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Uist Spectre Ship


Raymond Lamont Brown gives the following account of a ghost ship in his 'Phantoms Legends, Customs and Superstitions Of The Sea (1972)'. 'Spectre ships have been long seen on the coast of Uist (Outer Hebrides, Inverness, Scotland)', and one particular story was often related by Shony Campbell (Seonaidh Caimbeul)* the famous storyteller and Gaelic poet.

One New Year's Day, Shony Campbell and a companion were returning home from fishing. As they sailed home to Lochboisdale (the main harbour of South Uist), Campbell saw a splendidly rigged large ship coming northwards past Rubha na h-Ordaig ('The Headland of the Thumb' a promontory in South Uist, south of Bigh Hartabhagh Bay). The ship came close to the small boat and Campbell noticed that there was no name on her bows. After a while the ship turned out again to sea. Some two miles out at sea the ship was seen to belch smoke and all the while flounder deeper in the water. By this time Campbell realised that the ship was really sinking. Within minutes the white painted gunwaled ship had sunk and nothing more was seen of her.

On reaching land Campbell informed the Receiver of Wrecks of what they had seen. Curiously enough nothing was ever heard of the ship again, and no ship of similar description was ever reported missing.'

*John Lorne Campbell (Born 1906 – Died 1996)


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