Author EDDIE BRAZIL tells the tale of the haunted UB-65 submarine in the English Channel during World War 1
The German submarine UB-65 was built in 1916 during the First World War. From the start she was considered an unlucky vessel. During its construction a series of accidents killed five men and injured several others. The crew being highly suspicious were reluctant to sail. Yet the ship was badly needed, and, despite the ominous signs of impending doom, was launched. Yet a week later a steel beam was swinging in to position when without warning it crashed to the floor killing two men.
The series of disasters continued when, during the boats first dive one of the crew, for no apparent reason, jumped overboard. The captain continued the mission as if nothing had happened. But when he tried to surface the submarine would not rise. Sea water began seeping in to the ship, soon reaching the batteries and causing them to give off deadly fumes. The captain eventually managed to bring the vessel to the surface but the crew were almost dead from suffocation.
In January 1918 UB-65 sailed in to the English Channel in search of enemy shipping. Before she dived beneath the waves the starboard lookout on the conning tower viewed a person on deck directly below him, yet all the hatches were battened down. As the figured turned towards the conning tower the lookout saw that it was the ships previous second officer who had been killed in an explosion on the ships maiden voyage. The lookouts terrified shouts brought the captain to the tower where he also witnessed the apparition before it vanished.
When UB-65 was back in port undergoing repairs a crew member rushed in to the wardroom to report he had the seen the ghost of the dead officer come on board. The captain and others thought he was hallucinating, but went to investigate. They found another panic stricken seaman who also reported seeing the ghost of the officer. He recounted how he had seen the apparition float up the gangplank towards the bow. The figure stood there for a few seconds before vanishing.
The submarine now gained a reputation for being haunted and no one wanted to board it, let alone be part of the crew. The German authorities, in an attempt to stop the stories, sent another captain to investigate and take command. Yet he became convinced that the Men of the UB-65 were telling the truth. The ship was taken out of service, and remarkably, a Lutheran pastor was asked to exorcise the vessel. The ship returned to sea, and seemed to be free of ghostly occurrences. In May 1918, however, whilst cruising off the coast of Spain an officer reported seeing an unknown person enter the torpedo room, yet when he went to investigate found no one there. Shortly after this the torpedo gunner went insane claiming the ghost would not let him be, and like a previous crew member threw him self overboard and drowned.
The end for UB-65 came in July 1918. An American destroyer sighted the haunted vessel apparently abandoned and drifting. As they watched, the ghostly figure of an officer appeared on the bow of the ship. Without warning the submarine suddenly exploded and sank. Before it slid under the waves the apparition of the dead submariner appeared for the last time.
EDDIE BRAZIL was born in Dublin in 1956. He is a writer, photographer and paranormal investigator. He is co- author, with Paul Adams and Peter Underwood, of The Borley Rectory Companion and Shadows in the Nave: A Guide to the Haunted Churches of England. In 2012, with Paul Adams, he co wrote Extreme Hauntings: Britain’s Most Terrifying Ghosts, and in 2013 he published the first ghostly guide to his hometown Haunted High Wycombe. He has recently completed a bloody history of Buckinghamshire, which will be published in November. He is also a guitarist , and in 1983 wrote the theme music to the British comedy movie,”Expresso Splasho” which featured Gary Oldman and Daniel Peacock. Eddie lives with his wife and daughter in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire. Find out more at his website here.