Ghosts and Apparitions are something of a fascination of mine. I guess you could say, more of an intriguing aspect of the paranormal that I find quite interesting. One of the greatest things about researching the paranormal is that whether or not you actually believe the things you are researching doesn’t really matter. The fun is in the stories and eye witness accounts. The fact is, someone out there does believe and with so many different twists and tales it’s hard to prove or disprove anything.
In my post A Field Guide to Ghosts and Apparitions (Featured on the Front Page), we discussed many of the different types of hauntings and categories of spirits that have merged from the paranormal realm throughout time. So this post I wanted to go over some of the actual documented stories and eye witness accounts of some strange things that have happened involving ghosts of land and sea.
The Ghosts of the Land
Have you ever driven down a deserted country road late at night? Sometimes this can give you somewhat of an uneasy feeling, and this stems from your Sixth Sense telling you something is there that you’re waking eyes may not see. But what can make this type of feeling even worse, is a face to face encounter with something not of a human nature. A Ghost!
The Phantom Hitchhikers
Europe and the U.S. have both been places of reported sightings and tales of phantom hitchhikers along side a dark lonely road at night. Some of the tales that are out there are more convincing than others, but they all have one thing in common. The witnesses would of sworn there was a real person standing on the side of the road, until that brief moment when they vanished into thin air!
You may be thinking, well these stories are just concocted to try and scare someone, or old tales grandpas tell their grandchildren. But the sheer number of reports tends to sway you into thinking there must be some truth to all this. Some of these phantom hitchhikers have even gone so far as to get in someone’s car and travel great distances having conversations with you before they disappear. Now that would scare the pants off of me personally!
Usually these stories start off with the driver stopping to offer a ride to someone, normally it’s a girl standing there all alone. She’ll get into the car and tell the driver the address of where she needs to go and then continues with some friendly conversation. This takes place all the way up until right before they reach her destination at which point the driver turns around and finds the girl has completely vanished.
On occasion the drivers have gotten out and questioned people at the address she had given. Sometimes they know nothing of this person that was supposed to be delivered there, but other times, they may tell the driver of a missing girl that was killed on that very same road many years ago.
Running Over a Ghost
There is another tale normally heard in Europe and the U.S. that involves a ghostly figure wearing old-fashioned clothes that will suddenly appear in front of your car while driving. To the driver it appears they’ve just hit and ran over this person, but when they stop and get out to look, there is no one there!
Tales of The Mothman
Many of you have heard of The Mothman I’m sure, and you can read in more detail about this legendary creature on this page titled, The Legend Behind Virginia’s Mysterious Mothman. But just to briefly go over this…
Mothmen have been commonly reported in the Russian Federation as well as the U.S. and U.K. There are also many other similar legends in many countries all over the world. The sightings are seemingly rare, but are quite intense and scary when they are reported. According to eye witness accounts, the Mothmen are said to be extremely tall with a grayish like appearance and although they are not human, they are said to have a human like shape to them. The face of a mothman is usually not easily seen, but the glowing red eyes are not easily forgotten.
They are said to be terrifying creatures that will let out a blood curdling scream, unfold their huge wings and fly off straight up into the night sky. Many skeptics believe these sightings are nothing more than a large breed of bird, either herons, eagles or owls, something that is known to make night flights with very large wing spans. I guess if you’ve ever seen one of these creatures yourself, then it would probably be hard to dismiss it as a mere bird.
The Hands of Cornwall
Many years ago on a little road that crosses Bodmin moor in Cornwall, England there was a terrible accident. A man riding a motorcycle had crashed and was killed on this road back in 1921. There were no other vehicles involved in the crash and no one could really determine why the motorcyclist crashed.
Then quite a few years after the crash there was a 4 door sedan driving down that very road at night and experienced a terrifying incident. The car did crash, but the driver survived luckily. He described that a pair of hands had actually grabbed ahold of his steering wheel and forced his car into the ditch. Some people believe that maybe the motorcyclist all those years ago had experienced the same tragedy, but I tend to believe that the hands that grabbed that steering wheel belonged to that motorcyclist. Since that time, there have been many other reports of disembodied hands grabbing the steering wheel, but they were able to regain control thankfully.
The Ghosts at Sea
There are many old tales talking about mysterious Ghost Ships that travel the seas at night. Some are said to be old pirate ships, or possibly war ships that had been destroyed during battle. But they have one thing in common, that they seem to be replaying the events that led up to their demise. This is probably some sort of visual echo formed from the tragedy of the many lives that were lost.
Although many of these ghostly ships are said to be harmless and unaware of their surroundings, others are said to be in full control of their wicked ways and are out to seek revenge or wreak havoc on those that acknowledge their vessel.
The Flying Dutchman at Sea
The Flying Dutchman is famous in most any ghost stories about the sea. The Flying Dutchman was a 17th century Dutch merchant vessel and is said to haunt the Cape of Good Hope. It is usually traveling at full said speed even when no wind is present, also being surrounded by a creepy glowing light.
Let’s talk a little bit about the legend. It’s said that the ship was having extreme difficulties trying to travel the passage around the Cape of Good Hope off South Africa. According to legend captain Hendrick van der Decken had refused to seek safety from the harbor, while some say the storm prevented this. Most folks agree on the fact that he swore a blasphemous oath that no matter what it took, he would sail around the Cape, even if it took him ’till doomsday.
They say at times his ship will try to pull up next to other ships to hand over some letters, but unfortunately, those that accepted the letters have not survived to tell the tale. Even laying eyes upon this ghostly vessel is a feared superstition among captains of the sea. None the less, many sightings have been recorded in ship logs over the years and lighthouse keepers at Cape Point have also documented sightings.
The Libera Nos at Sea
The Libera Nos, another Dutch phantom vessel is also known to appear out of thin air sailing at full sail. The scariest thing about this ship is that everyone on board is said to be a skeleton and they are doomed to sail the sea forever as punishment for their terrible crimes.
Hauntings of the Palatine Lights
Seen between Block Island and Rhode Island, the Palatine lights are said to be extremely bright and will vanish into the sea. Some have described this as a sunken ships lights under the oceans surface.
There are many different accounts of this haunting some believe it to be a wrecked German ship that was carrying immigrants from Palatinate in 1738. The ship had wrecked on the island and many believe the passengers were all murdered by the islanders and the ship burned. Even though this is a terrible ending for this story, some people do believe that all the passengers were rescued, even though there isn’t any documentation confirming that.
Well, that concludes my tales concerning Ghosts of Land and Sea, it’s quite evident that houses and grave yards are not the only things haunted by tragedies of the past. Have you ever had an encounter with a vanishing hitchhiker at night? Or seen a glowing vessel at sea destined to replay history for eternity?