Horrifying Ghost Stories From Antarctica That’ll Chill You To The Bone

November 19, 2022 People's Tonight 1921 views

Erin McCann

Antarctica is touted as one of the most haunted places in the world. Sure, this is based on the number of ghosts per capita, but with a population fluctuating between around 1,100 brave folks in the winter to 4,400 during the summer, there is said to be roughly one perturbed spirit for every nine people that inhabit the desolate continent.

The spirits of explorers, scientists, and tourists are believed to wander the icy wasteland and the abandoned buildings they once inhabited during their lifetimes. Whether by plane crash or exposure to the extreme temperatures, many have involuntarily included themselves among the Antarctic ghosts.


The Ghost Ship ‘Jenny’ Has A Crew Of Frozen Men

Frozen1Photo: Edgeworth David / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The schooner Jenny left port in 1823 and was never seen again until a whaling ship made a horrifying discovery years later. Apparently, the Jenny had become trapped in the ice and the entire boat was frozen. Crew from the whaling ship noticed people on Jenny’s deck, but when they boarded, they realized the people had been frozen solid and perfectly preserved. According to the legend, they discovered a journal entry written by Jenny’s captain. His last entry is nothing short of chilling:

“May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive.”

Jenny was left to sail on as a ghost ship.

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Spirits Of The Members Of The Endurance Expedition Slam Doors In The Wordie Hut

SpiritsPhoto: Polar Crusader: A Life of Sir James Wordie / Birlinn

The Wordie Hut is named after James Wordie, chief scientist on Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Endurance expedition. It was built in 1947 after the previous building was destroyed. It is no longer used, but it is considered a historic site and monument.

After hearing several reports of a haunting, paranormal researchers from Destination Truth spent a night exploring the area. To make things even more creepy, the hut was still set up with furniture and canned food, as if the explorers from the early 20th century still inhabited it. Members of the team heard the frantic flipping of a light switch and the slamming of doors while staying in the hut. Items like jar lids fell off of shelves on their own. One member of the crew noted he felt a presence, and the rest of the team nodded in silent agreement.

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Robert Falcon Scott And Some Of His Team Still Haunt Their Hut

RobertPhoto: Henry Bowers / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

In the early 1900s, the race was on to be the first to reach the geographic South Pole. In 1911, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his team set out on the Terra Nova Expedition and set up camp at the edge of the Great Ice Barrier. While some men stayed behind with supplies and shelter, the rest of the team ventured onwards.

The expedition did not go completely as planned; a rival reached the pole about a month before his team. In 1912, Scott and four other men he had selected to join him on the expedition perished on their way back to the hut. Frostbite, gangrene, and starvation plucked them off one by one. On March 29, 1912, Scott recorded his final journal entry:

Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity but I do not think I can write more. R. Scott. Last entry. For God’s sake look after our people.

Scott’s hut still stands, and people who have visited said they felt uneasy and uncomfortable. Voices and footsteps have been heard, and some people felt like they were being watched. There is also a cross placed close to the hut in memory of a member of the Scott expedition who passed.

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Explorer Edmund Hillary Met Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Ghost

GhostPhoto: lin padgham / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Sir Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer and explorer who climbed Mount Everest with Sherpa Norgay Tenzing. In May 1953, they became the first known people to reach the summit.

Seeking an even more extreme exploration, Hillary reached Antarctica five years later and found himself at explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s abandoned hut. Shackleton passed in 1922.

In the hut, Hillary believed he saw Shackleton’s ghost:

I’m not a person who really sees things very much but when I opened the door I distinctly saw Shackleton walking towards me and welcoming me.

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Hundreds Of Plane Crash Victims Haunt Ross Island

RossPhoto: Herbert G. Ponting / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Antarctica became a frequent tourist destination in the 1970s. Tourists booked day-trip flights from New Zealand and enjoyed a leisurely, aerial view of the harsh, icy continent. One such trip turned fatal due to low visibility and pilot error. The plane crashed into the side of Mount Erebus at 300 mph, and the impact instantly killed all 257 passengers.

Apparently, the corpses were stored at McMurdo Station, an American base on Antarctica’s Ross Island, and many visitors to the site believe the ghosts of the people are still hanging around.

Visitors claim to hear voices, see short trails of unexplained footprints, and feel strange presences.

One McMurdo Station worker remembers:

As soon as I entered, something was weird… I took a couple of steps in (and) the hair on the top of my head stood on end – footsteps upstairs; undeniably footsteps. A slow cadence of footsteps. I froze. It went from the back of the building to the front.

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Whale Bones And Spirits Cover Deception Island

WhalePhoto: Christopher Michel / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Deception Island once housed an old whaler’s station, and the bones from their slaughters can still be found on the beach. The station was abandoned during the Great Depression when oil prices fell, and it was repurposed as a British base during WWII. The station still stands along with the containers used to boil whale fat, which are now coated with rust. Some visitors to the island have claimed to see apparitions and light orbs, and a few have heard voices.

Paranormal researchers from Destination Truth visited the site and heard a few very unusual loud bangs and saw a shadowy figure. They also caught a thermal signature in a window and heard what sounded like an SOS code being tapped inside a shack.

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Antarctica Is Full Of Creepy Ghost Towns

AntarticaPhoto: Liam Quinn / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ever since humans have attempted to conquer Antarctica, they have left evidence that they were there. Because of the continent’s inhospitable conditions, failed industries like whaling, and geographical inaccessibility, parts of Antarctica are littered with abandoned buildings and other structures. Military bases, research stations, huts, and whaling factories transformed into creepy ghost towns covered in rust and ice. Even a few abandoned ships can be found in the bays. People who have visited these abandoned buildings describe the environments as some of the creepiest they have ever seen.

To add to the creepiness of these abandoned sites, many of the structures still contain artifacts of the humans who once dwelled there. Sometimes, the residents died or decided to leave without taking everything they had brought, such as furniture, books, and blankets. Because of the cold temperatures, the food items explorers and researchers brought with them have been preserved.

Thanks to warmer temperatures in the polar regions, the stored seal blubber in some cabins has started to go rancid, only adding to the spooky, hostile vibes of Antarctica’s many ghost towns.

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Antarctica Has Subglacial Ghost Mountains No Human Has Ever Seen

Antartica1Photo: State Library of New South Wales / Flickr / Public Domain

The Gamburtsev Mountain Range can be found in Antarctica, and even though they are similar in size to Europe’s Alps, no one has ever seen them. A group of Russian explorers who traveled to the continent in the 1950s observed strange gravity fluctuations coming from below the ice. The cause of these bizarre fluctuations? An entire subglacial mountain range, hidden below a three mile layer of ice.

The mountains are extremely old and part of a rift that was formed roughly 250 million years ago. About 34 million years ago, the Antarctic ice sheet started forming, completely encapsulating the 1,800 mile-long range. Had the ice not preserved the range, erosion would have played its part. Scientists are still studying the subglacial range today – Fausto Ferraccioli of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, said, “It is as exciting as exploring another planet.”

Or terrifying. There is no telling what forms of life were also preserved in the freezing Antarctic ices millions of years ago.

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A Glacier Gushes A Living, Blood-Like Substance

GlacierPhoto: National Science Foundation/Peter Rejcek / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

A river of blood is always creepy; the stark contrast of the frothy red liquid against the untouched white ice of a glacier makes said river even more terrifying. What scientists named Blood Falls resembles a murder scene, as the “blood” soaks into the snow and mixes in with the sea water. Is this some sort of residual image of a violent end?

As creepy as it looks, the phenomenon has a scientific explanation. The red coloring comes from salt water mixed with iron in the bedrock below the glacier, which takes on a blood-like hue when exposed to oxygen. However, scientists also discovered microbes living in the Blood Falls water – quite an adaptive feat, given the environment. But it also means the “blood” is somewhat living, which is still pretty creepy.

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It’s Possible Antarctica Houses The Ghost Of Vladimir Lenin

PossiblePhoto: Ric Hard / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The South Pole of Inaccessibility is the point in Antarctica furthest from the sea. While the geographical South Pole is the point that gets the most attention, the Inaccessibility Pole houses something creepy. In 2009, scientists passing through the area discovered a random monument with a bust of Vladimir Lenin on top. Upon further inspection and some digging, they discovered an old Soviet Union military base covered by years of snow.

A group called Scientific Traverse claims the monument is made of plastic and was left on top of the chimney of a small cabin used briefly by Soviets in 1958. The bust faces Moscow and because of the flat landscape, it is visible from far away. Perhaps Lenin’s ghost is also hanging out with the ghosts of Antarctica’s explorers.

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