A cruise is supposed to be the ultimate vacation, but for some unfortunate travelers the experience is more frightening than fun. Here are three true tales of haunted cruise ships from CruiseMates.com, a website dedicated to the cruising community.
In August 2005, one man vacationing on the Thomson Destiny (now the Louis Olympia) had the fright of his life when he awoke to a stranger in his cabin. However, there was something off about this intruder. It all started when the man awoke to the sound of the wardrobe doors swinging open.
“When the wardrobe door opened, it woke me up so I sat up in bed and noticed a guy rummaging around in there,” the man writes. “I shouted something out, and the guy, who had shoulder length blond hair and was wearing some sort of uniform, dived into the wardrobe.”
The startled traveler jumped out of bed and was at the wardrobe in a matter of seconds. However, there was no trace of the intruder, a perplexing notion as the wardrobe doors were still open and blocking access to the main cabin door. There was simply no way, the man reasoned, the intruder had had time to close the wardrobe door, open the locked cabin door, push the wardrobe door back open from the other side of the cabin and then escape in the seconds it took him to jump out of bed.
“When I checked the cabin and realized that it was physically impossible to get out, I soon became spooked and started, although reluctantly, to think it may have been a ghost,” the man reports. “To add to this, at around 6 a.m. my son sat up in bed (Exorcist style) and said to me ‘You don’t care about the people on this ship!’ and then went back to sleep. I still don’t believe in ghosts, but if you had asked me that night my opinion might have been a little different.”
It was around 5:30 p.m. on September 23, 2011, and the woman, who was staying with her husband in Cabin 6412, had just finished dressing for dinner. As she admired her reflection in the mirror, the woman heard something strange.
“I clearly heard a male voice say ‘you look beautiful tonight,’” she writes. “I looked toward my husband. He was on the balcony with the door shut. I looked at the TV. It was on the menu channel playing only music. I blew it off, thinking perhaps it came from the hall.”
The woman continued to prepare for dinner, but she soon heard the compliment again: “You look beautiful tonight.” Now thoroughly frightened, the woman raced to the balcony and told her husband what she’d heard. He believed her story, though he hadn’t heard the voice, and the invisible entity didn’t speak again.
“I have never heard mysterious voices before,” the woman reports. “In fact, most of the time, I do not hear clearly and have to ask for a repeat. Coincidentally, this happened an hour before the ‘man overboard event’ that happened that same night.”
Another cruise traveler, also aboard the Carnival Conquest, encountered a seemingly friendly spirit in Cabin 2465.
“One night I went to dinner solo because my wife wasn’t feeling well,” a man writes on CruiseMates.com. “When I returned, my wife asked if I had come back to the cabin for anything. I hadn’t. She said, ‘Someone touched me on the leg and woke me up.’ However, I just blew it off.”
After returning from the cruise, the man and his wife attended a séance with two other women. Strangely, one of the women asked if anyone had recently been on a cruise and if anything odd had happened. The man’s wife related the touch in the cabin, and the woman said her aunt had died on the Carnival Conquest two years ago, in Cabin 2463.
EDIT: Here are four more haunted cruise ship stories shared by Ghosts and Ghouls’ readers.
“My mother and I were on the Thomson Celebration. It was a day at sea so decided to go to the cinema on board. There was only us in the cinema and we sat near the back. Ten minutes into the film, three people walked in to our left. They walked all the way down to the front as if looking for seats even though there was only us in there. Then they walked back up and sat right behind us. As soon as they sat down, I told Mom we should move. As we got up to move, we realized there was no one in the row behind us even though they would have had to pass us to get out”
“Just cruised on Brilliance of the Seas. At about 6 a.m., I awoke thinking my 15-year-old daughter was standing in the middle of the room. It was dark, but I could make out a shadow. I called out to her wondering what she was doing. She answered, and I realized my daughter was on the couch. I fell back asleep. About and hour later, we were both awake and getting dressed when the TV turned on by itself. We could clearly see the remote on the bed. Neither of us had touched it! Then we smelled rotten eggs. It scared the daylight out of us.
I left the room and stood by the elevators right outside our door. We were the room closest to the lobby and there were two staff members trying to open a door to the storage room next to the elevators. They couldn’t get it to budge, and one of them actually said ‘What’s going on? It’s like someone is in there holding the door shut!’ I ran back to the room, rushed my daughter out, and immediately went to the meeting place for our departure an hour early!”
“My boyfriend and I just got off the Carnival Conquest, room #8364. We woke up in the middle of the night and found a tall man in what appeared to be a trench coat holding some sort of weapon in front of our bed. When we turned the lights on, there was nothing there. My boyfriend looked all over the room but found no one. Earlier that night, my boyfriend said he saw someone open our door to the lit hallway, then close it softly. Other nights I saw the shadow of what appeared to be a little girl standing next to the bed. Very creepy. We also heard someone banging on the walls and window of our balcony, as well as some other noises all night.”
“On Saturday, 4/25/2015, my girlfriend and I sailed on the Carnival Conquest and had a startling experience. We were about to make love when we heard our cabin door opening and closing. My girlfriend asked, ‘Did someone enter the cabin?’ We looked in the darkness, and heard the safe and cabinet door slam open. Mind you, this cabinet and safe were open for seven nights and never slammed, even in rough seas. In the dark, I could make out a steward with his hand in the safe, watching us. I asked my girlfriend if she saw him. She cut on the lights, but the apparition was gone. We then heard the cabin door close, even though no light came from the corridor! We prayed and weren’t bothered again, but the hair stood up on our necks! Our cabin was #2312. Two other people in our party had experiences on deck.
And for you who are curious, WE STILL MADE LOVE. IT WAS OUR LAST NIGHT! GHOST OR NO GHOST!”
Have you encountered a cruise ship ghost? Share your story here or email firstname.lastname@example.org!