Strange Tales of Water Ghosts

Last Updated on May 31, 2021

When it comes to ghost stories, we’ve all heard some strange tales that were out of the ordinary. For every tale of a jilted bride haunting a hotel or a ghostly soldier on a battlefield, there’s another tale that’s just plain strange. Despite the wide variety of sightings people have gotten over the years, there’s still a general consensus that sightings of ghosts only happen above ground.

Think about it. Most cultures believe that throwing away cursed objects in water will cleanse them of their bad juju. In Christian groups, throwing holy water on something will purify it. Surely, ghosts couldn’t exist underwater, knowing that reputation, right?

Not quite. Though they’re quite rare, there are plenty of tales of underwater ghosts—including full-body apparitions that have decided to make the watery depths their home. These unusual tales and sightigs might make you think twice about taking a swim…

The Ghosts Of Truk Lagoon

Truk Lagoon might just be one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Southeast Asia. With its sapphire-blue waters, peaceful weather, and gorgeous wildlife, it’s easy to fall in love with the region. However, appearances can be deceiving. This seemingly peaceful lagoon has a history mired in death.

Truk Lagoon was the site of one of World War II’s bloodiest naval battles—Operation Hailstone. The resulting battle caused the sinking of over five dozen ships, including several civilian merchant ships. Approximately 3,000 people died during this battle. The ships sank below, down to a watery graveyard.

Since then, scuba divers who ventured in Truk Lagoon claimed to see shadowy figures walking on the sunken boats. But, that’s not all that divers have reported, nor is it the most alarming. According to divers, it’s fairly common to hear voices shouting underwater.

Ghostly people aren’t the only denizens of Truk Lagoon, either. In one ship that used to carry cars, people have heard the sound of motors running and gears grinding…as if someone was trying to drive away from the scene of his or her death.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Light

Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge might have a sunny name, but much like Truk Lagoon, appearances are deceiving. The bridge is the site of over 200 deaths, including a collapse that sent 35 drivers to their deaths in the 1980s. Unsurprisingly, it has a reputation for being haunted.

A group of divers decided to conduct a paranormal investigation at night. When they dove under, they reported seeing an unexplained light wandering around underneath a bridge. They decided to dig deeper into the mystery by following up with a second visit.

On their next dive, the group reported hearing shrieks from a flooded cavern nearby and even reportedly captured what appears to be a photo of a person in a snorkeling mask deep underwater. Their photo is purported to be the first underwater ghost photo ever taken.

Ghosts of the Andrea Doria

The S.S Andrea Doria  was one of the most ill-fated ships since the Titanic. In the early 1950s, the cruise ship was considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. When it went on tours, Hollywood elites would make a point of being seen there. However, the party cruise didn’t last too long.

During a cruise, the Andrea Doria collided with the S.S. Stockholm, an ill-fated warship that was said to be cursed. While the Stockholm was able to sail through the damage to a nearby port, the Andrea Doria was unable to do so. Approximately 50 people were killed during the disaster.

Though many passengers were instantly killed on impact, dozens stayed alive long enough to drown as the ship sank into its final watery grave. Divers have regularly visited the remains of the Andrea Doria, and it didn’t take too long for its haunted reputation to take hold.

People who came by the ship claim to hear shouts of long-dead passengers echo through the hallways. Sometimes, they even see figures reenacting what appear to be their last moments. Unlike other tragedy-related ghosts, the phantoms of the Doria seem to try to interact with divers.

If you’re not prepared to be slapped by the face with paranormal activity, don’t dive near the Doria. It’s not uncommon for divers to report feeling grabbed, poked, or even slapped by unseen forces.

The Phantom Pink Diver

Santa Rosa’s mysterious “blue hole” is one of those places that seems to always have a paranormal vibe around it. Along with being unusually blue and carrying an eerie ambiance, this location is known for having sightings of disappearing divers.

Late one night, a group of divers noticed a single diver who swam up to them wearing a pink tank. She then promptly vanished. Try as they might, they couldn’t find her. So, they went up for air. They didn’t recall seeing anyone else near them during their night dive.

Concerned about the wellbeing of the mysterious diver, they reported her to the police. Police quickly told them that this wasn’t the first time people encountered the figure; reports of her went back several years.

The Winslow Blue Hole Grabber

The small town of Winslow, New Jersey, is also home to another blue hole. This blue hole isn’t known for apparitions, though. Rather, it’s known for being home to an unseen entity that grabs people as they’re swimming, dragging them to a watery death.

There are multiple rumors about who the grabbing individual was in life. Whoever it was, though, really seems to be out for revenge.

The Man In The White Tee Shirt

Or, perhaps the Winslow Grabber is a bit lonely. That seems to be the case with one underwater ghost in Grenada. A group of divers went in, and were immediately met by another diver who was wearing a white tee shirt and a scuba tank. The diver waved at the group, then vanished.

Unlike many of the other tales of ghotstly visitors in the deep, no one has much of an idea of who this person was or why he chose to haunt the wreckage. Was he a diver who just lost air? Was he a former sailor? The mystery has been lost to time.

The Water Babies Of Pyramid Lake

The Native American Paiute tribe has long held tales of under water ghosts as part of their tribal lore. More specifically, they believe in water babies that exist in Nevada’s Pyramid Lake. In the past, Paiute tribeswomen didn’t raise babies who were born with birth defects or premature.

Because they were so unlikely to survive and thrive, the tribe believed it was better to drown them immediately after birth. So, that’s what Pyramid Lake was used for. When the babies died, their spirits stayed in the lake, often still shrieking and crying out for love that was never given to them.

It seems like some of these spirits want revenge for having their lives cut so short. Many people have reported feeling hands pulling them down into the water, or getting into precarious situations when they try to find the source of the sound of children crying by the lake.

Curses And Specters In Lake Lanier

Georgia’s Lake Lanier is not a natural lake, but rather, a manmade lake that was designed to help store Atlanta’s drinking water. Prior to the lake’s creation, a town by the name of Lanier was there. As the lake was filled in, people were evacuated and buildings were left at the bottom of the lake to rot.

It seems like the permanent flooding of the town may have upset some of the people buried in the local cemetery…or some of the residents who lived their entire lives there. The problems didn’t take too long to manifest, either. Within a matter of months, Lake Lanier started to see some strange changes occur.

The lake became a sight of an unsettling string of freak accidents, unexplainable drownings, and mysterious disappearances. Cars have been known suddenly lose control and drive themselves into the lake. People have claimed to feel unseen hands drag them into the water.

The sheer number of drownings that occur at Lake Lanier would make a typical person wonder about a curse. The haunting aspect of it comes when people report boats being hit by unseen forces, only to realize that there’s nothing there that could cause the impact.

Some people who have visited the lake’s shore have noted seeing a hooded “Grim Reaper” who sails across the lake in a boat. No one knows who the figure is, nor why he’s seen wandering Lanier alone on moonlit nights.

Ghosts Of The Titanic

Perhaps the most famous ship disaster of all time, the Titanic has become synonymous with tragic tales of lives cut short and the hubris of believing in an unsinkable ship. We all have heard tales of the victims living their last days in the Jane Street Hotel, but what about the actual setting of the area?

Believe it or not, people have witnessed high strangeness around the area where the Titanic sank. Sailors have reported seeing mysterious lights hovering above the water, as well as glowing orbs that floated just underneath the surface of the ocean.

What’s really unusual about the Titanic’s haunting is the fact that radars and radios have received strange signals near the ship’s resting place. The most telling part of the signals? A message in morse, saying “QCD,” the old version of SOS that translated into “Come Quick, Danger!”

The Underwater Car Fire

On Reddit’s r/Paranormal board, one user mentioned a strange encounter that he had while touring Lake Sonoma. Much like Lake Lanier, Lake Sonoma was a manmade lake that was flooded in for water storage purposes. Prior to it being a lake, one portion of the lake had a busy road that was totally submerged.

While working at the lake’s Visitor Center, the user heard a story of two men who went out fishing. While they were on the lake, they noticed a strange emanation of light from the bottom of the lake similar to fire, but underwater. Soon, the two heard childrens’ voices begging for help coming from the direction of the light.

Alarmed, the user and his crew of rangers did some research on that portion of the lake. A local historian revealed to them that the area where the “underwater fire” occurred had a serious car accident that took the lives of an entire family. When the road wasn’t submerged, the haunting was fairly well-known.

It appears that the haunting remained there, even when water decided to reclaim it.

Old Whitey Of Lake Superior

Lake Superior has been home to dozens, if not hundreds, of shipwrecks over the course of the past three centuries. As years passed, Lake Superior became a hotbed of legends concerning the appearance of ghost ships carrying crews that never quite made it to their destination. However, those stories are for another article; we’re talking about ghosts that are only seen underwater here!

While the lake is known for having ghost ships, its underwater ghost denizen also has its own claim to fame. Among divers, he’s known as Old Whitey—or Grandpa, if you want to be casual about it. According to local legend, Grandpa was an engineer who worked on the SS Kamloops, a freighter which traveled back and forth from Montreal to Fort William.

No one knows why the Kamloops sank, but the details didn’t paint a pretty picture. Nine of the 24 shipmates were found floating on the water. Several more were found frozen to death around a makeshift fire pit. None seemed to make it out of alive, even though their corpses were never seen on land again.

When Kamloops crashed, Grandpa and many of his fellow sailors found themselves trapped in the ship’s hull, doomed to die. Grandpa’s pale corpse remains in the SS Kamloops’ hull, but that doesn’t mean that he was laid to rest.

The ship, as well as Old Whitey’s corpse, were remarkaby well-preserved by the icy waters of the lake. Divers began to explore the ship due to its amazing layout, despite the remains of sailors still being present. This, in and of itself, isn’t alarming.

What is alarming, though, is the fact that scuba divers reported seeing an animated corpses still living life on the boat. He’s been known to wave to divers, walk on the top of the hull, and even follow divers while they explore the ship. Some even claim to experience the specter touching them.

Strangely enough, there’s good reason to believe that what divers saw wasn’t Whitey’s actual body, but his ghost instead. How do we know that? According to some divers, his ghost can occasionally be seen sitting next to his corpse.

Water Ghosts Of The USS Maine

 The Spanish-American War was one of the more historically overlooked portions of US History, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have its own drama worthy of a ghost story. One of the triggers that sparked the war was the sinking of the USS Maine.

 When the Maine exploded, both the United States and Spain ordered an investigation along with a cleanup of the area. Captain John Magee Jr. was tasked with getting Spanish divers to look at the underwater wreckage and obtain evidence of the catastrophe that caused over 250 men to lose their lives.

But, things weren’t working out in that matter.

Divers were given a maximum of 15 minutes each to go down there and take a look. One by one, each diver would go in, and resurface within a matter of five minutes or less. When they would come back up for air, they would be pale and shaking, unable to speak about what they saw.

Eventually none of the Spanish divers who volunteered for the mission were willing to sink back into the water. When asked why, they all claimed to see ghosts of the men who died aboard the Maine, silently begging them for a proper, respectful burial.

After funerary ceremonies were held for the men, things started to settle down. However, hauntings didn’t completely fade out of existence. Divers who swam by the wreckage still reported seeing a ghost of a fully-dressed lieutenant whose face was wrapped up in a black shroud following them around. What made this striking is that Lieutenant Jenkins, one of the men who perished in the Maine, was fully uniformed despite being asleep in his bed when he died.

About Brandon Hall

Hi! I am Brandon. Writer and content creator for PA, specializing in phenomena that is sometimes beyond normal scientific understanding. My mission is to help guide people seeking answers in a positive and enlightening way.

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