A legend of the Ship of Death that foreshadows death and acts as an omen to those that sees the phantom ship has been told for a while along the Platte River in Wyoming. What is this ship that warns about your loved ones dying?

In Wyoming the North Platte Rivers follows the route through many states and the river itself was once used as a guide for the Oregon trail and the settlers way west into the country. 

Since the mid 1800s, there have been reports about a ship in the mist along the Banks of the Platte River that today is known as the Ship of Death. 

It will begin like a thick mist that slowly takes form and a ship emerges from the mist. Witnesses have reported that both the mast and the ghostly crew sometimes seen has been covered by frost. 


It is not really seen as a real missing ship, but considered to be a bad omen as it usually is, it has been known as The Ship of Death because it foreshadows that someone will die. The sightings have mostly occurred during fall and during daytime.

The Ship From the Fog

The first who reported seeing this Ship of Doom was a fur trapper named Leon Webber in 1862. When first seeing this strange phenomenon he went down to the water and threw a stone into the fog. His dog was whimpering behind Leon.

When the ship came closer he spotted the body of his fiance on the deck like she was sleeping on a canvas sheet. The worst thing about this fearful sight is that the very same day, his fiance died. 

There was a long period of no one seeing the ship until a cattleman named Gene Wilson in 1887. He was working outside and led his cattle along the river banks when he saw the strange fog coming out on the river after his dog kept barking suddenly. 

His horse refused to get closer to the water and he had to tie it to a tree and walk closer by foot. The ship came out from the fog and he saw his wife laying on the deck. And don’t you know it, the same day his wife really died as he found out as he rushed home to find his home burned to ashes. 

In 1903 is the latest report we have of this sighting. It was a local man named Victor Heibe living by the river and he saw the ship when he was outside in his yard chopping down a tree. He was taking a break and smoking when the mist started gathering. 

On a nice fall day a sudden fog came from nowhere and according to this man, he saw both the ship as well as a ghostly crew all covered in frost. He recognised a good friend hanging from a gallow on the deck. The very same day, the friend was dead after being recaptured after escaping from prison. 

The Truth Behind the Ship of Death

It is said that the stories have been handed down since the mid 1800s. But there are several cracks in that story as the earliest written accounts started popping up in the mid 1900s. And Facts-Chology as well as Skepticalinquirer has a theory that they are all from the imagination and writings of a writer named Vincent Gaddis. A writer known for writing ghost stories that he passed off as true. 

And if that is true, then that is exactly the blueprint of how you create your own legends. 


More like this

Newest Posts


Northwestern Ghosts and Hauntings: Legend of the Platte River Death Ship – Wyoming

The Death Ship of the Platte River, Wyoming – Legends of America

A Ghostly Death Ship Has Been Sailing This Wyoming River For More Than 100 Years

The Platte River Ship of Death, Wyoming — Facts-Chology

The Wyoming Death Ship: Truth Be Told | Skeptical Inquirer

Leave a Reply