USS Constellation

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The usual causes are at the root of paranormal
activity; murder, suicide, and not wanting to retire.



The 176 foot, large sailing ship, USS Constellation is the first ship of the US navy, built in 1797 as a frigate. It was one of six ships commissioned to protect American shipping from “marauding freebooters,” who were making American shipping abroad an unsafe endeavor. It had a wooden hull, with three main masts and 36 guns. It was designed with sharp bow lines, making it a speedier ship, which earned it the nickname, “Yankee Race Horse.”

It was rebuilt as a sloop of war in 1853. Over the next 100 years, this ship fought against the French, various gangs of Pirates, slave traders, and other unsavory Barbary corsairs. It served in 5 major wars, from the Civil War through World War 2. It was finally retired in 1955, and permanently docked in Baltimore.

Needless to say, many men died a violent death aboard this ship, serving their country. Some died at the hands of a fellow sailors. Both kinds of deaths have been known to cause restless spirits.




The following ghosts are most active around midnight, especially between December 25th and New Year’s Day. The smell of gunpowder proceeds the physical manifestations.

The first sightings of the following ghosts started as soon as the USS Constellation was decommissioned and permanently docked in Baltimore in 1955. The crew on the Navy submarine, Pike, which was moored next to The USS Constellation, saw ghost lights, heard strange noises, and even saw apparitions walking/floating around the ship’s decks.

Ghost of Neil Harvey –

Sometimes seen on the orlop deck, below the main deck. In 1799, he was court-martialed for cowardice. He had left his assigned station at his gun in fear during a battle with the French, on February 5, 1799 where the 36 gun French frigate Insurgente was engaged and captured.

As a result as being convicted of not only being a coward but also being a traitor, a Lieutenant Starrett started off Harvey’s punishment by sticking him with his sword. Wounded, but still alive, Harvey was then executed in the traditional brutal way, used by both the British and Americans in this era. He was tied in front of a cannon and blown to bits, by order of Captain Thomas Truxtun himself.

He appears as a shimmering mass, because that is the way he sees himself after being blown up. He wants to be forgiven for being a coward. He wasn’t a traitor though and wants to find a way to clear his name.

Captain Thomas Truxtun –

He was an experienced officer from the Revolutionary War, who was the first commander of the USS Constellation from 1798-1801. He wrote the book, concerning the drill manual and tactical methods, which became a mainstay of Navy procedure. Under his gifted leadership, The USS Constellation had many important victories.

He may be the officer often seen in an old navy uniform who makes consistent appearances on the forecastle deck. He still loves his ship.

Lieutenant Commander Allen Ross Brougham, on board the Pike, took a picture of one entity of an 18th or 19th century officer that was described as having a “bluish white radiancy,” wearing an old fashioned uniform, with gold stripes on his trouser, wearing a cocked hat and carrying a sword.

Carl Hansen –

He was the ship’s 20th century watchman, until 1965. He adored the ship, and had a strong emotional bond to the ship. In his younger days, he was a Royal navy cook, making him an old sailor himself.

His ghost likes to play cards, and will cheerfully give tours to unsuspecting people, such as a priest who thought he was a real person.

At a Sea Scout Halloween Party, he sat next to a young girl and smiled at her.

Spirit of a 11 year old boy –

The boy was the surgeon’s assistant aboard the USS Constellation in 1820-1822. He was murdered by two other sailors with a knife in the cockpit of the orlop deck, according to Sybil Leek, a psychic with Hans Holzer.

A sailor on one of the vessels –

He had become overwhelmed with the awful conditions on board, and hung himself.

He is described as a sad entity who likes to float around and across the gun and forecastle decks.



The ghosts are keeping an eye on their ship, The USS Constellation.

Psychic Research: Hans Holzer, famed parapsychologist, with the gifted psychic/medium. Sybil Leek investigated The USS Constellation, and indeed found ghosts aboard. The full investigation can be reviewed in Holzer’s books: 1) Portal to the Past. 2) GHOSTS: True Encounters With the World Beyond.



USS Constellation
Pier 1, 301 East Pratt Street,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

The USS Constellation Ship and Constellation Center Museum are located on Pier 1, in the Fort McHenry Shipyard, near the corner of Pratt Street and Holiday Street in Baltimore Harbor, in Maryland.



  • Some photos are from

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr


Haunts in Maryland