The Ghost Ship of St Ives Bay

February 28, 2013

Shipwreck by Ivan Aivozovsky 1854

The legend of the St Ives Ghost Ship involves a schooner called ‘The Neptune’ captained by William Grant. It was wrecked on the Cornish coast near Gwithian, close to St Ives. The captain is said to be buried in the Gwithian churchyard. But, let’s go back a bit …. The night before the storm that wrecked the Neptune the local fishermen noticed distress horns and rockets in St Ives Bay and noticed a schooner in trouble. They rowed out in their gigs to see if they could help as she rolled in the sea, trying to keep off the rocks. As they approached they noted that no one appeared to be aboard, their cries went unanswered. One man tried to board the ship, but as he reached out the ship disappeared… They returned to St Ives, confused and scared.

The next night there was a terrible storm and a schooner was noted in the same part of the bay, in trouble as before. No one went to the rescue, partly because of the storm, but … well .. would you? The following day the wreck of The Neptune, for that was the schooner they had seen on both nights, was found and the bodies of the captain and the crew were washed ashore.

Did they experience a ghostly premonition when they first saw the boat? Whatever happened that night there have been more sightings of the ghost ship and when it appears it comes to warn of another tragedy about the happen in the bay.

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Offbeat Theatre writer of plays for adults, youth theatres, schools and anyone else! Loves to write, blog and visit Cornwall....