Gay Baldwin wrote a book, I picked it up probably ten years ago or more, about the local ghosts on the Isle of Wight. The Island is small and you can travel around most of it pretty quickly but if you are looking at some of the out of the way areas this one is pretty good for some side visits.

Of course readers will now have guessed I do have a thing for the oceanic types of haunts and Chapter Thirteen of “More Ghosts of the Isle of Wight” has provided another good read.

Bouldnor, near Yarmouth is mentioned, a couple saw a vessel come close enough to the shore that they might well have been able to touch it. This was in 1978 and the book contains statements from both witnesses who have yet to change their claim on the matter.

The sighting came some years before the discovery of mystery vessel by divers. It has now been identified as the wreck of either a 16th Century Spanish or Portuguese carrack. She is now lying entombed in mud and sand off Solent.

Another one I found from a website, Mystery History suggests there is more than one sighting.

Two people out night fishing spotted an old ship with three masts sailing towards them. The vessel appeared to be illuminated by several lanterns across its masts and bow. As the ship neared the witnesses, it slowly faded away.

Another rather enjoyable anecdote for ghost ships:

The HMS Eurydice, a 26-gun frigate that capsized and sank in Sandown Bay during a blizzard in 1878, is a famous phantom vessel that has been sighted by sailors over the years. On October 17, 1998, Prince Edward of England (1964– ) and the film crew for the television series “Crown and Country” saw the three-masted ship off the Isle of Wight and managed to capture its image on film.

The HMS Eurydice is pretty famous and has said to have been spotted by more than just Prince Edward and the TV crew. She was a vessel caught out by bad weather, there were two other ships in the area and despite the bad weather she continued on with her gun ports open, a strange action in the given weather.

There was not enough time to get to the crew via lifeboats as the crew were pretty much on the decks below at the time. The Ventnor residents stood on the cliffs and were said to be dumbstruck by the incident as it was such a calm day beforehand. After the freak storm died down all that could be seen was the mast and upper sails/rigging around two miles off the island.

A schooner, Emma, went to find survivors, she picked up five people from the waters but only two survived. One of those two said they were ordered to bring the sails in but the snow in the blizzard was so thick they could not see.  One of the witnesses at the time was a young Winston Churchill living in Ventnor with his family at that time.

1898 saw a powerful poem about the affair by the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The poem is The Homecoming of the Eurydice.

The Home-Coming of the ‘Eurydice’

Up with the royals that top the white spread of her!
Press her and dress her, and drive through the foam;
The Island’s to port, and the mainland ahead of her,
Hey for the Warner and Hayling and Home!

Bo’sun, O Bo’sun, just look at the green of it!
Look at the red cattle down by the hedge!
Look at the farmsteading–all that is seen of it,
One little gable end over the edge!’

‘Lord! the tongues of them clattering, clattering,
All growing wild at a peep of the Wight;
Aye, sir, aye, it has set them all chattering,
Thinking of home and their mothers to-night.’

Spread the topgallants–oh, lay them out lustily!
What though it darken o’er Netherby Combe?
‘Tis but the valley wind, puffing so gustily –
On for the Warner and Hayling and Home!

‘Bo’sun, O Bo’sun, just see the long slope of it!
Culver is there, with the cliff and the light.
Tell us, oh tell us, now is there a hope of it?
Shall we have leave for our homes for to-night?’

‘Tut, the clack of them! Steadily! Steadily!
Aye, as you say, sir, they’re little ones still;
One long reach should open it readily,
Round by St. Helens and under the hill.

‘The Spit and the Nab are the gates of the promise,
Their mothers to them–and to us it’s our wives.
I’ve sailed forty years, and–By God it’s upon us!
Down royals, Down top’sles, down, down, for your lives!’

A grey swirl of snow with the squall at the back of it,
Heeling her, reeling her, beating her down!
A gleam of her bends in the thick of the wrack of it,
A flutter of white in the eddies of brown.

It broke in one moment of blizzard and blindness;
The next, like a foul bat, it flapped on its way.
But our ship and our boys! Gracious Lord, in your kindness,
Give help to the mothers who need it to-day!

Give help to the women who wait by the water,
Who stand on the Hard with their eyes past the Wight.
Ah! whisper it gently, you sister or daughter,
‘Our boys are all gathered at home for to-night.’

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