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The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the Ghosts Washed Ashore

The Sinking Of The RMS Lusitania And The Ghosts Washed Ashore

In 1915 the RMS Lusitania was heading to Liverpool, but only reached the Irish coast as it was torpedoed by German forces. On the shore where the dead were washed ashore, their ghosts seem to linger in the cemetery and the hotel where the injured were brought. 

In the annals of maritime history, few stories are as haunting as that of the Rms Lusitania. A luxury vessel of her time, she was not merely a ship; she was a symbol of opulence and luxury, afloat in the tumultuous waters of World War I. Her tragic tale, marked by a German U-boat’s ruthless attack, has left an indelible mark on history—and perhaps, on the realm of the supernatural.

Read More: Check out all of our ghost stories from Haunted Ships

In the throes of World War I, the Lusitania was more than just another ocean liner; she was a prized target for German forces. So much so, in fact, that the German embassy took the extraordinary step of placing warnings in 50 American newspapers, advising potential passengers not to travel on this vessel. 

Despite these ominous advisories, courage and curiosity prevailed, and on the fateful day of May 1, 1915, passengers and crew alike boarded the Lusitania, from New York bound for Liverpool.

The Sinking of RMS Lusitania

The RMS Lusitania was carrying 1,266 passengers and a crew of 696, totaling 1,962 people. At 2:10 pm, the Lusitania crossed paths with the German U-boat U-20. Due to the liner’s high speed, some consider the encounter to be coincidental, as U-20 would have had difficulty catching the fast vessel otherwise.

The U-boat fired one torpedo at the RMS Lusitania, striking it on the starboard bow, just beneath the wheelhouse. Moments later, a second explosion erupted from within the ship’s hull at the point of impact.

The vessel began to sink rapidly, listing to starboard. Crew members hurried to launch lifeboats, but the sinking conditions made it extremely challenging, and many lifeboats capsized or broke apart. Only 6 out of 48 lifeboats were successfully launched.

Eighteen minutes after the torpedo hit, the ship’s trim leveled out, and it disappeared beneath the waves, with the funnels and masts being the last visible parts. Chaos reigned as the ship rapidly descended into the abyss, leaving only a handful of lifeboats to brave the frigid waters

Tragically, of the 1,962 people aboard the RMS Lusitania, 1,199 lost their lives. Heroic acts by survivors and Irish rescuers brought the survivor count to 764, although three later succumbed to injuries sustained during the sinking.

The Eerie Remnants: Queenstown

In the aftermath of this devastating event, the town of Queenstown, now known as Cobh, bore witness to a somber spectacle. The bodies of the few survivors and many victims either washed ashore or were brought to the town. 

Read More: Check out all of the ghost stories from Ireland

In the Old Church Cemetery, nestled on the outskirts of Cobh, nearly 200 of the RMS Lusitania’s ill-fated passengers found their final resting place in both mass and individual graves.

The Sinking of RMS Lusitania: The ship was Torpedoed by German U-boat U-20 and sank on Friday 7 May 1915. The wreck lies approximately 11 mi (18 km) off the Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse in 305 ft (93 m) of water. The dead passengers from the ship is said to be haunting the city of Cobh.

It is here, amid the gravestones and fading memories of the RMS Lusitania’s passengers, that the veil between the living and the departed seems to thin. Witnesses from diverse sections of the community, including the enigmatic White Witch of Cobh and a Grave Inspector, have recounted eerie experiences.

The White Witch of Cobh

But who is this white witch that supposedly makes people believe in her words of hauntings? Her name is Ms Helen Barrett and is a 5th generation witch. Out of the 3 500 witches in Ireland, there is supposedly only one that outranks her in Kerry. 

She is mostly known for her fortune telling and magic spells like whistling up a wind, but she also has claimed to have seen some of the ghosts that are said to haunt her city. She has among other things claimed to have foretold Princess Diana’s death as well as the start of the world ending in 2012. 

The Haunted Funeral Procession

Foremost among these accounts is the chilling sound of a mass funeral procession for the Lusitania’s victims that took place on the 10th of May in 1915. Most people that claim to have experienced this have talked about hearing hushed voices as well as the sound of footsteps along the cemetery wall. 

The White Witch herself claims to have “seen” it unfold, a spectral spectacle that haunts the imagination.

The Haunted Cemetery: Several people of Cobh have claimed to have seen a ghostly funeral procession of the victims from the ship in the cemetery.

These mournful echoes of the past have perplexed onlookers, leading them to believe that a funeral procession was approaching, only to find an empty road. It is as though the spirits of the Lusitania’s passengers still gather to remember their untimely end, leaving an enduring and haunting legacy in the hallowed grounds of the Old Church Cemetery in Cobh, Ireland.

The Hauntings at Commodore Hotel

In Cobh there was a hotel when the ship went down that was originally known as The Queens Hotel and is still in operation. It was run by a German and the entire Humbert family had to hide in the basement because of the angry mob that gathered outside.  

At the time when RMS Lusitania were torpedoed, many of the survivors were taken to the hotel where they treated the wounded and stored the dead to appease the angry flock of people.

Read More: Check out all of the Haunted Hotels around the world

It is said that this gave an imprint in the hotel, and many of the unexplained noises and sightings have been said to be because of the ghosts of the victims. 

This is however not the only ghosts haunting the hotel according to legends though, and the hotel is also said to be Haunted by a british soldier who took his own life there and the ghost of a baby that was supposedly left in a suitcase there. 

The Tragic Haunting from RMS Lusitania

The haunting tale of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the ghosts washed ashore is one that resonates with the depths of history. As time passes, these spirits continue to linger, their presence felt in the eerie whispers of the Old Church Cemetery and the haunted halls of the Commodore Hotel.

As the years pass, the tragic haunting from the RMS Lusitania serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of war, a testament to the resilience of spirits lingering on. The stories of these lost souls continue to captivate, reminding us of the mysterious and enduring connections between the world of the living and the realm of the departed.

We can only wonder if these restless spirits will ever find peace, or if their presence will continue to be felt by those who venture into the hallowed grounds of Cobh and the haunted halls of the Commodore Hotel.

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Cobh, Ireland: Top 5 Haunted Places To Visit | Spooky Isles 

Commodore Hotel | Haunted Cork, Ireland | Spirited Isle Witch of Cobh says she foresaw the death of Diana – The Irish Times

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The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the Ghosts Washed Ashore