Sunday, May 1, 2011

Phantom Fishermen of The Andrew Johnson

In 1886 the fishing schooner Charles Haskell sailed out of Boston, Massachusetts for Novia Scotia.  The ship reached the treacherous George's Banks when a hurricane hit.

Artist rendition of a schooner caught in heavy seas

A fishing vessel, The Andrew Johnson was navigating through rough seas caused by a hurricane off New England when suddenly a ship appeared out of nowhere and was on top of them.  The Charles Haskell, the other fishing vessel trying to escape the storm, was at the wrong place at the wrong time and literally cut The Johnson in half, sailing right through it.  Ten sailors on board The Johnson quickly went down with the ship.

The following Spring The Charles Haskell put out to sea again.  They sailed neared the area of the mishap with The Johnson at George's Banks, when crew members claimed to see shadow figures that looked like fishermen, emerging from the sea.  They climbed up the fishing nets and boarded The Haskell.  Some of the sailors on board The Haskell were filled with such fear that some them jumped overboard.  The phantom men then began to work the nets as if they were fishermen. The ghostly sailors continued their work through the night until dawn.  They then climbed back overboard into the sea.

Artist rendition of a phantom sailor

The Charles Haskell reached port safely, but the no one ever sailed on the Charles Haskell again until it was sold. The haunting was so talked about a song titled The Ghostly Sailors was written about it. The sailors of the Charles Haskell believe that these were the ghosts of the crew from The Johnson carrying out their eternal duty on board the ship that sent them to the bottom of the sea.

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