Creepy History 60. Happy Halloween, and welcome to another October of “creepy histories” on Windows into History. The following quote is from the Glasgow Evening Post, 14th September 1891:
In the south and west of England, and notably on the Cornish coast, there many stories of spectre ship. Some of them (says “Detroit Free Press”) sailed over land as well as sea. They were usually visible in tempestuous weather, and often manned by bad young men who did some desperate deed and then vanished. Sometimes these phantom barks suddenly carried off notorious wreckers, who had grown rich by luring ships ashore with false lights. Only some fifty years ago the captain of a revenue cutter reported that he had passed at sea, off the Devonshire coast, a spectre boat rowed by what appeared to be the ghost of a notorious wizard of the region.
The question is, how did the revenue skipper know that the boat was spectre? He does not seem to have boarded her. The Palatine is American spectre-ship. She was once a Dutch barque, but was wrecked on Block Island in the year 1752. After sacking her, the wreckers set fire to her and sent her adrift out sea, although there was a woman aboard who refused to land among such human fiends. Every year, on the anniversary of this shocking deed, the ghost of the Palatine is seen blazing away off the Point.
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