The Haunted Shipwreck – The River Adur

The Haunted Shipwreck - The River Adur

​In this article we will be taking a look at the haunted shipwreck of Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex ( on the River Adur ).


The area of Shoreham-by-Sea is thought to date as far back as pre-Roman times. The town and port of New Shoreham was established by the Norman conquerors sometime near the end of the 11th century.

Just after the publication of the Doomsday book the ancient town was slightly re-planned to fit into a tidy grid pattern that, in essence, survives in the town center to this day.

The area has seen numerous severe storms over the centuries creating untold amounts of local damage.

The Haunted Shipwreck

The body of water that runs through Shoreham is named the River Adur – it holds many eerie sights from the past.

The most famous of these sights is a large shipwreck of a fishing boat that dates back to 1893.

Local reports claim that this boat once belonged to a rather unfortunate fisherman. He used to keep the boat harbored at Shoreham Harbour but a massive storm managed to break the vessel free from it’s chains.

Footbridge across the River Adur, Shoreham, West Sussex
Footbridge Across The River Adur, Shoreham, West Sussex

It was quickly dragged downriver and ended up being destroyed on the sharp rocky outcrop that covered the Adur’s shoreline.


In those days a fisherman relied on his vessel to bring in the money that would keep his family clothed and fed – what was he to do without his trusty boat?

He desperately attempted to salvage his vessel, but this was a hopeless endeavor.

He eventually had to give up the ghost and leave the work boat to rot away in the shallow waters of the riverside.

The Haunting 

Over the last few decades there have been many reports of paranormal activity linked to the shipwreck.

Numerous witnesses have reported anguished screams of desperation coming from the riverbank area along with a loud, guttural moaning and sobbing.

On several occasions local passers by have spotted dark, semi-transparent figures desperately trying to push the abandoned old wreck back into the water.

These figures seem to represent a complete family unit – from the adult parents to the smaller child-like size.

One report claims that the faces of this dark family unit have no eyes – their sockets just peer out into nothingness and reek of despair.

Could this be the ghostly apparition of the tragic fisherman’s family?

Are they still trying to push their meal ticket of a boat back into the murky waters?

Please leave your thoughts and opinions on the subject in the comment section below.

2 comments on “The Haunted Shipwreck – The River Adur

  1. Hey super cool page! I am really intrigued by mysterious ghost stories. Did the family happen to die on the boat? I would think if there would be ghosts trying to push it back in the water that they would have had to of been on it when it crashed. Or do they just have a very close connection to the boat? I would love to be able to see this sometime in my life. Is it easily accessible to see to the public?

    1. Hi Kenny,

      No I don’t think the family died on the boat – I think it was vacant when it was washed downstream and crashed. The (ghostly) family in question are trying to get the boat back into the water due to their reliance on it (for money!).

      I think it would be accessible enough to the public – it seems a very public area!

      Thanks for stopping by and reading our article 🙂

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