Eerie for Thoughts: Flying Dutchman

Hello Everyone,

Thought this recommendation was fun, considering most of us know about this eerie vessel but not many of us know about its origins. We have seen it appear in recent movies which has brought it more to light but how many of you know the original stories of the Flying Dutchman before the stories from the recent “Pirates” movies?

The Flying Dutchman:

The Flying Dutchman was a ship and one point in time. At least many of the stories of origin can attest to that. Whether it was a pirate ship, a merchant vessel, a man-o-war or some general shipping vessel is up to the story and place or origin.

The Flying Dutchman usually appears in a dark, eerie cloud of fog that floats on the water. It seems to drift where there is no wind or current. Some out its black tattered sails still hold wind and guide it through. The ship appears just long enough for someone to catch site of it and then disappears back into the fog/cloud.

Sometimes a strange luminous light emits from the Flying Dutchman and many believe that it is trying to send a message of doom. Some believe the lights are the lost souls on the ship trying to send messages to this world for loved ones lost among the seas of time.

Some accounts have stated that the ship has made a path directly for them as if to run them through but disappears right before impact.

The earliest sightings date back to the late 18th century and came more common through-out the nest two centuries and still today. It is believed that the tales gained prominence during the Dutch East India Company’s time of growth and heavy business. This would explain some of the origins.

Eerie Origins:

Although there are several stories, maybe even a dozen, I am covering the two I found the most interesting and eerie about the Flying Dutchman’s origins.

Tales of cursed souls and angry seafaring captains cursing at the seas can only cover so many but the actual ship itself is what I am focusing on and not its passengers. They come and go but the Flying Dutchman is still sailing.

The first story takes place when a Dutch Man-o-war was trying to reach port and seek shelter form a relentless sea. Upon arrival the ship could not get a pilot into port and was stuck out at sea to face the storm alone. The waves and winds battered everything in the port that night and upon the morning light when the storm was still lifting there was nothing left of the ship. Not even a sign of its wreckage or bodies to say that it sunk or somehow survived. It’s like it simply disappeared into the eerie storm clouds and rain that consumed it that very night in the cold sea.

The second story is one from a Captain Van der Decken. Or some say the ship’s master. He would do whatever he wanted, even if it spited the devil himself. So the literature states. One day while trying to reach harbor he fought the wind for two days and could not enter. The crew says he would pace up and down the vessel cursing the winds and stating that he would never reach the bay.

His reaction to some vessel passing by, that in my opinion was a taunting, went something like this.

The vessel spoke to him, asking him if he wasn’t planning on entering the bay. He obviously was but told the vessel that he may be damned if he does, and he will probably just beat on the ship until judgement day.

Perhaps that vessel was a ship of the damned to begin with because they were taunting Van der Decken and wanted to hear him state his own curse. Forever now this ship from Amsterdam is cursed to roam the sea, never entering port.

Of all the tales from Van der Decken to Davie Jones, they all have bit of eeriness when thinking of the high seas and mysteries that surround the vast, sometimes unexplainable, oceans.

Thanks for Reading,

Joshua Crane Dowidat


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