The Damned Story: In 1646, to help boost the trade standing of the young colony of New Haven, a group of prominent merchants banded together to have a mega-ship built. The idea was that the bigger the vessel, the more goods and products that could be shipped in one shot, and therefore, the more money that could be made. Simple economics, right?
Unfortunately, they were to learn the law of diminishing returns the hard way.
The trouble started when they first tried to launch the ship, which it turns out was frozen in ice dockside. Then, once they managed to get it free of the ice and out into the open waters of Long Island Sound for its maiden voyage, it listed to one side as it sailed.
Despite the problems, the giant ship was sent forth, laden with cargo for trade and the financial hopes of the New Haven colony. And with so much riding on the trip, the local folk were anxious for news of the journey’s success. They waited for weeks, and then months, without any word.
Finally, on a humid June day after a terrific storm struck New Haven, the ship was spotted sailing back into the harbor . . . unfortunately, it was up among the clouds! Obviously, it became quickly apparent to those gathered that it wasn’t the actual ship, but a specter of the one they had sent forth. They watched in amazement and wonder as the apparition started to come apart and dissipate before their eyes, as if caught in a vicious storm. After it finally disappeared from sight, the settlers of the New Haven colony decided the real ship had sunk, and thus declared it lost.
Still, over the years, there were multiple sightings of the lost ship in the clouds. And to this day, there are those who believe it can be seen after a thunderous gale, doomed to replay its tragic demise forever.
To read a more detailed version of the ghost ship’s story, we recommend Legendary Connecticut.
Our Damned Experience: We have yet to see the ghost ship, but we’ll stay on the watch, matey!
If You Go: New Haven harbor is visible from numerous spots, although our favorite is Lighthouse Point.
View Lighthouse Point Park in a larger map