phantom ships

Phantom boats and ships have often been seen, to judge from popular narratives. These are considered as visions of real vessels or the doubles of boats and ships which in many cases are known to the person seeing them. They may occur to persons on the sea or on land, in the day-time or at night, and they generally forebode evil to the vessel seen. The nature of the danger or disaster may be detected in the vision itself. Sometimes the apparition simply portends that the event may be expected within some indefinite, although short, time; but it is usually supposed actually to be happening. A vision, phantom, or apparition of this kind is called a feiness.

Phantoms of boats and their crews may be repeatedly seen at the same place on the sea, particularly in stormy weather. These phantoms are supposed to be wraiths or ghosts of boats and their crews, lost at these places, and which occasionally may be recognized.



  • Teit, James A. (1918). "Water-beings in Shetlandic Folk-Lore, as remembered by Shetlanders in British Columbia." JAF 31:180-201, p. 199.

This article incorporates text from Water-beings in Shetlandic Folk-Lore, as remembered by Shetlanders in British Columbia (1918) by James Teit, which is in the public domain.