One of Eastern PEI’s most enduring legends is that of the Phantom Ship, an 18th century schooner engulfed in flames that has been seen many times over the years from Panmure Island.
The legend goes that a family living on Cape Sharp (the point of land just south of the Panmure Island Lighthouse) had a daughter who was in love with a sailor. Her parents disapproved of the relationship, so the two met in secret.
She watched for the signal lights from his ship every night and when she saw them she ran to meet her lover, who rowed ashore for her to bring her to his ship. When her father realized she was gone and saw the ship’s signal lights, he rowed out to the moored ship to retrieve her.
He and his daughter’s lover got into a terrible flight and upset an oil lamp, causing the ship to catch fire.
The distraught girl ran to the aft rail, turned to her father and said, ‘This will haunt you for all time!’ She then jumped overboard and was never seen again.
The ship, in flames, with it’s three masts clearly visible, has been seen by various local residents for over 100 years. The apparition seems so real that observers have reported seeing bodies on fire, jumping from the ship. The sightings happen every 10 to 20 years, most often in the Fall.