- Holidays and Celebrations
The Duke's Haunted Yacht-Newport Beach Harbor
Although the yacht, "The Wild Goose' was not being used for its many boat tours in the dark hours of the early morning or night there are flickering lights, lighting up and illuminating the interior of the 136 foot wooded yacht (The Wild Goose) like that of a candles burning inside that could be seen from shore or other boats docked nearby during and in the late night and early morning hours when the harbor is still in a slumber and inactive with living human beings.
As the night progresses the spirit of the legendary, John Wayne, "The Duke" awakens and roams, to take in a breath of the night's sea air or even enjoy a unnoticed romp at sea. John Wayne, "The Duke" still walks out on his deck even after his death, to take in some exercise; doing laps around, "The Wild Goose's" deck making a ghostly appearance on occassion or when he recalls or had his schedule or routine timed at his normal exercising hour.
Playful and just as lively as he was in life, he toys and plays jokes on the women who come on his yacht, and also is playful with the deck hands who are assigned to work on his yacht by locking and unlocking the doors of his beloved yacht, "The Wild Goose." John Wayne, "The Duke" is also verbal and tries communicating with the deck hands and is bold enough in death to call out the deck hands by name. The Duke's presence and spirit is so powerful that he takes out his yacht for a spin around Newport harbor and beyond without being noticed, only to move it or return from one designated slot or place to another and dock the yacht at his old address and slot before his death.
Not only has the ghost of John Wayne, "The Duke" been seen at sea or on the yacht but he has been seen and frequents his old filming sites in Colorado and in other prominate movie sets or sites where he spent quite a bit of time.
Several witnesses and the owners and previous owners of "The Wild Goose" have and can attest to seeing the ghostly apparition of John Wayne, "The Duke." Not only does the ghost appear at his beloved yacht but he appears at his gravesite, that of his friend, and appears to enjoy returning to his old hangouts and places he filmed in Ridgeway, Colorado.
Larger than life and larger still in death is the presence of John Wayne, "The Duke" felt in all of the places mentioned and what these witnesses have to say about John Wayne, "The Duke" walking, calling out names, his voice in many places, his ghost or apparition in windows, ghost in halls of yacht, and locking and unlocking of doors in the yacht without a living being doing it and even taking his beloved yacht out of its designated slot or docking area.
Shortly before his death, John Wayne, "The Duke" knew he would soon die of the cancer that was eating at his body. John Wayne, "The Duke" then proceeded to contact and make arrangements with his Attorney Lynn Hutchins, his will and last testament. He divvied up his property and he was very careful to choose people with whom would cherish his prized possessions just like he did during his lifetime. The Wild Goose was given to Lynn Hutchins under the agreement that it would remain as is in John Wayne's life, as well as being maintained in the same manner in his death and thereafter. Lynn Hutchins, kept the promise of keeping the yacht (The Wild Goose) the same and it still is the same today.
The yacht is docked in the Newport Harbor where John Wayne, "The Duke" would ride out in the sunset off the coastal beaches of Orange County, into the deep sea to travel to far places beyond the horizon. Lively and uninhibited, John Wayne, "The Duke" in life, took out his yacht and even traveled with legendary icons Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Jackie Gleason, and Sammie Davis Jr. who may also be accompanying him on his ghostly haunts of the places he frequented and some of the Newport Harbor functions.
It was reported and recorded that one evening, "The Wild Goose" was docked in the harbor in another slot and that something unearthly untied and started it up or made the yacht drift to the slot where John Wayne, "The Duke" lived and regularly docked his yacht. Only to be found that it had been moved and the yacht was locked and looked as though it was not disturbed or broken into.
So powerful and strong was John Wayne's presence was that shortly after his death, he had tremendous influence on his Attorney, Lynn Hutchins, that he purchased lamps that were to "The Dukes" liking for the yacht. John Wayne's Attoney is one of the most highly regarded witnesses to have seen the apparition or what appears to be the ghost of John Wayne, "The Duke" on several occassions after his death.
In or about August 1979, Attorney Lynn Hutchins seen an apparition of a large man, who was the same height and weight of John Wayne, "The Duke" standing in the doorway with his legendary roughneck grin, and wearing a cowboy hat.
In or about October 1979, Attorney Lynn Hutchins was sitting in the main salon and got up to get a drink and in the corner of his eye caught a glimpse of a man in the mirror wearing a cowboy hat in the area where he was just sitting. Within a few seconds of catching the glimpse of the figure it vanished when it was noticed.
Whenever Attorney Lynn Hutchins spent the night on "The Wild Goose" he would hear the footsteps of a heavy person pacing the deck of the yacht. It was a routine that John Wayne, "The Duke" would carry out and walk 20 laps around his deck when he was alive. This occurred during the early morning hours between 2:00 AM and 2:30 AM.
Spaeth, Frank. Mysteries and Monsters of the Sea. NY: Gramercy Books, 1998.