A Rhode Island Ghost Story
S. E. Schlosser
The Palatine gleamed in the sunlight as she set out with a full crew, a long list of passengers, and a hull full of merchandise for the American Colonies the winter of 1750-1751. Certainly, there was no indication that morning of the destiny fate had in store for her.
It was not until the first of the storms blew the ship off course that the passengers began to sense the trouble brewing under the surface between the captain and his crew. By the time the storms had ended, the captain was dead, murdered by his crew, and the passengers were prisoners. During the days which followed, the sailors forced the passengers to pay exorbitant prices for a bit of bread and some water to drink.
One morning, the passengers awoke to find that the crew had stolen all of their money and stores and had abandoned the ship. Terrified, they could do nothing but ride out the next series of storms sent by the devils which rule the Atlantic in winter.
The Palatine came to ruin just off of Block Island. The shore folk bravely faced the storm to rescue the starving passengers from the wreck. Then they set fire to the ship so that it would not endanger any passing ships. But as the ship burned, the shore folk heard a wild scream. A mad woman, confined on the ship during the voyage, had been left on board!
Every year since then, on the day of the tragedy, the Palatine reappears off the shore and is wrecked and burned before the eyes of any who watch for her.
You can read more Rhode Island spooky stories in Spooky New England by S.E. Schlosser.