ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Famous Haunted Places: Block Island, Rhode Island ~ The Ghost Ship, Palatine

Updated on May 1, 2012
the Palatine
the Palatine | Source

by Christine B.

"Behold again, with shimmer and shine,
Over the rocks and the seething brine,
The flaming wreck of the Palatine!"

From the poem, “The Palatine” by John Greenleaf Whitter (1807-1892)

Block Island is an isolated island off the coast of Rhode Island. The only ways to get on or off the island are by plane or boat. Because of this, the residents of this island have been pretty much on their own throughout its history. Although the ocean never freezes in Block Island Sound between the mainland and the island, the 13 mile crossing by boat in the winter would be treacherous.

Sandy Point is located at the southern tip of the island. The residents there are even more cut off from the mainland. The wrenched tale of the doomed immigrant ship, the Palatine actually began in the summer of 1738. The unusual severe weather of that year had damaged most of the crops grown on the island and many of the residents were starving. Desperate to feed its populous, the islanders devised a plan to survive the winter. They decided to trick a passing ship into coming to the island knowing it would scuttle on the rocks off shore. The residents would then board the shop and take all of the food stores on board. They knew that the Palatine would be passing close enough to their shore in December on 1738, so made it their target.

What the islanders didn’t know was that the Palatine had been ravaged by winter storms while crossing the Atlanta from Germany. Most of the food on board had already spoiled. Many of the crew had mutinied during the crossing and lad left the ship with a skeleton crew (literally!).

On December 27, 1738 the crippled Palatine was passing by Sandy Point. When the islanders saw the ship approach they built false signal fires off shore to draw it into the rocks. As predicted, the ship headed toward the island. Once it became hopelessly ensnared by the rocks the islanders boarded the ship. Fires started on board and many of the remaining sailors jumped to their deaths onto the rocks to avoid being burned.

Not only were the islanders shocked by the rotting food that washed ashore from the shipwreck, but also by the dead bodies that came with it—some of them being relatives of theirs from Germany. In order to hide their abominable deed the islanders pulled the wreck from the rocks with their boats and sent the flaming ship out to sea.

Not many passengers of the Palatine survived the ship wreck However, one woman who was on board and had survived, Dutch Kattern, was a self-proclaimed witch. She reportedly put a curse on the Block Islanders that is still in effect to this day. Her curse was that the islanders would see the ghost of the doomed Palatine off Block Island’s shore, therefore blocking the pristine view of the ocean.

The Palatine is still seen by the islanders and guests--it's odd flickering phosphorescent sails ablaze, until it disappears again into the ocean. It is most often seen during rough seas and stormy weather.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)