SS Great Britain was built as a passenger steamship. It was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and it was to be used for the transatlantic journey between New York and Bristol. The SS Great Britain was made with iron and it has a screw propeller. She became the first iron steamer to journey to the Atlantic successfully in 1845. She did it in a span of 2 weeks.
The SS Great Britain was launched in 1843 and it was the largest vessel afloat during that time. However, the ship was very expensive to maintain and the owners of the ship were forced out of business when the ship was stranded due to a mistake in navigation, it was then sold shortly after in 1846 for salvage and then repaired. It was later used as a passenger ship carrying thousands of immigrants to Australia until 1881 when it was converted to sail.
Three years later the ship was retired to the Falkland Islands and for some time it became a coal hulk, quarantine ship and a warehouse. She was finally returned to Bristol dry dock in 1970. The SS Great Britain also happened to be built in the same dock. Today it sits in its home, the Bristol Dock attracting more than 150,000 visitors every year as a museum ship.
Ghosts of SS Great Britain
The SS Great Britain is home to many spectres. These spectres have been with the ship throughout most of its illustrious history. After all, the ship’s long history has suffered tragic events. One of the more popular ghosts of the ship is Captain Gray. He was rumoured to have committed suicide. It is said that he leapt from his cabin through his window. John Gray is said to be the owner of the hobnail boots which people hear scratching on the ship’s decks.
There is the ghost of Mrs Cohen. Mrs Cohen died on board the ship after just a few weeks of her marriage. The spectre of a young sailor who fell from the rigging to his death has been seen, as well as elderly people who died during their voyage to Alaska. Cries of babies and little children have also been heard. The Promenade Deck is the place where several workers saw the ghostly figure of a woman. It happened just days before the ship was re-launched in 2005. When the workers tried to approach her, she disappeared.
You’re only just touching the surface of the haunted ships phenomena, but equally disturbing are the real ghost ships of the world. We’ve put together some very eerie stories on real ghost ships here, definitely give it a quick read!