactly what the presence was, but everyone was certain that some sort of invisible entity was among them. When it was near, the men felt that something was watching them, and they would feel a sudden chill in the air.”
“One night before the change of watch, the men on deck saw the apparition. It looked human, but its features were impossible to make out. It was misty, glowing, and luminous as it strolled across the deck and disappeared behind a lifeboat.”
In literature, what are some supernatural short stories of the sea for your summer reading?
Three Skeleton Key by George G. Toudouze (1937). This is a story of an abandoned ship, overrun by ferocious rats.
You can download the PDF at my.ccsd.net/download/tnrobinson/resource/176218
Here is a fabulous audio version of Three Skeleton Key by Larry Santoro at his Tales To Terrify. (Includes the radio play by Vincent Price from 1950 “Escapes”.)
The Ghost Ship by Richard Middleton (1912) is one of the most famous short stories. This is a humorous tale that takes place in the tiny village of Fairfield when a ghost-ship appears to have sailed into a field of turnips.
“I thought it was queer when I saw a drowned sailor float by in the thin air with his hair and beard all full of bubbles. It was the first time I had seen anything quite like that at Fairfield.”
Read it here at ReadCentral.com
Listen to Audio at Librivox.com
Of course, there is the poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge and Poe’s short story Descent into the Maelstrom.
If you have any favorite supernatural sea stories, please post. I would love to hear about more titles.
Other Reading Web Sites to Visit
Horror Novel Reviews Hell Horror HorrorPalace
Monster Librarian Tales to Terrify Spooky Reads
Lovecraft Ezine Rob Around Books The Story Reading Ape Blog
The Gothic Wanderer Sirens Call Publications The Fussy Librarian
For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed
Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic Authors.