Maritime Myths and Strange Encounters

 
Upset Sea Creature

Location: Shetland Islands (Shetlands) - Southeast of the island of Fetlar
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1881 or 1882
Further Comments: The crew of the fishing vessel Bertie fired several shots at a sea monster they passed - this angered the beast, which created waves of such force that they washed over the boat, taking away fishing gear and other supplies. The creature continued to stalk the crew until night fell.


 
Mutters

Location: Sidmouth (Devon) - Ladram Bay
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather dependent: Misty nights
Further Comments: The Mutters family were smugglers in the area, and one member is still said to walk the coastline at night when the conditions are right, watching out for approaching boats.


 
Green Creature

Location: Skeffling (Yorkshire) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Circa 1938
Further Comments: Joan Borgeest spotted a large green creature off the coast of Skeffling. She described the beast as having a flat head, long mouth and protruding eyes. It dived when she shouted for others to come and see it.


 
Serpentine Beast

Location: Skegness (Lincolnshire) - Area of sea between town and Maplethorpe
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1930s and beyond
Further Comments: This creature, or possibly creatures, has been reported on and off for many years now - its humped form moving quickly and quietly through the water.


 
Camel Headed Creature

Location: Skerries of Work (Orkney) - Sea in the area
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1910
Further Comments: The arrival of this creature was introduced by a school of whales leaping from the water and fleeing the area. The head and neck of the sea monster reached out of the water at the height of a small sail boat.


 
Drowning Elopers

Location: Skinburness (Cumbria) - Waters of the Solway
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Stormy nights
Further Comments: Skinburness was one of the places that couples travelling to Gretna Green would pass through, hoping to find a ferryman to take them across the Solway. Such a couple and their boatman were drowned when a sudden storm sprang up as they crossed the water, and now their screams and cries can be heard when the weather is right.


 
Betsy Jane

Location: Solway Firth (Dumfries and Galloway) - Waters of the Solway
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 25 December - Betsy Jane appears, and the Rotterdam prior to a maritime disaster
Further Comments: Laden with a golden profit made from selling slaves, God extracted revenge on this morally questionable practice by sinking the ship and killing all the crew on Christmas Day, just prior to the vessel docking. The passenger ship Rotterdam, which sunk in the nineteenth century with the loss of all hands, is still seen, normally as a warning prior to a major disaster at sea. A hearty mix of other spectral vessels has also been reported.


 
Glassy Eyed Mermaid

Location: Sound of Mull (Argyll and Bute) - Sea
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Pre twentieth century
Further Comments: Becalmed in their skiff after setting out from the Sound of Mull, two men spotted a creature in the water which had the head, neck and upper torso of a woman, although the hair was more coarse and the eyes glassy.


 
Earl of Dunraven

Location: Southerndown (Mid Glamorgan) - Beach
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A wrecker operating in this area, the Earl accidentally lured a boat onto the rocks which carried his son. Guilt has prevented the spectre from moving on.


 
Long Grey Creature

Location: Southwold (Suffolk) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 21 October 1938
Further Comments: While casting their nets, two fishermen watched a long grey creature from a distance of around thirty metres. They stated that the beast was grey in colour, moved at great speed, and estimated the length to be around twenty metres. However, a story later appeared in the local press that the 'creature' was nothing more than several pieces of lumber bound together.


 
Beautiful and Elegant Woman

Location: Southwold (Suffolk) - Path from Gun Hill, heading towards the sea
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Two local men out for a walk watched a beautiful woman pass them by and disappear behind the Round House. Curious to know the identity of the strange woman, they followed her to the harbour where they found a capsized boat - the quick thinking of the two locals managed to save a sailor from drowning. The woman, however, had totally vanished. The ghost has since been seen at other times, always with a shawl over her head, and is said to emanate peace.


 
The Toll

Location: St Annes on Sea (Lancashire) - Off Coast
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The ringing of church bells from a church taken by the sea many years ago can be heard prior to a storm.


 
Cursed Wreckers

Location: St Brelade (Jersey) - Coastline
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The coastline here was once highly fertile until a group of wreckers lured several Spanish ships close to the shore. All the ships hit the rocks and sank, but not before a Spanish captain shouted out a curse that condemning the wreckers and the future of the land. A year to the day later, a massive wave hit the area, drowning all the wreckers and washing the topsoil away and replacing it with sand.


 
Frank Lenine

Location: St Buryan (Cornwall) - Churchyard
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The son of a farmer, Frank fell in love with one of the servants, a young lady named Nancy. Horrified at his son's choice of potential bride, Frank's father sent him to Australia. A few years later Frank came back, but was drowned as his ship wrecked off the coast. He was buried in St Buryan's churchyard. The night after the funeral, Frank appeared to Nancy, taking her from her home to his grave on horseback. She died two days later.


 
Bells

Location: St Helier (Jersey) - Off the Coast, heading towards Minquiers
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It is said that in 1551 all the church bells in Jersey were removed and shipped to France. Unfortunately they did not make it - the vessel carrying the bells sank shortly after departing. It is now said that anyone who hears the bells while out at sea will not make it back to land.


 
Lady with the Lantern

Location: St Ives (Cornwall) - Beach
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom is said to be that of a shipwrecked woman who lost her child in the accident - she now patrols the beach looking for the youngster, and spotting her is considered an ill-omen. Another local story tells of a sinking ship that was once seen off the shore. When rescuers closed in to help survivors, the ship suddenly vanished into thin air.


 
Neptune

Location: St Ives (Cornwall) - St Ives Head
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This old ship has been reported off the coast many times. It is also believed that before the Neptune sunk here, the area was haunted by another unnamed ghost ship. Phantom bells have also been reported coming from the deep waters.


 
Missing Lover

Location: St Levan (Cornwall) - Hella Point, overlooking the sea
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Waiting for her lover who was lost at sea, this young lass mysteriously vanished one night, only to reappear as a spectre soon after.


 
End of the World

Location: St Levan (Cornwall) - St Levan's Stone, in village churchyard
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: St Levan hit the rock with his bare hands, and broke it in two large pieces. He declared that when the gap grew big enough to let a horse through, the world would come to an end. In another part of the graveyard, one can find the tombstone of Captain Wetherel, who can be heard ringing his ship's bell from within his coffin.


 
Long Sea Beast

Location: St Margaret's Bay (Kent) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1912
Further Comments: This sea serpent was observed moving swiftly through the water, vanishing from view after a sailing boat moved too close to it.


 
Moaning Children

Location: St Ouen (Jersey) - Greve de Lecq, rocks known as the Paternosters
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Prior to a storm
Further Comments: A ship en route to Sark collided with another boat and sank with all on board drowning. Several of the dead were children, and it is said that these youngsters can now be heard moaning when a storm front is moving in.


 
William

Location: Sutton (County Dublin) - Coastline
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The ship William was lured onto the rocks by wreakers operating in the area, 78 people dying as the ship was torn to pieces on the rocks. The phantom ship still passes by the coastline, while on land, strange lights dance around.


 
Spanish Sailors

Location: The Burren (County Clare) - Beach near Doonagore Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The beach below the castle is haunted by the ghosts of Spanish sailors from a shipwrecked Armada ship. Those who did not drown were quickly put to death by Boetius Clancy, the Sheriff of Clare.


 
Strange Woman

Location: The Lady of Avenel, aka The Virgo (Yorkshire) - Destroyed off the coast of Bridlington circa 1939
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1925 - 1930s
Further Comments: The Lady of Avenel was the last brigantine to fly the British flag, and reports of a phantom woman being spotted on board began in the 1920s after the ship was almost trapped in ice. Her arm was seen turning down an oil lamp, and heard talking and walking along the poop deck.


 
Storm Kelpies

Location: The Minch (Outer Hebrides) - Waters of the sea
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: These blue entities patrol the waters between Lewis and mainland Scotland, looking for sailors to drown and stricken boats to sink.


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