The Ghost Ship of The Griffin

October 13th, 2008

Photo taken from portofgreenbay.com

The city of Green Bay, Wisconsin is not only famous for the NFL team the Green Bay Packers. On the contrary to many popular beliefs, in the harbor of Green Bay Harbor is the haunting by the ghost ship  the Griffin. The Griffin was built in 1679 by the famous French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. This man’s dream was to build a ship that would take him and his men across the Great Lakes to the wilderness of present day Wisconsin.

The ship was constructed in the Niagra River with the dimension of sixty feet long and the weight equivalent to forty tons. This was not a particularly large ship, but was the first sailing vessel to master the Great Lakes. For a reason unbeknown to anyone, the Iroquois prophet Metiomek believed this ship was made to destroy the Great Spirit. Upon this belief, he allegedly placed a curse on the Griffin.

He told La Salle that the ship will sink once he puts it in sail. The Griffin set sail on August 7th, 1679. It was a difficult trip to reach Wisconsin, but they did reach their goal. After loading the Griffin with furs, La Salle decided to take a canoe back to search for a water link to the Mississippi River. This decision would save his life.

The Griffin never was seen after its departure from Washington Island on September 18th, 1679. No one knows for sure what had happened to the ship, but it is believed it sank in a severe storm. Thus, Metiomek proved that his curse was for real when this happened. Also, he had said that La Salle’s blood would stain those he had trusted. This turned out to be true when his own men murdered him soon after the Griffin mystery. If one looks out into Green Bay Harbor on a foggy evening, it is said you can see the outline of the Griffin cutting through the water, right before it met its apparent fate.

(Source: Cohen, Daniel. Hauntings and Horrors. 2002)

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