The story of RMS Titanic is globally known as the most tragic maritime disaster of our time, there is also a strong fascination with the luxury liner which includes matters of controversy, mystery and supernatural phenomenon. In honour of Halloween this year we’ve delved into RMS Titanic myths and legend including suspicions as to why the vessel sank, hauntings associated with ill-fated passengers or crew and some spinetingling predictions that were made ahead of that fateful night.
Read on if you dare and learn more about the spookiest stories associated with RMS Titanic.
Ghost Ships Sightings
It is understood that a number of survivors from RMS Titanic reported seeing spectral ships sailing in the distance. In fact, plenty of those that made it into a lifeboat were instructed to row for lights on the horizon.
Experts have since investigated the reports and devised theories to support the “supposed” sightings however the explanations do not add up.
SS Mount Temple
One of the ships that received calls of distress from RMS Titanic, SS Mount Temple was said to be no more than five to ten miles away from the sink site. Thick ice was stated as the reason the ship could not reach RMS Titanic in time but there have been some disputes made over this claim. More disturbing reports were made that the Captain in control of SS Mount Temple chose to ignore the distress rockets fired from RMS Titanic.
Seal-hunting ship, the Samson, was another vessel said to have been close to RMS Titanic on the night of the sinking. A crewman onboard the Samson reported seeing lights in the distance, and rockets later, after which all went dark. Recording what he saw the crew then decided to sail away from the area as they were seal hunting in territorial waters illegally. After being delayed at sea for weeks the crew onboard the Samson did not receive news of the disaster of RMS Titanic sinking until they reached Iceland. Here the crewman who’d seen the lights and distress rockets compared positions and realised they had been less than ten miles away from the sinking RMS Titanic.
Mummy on Board
Ancient Egyptian myth and folklore was something which served as a source of entertainment in the early 18th century. The traditions of ancient Egyptian burial, their belief in the afterlife and of course the mysteries that surround much of what we know about ancient Egypt still has us captivated today.
When the first tombs were being looted for their riches many a mummified remain would surface and make its way to prominent museums across the world.
One such set of remains to do so were that of Princess Amen-Ra, The Mummy of the Titanic, and tales of her travels are legend.
It is said that over the ten years up to twenty people met with death, misfortune or injury after coming into contact with the Princesses uprooted coffin.
The first, a quartet of wealthy Englishmen who purchased the remains from Luxor. One man among them won the right to claim her after drawing lots and transporting the coffin to his hotel room. He was last seen walking off into the desert never to return. After this, the three men accompanying him were met with misfortune and injury.
The Princess then travelled to Britain where her curse is said to have affected every person who encountered the coffin or had a hand in her movement. The British Museum who displayed the elaborate coffin were forced to retire the piece below ground for fear of more unfortunate incidences occurring.
Suicide, accident, illness and misfortune are among the effects that took hold of individuals after being in the presence of Amen-Ra and her wicked curse. Rumours of the cursed coffin reached the ears of a wealthy American who is said to have purchased the Princess and her decorative ancient coffin and wanted it shipped to his home in New York on the fastest new vessel to sail the sea; RMS Titanic.
Such an account is popular among those interested in the occult and spiritualism, however, the entire story from start to finish has been quashed by specialists since.
It is said that Princess Amen-Ra never left the country from 1889 to 1990 when the coffin went to its first overseas exhibition as stated by the British Museum.
Also, RMS Titanic’s detailed manifest had no entry of Egyptian artefact on board. It is understood however that a huge amount of valuable goods foundered with RMS Titanic the true amount still unknown today. Wealthy people of the time could bargain or bribe goods on board if they preferred to keep them hidden or private.
Whilst many supernatural accounts can be dismissed without proper evidence by sceptics, those in print cannot be disputed. There were a number of written accounts made by people who had no association with RMS Titanic, stories or tales of fiction which had striking similarities to the fate of the sunken vessel and one telepathic account of a young lady from her deathbed.
Jayne Sayre’s deathbed prediction
On the eve of April 14th, 1912 in a sleepy Scottish town of Kirkcudbright a young girl, Jayne Sayre, lay dying. In her delirium close to her passing she murmured visions of a large ship sinking into the ocean and whispered words of a man named Wally playing a fiddle.
Short story in the press
On the newsstands when RMS Titanic was out at sea, the May 1st publications of The Popular Magazine and American Pulp Magazine held the short story of T.J Hains, “The White Ghost of Disaster”. The striking similarity of the story including a vessels collision with an iceberg, the sinking of the vessel and the fate of those on board brought Hains pseudonymous fame.
At the time of writing the short sea story for magazines, Hains concealed his identity writing under the pseudonym, CPT Main Clew Garnett perhaps to hide his name after being tried as an accomplice in the murder of his brothers love rival 1909.
A novella penned by author Morgan Robertson detailed uncanny similarities with the RMS Titanic fate. A disaster that would not occur for over a decade after the book was written. Similarities in the story include the name of the ship in the novel Titan, the size of the vessels, inadequate lifeboats for souls on board, the iceberg collision and the measure of lives lost.
The novel was later renamed The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility and the author considered psychic which he strongly refuted claiming he simply had a good understanding shipbuilding and life at sea.
Author Gerhardt Hauptmann’s 1912 novel Atlantis, was criticised for having used reports of the horrific scenes of the sinking of the RMS Titanic as inspiration. Hauptmann quite rightly referred critics to his serialised publications of the story in the Berliner Tageblatt, published from January 9th, 1912 until the final edition was put in print on April 24th.
The movie adaption of Atlantis was released in cinemas just one year on from the RMS Titanic’s demise which many felt was in poor taste due to the striking similarities in the plot. Norway banned screening of Atlantis as it felt makers were cashing in on the great tragedy.
The most famous Englishman to have boarded RMS Titanic was W.T Stead, a prominent journalist who did great things for the modern tabloid giving the public power to influence governmental decisions.
In his later life, Stead was said to have held strong beliefs in the powers of spiritualism and was even cited as the source of the Mummy being on board RMS Titanic, recounting his beliefs in the powers of ancient Egyptians.
Stead always believed he would die of lynching or drowning and two of his own literary accounts are almost prophetic.
Published in 1886 “How the Mail Steamer Went Down Mid Atlantic, by a survivor” tells the tale of a liner hit an iceberg and passengers needlessly lost their lives due to the lack of lifeboats per passenger.
His second publication to bear a striking similarity with the ill-fated RMS Titanic sinking was titled “From Old World to the New” which details the rescue of passengers after their passage was sunk by an iceberg collision.
Captain Smith Spirit Encounters
Many will recognise the face of Captain Edward John Smith if shown his photograph, being the Captain of such a world-famous vessel his image has become synonymous with the tragedy.
After he lost his life on what was to be his final voyage at sea, Captain Smith is said to have visited his old home and other seafaring vessels in spirit form.
The birthplace of Captain Smith
In April 2012 a couple marked the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic’s sinking by putting their home on the market, their home being the birthplace of Captain Edward John Smith.
Over 10 years the couple have reported seeing the ghost of the Captain in their bedroom and the occasional icy chill in the air. The couple rented the home out for a few years and were contacted by one tenant who was convinced he too had seen the Captain float over his bed one night followed by a frosty chill.
A ghostly tour
The second officer of SS Winterhaven swears he gave a tour of his own ship to the ghost of Captain Smith in 1977. Leonard Bishop recalls an odd man who was softly spoken and had an unmistakable British accent requesting a detailed tour of his ship. Bishop took the gentleman around an asked all of the strangers many questions, Bishop recalls something indescribably odd about the man as something he couldn’t quite pinpoint.
Years after the encounter a friend showed a picture of Captain Smith to Bishop and to his surprise he recognised the man in the picture as the strange man who had toured his ship. The friend, of course, reminded Bishop that Captain John Smith had perished on Board RMS Titanic 65 years prior.
The sink site
Plenty of eerie sightings and recollections have been documented over the years since RMS Titanic foundered surrounding the sink site which is said to be haunted by spirits at unrest.
Submarines travelling through the area have reported receiving SOS signals and disturbances in radio contact.
A 1990 Aircraft flying over the area attempted contact with a vessel which was understood to have debris strewn across the decks and passengers in a state of alarm. After failing to make contact the aircraft assumed all was well and left the area.
RMS Titanic’s sister ship the RMS Olympic reported feelings of worry or dread when sailing over the wreck site and heard distress calls from a ship identifying as Titanic.
During World War II a German U boat off the coast of Newfoundland fired upon a four-funnelled vessel which was thought to have been allied troop ships, Olympic or Aquitania.
After their missiles failed to have any impact the vessel was said to simply disappear both the Aquitania and Olympic were nowhere near the area of the sighting.
Those passing the wreck site of RMS Titanic have been said to hear voices shouting for help, the sounds of orchestra playing and strange orbs of light hovering near the surface of the water.
Las Vegas Hotel and Casino The Luxor has a remarkable Titanic exhibition with over 250 authentic artefacts recovered from the wreckage at the bottom of the ocean.
Items such as parts of the ships exterior, crockery and silverware and recreations of the interior areas on board including an exact recreation of the famous grand staircase, promenade deck and sleeping quarters of the lower classes.
The Lady in Black is a regular on the Grand Staircase dressed in her best period gown complete with white collar and hair in a stylish bun. Her appearance has been described by separate individuals and one photographer who thought she was part of the exhibitions staff.
Reports of hauntings here are rife but few have been witnessed by credible sources. There have been numerous accounts of hearing orchestral music playing at night.
The most disturbing account from The Luxor is the removal of Bruce Ismay’s portrait by a supposed spectre. A night-watchman is said to have found the portrait on the floor instead of hanging on the wall and when reviewing footage to catch the perpetrator the watchmen discovered the portrait seemed to have been shaken from the wall by an unknown force.
Ismay was one of the main faces associated with the press of RMS Titanic, it’s designed and build, it’s speed of crossing the Atlantic and of course, his escape from the vessel in one of the hard to find lifeboats.
Could it be spirits from the RMS Titanic haunting any one of the many artefacts on display at The Luxor have less than pleasant feelings for Ismay and his portrait being displayed in memory of the incident?
Jane Street Hotel haunted by survivors
The Jane Hotel was originally named The American Seaman’s Friends Society Sailor’s Home and Institute, it was a respite for those who needed it between sea voyages.
Here the survivors of RMS Titanic’s sinking were housed until they could move on and it’s here a special memorial service was hosted for the lives lost on RMS Titanic.
It has been speculated that even though the people who made it to The Jane had survived the ordeal that took so many souls, the spirits of the survivors remain inside the rooms and halls of The Jane. Guests have reported the sounds of wailing or sobbing, sights of ghostly spectres along long corridors and cold spots appearing and disappearing all around the hotel.
The theory is that the spirits who chose to remain are crewman who never stopped waiting for their colleagues to be found and family members who lost loved ones never being able to rest. The Jane was a haven for the survivors from RMS Titanic and perhaps the spirits feel at rest here.
Liverpool’s own spooky stories
As the White Star Line’s offices were housed in the very same building 30 James Street – Home of the Titanic operates today Liverpool has a strong connection to the story of RMS Titanic.
It was outside the very walls of 30 James Street that news of the sinking was officially announced to crowds of devastated families waiting to hear about their loved ones. It was here in Liverpool where the designs of the ship were finalised and the vessel was registered to sail. Liverpool is documented as an extremely haunted city, however, accounts of ghosts associated with RMS Titanic are few.
The family inside Albion House
Before Albion House became 30 James Street the space lay unoccupied for around 30 years. A photographer once reported that he’d gone to document the inside of the building in its derelict state.
When he arrived at the building he was greeted and shown in by a lady dressed in Victorian period clothing.
During the tour, the lady is said to have shown the photographer into a darker section of the building where he swears he was surrounded by several other ghoulish women and one man dressed all in black. The male apparition then yelled at the photographer to “Get Out!” which he did quite quickly.
Since the building became the stunning luxury hotel we know today, there have been no further reports of ghostly goings-on, this could be down to the hotel being a well-respected monument to the memory of RMS Titanic passengers.
Smoking room replica
In another Liverpool hotel, The Adelphi, the smoking room or what was the smoking room was crafted by the same people who designed and created the one onboard RMS Titanic.
It has been documented that during a visit from a paranormal writer the ghosts of three seamen appeared in front of a group of people.
The ghosts are said to have gone as quickly as they appeared but one of the ghosts is said to have resembled that of Captain Edward John Smith.
30 James Street – Home of the Titanic
So much can be read about RMS Titanic myths and legend but nothing can ever diminish the terrible and futile loss of lives from the great maritime disaster.
The fascination we have today with RMS Titanic lives on in various exhibits and memorials around the world. These exhibitions allow the saddening story to pass from generation to generation so that the memory of all those who perished at sea on that fateful night will never be forgotten.
At 30 James Street hotel we do all we can to educate our visitors with passenger profiles dotted about the hotel or from within any of the luxurious hotel rooms named after those onboard and associated with the building or design of the vessel.
A visit to 30 James Street is like taking a step back in time as every effort was made to restore the stunning building tastefully, reflecting the style and décor onboard the RMS Titanic itself.
Call 0151 601 8801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a stay or to ask for information regarding up and coming events.