Maritime Myths and Strange Encounters

 
Rowing

Location: Padstow (Cornwall) - Beach north of town
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, possibly twenty-first century
Further Comments: The sound of oars passing through the water has been heard after sunset, although the rowing boats creating the noise are never seen.


 
Phantom Faces

Location: Pembrey (Dyfed) - Pembrey Country Park, coastline near the area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: As well as the occasional ghost ship reported off the coast, the area is reportedly haunted by the ghosts of those killed by wreakers in the seventeenth century.


 
Woman from the Asp

Location: Pembroke (Dyfed) - Docks
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1850s
Further Comments: MHS Asp, haunted by the ghost of a strange woman who terrified the ship's crew, docked at Pembroke for repairs. The spectral female decided to disembark here; she was fired at by sentries before disappearing into a local graveyard.


 
Sunken Treasure

Location: Pengersick (Cornwall) - Cudden Point
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ship laden with treasure is reported to have been lost in the time of Queen Elizabeth.


 
Dog Faced Beast

Location: Pentland Firth (Orkney) - Waters of
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1919 / 1920s
Further Comments: The body of water was home to a sea creature with a long thick neck and a small head similar to that of a dog. It swam under one witness's boat.


 
Tall Creature

Location: Pentland Skerries (Orkney) - Sea
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1937
Further Comments: Observed by a lone lighthouse keeper, this sea monster was seen to rise almost ten metres clear of the waves. A smaller creature had been seen fifteen years earlier by a fishing boat crew and a holiday maker.


 
Post Mortem Marriage

Location: Penzance (Cornwall) - Beach and sea, Mount's Bay
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A woman murdered her husband so she could remarry a young sailor - however, she was caught and hanged for the crime, but only after she made her young lover promise to marry her even if she was killed. One night soon after her death, while out on a fishing boat, the crew watched him jump into the sea; his body was never discovered, but his voice is sometimes heard in the area, whispering 'I will...'. There are also reports of phantom bells that still peal under the sea.


 
Ringing Bells

Location: Poole (Dorset) - Harbour waters
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, but said to occur at night
Further Comments: Eight bells were lost, as were the entire crew, when a storm sunk the ship carrying them. The bells are still said to peal at night, together with the wails of the drowned sailors. The harbour is also named as one of many places where Arthur threw Excalibur.


 
Merman

Location: Portgordon (Moray) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 15 August 1814
Further Comments: This figure normally warned of ill fortune at sea - if the crew of a fishing vessel spotted him, they would return to port for the day. Two fishermen spotted two of the creatures in 1814 - one they described as black in colour, with curly hair and long arms, while the other was female with long hair.


 
Captain of the Le Vainqueur

Location: Porthcawl (Mid Glamorgan) - Sker rocks
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The captain's body was washed up ashore here after the ship was torn apart on the rocks nearby - his shade is reported to take the form of a corpse candle, while the boat manifests in full form.


 
Madgy

Location: Porthgwarra (Cornwall) - Madgy Figgy's Chair (rock formation)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local witch by the name of Madgy Figgy would fly through the air and land on this rock formation, using a lamp to lure ships towards her and their doom.


 
William's Return

Location: Porthgwarra (Cornwall) - Off coast
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A regional story tells of a man whose lover gave him three years to try to make a living overseas, before returning home and taking her with him to his new found fortune. Three years later he did return and take her away - however, locals soon found out that he had drowned some time before, and his ghost had returned to ensure her body joined his in the deep blue sea...


 
Black Figure

Location: Porthtowan (Cornwall) - Beach
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: While out walking along the beach, a man heard a voice from the sea whisper 'The hour has come but not the man'. The witness heard this recited twice more, before seeing a shadow like figure run down a nearby hill and into the sea, heading towards a ghostly ship anchored offshore.


 
Veasta

Location: Portland (Dorset) - Sea
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1457, 1757, 1995
Further Comments: This sea monster is reported to have the head of a seahorse but the tail of a fish. Robert Westwood, in his 'Mysterious Places of Dorset', points out that the earlier sighting in 1457 was actually a giant cockerel which emerged from the sea and crowed three times before submerging.


 
Wrath

Location: Portreath (Cornwall) - Sea cave in the area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wrath was a giant who lived in a cave with direct access to the sea. He would wait for a ship to wreck before taking the surviving sailors home to eat.


 
Shaking Bed

Location: Portsmouth (Hampshire) - HMNB Portsmouth, HMS Nelson, Saumarez block (now demolished)
Type: Other
Date / Time: September 1990
Further Comments: A witness reported waking up after the room fell cold. He could feel something sitting on his legs, but nothing could be seen. After several minutes the bed began shaking violently, and the witness felt his legs being lifted slightly, before the top half of his body was also lifted at a forty five degree angle.


 
Buster Crabb

Location: Portsmouth (Hampshire) - Keppels Head hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One of two hotels claiming Crabb spending his final night here, the Navy frogman is said to haunt the building. Crabb vanished while attempting to spy on a Soviet warship which docked at Portsmouth during the Cold War.


 
Buster Crabb

Location: Portsmouth (Hampshire) - Sally Port hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One of two hotels laying claim to Crabb spending his final night here, the Navy frogman is said to haunt the building. Crabb vanished while attempting to spy on a Soviet warship which docked at Portsmouth during the Cold War.


 
Drifting Wreaker

Location: Priest Cove (Cornwall) - Off coast
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This man, who once made a living from dashing ships on ragged rocks, now drifts out at sea holding on to a plank of wood that prevents him from being dragged under.


 
Old Brazils

Location: Ramoan (County Antrim) - Off coast
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Eighteenth century
Further Comments: An strange island, likely to be a Fata Morgana, was said to periodically appear off the coast. The island was covered in trees, ruins and tall towers, and would always disappear at sunset. It is not clear whether this phantom land was 'Old Brazils', an island which appeared once per year along the Antrim coastline.


 
Barking Beast

Location: Salcombe (Devon) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: August 1970
Further Comments: A serpent like creature which was reported in the area was claimed to be a large conger eel, though this wouldn't explain the strange barking sounds that were also accredited to the sea monster.


 
Killer Octopus

Location: Sedmouth (Sidmouth?) (Cornwall) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1890s
Further Comments: An octopus was said to have killed several people along the coast here during a year in this decade, although the story is likely fake.


 
Slipping Woman

Location: Sennen Cove (Cornwall) - The Irish Lady rock, Cowloe Rock
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This rock is named after the woman who held on to it after her ship ran aground nearby and all hands were lost - she slipped off after a couple of hours and was drowned before rescuers could save her. Her shade has been seen struggling to remain on the outcropping.


 
Scaly Horse

Location: Shapinsay (Orkney) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1902
Further Comments: A creature with the body of a horse was observed by several fishermen, who reported it had scales like a fish, and a spotted effect over its body.


 
Shock

Location: Sheringham (Norfolk) - From the sea
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The black dog known as Shock to residents of the town would emerge from the sea and run up the hills. The entity was said to be headless, with white cloth covering the stump.


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