The Mary Celeste was a brigantine merchant ship launched in 1861 and discovered abandoned in early December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean.[1]

Historical information

The Mary Celeste was a 282-ton brigantine constructed by Joshua Dewis in 1861 as the Amazon. The ship was originally launched from its home at Spencer's Islan, Nova Scotia, Canada and immediately subjected to bad luck. Her first captain, Robert McLellan, would die on the ship's maiden voyage, the first of three captains to die on board the vessel.[1]

The trouble continued until, in 1867, the Amazon ran aground in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and needed to be salvaged. The owners of the boat finally decided to cut their losses and sell the boat to an American from New York, Richard Haines in 1868. In 1869, she was transferred to the American registry and redubbed the Mary Celeste.[2]

Origin as a ghost ship

On December 5, 1812, off the coast of Haiti, a passing ship spotted another vessel adrift on the sea with no hand at the wheel. The ship was the Mary Celeste and upon boarding the vessel, it was found to be vacant of any passengers or crew. Mysteriously, all of her cargo was intact, there was a fair supply of food and water and no visible signs of violence—seemingly ruling out an attack by pirates. The other boat's captain reckoned that a sudden storm had come upon the boat and washed those aboard over the side. His first mate countered that theory by saying that there had been no rough weather in the Mid-Atlantic for weeks. (TZDELL: 02: "Voyage into the Twilight Zone")

The ship's log provided no answers. It's last entry was made nine days prior with no mention of any sort of trouble. The seven man crew of the vacated vessel had simply disappeared and for over a week, the Mary Celeste had been sailing the seas with a crew only of phantoms. (TZDELL: 02: "Voyage into the Twilight Zone")

The famed ghost ship was towed back to port by those that found it and was salvaged, but superstitious sailors refused to board her ever again. (TZDELL: 02: "Voyage into the Twilight Zone")

See also

Wikipedia has a more comprehensive and detailed article on

Notes and references


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia contributors. "Mary Celeste." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Version: July 14, 2009. Retrieved: July 15, 2009.
  2. "Amazon-1867." Maritime Museum of the Atlantic On the Rocks Shipwreck Database. Version: May 10, 2007. Retrieved: February 25, 2009.

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