Ghost Ship Palatine Princess Augusta


Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Couldn't open the link, Paul, but this is one of those great ghost yarns that I was so disappointed to see debunked...although I'm glad that the truth has been made known, as the poor folks of Block Island really don't need to be have their ancestors stigmatised as wreckers.

It's a remarkable study in folk history to trace how the story of the wreck of the Princess Augusta on the Island in 1738 became transformed into the blazing wreck of the Palatine, and her protestant dissidant refugees from the state of Palatine led to the misremembered name of the ship in legend.

Somehow a vessel that was never on fire became a blazing ghost ship, and the victim Mary van der Line acquired a babe-in-arms as she went to her fiery death....

Somehow I think the legend will outlive the truth, and instead of reading about the real villain of the piece, the Mate Andrew Brook, we'll continue to here in endless regurgitated anthologies of the evil wreckers of Block Island, luring the ship to her death and then setting her ablaze.
 

Paul Rogers

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Nov 30, 2000
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Links's dead already - that didn't last long, even for a Yahoo news item. Apologies to those disappointed, but a quick Google will find numerous articles on the story, including this one.

Inger: I assume this story formed the basis of John Carpenter's 1980 film, The Fog?
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Link is working for me now on a different computer - cheers!

I think the 'wreckers' story has been very effectively debunked by researchers working from contemporary sources - I'll post some information once I get back home.

Paul, I thought of the Block Island legend when I first saw 'The Fog' as well! In spite of it being such a terribly hokey movie, it terrified me (but then, I was about 11 - 12 at the time). Even now, when fog comes in from the sea and rolls over our beach and headland, it still comes to mind.
 

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