22 Fisherman And Sea Captains Reveal The Creepiest Thing That Happened On The Water

These stories from Ask Reddit will convince you to stay far, far away from the water.
A boat at sea
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1. Female spirits appeared in the middle of the sea

“I asked an old fisherman in a beach in Malaysia the same thing you’re asking here. He said there are female spirits in the sea, who are basically neutral towards humans, but you shouldn’t be messing with them anyway.

One day, a boat sank, and divers were sent to recover bodies. Two of them were searching the sea bed. Suddenly one guy feels a tug on his arm – and it’s his buddy frantically pointing at the bed.

There, a beautifully-dressed Malay woman was knelt, holding a corpse like an offering to the divers. Both divers fled for their lives, and gave up the search. Apparently the woman was one of those spirits.” — ImmortanJoe

2. I heard a female voice say my name in the middle of an empty ocean

“This is probably the only borderline ‘paranormal’ thing I’ve ever experienced. Night fishing with my wife and a female friend on a local river and watching a meteor shower, just chilling, drinking, fishing. I decide I want to check out a spot further downriver so I leave them behind and head off into the woods. I’m about 100 yards or so down the path, all alone, just me and the crickets, when I hear a female voice say my name. Loudly, plain as day, like someone was standing a few feet behind me and was trying to get my attention. I turn around naturally thinking one of the girls followed me into the woods, but nope, no one there. I am not really a huge believer in the supernatural or anything but this absolutely freaked me the hell out. So I just immediately head back, and sure enough, they’re still hanging out on the river bank watching the meteor shower. There is absolutely no way I could have heard them that clearly from that far away. I told them what happened and they still to this day think I was just fucking with them and trying to scare them. But I’m telling you, I still get the willies thinking about it and in fact have never been back to that spot since.” — MrMcSwifty 

3. We came across an unexploded bomb — and got the hell out of there

“Found a 500 pound unexploded bomb off the south end of San Clemente Island in 40 feet of water. I got away from there fast.” — Banned-in-Boston

4. I saw a dead man’s head rise out from the water

“I think I was 8, my mother and sis were fishing off a dock. I was a couple hundred yards south next to the water leaning against a tree, I opened a fish bait bottle and it spilled, as I’m picking them up, right next to me in the water, a fucking man’s head just rises out of the water, green and pale, it looked at me and slowly sank back into the water, I began crying and never saw the head come back up, (IT WAS NOT WEARING ANY KIND OF REBREATHER) my sister ran over to me and asked me what happened, i’m 14 now and every time I try to describe or explain the story, they never believe me and say I was dreaming. I can still remember that fucking face, but I wasn’t scared the first time I saw it, I was purely shocked. But that face was terrifying, like 1990’s pennywise terrifying. These days I try and play it off as something paranormal, or spiritual, but if that was some sort of living creature, then this world is a scary place” — Shadfoez 

5. Every time he whistled, something responded to the sound

“This is my brother’s story: He was fishing, and there was a cemetery nearby. He said he was whistling a song, and every time, he would whistle, he would hear somebody running behind him. If he didn’t whistle, he wouldn’t hear them. I have had experiences with this cemetery being creepy too.” — BowieReference 

6. We saw someone in a passing boat who was shot several times

“Worked for a bit as a deckhand on fishing boats out of San Diego. A few times we would come across deserted smaller boats (pangas) drifting with outlandishly big motors. Every time the Captain would just cut hard port or starboard to get away from them a quick as possible – I knew they were drug running boats that had probably dropped off their cargo, but I would check them out with the binoculars if we were close.

One had two people on it – both had clearly been shot a bunch of times, and one was moving and fairly alive. I told the Captain – got a disapproving head shake and we were on our way.” — confusedbossman

7. We saw the backpacks of children who didn’t make it out alive

“I worked in the Mediterranean Seas doing oil stuff. Children backpacks would sometimes float by, along with other miscellaneous debris. This was from refugees usually fleeing Libya who did not make it.” — ooo-ooo-oooyea

8. There was a murder/suicide of a woman and her two children

“Not me, but my dad…

He was a volunteer firefighter in the early 80s and was SCUBA certified, so he was a go-to guy for any water retrievals/rescues.

My mom told me (as an adult) that he had to respond to a call where a woman had driven onto a lake with thin ice, her two young kids in the backseat. Dad had to retrieve all three from the vehicle. I’m not clear on the details, but it became apparent that this was a murder-suicide.

He doesn’t talk much about his time as a firefighter, I think because my brother and I were both really little at the time and the incident shook him.” — newks

9. I had to pull a dead man out of the water

“U.S. Navy rescue swimmer. Pulled a dead guy out of the water once. He was stiff and had shark bites taken out of him.” — yawningdogge

10. My grandfather was saved from an explosion by a paranormal force

“My grandfather was in the navy in WW2 in the pacific. He occasionally, when in a forthcoming mood(whiskey) would tell a story of how they were getting attacked and he was trying to get to the other side of the boat. He reaches a doorway to the deck, opens it, and just as he is about to step out he hears someone shout his name behind him. He stops, begins to turn around, and an explosion goes off just outside the door. He looks behind him to thank whomever called his name, but no one was there. That shook him up more than the bombs.” — Imustgo

11. I saw a headless, bloated corpse

“I swear I saw a headless, bloated corpse when transiting the Suez. I was on the fantail of a destroyer, so you’re pretty much right on the water. I hated deployment.” — orcs_in_space

12. My close friends were eternally lost at sea 

“A few years back my friends boat was hit by a rogue wave and almost everyone on board was lost at sea, including one of my best childhood friends. Fucked me up pretty good, made me question my own life and relationship to risk, mortality etc. Fast forward some years later, I was sitting out on a random bluff looking out at the pacific in the general direction of the accident, thinking my thoughts, when an older man walked up. I was in a pretty secluded spot and was generally trying to put out the vibe I just wanted to be left alone but he just launched into how he found a body down on the beach below us a few years back and how difficult it was getting the boat in there etc. He asked me when I was leaving again and I told him I was done with rolling the dice and planned to chill. He chuckled and said I just didn’t know it yet and that I was similar to him in that we had to roam, wander, explore and push our limits. I tried to call his bluff and asked where he was going next and he immediately with all seriousness replied he was going to sail Indonesia on a diy raft / canoe. We ended up chatting for maybe an hour about all sorts of shit but most just an older man mentoring an obviously depressed younger man. I never mentioned the accident but it felt like he was speaking directly to it the entire conversation. We had been to some of the same places in the himalaya and generally connected in uncanny ways. one thing in common thing is a coincidence but at what point is it not? When he got up to leave he said something about how this was probably one of the strangest conversations of my life and walked away.” — fartandsmile

13. I have heard the ocean speaking to me

“When sailing singlehanded I often hear the ocean talking to me, sort of just telling me something is off, a vessel you haven’t spotted on collision course or a reef dead ahead. Its not voices, just this eire feeling someone is trying to get my attention. My grandfather was a sailor, so I like to think it’s him watching over me. Might just be boredom and/or sleep deprivation, but that’s science and not magic or fun.” — kodenavnjo

14. While fishing, I found the empty skull of a dog

“Once while fishing, I fished up small briefcase. Obviously I had to open it up. The only thing inside were children’s shoes. All in too bad condition to really tell what kind they were outside of a the few nike swooshes.

Fished up a dog skull once as well.” — TheLightningCount1

15. I heard someone speak to me when the nearest person was a half mile away 

“I was in my little 16 foot aluminum boat fishing around Charleston when I hear a voice, clear as fucking day, say ‘move over.’ I immediately jumped up and looked around. No one. It was really weird, and scared the shit out of me. Literally the closest person was standing on a fishing dock maybe half a mile away.” — shitterplug

16. Over the years, I have seen plane crashes, boats sinking, and drug smuggling

“I was a captain off the Miami area for several years and recreationally on the water my entire life. Here’s what comes to mind instantly.

Being in Miami we are close to Communist Cuba. And from time to time you’ll see Cuban rafts, makeshift boats people have made to cross over from Cuba to Florida. It’s not an uncommon occurrence, it happens here and there. However, it gets creepy when you start to see the ones that are unmarked. You see, the USCG paints/sinks/burns the rafts when they are found and the occupants detained and returned home. However, when you find one that isn’t painted or burned and without life… you can kind of guess what happened to those people on board while trying to find their freedom.

Another one that gave me chills. It was a weekday. Not a lot of other boats in the area… and here we are headed south with a STRONG (2-3kt) north current when we see a diver frantically swimming to the south (against the current) and losing ground quickly. You see, he had went on a chartered dive boat and had drifted too far off. He was a good 2-3 miles away from his charter boat. We steamed over to the dive boat and they had no idea he was gone. I mean, they would have eventually figured it out, but how far north would he be by them? And furthermore why were they diving in 120′ with that kind of current. I like to think we saved his life, but who knows. MAYBE they would have found him.

Saw a small recreational plane crash into the ocean, that was a trip. All passengers made it alive.

Boat fires, boat sinking, drug smuggling, boat chases, helicopter chases, the ocean is a crazy place.” — captheavy

17. We went through an eerie patch of ocean with no waves or wind

“I was in the Marine Corps for 8 years. The creepiest thing I have ever experienced was near the equator in the pacific we went through a patch where there were no waves and no wind at all. It was like a sea of glass. It was really eerie to think about sailors back in the day who relied of wind to move their ships.” — chadywacker 

18. We saw bizarre lights moving across the sky

“I was a sailor in the navy working security for submarines on the pungent sound. Occasionally myself and fellow post standard would see odd lights in the sky moving erratically.” — thatdog3

19. The people at sea were creepier than any sea monster

“I was a commercial sockeye fisherman, did 5 seasons off the Alaskan coast / Bristol Bay / Northern Aleutian Islands.

Other than some real nasty seas and a few strange and still unexplained shapes on the horizon or lights in the sky, by far the creepiest, oddest, weirdest things I encountered at sea were the psycho motherfuckers I worked and lived with.

Most of the guys I worked with were stand up dudes, but there were a handful of real meth-fueled, superstitious ex-cons (or current convicts, hard to say).

One creepy fucker we had on our boat in Bristol Bay for only about 4 weeks was prone (prone = every fucking time he slept) to night terrors. The creepiest part was that he’d say the same thing over and over in his sleep, every time he slept: ‘She’s almost here, she’s almost here’ sometimes ‘holy shit she’s almost here,’ or ‘dude she’s almost here,’ or ‘dude hide, she’s almost here’ or ‘fuck fuck fuck she’s almost here.’

Didn’t have any idea what we were talking about when we’d ask about what he was dreaming about. Said he never had dreams, didn’t ever remember having a dream in his life, or a traumatic experience where some woman was coming to get him. Who knows.

Anyway, definitely the people who spend time at sea – they’re weirder than any sea monster.” — BlueGold

20. While at sea, someone drove a knife through his mattress

“My Grandfather was in the Royal Navy for a few decades. At the end of WW2, he was helping ship Japanese prisoners of war back to the West. Many of them were suffering from serious trauma and had completely lost their grasp of reality from the torture.

He was asleep in his bunk, often they were stacked with 3 or more levels. The guy below him had lost it and drove a knife up through his mattress. Luckily my Grampa was asleep on his side and the knife missed him by millimetres.

He said those months at sea were hardest of his entire Naval life.” — redhood84

21. I considered jumping overboard and ending my life

“I worked on the flight deck of a carrier for three years. Two deployments to Arabian Sea, also transited the Suez.

Felt the ‘call of the void’ as I’ve heard it called. Would be smoking on a weather deck watching the sea speedy by. Leaning against the railings, sometimes the thought of jumping over would materialize in my mind. For the briefest second its almost comforting, like a faint magnetism to just do it. Then its gone. It never even disturbed me, so much as baffled me.

Also, the ocean is alien. Its unbelievably vast, deep and barren, on the surface anyways. I would often ponder what was going on below us, and obviously fantasize about deep sea monsters, ghost ships, creepy paranormal stuff. The vast size always unnerved me. Its just something you have to experience, being hundreds of miles from land. It’s crazy.” — desolateconstruct

22. My father saved a teenager from a brutal death by drowning

“My dad was fishing when he heard kids yelling nearby, he couldn’t understand what they were so excited about but after an hour or so he was getting ready to leave and chose that way to get to his car. Then he started to understand the kids were hysterically yelling for their friend to just hold on a little longer. My dad then ran to the kids and saved a teenager from drowning, he was scratching the slippery pavement with his last strength and was about to give up, the boy and the girl couldn’t reach his hands and also couldn’t swim. My dad reached the boy and saved him! When he was younger he saved another teenager in a pool, and when he was a kid while walking on a bridge saw some kids playing in the river and one little girl floating on her stomach face down, he jumped and saved her!” — seraflm TC mark

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