There are dozens of tales of ghost ships from the Great Lakes region as dozens and dozens of ships have been lost on these storm-tossed waters since man began to navigate them. Any sailor on the Great Lakes can tell you that these waters are as dangerous as any ocean... and much more haunted. Ships have simply sailed off into oblivion on these lakes, never to be heard from again.

The W H. Gilcher was a coal steamer that was lost in the Straits of Mackinac in 1892, while the Nashua vanished in Lake Huron.... and of course, the fabled Edmund Fitzgerald of which the condemned crew is said to still be out there somewhere, searching for salvation.

Many ships disappear in the dark waters of the Great Lakes, but many of them do show up again....as phantom ships.

The ghost ship, the Western Reserve, has been spotted in the waters off of Deer Park, Michigan.

The schooner went down in April of 1892 and was the property of famous financier Peter Minch. He had been aboard with his family the day the ship went down. Only the wheelman survived the wreck and the ship continues to be sighted today. Strangely, Captain Truedell of the Great Lakes Life-Saving Service dreamed the exact details of the accident before it happened. He saw it in such detail that he recognized the body of Peter Minch when he found it washed up on shore.

The previously mentioned W H. Gilcher has been sighted in the Straits of Mackinac where it went down in 1892. The coal steamer is said to appear in the fog off Mackinac Island but it is not the only ship that appears near here. The other is an older vessel that returns every seven years and is the phantom craft of the explorer Sebastian, who is still trying to return home to his fiancee in France...even though he was lost here many years ago.

The ghost schooner, Erie Board of Trade, has also been spotted in Saginaw Bay. The cursed ship disappeared in Lake Huron in 1883 and, according to the stories, was wrecked by a ghost. The captain of the ship had ordered a crewman to go up the main mast to the boatswain's chair, even though the men knew that it was not safe. The man ended up falling to his death. Soon, his ghost started to appear on the deck and in the cabins. The crew told of this story while they were in port and on it's next voyage, the ship vanished and was never seen again.

It is said that it's phantom image has been seen still sailing the bay. Deer Park, Michigan is located on the Upper Peninsula of the state on Lake Superior, about fifty miles west of Sault St. Marie. The ship went down about fifteen miles west of Deer Park.

The Straits of Mackinac are located just west of Mackinac Island. This dangerous area of the lake has been the ruin of many ships. The Straits are located just off the northern tip of the mainland portion of the state.

Straits of Mackinac

Saginaw Bay is located in northeastern Michigan, about thirty-five miles north of Flint. The bay is located between Au Sable Point and Point Aux Barques on Lake Huron.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

More.....Ghost Ships Of The Great Lakes

Ghost ships have not only been seen on the ocean. There are a number of ships that have mysteriously disappeared on the Great Lakes and were later spotted by sailors.

In September of 1678, the Griffon vanished without a trace on the waters of Lake Michigan.

The vessel was never found yet, a number of sailors reported seeing the ghostly ship on the water years after its disappearance.

Another famous ghost ship of the great lakes is that of the Edmund Fitzgerald. On November 10, 1975, during a unrelenting viscous storm the Edmund Fitzgerald, without warning, sank to the bottom of Lake Superior taking all crew members down with her. The ship was eventually found broken at the bottom of the lake.

However, many sailors have reported seeing the ship years after it sank afloat and untouched by the storm tossed waters.

Those who are familiar with sailing the Great Lakes say that these five bodies of water are haunted by vessels which have been claimed by its dark waters.

Sightings of ghost ships are reported most often by frightened mariners during dense suffocating fog and sudden violent storms that frequently occur without warning.


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