The Charles W Morgan Ship - Mystic Connecticut

The Haunted Charles W Morgan Ship In Mystic Seaport

The History

The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat – only the USS Constitution is older.

The Morgan was launched on July 21, 1841 from the yard of Jethro and Zachariah Hillman in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She typically sailed with a crew of about 35, representing sailors from around the world. Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages with most lasting three years or more. Built for durability, not speed, she roamed every corner of the globe in her pursuit of whales. She is known as a “lucky ship,” having successfully navigated crushing Arctic 
ice, hostile natives, countless storms, Cape Horn roundings and, after she finished her whaling career, even the Hurricane of 1938.

After her whaling days ended in 1921, the Morgan was preserved by Whaling Enshrined, Inc. and exhibited at Colonel Edward H.R. Green’s estate at Round Hill in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, until 1941. In November of that year, the Morgan came to Mystic Seaport where she has since dominated the waterfront at Chubb’s Wharf. The whaleship was designated a National Historic Landmark by order of the Secretary of the Interior in 1966, and she is also a recipient of the coveted World Ship Trust Award.

The Hauntings

At Mystic Seaport you can go onboard the whaling ship, the Charles W Morgan, which some say is haunted. According to the Boston Globe (6/26/06) three people have independently written to a local paranormal research group telling them that they had been very surprised to hear after their visit that there were no period dressed staff on the ship. Mystic Seaport director Doug Teeson said the ghost stories spread during the filming of the 1997 film "Amistad," when three crew members said they felt a "presence."

It was recorded, once three visitors, in particular, described the same type of incident. They mentioned seeing somebody in the blubber room, which is the midlevel of the ship, dressed in 19th-century clothing -- a gentleman who was working with some line and smoking a pipe.

Howard Davis, a longtime Mystic Seaport employee, said that he often ran into what appeared to be the ghost of a Morgan ship keeper who once had worked with Davis on the boat. "One night in the winter, I was down there putting out the lights and I had this feeling that this fella who I had known was standing right behind me so I turned around quick and there was nobody there," Davis said. "Recently a young boy was here and he said, 'The ghost smoked a pipe, didn't he?' And this fella that I saw always had a pipe going."

All of the sightings were below deck in the room where the whale blubber would have been stripped from the whales. So enjoy some history, keep an open mind and bring your camera!

Mystic Seaport
75 Greenmanville Avenue
Mystic, CT 06355

(860) 572-0711

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