NOTE: Michelle McKay, the founder of Cold Spot Paranormal Research, has a special interest in this ghost ship. Her grandmother saw it in Nova Scotia, she will add her testimony to this page shortly.
This phantom ship has been a very popular sighting along the Northumberland Strait ever since 1786. The Northumberland Strait flows through Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.
Descriptions of the ghost ship vary, but most agree that the ship is a three-masted square rigger with “burning flames leaping from the mast”.
The ship has also been sighted during the winter when the Strait is completely frozen over.
Some believe that Jean Pierre de Roma watched the burning ship from Brudenell Point and that he concluded that it was indeed a ghost ship and that the ship most likely belonged to pirates at one time…
Although nobody knows for certain who the ship belonged to or which ship it was, some say it belonged to an English Admiral. After looting the Roma settlement, he ordered his crew to take the prettiest girl they could find. Once they captured the girl and destroyed the settlement, the crew moved to the outskirts of Georgetown and anchored the vessel at Boughton Island. Supposedly, the Admiral attempted to seduce the frightened young women, and a struggle ensued. A lamp was knocked over spilling oil on the floor causing a huge fire. The crew cut the ship away from the other two ships it was tied up beside. Eventually, the ship floated away and sank off the coast of Pictou Island and the image of the burning ship is that of the English warship.
Also see the Chaleur Bay ghost ship in New Brunswick which might be the same ship.
UPDATE RECEIVED DEC 28, 2017 FROM JOSHUA:
“It was October of 2005. I was almost 15 years old.
We had a family vacation in PEI coming up and were staying in Pictou, Nova Scotia before boarding the ferry. I vividly recall the moon rising over the calm waters of the Northumberland Strait. It was about 10 to 11 at night.
I was outside taking in the chilly, fresh sea air cutting through the winds when I noticed something in the distance. I’ve always loved ships since I was a young boy and have been fascinated in the sinkings of World War I and II ships, as well as the Olympic Class Sisters, The Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic.
I saw a beautiful three-masted schooner coming in, as one would put “hot” or fast, for those who don’t know what that means. I ran back in to get my grandfather’s binoculars. He came out with me and I pointed out the ship in the distance; the unfurled sails taking in the winds, though there was nary a breeze blowing.
I peered through the binoculars, watching helplessly as the ship suddenly caught ablaze. My grandfather, who stood in awe, watched with me. He knew what it was; the stories he had heard while he was serving in the Royal Canadian Navy.
Time seemed to slow down as some others in the hotel we were staying at witnessed it. Some believed they were dreaming, others didn’t know what to make of it. Some called Emergency services to report a ship on fire in the Strait.
Before we knew it, 45 minutes had passed and she went down by the head, vanishing from sight without a trace. I vividly remember the winds suddenly picking up, blowing hard across the land and sea.
It’s been 12 years now and this is the first time I’ve opened up about it. After confirming from multiple friends who lived there that they too have seen it. I dismissed it as a dream for a long time but always heard whispers on the winds about it from mariners here in Halifax.
I’ve always had a paranormal sense. I’ve seen ghosts across the fields of Flanders, the old battlefields of World War I and II, in houses abandoned, and of family and friends in my own.
But the fact I witnessed the legendary ghost ship of the Northumberland strait still baffles me to this day.”
If you have seen this ghost ship, or any ghost ship in Canada, please tell us about it here