AN ADELAIDE GHOST STORY.
In 1868, Mr Cleary a sailor on the sailing ship “Persian Empire”, which was about to leave Port in Adelaide for London suffered terrible dreams about his death at sea.
He dreamt of upcoming Christmas Day, being out at sea and nearing Cape Horn. Cleary and the rest of his watch were ordered to secure a boat hanging in the davits during a heavy gale. He and another sailor got into the boat when a fearful sea broke over the ship, washing them both out of the boat into the sea, where they were both drowned.
On Christmas Eve, the Persian Empire neared Cape Horn and Cleary's dream that night was identical to the first time he had had it, clearly an omen about his impending death, the poor man became distraught with worry. He screamed in horror at the thought of it, and was heard muttering “I know it will come true!”
Christmas Day, and Cleary's dream particulars started to become reality, exactly as he had foreseen, Cleary and his watch were ordered to secure a boat hanging in the davits. Clearly flatly refused.
He was summoned to the lower decks and the Captains Quarters, where he stated that he had refused as he knew he would drown if he went down into that boat. His refusal to discharge duty was noted in the ships log, the Chief Duty Officer, Mr Douglas, went to sign the paperwork, and Clearly exclaimed “I will go do my duty, for now I know the other man in my dream!”.
The two men walked back up on deck, and Clearly explained his dream to Douglas, who listened intently, never uttering a word.
They got into the boat, and when they were all making fast a heavy sea struck the vessel with such force that the watch crew would have been washed overboard had they not clung to the mast. The boat was turned over, and Douglas and Cleary were flung into the sea. They swam for a little time and then went down. It was just three months after Cleary had dreamt of his death before leaving Adelaide.
© 2007 - 2014 Allen Tiller
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