10 Underwater Hauntings & Unexplained Sightings

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The paranormal is not limited to bone-chilling graveyards or houses old enough to bear nuances of death and time— the unexplainable lurks below deep waters as well. Way out in the murky depths of the dark aquatic, divers dwell in places most dare not. Here, looms a whole new realm consisting of cryptozoology, supernatural sightings, monsters and murk.

If shipwrecks are the haunted houses of the sea, it would make sense that the lost souls of sailors, servicemen, pirates and passengers are left to forever pervade empty ocean floors. Perhaps impossible to make sense of these accounts, it is impossible to presume that the paranormal is not found lingering in the vast waters of the ocean— an expanse consisting of 71 percent of our earth’s surface. Where mystery and fear permeate,  creatures of the dark prowl; beneath the shimmery sheen of our oceans, rivers and lakes, frightening phenomena lie. Here are 10 cases of underwater hauntings and unexplainable sightings of the deep.

10. First Sighting of the Sea

             The first underwater ghost sighting occurred by a team of Florida specialists who investigate supernatural cases and underwater mysteries. They call themselves Paranormal Divers, and with this encounter a mystifying story surfaced after the exploration of a haunted underwater cavern. As the team were investigating 130 feet of water in a flooded grotto, they heard unearthly screams rising from below. In an area speculated to emanate the likeness of a ghostly drowned diver, the team quickly took to the screams and whirled around for a ghoulish photo-op. In that moment, the team was able to capture the image of a masked diver hovering there in the gloom— despite no other person being present. As this was the exact spot where the known diver had died, these paranormal investigators thus produced the first underwater ghost photo ever taken.

9. Beneath the Surface

Dock at Lake Norman, NC

             Some say there is a monster swimming around the swampy sector of North Carolina’s Lake Norman. Reports consist of the snatching of fish from lines and boats rocking without wind or foreseen forces. It’s no wonder that mystery mocks these waters, considering the man-made expanse is so vast it stretches across four counties, has over 500 miles of shoreline and a surface area of 32,000 acres; subsequently, this large lake is known to its locals as the “inland sea.” Taking two years to fill, the mass of water was so great it swallowed working bridges, homes, mills and churches during its construction in the early sixties.

Pervading the shore of Lake Norman, Native American sites and a famous battleground from the Revolutionary War leave traces of death in their wake. Other disturbing facts surrounding the manufactured lake include the removal of multiple family cemeteries to make way for the body of water; here, the headstones were dug up, but the remains respectfully left behind. Stories recount of a large unknown body lurking underneath Lake Norman, but there are no documented above-water sightings. While sonar reveals massive, bulky shapes at the bottom of the lake, researchers attribute this to a lost plane that sunk over thirty years ago. If the discovery of this aircraft in 2013 explains the shapes underwater, what then, is the cause of fish snatching and the rocking of boats?

8. What Awaits Down Under  

S.S. Andrea Doria Sinking

             For many, a giant fear is being grabbed from something unknown under the depths of the sea, and divers who investigate the remnants of the Italian ship S.S. Andrea Doria report just that. In 1956 the maiden vessel was accidentally destroyed and sunk after  being hit by the warship M.S. Stockholm. Any personnel sent to the scene claim a constant pushing, pulling, and poking by imaginary hands as well as shadowy figures milling around the unknown murk. As if that weren’t enough, the area seems to welcome a shockingly high number of diving deaths, whether  due to depth, location, or the supernatural— nobody knows.

             Another instance circulates around the wreck of the American tanker S.S. Gulf America, sunk by a German torpedo off the coast of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, in 1942. Divers who’ve since investigated the site of death and vessel destruction report an area slithering with shadowy shapes, specters and ethereal voices.

7. Chuuk Lagoon

             Far off in Micronesia there is an azure expanse of tropical splendor known as Chuuk, or Truk Lagoon; here a menacing history pervades the bright, white sand beaches and pristine sparkling waters. In the midst of 1944 and World War II, the U.S. launched what became known as a massive naval and air attack in an operation known as Hailstone, the intent to drive out the Japanese by implementing a major supply and operation base out of the area. In what lasted for two days, pitiless attacks sunk over 60 naval and merchant ships as well as hundreds of aircrafts, creating one of the largest underwater graveyards in history. Approximately 3,000 people were killed in this quaint corner of the tropics, creating a jagged juxtaposition of rusty tanks, ships and planes that lay mangled on the bottom of the shiny seabed— so who would not think the site to be haunted?

            Reports by divers and locals who play in these waters report ghoulish shouts, the murmur of voices steaming from the water’s surface, shadowy figures wading about, and a strange sight: the Hoki Maru, a Japanese sunken ship that plummeted to its fate with a load of shipping trucks on board, making the underwater area a haven for machinery and sounds associated. Divers report hearing engines revving, metal grinding, the distinct sound of spectral trucks and other unexplained anomalies. Further, surrounding wreckage warrants similar sounds from engine rooms that have not been in use for decades. Finally, the lagoon was visited by a team known as Destination Truth, which recorded the echoing of human voices down throughout the water, the revival of long-dead truck engines, and heat signatures of a human figure weaving throughout the wreckage, despite the fact that no live person, other than the team, were present.

6. Divers of the Deep  

Bioluminescence

Another creepy account involves a trio of men prawn fishing in the Puget Sound— an area off the northwestern coast of Washington. According to the witness who wrote of the experience, himself and two buddies were down a hundred feet at about 1am, in the “pitchest black you could ever imagine.” A diving pastime employed by the men during night dives entailed gathering in a circle, turning off their lights and stirring up the waters so that the bioluminescence would float around them like underwater stars.

In the glow of the bacteria surrounding them, the men noticed a fourth person in their circle. Considering Puget Sound a prominent dive resort, this would normally lend little alarm, yet the divers found the circumstance of what time it was, along with the fourth party bearing no diving equipment save for a diving suit with a giant gash in one leg, especially startling. They hadn’t seen anyone else prepping at the dock, and the cold alone would cause hypothermia to the figure who bore exposed skin under a flimsy suit. The men remained unable to move until the figure reportedly flashed a wave and swam away.

6. Bridging the Gap between Life and Death

Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge

             In 1980 Tampa, a large portion of Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapsed and took with it the lives of thirty-five motorists who fell to their death. Since its renovation in 1987, the bridge has been a superhighway for suicide as more the 200 jumpers have opted to end their lives here. Years later, divers searching the area beneath the bridge have reported wails and screams coming from the ocean floor. While it was determined that no sea animal could replicate human screeching, there is still no proof or documentation that something actually exists here— only hearsay surrounding these otherworldly sounds of the deep. To add, the divers depicted unknown lights appearing out of nowhere… could this be the illusion of headlights, casting a ghoulish glimpse into the mystic abyss?

5. The Sweet Vixen

             As divers are the sole source of exploration beneath the sea’s surface, they are the only group to see strange and spooky encounters below. In 1988, a skilled diver by the name of Robert Froster was exploring near the coast of Florida when he heard a commotion behind him. As the diver turned to determine the disturbance, he noticed the figure of a man dashing through the water and stirring up sediment in his wake. When the figure appeared to be within twenty yards of Froster, through the fog and muck associated with the waters there, the diver saw “arm-like appendages that seemed to be tipped in talons and were reaching out towards him.”

If that weren’t enough, the creature bore a smooth upper half and breasts, flowing hair and a scaled torso from the waist down. Froster determined that whatever was before him, it did NOT seem friendly, as the diver is quoted as saying: “I’ve never seen such evil hate in the eyes of any human or animal before.” While various networks and publication feature Froster’s account, a well-known professional deemed credible by associates, the vision of one man is often easily speculated.

3. Humanoids

             Strange circumstances circulate Russia’s Lake Baikal, and in 1982 a team of Navy divers reported a sighting of human-like organisms during a routine training exercise. The humanoids were swimming at a depth of 164 feet and were described as being around ten feet tall and wearing silver suits with round helmets. After the divers pursued the strange figures in an attempt to catch one, one of the creatures fought back. Not much else is known about this incident except that the men were purportedly thrown from the depths by a mysterious force, causing three deaths and four left in critical condition. Massive decompression issues is the only known cause of life loss, and the witnesses report a powerful underwater entity which propelled  the men from the depths of the Lake.

             Another instance of humanoids comes from a diver named B. Borovikov, who was hunting for sharks in the Black Sea in 1996. The man claims to have seen “a group of massive humanoid creatures around 3 meters in length ascending from below,” at a depth of around 8 meters in the Anapa region. Borovikov depicts the clan as having a milky-white complexion and tails like a fish; further, he reports bulging eyes and webbed hands that came disturbingly close before darting off into the murk. Further details on this sighting are featured in a book by UFOlogists Paul Stonehill and Philip Mantle, titled Russia’s USO Secrets: Unidentified Submersible Objects in Russian and International Waters.

2.The Legend of Stow Lake

             San Francisco’s most elaborate ghost story has become a daunting children’s chant for anyone who dare utter the cursed words into the mist surrounding Stow Lake. Legend recounts that a few years before the 1906 earthquake, a beautiful youth lived in the city with her newborn child. During a typical stroll around the banks of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park, the young woman spotted a friend and joined them on the bench for a chat. After a few moments the pair turned to acknowledge the baby in the pram, but it was nowhere to be found. Distraught and horrified, the lady ran around the perimeters of the park, screaming helplessly for her child.

Seemingly panic-struck, the helpless mother then ran into the lake in what was documented as the last moment anyone ever saw her, ALIVE. Ever since, witnesses spanning the past century have spied a distressed woman in white, stalking the shoreline of Stow Lake when nights are foggy. Some report a woman in colloquial garb who will approach and either beg for her baby or muffle mindless moans— children say that if you approach the water and mutter: “White Lady, I have your baby,”— three times, she will appear and ask of the whereabouts of her infant. For over one hundred years the legend has resonated with locals and ghost hunters— a classic ghost story so famous that Golden Gate Park has administered a social platform denoting the drowned damsel.

1. The Caleuche

             At last we have the legend from Chilota mythology and the Caleuche, a strikingly beautiful ship that is sighted every evening near the island of Chiloe— the largest archipelago off the coast of Chile. This sparkling span of the Pacific bears what can only be described as a ghost ship, chartering every spirit every drowned at sea. The vessel is portrayed as bright and boisterous, continually surrounding by music and laughter. Only in sight for a few moments, the craft either dissipates altogether or submerges entirely below the ocean surface. Legend has it that the three Chilota water spirits leading the ship are the Sirena Chilota, the Pincoya, and the Picoy. The beauties resemble mermaids and serve to summon the spirits of the drowned.

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