A Gloucester Ghost Story

October 24, 2019 / Good to Know, History/Maritime

The Charles Haskell, built in 1869, was troubled from the start. During construction, a workman was killed. Fearing a bad omen, the superstitious owner sold her. A new owner fitted her out and sent Captain Curtis and crew out on her maiden voyage. Just days later, while fishing on Georges Bank, a storm blew in. Boats were at anchor and now perilously close to each other. Fearful for his safety, Curtis severed the anchor lines and attempted to steer clear, but wind and wave thrust her straight onto the nearby Andrew Johnson from Salem, nearly slicing her in two, dooming her crew. The Haskell limped home.

The following spring, Haskell was again fishing on Georges Bank. While the men were enjoying a calm night, over the sides of the ship came what appeared to be 24 ghostly men who silently took up their positions and began to fish, then coiled their gear and climbed back down into the ocean.  Alarmed, Curtis ordered his crew back to port. Each year following, crews reported these haunts until finally no man dared go out on her. Abandoned, the ‘cursed’ ship sank in Gloucester Harbor.