Platte River’s Phantom Ship

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Platte River’s Phantom Ship

Platte River’s Phantom Ship

Guernsey is a tiny town located in Wyoming.  Boasting just over a thousand residents, it sure wouldn’t seem like there would be much of a reason to talk about the town and its location in Platte, County.  While seeming like just a sleepy, forgettable town, residents of Guernsey keep a big secret.

(images:62089820@N03/flickr) Platte River

(images:[email protected]/flickr)
Platte River

Secured on the Platte River, the town is located near Fort Laramie.  The tributary flows into the grand Missouri River.  While the tributary itself is muddy, broad, shallow and swampy, there are many islands and homesteads along the river.

The water bodies drain a large portion of the Central Great Plains in Nebraska and eastern Rocky Mountains in Colorado and Wyoming.  It was a major route for many emigrant trails including the Oregon Trail, the California trail, the Mormon Trail and the Bozeman Trail.

The water body is also home to a phantom ship.  With stories dating back well into the eighteen hundreds, horrified onlookers describe seeing a deep, dark mist that eventually turns into a rolling fog bank.  Out of the hazy fog materializes a mysterious shape over part of the river.

An ethereal ship sails out of the fog.  It is not ordinary ship, the sails and body of the ship paint a story about its age and travels.  The phantom pirate ship continues to slowly creep through the water as onlookers try to determine who it is or where they are from.

It is not until the phantom ship comes closer that residents and visitors have noticed the skeleton crew working diligently on deck.  The old sailing ship’s masts and crew are covered in a thick frost.  Being manned by a ghostly crew, the ship comes closer and closer to shore, seeming to silently sneak up on those watching.

(images:asapix/flickr)

(images:asapix/flickr)

As it gets closer, onlookers see that the crew is working around something in the middle of the deck.  Straining to make out the shape, they can hardly believe what eventually comes into focus.  The mass on the deck of the ship is someone the visitor is close to.

Often spotted between Torrington and Alcova, many have reported a tragic end after encounters with the terrifying tribute.  A trapper, Leon Weber, saw his new fiance laying on the floor of that ship in 1862.  Cattleman Gene Wilson was unfortunate enough to see his wife onboard the ship, despite having just left her in the house.  Similarly, in 1903, Victor Heibe described seeing the body of a very close family friend hunched over on the deck of the ship.  He noticed the ship while trimming and pruning trees in his yard.  Both Leon Weber and Victor Heibe lost the two individuals they were close to after seeing their bodies on the phantom ship.

Said to be an omen of death, whoever is spotted on the ship is close to whoever is watching the ship materialize.  Rumor has it that within the day, the person spotted on the ship will surely die in a tragic, unforeseen, and unexpected way.  This is one sight you do not want to see or share with your friends.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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