The Watertown Ghost Faces is a true story about a ghost picture that was taken of two dead crew members from an American ship called The SS Watertown.
The SS Watertown set sail from New York City in December of 1924. Two crew members, James Courtney and Michael Meehan, were cleaning a cargo tank of the oil tanker. In a freak accident, the two men were overcome by gas fumes and died. As was the custom of the time, the two sailors were buried at sea. But this was not the last the remaining crew members were to see of their unfortunate shipmates.
The next day, and for several days thereafter, the phantom-like faces of the sailors were seen in the water following the ship. The heads would always appear about ten feet apart, about 40 feet from the ship, and appeared to float on the waves. They always appeared larger than living heads, and they would appear for brief periods of about 10 seconds at a time, fade, and then reappear. When the ship entered the Atlantic Ocean, the apparitions were no longer seen.
This tale might be easy to dismiss as maritime legend if it weren’t for the photographic evidence. When the ship’s captain, Keith Tracy, reported the strange events to his employers, the Cities Service Company, they suggested he try to photograph the eerie faces – which he did. One of those photos is shown above.