Wednesday Weirdness: The Ghost Ship of Loch Awe

pathway between large, gnarled trees with words "on the path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over imageLighthouse on rocky coast shrouded in dense fogWelcome to the first Wednesday Weirdness of 2020!

It’s great to return with this regular weekly feature after all the fun of the holidays. I’ve also got an “extra” at the end, but to get things rolling, I’d like to share a legend rooted in sea lore.

In the northern waters from Scotland to Iceland, a ghost ship is often glimpsed, riding the sea a day’s journey from the rugged coastline. Known as the Ghost Ship of Loch Awe, she resembles a passenger liner of the early 1900s.  It’s uncertain why she is attributed to Loch Awe, Scotland’s third largest freshwater loch which has never received a vessel larger than a coastal cargo ship.

The phantom boat appears only when the water is calm but swaddled in layers of fog. She materializes from the mist, smoke curling from her chimney stacks, her decks ablaze with lights.  It’s been reported she passes so close to other vessels those onboard can see passengers strolling on her decks.

Most spine-tingling of all, she passes in utter silence, swallowed quickly by the fog. Not a sound is heard in the unnatural hush. From the waves breaking against her hull to the ratchet of noise that should rise from her engines, there is nothing but eerie stillness and calm.

Despite the relative serenity of her passing, calamity follows in her wake. According to legend, within twenty-four hours of the vessel’s appearance, catastrophe will strike. She is the harbinger of a collision at sea, the tragic death of a crew member, or some other dire misfortune.

Oddly, the Ghost Ship of Loch Awe has never been identified as the phantom of an actual vessel. There is no account of any ship to fit her description, no maritime record of a lost vessel that resembles her. She is a whisper of myth, an omen born from the water itself, serving as warning to those who spy her, that tragedy awaits.

Do you love legends of the sea? What do you think of this one? Drop me a thought or two in the comments. But before you set your fingers to typing, I have an “extra” to share.

My good friend, Craig Boyack, is hosting me today with an excerpt from my novel, Eventide. More and more readers are telling me this is their favorite of the three books in the series, which has me jazzed. How would you feel about buying a house with an old cistern in the basement—especially if that cistern had been securely bolted shut, almost as if to keep something in? Join me at Craig’s place for an excerpt about what happens when the bolts are removed. I hope to see you THERE.

P.S…if you’e not already following Craig’s blog, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. There’s a reason it’s called “Entertaining Stories.” I highly recommend clicking the FOLLOW button while you’re there!


61 thoughts on “Wednesday Weirdness: The Ghost Ship of Loch Awe

    • Thanks, Flossie! I’m onboard with ghost ships and the word Eventide, too–but then I guess it shows, LOL. Thanks so much for the well wishes and for visiting with me today–at both sites!


  1. Oh, I love ghost myths and ones set on the water are even better! This is so strange though since no passenger boats of this size have been on the Loch. Most intriguing, Mae and thank you for sharing! Popping over to Craig’s now … hope you’re having a wonderful start to 2020! 😀❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the well wishes, Annika. There’s something about ghostly apparitions at sea that are spine-tingling. I can’t imagine what I would do if I ever saw a ghost ship, though I think I might handle that better than seeing an actual ghost, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      • haha! It would be rather exciting to see a ghost ship … I wrote a story about one a couple of years ago. I liked my concept but it was missing something – your post here has me wanting to revisit it and see if I can rewrite it! Thank you!😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • I am to bring goose bumps, LOL.
      I got creeped out by the fact it gets that close, yet makes no sound whatsoever. I don’t know why, but I find that absence of sound chilling!


  2. This would be so eerie. Dense fog over water is almost eerie enough, but add a ghost ship, and you’d get shivers. It’s really interesting that the ship can’t be identified–that no ship went down that resembles it. Sad that it’s a harbinger. Craig’s right. I’ve never used a harbinger in my stories, but they add a lot. I’m thinking of your black dog in Hode’s Hill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Or the church bell in Hode’s Hill. I just remembered that!

      I haven’t been on the ocean in fog, but I have been caught several times in large saltwater bay when the fog was so dense it caused complete disorientation. It was a very freaky–and very scary–experience each time!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good point, just embellished and embellished again until they a simple trick of the fog becomes legends. As John noted up above, maybe there was some Scots whiskey involved!


    • I’ve been thinking along story lines with the comments that have been showing up here today. I may just have to add it into my story fodder for the future folder, LOL.
      Thanks for visiting at Craig’s place and adding to your reading list, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That had the hairs standing up on my neck! It was the silence as the ship passes. You would know it’s not of this world. Wonderful Weird Wednesday article Mae. Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you honed in on that. Of all the nuances in this myth, it’s the silence that totally freaks me out the most, too, J.R. I can almost FEEL it!
      I’m so glad yo enjoyed my Wednesday Weirdness. I thrive on this stuff, LOL.


  4. This is a great story, Mae. I love stories about ghost ships but I am scared of the ocean. I don’t swim in it ever. I have dreamed about a drowning girl my whole life. You may remember the scene from Through the Nethergate about the White Ship and the drowning of the girl. That is from my dream.

    Liked by 2 people

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