Are the Great Lakes still haunted by “Flying Dutchmen”?

Many northern Michiganders swear there are a handful of ghost ship that still sail the lakes. The name 'Flying Dutchman' comes from the late 1700s and is described as “a legendary ghost ship which was said to never be able to make port, doomed to sail the oceans forever”.

The SS Bannockburn is probably the most famous of five infamous Great Lake ghost ships, being called “The Flying Dutchman of Lake Superior”. The Bannockburn disappeared in 1902 in the depths of Lake Superior and has yet to be found by divers, who have been searching for years. Some say it got stranded on Caribou Island while others say they see its ghostly form sailing from the tip of the Michigan Thumb to the Soo Locks.

Crew members on other ships sailing the lakes swear they saw the Cornelia B. Windiate ship in its ghostly form, silently gliding thru the waters of Lake Huron. The ship sank and vanished in 1875 and no crew was never heard from again. About  one hundred years later, the ship was found underwater near Thunder is still there, but its 'ghost' still sails.

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The Erie Board of Trade was a schooner that was sunk by a ghost...or at least, that's what some people think. According to, “a crewman was sent to the ship’s mast to serve as the ship’s watchman. While the chair used to sit in was knowingly unsafe, the captain ordered the crewman to do it anyway, and the crewman ultimately fell to his death. The crewman was later reportedly seen around the deck of the ship and, later, the ship disappeared after it set sail on Lake Huron. It has never been seen again”.

The W.H. Gilcher was built in 1891. In 1892 it was traveling thru the Straits of Mackinac when it entered an odd cloud of fog – the ship and crew were never seen or heard from again. Witnesses claim they've seen this ghost ship sailing thru the fog near Mackinac Island, on a route it used to take all those years ago.

The Western Reserve was sailing across Lake Superior in 1892 when its mast broke and fell onto the deck. The damage caused the ship to sink – sixty miles out – taking all but one of its 27 crew members. Those who claim they saw this ghost ship said they heard the sounds of the perished crew talking and laughing.

The Great Lakes has a reported six thousand shipwrecks and there are probably why shouldn't there be a few 'ghost ships' sailing the waters? The gallery below includes actual photos of what the videographer claimed is a 'ghost ship' and images of some of the others as well.

Five Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes

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