Discover the 110-year-old Ghost Ship Trapped in Kentucky

The intriguing story of a 110-year-old ghost ship trapped in the waters of Kentucky is a fascinating blend of history, mystery, and a touch of the supernatural. This ghost ship, officially known as the Celt, has had a long and varied history since its construction in 1902.

Originally built as a luxury yacht for a wealthy railroad executive, the ship’s journey through time has seen it transform from a lavish floating palace to a naval ship and then to its final resting place as an eerie, abandoned vessel on a quiet creek in Kentucky.

The Ship’s Luxurious Beginnings

The Celt began its life as a symbol of opulence. Built by Pusey and Jones in Wilmington, Delaware, it was a 186-foot-long luxury steam yacht designed for J. Rogers Maxwell, a prominent railroad executive.

The yacht was a masterpiece of its time, equipped with all the extravagances one would expect in a vessel built for the wealthy. With its sleek design and top-notch amenities, the Celt was a true representation of early 20th-century luxury.

Transformation into a Naval Ship

However, the onset of World War I brought a dramatic change in the ship’s destiny. The U.S. Navy acquired the yacht in 1917, converting it into a patrol boat, the USS Sachem (SP-192). During its time with the Navy, it served various roles, including patrolling the coastal waters and escorting ships.

Notably, the ship was also used by Thomas Edison as a research vessel during the war. He conducted experiments on board in his role as a government consultant.

Post-War Years and Final Journey

After the war, the ship changed hands multiple times, serving different purposes. It was briefly returned to its luxurious origins as a private yacht but was soon converted into a fishing vessel, and later, a ferry.

The ship’s final journey was in the late 1980s when a Cincinnati local, Robert Miller, bought the vessel with plans to restore it. However, these plans never materialized, and the once magnificent yacht was left to decay in a creek off the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky.

The Ghost Ship Today

Now known colloquially as the “Ghost Ship,” the Celt sits abandoned, a shadow of its former glory. The years of neglect have taken their toll, leaving the vessel rusted and overgrown with vegetation. Despite its dilapidated state, the ghost ship has become an attraction for the curious and adventurous. It’s a popular site for urban explorers and photographers, drawn by its eerie appearance and the stories it holds.

A Symbol of Forgotten History

The ghost ship is more than just an abandoned vessel; it’s a physical reminder of a bygone era. Each phase of its existence reflects a different period in history, from the heights of luxury to the ravages of war and the inevitability of obsolescence. The ship’s current state, trapped and forgotten in the Kentucky waters, is a poignant testament to the passage of time and the transient nature of human endeavors.


The 110-year-old ghost ship in Kentucky offers a unique window into the past, embodying the transformations of the 20th century. From a luxurious yacht to a naval ship and finally to an abandoned relic, its journey is a compelling narrative of change and decay. While it may no longer sail the seas, the ghost ship continues to captivate those who stumble upon it, serving as a haunting yet fascinating piece of living history.