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Top 10 Mysterious Ghost Ships

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
You might not want to book your next cruise on these boats. For this list, we’ll be looking at various ghost ships throughout history and ranking them based on notoriety and creep factor. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Mysterious Ghost Ships. Special thanks to our user ninou78 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Ghost+Ships.

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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Mysterious Ghost Ships

You might not want to book your next cruise on these boats. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Mysterious Ghost Ships.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various ghost ships throughout history and ranking them based on notoriety and creep factor. For those unaware, a ghost ship is a ship which has been found floating on the open water without a crew. These ships need to be factual, so myths or urban legends will not be included, no matter how tantalizing they may be.

#10: Governor Parr

Governor Parr was one stubborn schooner. She was built in 1918 by W.R. Huntley & Sons but lasted only five years. In 1923, she was significantly damaged during a storm which resulted in the deaths of two crew members (including the captain). After the survivors were rescued, the Parr floated throughout the Atlantic before a salvage operation was launched. Unfortunately, Parr stubbornly broke away from her tow and was left to float the waters forever, becoming a “menace to navigation.” We guess everyone just sort of shrugged their shoulders and forgot about it. Its current whereabouts are unknown, although it is most likely at the bottom of the ocean.

#9: Zebrina

Zebrina was built in 1873 and initially served as a trading boat within the waters of South America. By 1917 she was under the command of a Captain Martin, who took her on a trip to Saint-Brieuc, France. However, she was soon found grounded on the coast of France without her crew and with minimal damage, leading many to speculate as to what happened to the men onboard. The popular opinion is that they were captured by a German U-boat, which later sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Zebrina was left to float, and it eventually found its way to the French coast.

#8: Jian Seng

There’s nothing more terrifying than seeing a gigantic and rusty 80-metre long tanker floating in the water. In 2006,the Jian Seng was spotted southwest of Queensland, and when authorities boarded the empty ship, they found that its identifiers had been removed, its name was painted over, and its engines had been inoperable for some time. However, they did find a large amount of rice, indicating that the Jian Seng may have been a resupply ship. Everyone was left flabbergasted, and after no one claimed the ship, it was taken out to pasture and sunk.

#7: Resolven

Finding a long-abandoned ship is one thing. Finding one with its lamps still burning is something else entirely. The Resolven was found floating in 1884 between Baccalieu Island and Catalina in Newfoundland. The ship’s lifeboat was missing, the lamps were still burning, and an entry in the logbook had been written only six hours earlier. The accepted story seems to be that the inexperienced crew had hit some ice and fled in a panic on the lifeboat. While the ship was salvaged and relaunched, the crew was never found. If only they stayed with the ship…

#6: MV Joyita

After a storied history, including a stint in Pearl Harbor, the MV Joyita landed in the control of Captain Dusty Miller, who used it as a fishing and trading boat. Joyita left from Samoa on October 3, 1955 with twenty-five people on board. The trip was supposed to take 48 hours, but it wasn’t until five weeks later that the ship was found, partially submerged in the water. After an investigation, it was discovered that its distress beacon was faulty and that the boat had sprung a major leak due to a corroded pipe in the cooling system. Its twenty-five occupants are still considered missing.

#5: Kaz II

Kaz II was just a little catamaran found floating in Australian waters in April of 2007. When authorities boarded the ship, they found that everything seemed normal: a laptop was on, the engines were running, and food was still on the table. However, its three-man crew was nowhere to be found. A search and rescue party were sent out, but found nothing. After an investigation, it was concluded that one man fell overboard while fishing, and another dove in after him. Before the owner could send out life buoys, a swinging boom knocked him overboard. The three then drowned as the ship quickly sailed away without them.

#4: Sayo

Fair warning: this one is pretty gross. And also a little sad. In 2016, Manfred Fritz Bajorat’s personal yacht, the Sayo, was discovered in the vicinity of the Philippines. When fishermen boarded the boat, they discovered the mummified corpse of Bajorat, who was hunched over the ship’s radio. After an investigation, it was found that Bajorat had lost his wife to cancer and was sailing around the world by himself. Sometime during his voyage, he allegedly suffered a heart attack on the Sayo, and the warm, salty ocean air helped to preserve his body aboard the ship.

#3: SS Baychimo

If the last entry was the saddest one, then this is probably the creepiest. Known as Alaska’s phantom ship, the Baychimo was a trading vessel that traveled around Canada’s Northwest Territories. You can probably see where this is going. The Baychimo became stuck in pack ice in October of 1931, and after it was loosened in a blizzard, its crew decided to take the cargo and abandon ship. Since that time, it has simply floated throughout the waters of Alaska, and its ghostly body has been sighted on numerous occasions, most recently in 1969. The Alaskan government began a search for the ship in 2006, but nothing has been found.

#2: Carroll A. Deering

The Carroll A. Deering is a popular story amongst conspiracy theorists and Bermuda Triangle advocates, but let’s stick to the facts for now: The Carroll A. Deering was transporting coal from Virginia to Brazil with a small crew onboard. They completed the delivery, but on its return voyage the abandoned Deering was found aground off the coast of North Carolina. Its navigation equipment, log, and two lifeboats were absent, as were the crew’s personal belongings. While the consensus seems to be that the ship suffered a mutiny, the investigation was closed in 1922 without an official answer. Hence, you know, the conspiracy theories.

#1: Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste is undoubtedly the most famous ghost ship in history. In 1872, the ship was scheduled to travel from New York to Genoa with over 1,000 barrels of noxious denatured alcohol. However, the Canadian ship Dei Gratia found the empty Mary Celeste on open water between the Azores and Portugal. Aside from some minor damage, the ship was fine, although its papers, navigational equipment, and lifeboat were missing. Various theories have been put forth over the years as to what happened to the crew, such as a seaquake releasing noxious fumes that forced them to abandon ship. A giant squid attack is also a popular theory. Maybe all that alcohol was calling him.


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