Block Island - The Palatine Ghost Ship

Southern tip of Block Island - Sandy Point, Block Island, Rhode Island

Setting off from what would later become Germany, a ship, often referred to as 'Palatine', seemed to be cursed from the start of its voyage.

The ship was constantly bombarded by winter storms, the food on board had spoiled, and the aging ship was falling apart.

On December 27, 1738 the Palatine had finally made its way across the Atlantic. However, the crew of the Palatine were about to experience the worst of their troubled voyage.

The islanders of Block Island had experienced a bad season of farming, they were starving. Word had come that the Palatine would be traveling near, the villagers developed a plan to run aground and loot the vessel.

As the Palatine approached Block Island the islanders ignited false signal lights. The Palatine ran ashore on rocky surf, the ship was bashed back and forth on the rocks. The islanders continued to launch signal lights which fell onto the ship and set it ablaze. The cold winter night was filled with screams, many passengers of the Palatine jumped to their deaths in the rocky surf rather than be consumed by flames.

The Palatine finally broke apart and the islanders scavenged what they could, only to find the food on board rotten and spoiled. Along with the provisions that washed ashore were corpses, some islanders were horrified to find their relatives who had purchased boarding on the Palatine.

There were few survivors of the Palatine's demise. Among them, however, was Dutch Kattern who claimed she was a witch. She is said to have put a curse on Block Island and that the islanders would suffer the sight of Palatine in flames off it's shore, rather than the idyllic view of the ocean.

It seems her curse has remained through the years. Many islanders now see a bizarre light off the shore of Sandy Point. It resembles a ship on fire, slowly sailing off shore. Others have said that closer to the anniversary of the tragedy that the sounds and sight of the Palatine are much closer to shore.

Others have stated that they have heard the sounds of crying near a sign that simply reads, "Palatine Graves -- 1738."

Tags: Ghost Ship

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2 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Vanessa Sanchez
Jun 9, 2009 1:11pm [ 1 ]

I am now 29 yrs old. Back when I was in my teens I lived briefly in Rhode Island, on a fall night a group and friends and I were down on Scarborough Beach in Rhode Island. At the time I knew nothing of the legend,I just found out recently these similiar occurences. I and a close friend of mine seen a ship the color of a bright burning orange --seemed to be engulfed in flames.The ship seemed to date around1700-1800's. We starred in disbelief,as it came from the sky and decscendedto the shore so close we thought it would come on top of us.My friend and I were on the shore but on rocks. Our friends were down by the water.I t was very windy we tried to call to tell them to look up or get away they couldn't hear us. We got up from the rock and started to walk backwards ,as it came faster we both statrted inching back--then we heard screams. They were distant, but yet could see no when where the voice couold be coming from.There was a full moon and howling wind,that seemed to carry the screams. We screamed and started to run ,the group by the water started to scream back and we took off. As we did we looked and started to see it ascend towards sky then in a flash of a moment seemed to disappear in the skyline into a bright star. I told only two people.Never understood what it could have been up until now.

Roshonda Perry
May 10, 2010 1:20pm [ 2 ]

I was looking for history on the Princess Augusta Shipweck. I have a great, great, great, great, grandmother Voliet Hazard had an Obituary right up in the Narraganset Times 12/18/1903 she lived to be 100 yr old. She tells about her great great great grandmother who was a decendent from the shipweck of the Princess Augusta from Rotterdam. The dweller of the Island welcomed any surviors of the ship. I was said that one poor women stood on deck crying for mercy while the ship went up in a white flame. This one dutch women was saved by a negro slave. This women took abode with the slave and became the common law wife of the slave and had three childen. They did not known her dutch name so referred to this women as Mary (Tall katherine) and stated that I slanders looked upon her as a witch and stated she had weird fits of ns (this info was fincantatioound in Desendents of Slaves & Indians written B.I Howe Found in the R.I Historiclal Society Providence R.I.) Also told of the white flame that can be seen from time and time again around December or on foggy nights. I have been looking for information to back up this information. This is part of my family history. So the ship and voices that you seen and heard are are part of the history of the Princess Augusta. There are other stories of ghost ship on goggle.

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