“The Sailor and the Ghost”

Alternate titles: “The Murdered Girl”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1805 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 10(68))
Keywords: pregnancy abandonment ghost disaster suicide
Found in: US(MA,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England)


A pregnant girl hangs herself after being abandoned by her lover. The guilty youth goes to sea to escape her ghost, but the spirit follows and finds him. She threatens the captain until he is produced, and then burns the ship with him aboard

Cross references



  1. Laws P34A, "The Sailor's Tragedy (The Sailor and the Ghost A)"/P34B, "Handsome Harry (The Sailor and the Ghost B)"
  2. BrownII 68, "Handsome Harry" (1 text, identified by Laws as P34B)
  3. Creighton/Senior, pp. 151-154, "The Dreadful Ghost" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  4. Creighton-Maritime, pp. 116-117, "The Dreadful Ghost" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Peacock, pp. 398-403, "The Sea Ghost" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  6. Leach-Labrador 18, "The Sailor's Tragedy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Mackenzie 92, "The Sailor's Tragedy" (1 text)
  8. DT 512, DREDGHOS
  9. Roud #568
  10. BI, LP34