The Star of India is a haunted ship that shares its name with a famous jewelry gemstone. It was featured on Ghost Hunters in 2008.
The Star of India is the world’s oldest active ship, built in 1863 in the Isle of Man. Nowadays, it resides in a maritime history museum in San Diego. Like many ships, the Star of India has had her share of misfortunes. Ghosts of several unfortunate sailors and passengers still haunt the decks and cabins.
In 1884 a young stowaway by the name of John Campbell was discovered on the Star of India. Instead of throwing him overboard, they put him to work on the ship. One day, Campbell lost his footing high in the rigging and fell 100 feet to the deck, crushing both of his legs. Three days later, he died in agony and was buried at sea.
His ghost is said to haunt the ship and visitors sometimes report feeling a cold hand touching them whenever they are near the mast where Campbell fell. Sometimes the smell of fresh-baked bread seems to come from the ship’s galley, though the stove has been cold for many years. Even when the ship sits still in the water, pots and pans above the stove have been seen to move.
There is a chain locker located toward the bow of the ship. The heavy anchor chain goes below the deck into a dark storage area. Once there was a Chinese crewman who was in the locker when he shouldn’t have been. The other sailors were preparing to start a sea voyage and were pushing raising the anchor and stowing the anchor chain. They didn’t know that their crewmate was in the chain locker below.
As the noisy machinery fed the iron anchor chain into the locker below, it trapped the helpless man and slowly crushed him to death. He was screaming for help, but his crewmates couldn’t hear him above the noise of the machinery. His ghost still haunts the chain locker where he died and people who go there report feeling a cold spot inside.
The crew’s quarters was the scene of many deaths. Crewmen taken below after horrible accidents or stricken by illness spent their last days here. In these tight spaces you can feel the cold and sense the fear that still haunts the ship.