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  • Erin Egnatz

The Great Lakes Ghost Fleet

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

The Great Lakes are made up of the Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior, which are all interlocked and take up over 94,000 square miles. They are heavily traveled lakes, especially for industry and shipping, and are treated more like an ocean than lakes due to their sheer size. During recorded history, there have been many ship wrecks within these lakes, claiming thousands of lives. As with any place where many have died, stories of hauntings are not uncommon. An interesting phenomena of hauntings on the water are the phantom ships that are sometimes seen. Dating back centuries, travel logs from all over the world have come across unmanned ghost ships as well as phantom ships; the latter of which is not physically there. Phantom ships appear out of nowhere and are a ghostly representation of a former ship. The Great Lakes Ghost Fleet are said to be examples of these phantom ships.


The Ghost Fleet's most famous, and most often seen ship, is the Le Griffon. The Le Griffon was a French ship exploring the Great Lakes in 1679 when it disappeared on the waters of Lake Michigan. No one knew exactly what happened to the ship, nor was the Le Griffon and her crew members ever heard from again.


Since its disappearance, the Le Griffon has made quite a few spectral appearances. The ship is said to suddenly appear to other ships out on the water without notice. In what seems to be a terrifying game of chicken, the ghostly Le Griffon surges forward as if to collide with the witnesses ship before completely vanishing all together, just before any contact is made.


The other ill fated ships said to be part of the Great Lakes Ghost Fleet are: The Erie Board of Trade on Lake Huron, the Bannockburn and The Western Reserve in Lake Superior, and The W.H. Gilcher and The Hudson on Lake Michigan. These ships have all been reportedly seen, in phantom form, by many surprised and terrified bystanders.


For me personally, I love checking out haunted places and the thrill of a paranormal investigation, but I'm not sure I'm up for an interaction with a phantom ship of the Ghost Fleet.



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