The Flaming Ship of New Bern… excerpt from the book, Ghosthunting North Carolina by Kala Ambrose
In New Bern, North Carolina, the Atlantic Ocean meets the Neuse River providing an idyllic setting to spend a vacation on the beach each summer under sunny and star-filled skies. Gentle warm breezes drift in from the ocean and many locals and tourists enjoy a peaceful stroll on the beach under the moonlight. Yet, on one night of the year, a horrifying site appears on the water near New Bern.
In the early 1700’s, a group of German Protestants hired a captain and crew to sail them from England to North Carolina. Their plans were to settle in New Bern and begin their new lives there. This group was known as the Palatines. They carried all their worldly goods with them and reportedly they had quite a large amount of gold and silver, which they had kept hidden from the captain and crew.
As the ship approached the North Carolina coast, the Palatines excitedly prepared for the landing, pulling their belongings up onto the deck. They were preparing to disembark from the ship as quickly as possible. The captain and crew seeing the substantial wealth of the Palatines told them that for their own safety, the landing could not be made until the next morning.
That evening, as the Palatine passengers slept onboard the ship, the crew stabbed and killed all of them. They collected all of the Palatine’s gold and silver and loaded it into rowboats. As the captain and crew made their escape, they set fire to the ship to destroy any evidence of the Palatine passengers. The ship quickly caught fire and spread and as the murderous captain and crew watched, the ship became engulfed in flames, but to their surprise, it never sank.
Instead, while on fire, it began to sail towards them. Terrified, the crew rowed as quickly as possible to the shore and ran to hide in the woods. Local reports at the time stated that at daybreak the ship was no longer on fire, but it still remained floating on the water in a blackened and charred state. That evening, the ship appeared to be on fire again and then sailed away out to sea until it disappeared completely from the horizon.
Each year, during the first night of the new moon in September, the “Flaming Ship of New Bern,”– as described by locals– is reported to make its appearance off the shores of New Bern. Others say that it now appears during the full moon of a summer evening in July or August and other reports say that it is during the first full moon in September.
It has also been reported as the “Flaming Ship of Ocracoke.” The legend states that the Palatines were supposed to live in New Bern, but that they were killed on the ship near Ocracoke. Witnesses have reported seeing the ship in both locations. Perhaps the Palatines are chasing the evil captain and crew along the entire watery trail. The oldest reports date back to seeing the ship off the coast of Ocracoke, while more recent sightings report the ship near New Bern. Over the years, it looks as if the Palatines are drawing ever closer to the place they wanted to call home.
The ship reportedly appears out of nowhere and burns brightly in the water three times before disappearing as quickly as it appeared. Local lore states that the Palatines will continue to appear each year in search of their treasure. Until they have their gold and silver returned to them, they refuse to rest in peace and are looking for revenge on the captain and his crew.
Happy Haunting! I look forward to hearing from you as you ghost hunt your way across North Carolina.
Each week here in September on Kala’s Bohemian Blog, I’m sharing stories from my book, Ghosthunting North Carolina. If you are interested in more stories, please check out the Ghosthunting North Carolina book!
Noted wisdom teacher, author, intuitive, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, Kala Ambrose’s teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices, reporting on new discoveries in the scientific and spiritual arenas or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations.
Kala is the author of four books including the award-winning 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled, Ghosthunting North Carolina, The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body and Spirits of New Orleans: Voodoo Curses, Vampire Legends and Cities of the Dead.
A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Enrepreneur Intuition, Haunted History and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, Edgar Cayce’s ARE, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, and at her school, The Academy of Mystical Arts & Spiritual Sciences.