What Is a Ghost Ship in 1923? Is Zebrina Real?

Paramount+’s ‘1923’ is a fresh chapter in the history of the Dutton family. The series sees Spencer Dutton traveling back from Africa to reunite with his family in the face of adversity. In the fifth episode, titled ‘Ghost of Zebrina,’ Spencer and Alexandra travel through the sea on their way to the United States. During the episode, they meet Lucca, a wise sailor who tells them about ghost ships and the legend of Zebrina. If you are looking for details about the ghost ships and the tale of Zebrina in ‘1923,’ here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

What Is a Ghost Ship?

The fifth episode of the series is titled ‘Ghost of Zebrina.’ In the episode, Spencer Dutton decides to travel to the United States to reunite with his family in a time of tragedy. Spencer learns about the death of his brother and the injury to his uncle, Jacob Dutton, through a letter sent to him by Cara Dutton. As a result, Spencer abandons his hunting activities in Africa and seeks passage to the United States. However, the only available route is to travel by sea to London. As a result, Spencer accompanies Lucca, an old and sick captain who operates a tugboat heading to the Suez Canal.

During their journey with Lucca, Spencer and Alexandra’s boat almost crashes into a ship standing in the middle of the sea. However, Lucca diverts the tugboat and avoids the collision. Later, Lucca tells the couple about “ghost ships.” The seasoned and wise sailor explains that the sea is very harsh and often consumes entire crews of a ship. However, the ships remain afloat and continue traveling across the sea without any destination. The sea currents drive the ships from one point to another, often creating obstacles for unattentive sailors. Such ships are dubbed “ghost ships” because they wander in the sea with a crew.

Zebrina is an Actual Ship

In the fifth episode, Lucca uses the example of the ship Zebrina while telling Spencer and Alexandra about the concept of ghost ships. He tells the young couple about the legend of the ship Zebrina and the fate of its crew members. Zebrina was indeed a real ship that was built in 1873. It was a schooner-rigged ship with a three-masted sailing barge and weighed approximately 189 tons. The ship was originally intended to be a trading vessel operating in the South American region. It mostly transported meat between Argentina and Uruguay.

Later, Zebrina was repurposed and used for shorter trips around the Mediterranean. The ship was operated from several ports until 1917, when it reached Falmouth. On September 15, 1917, Zebrina set sail from Falmouth, a town in the Cornwall County of England. Captain Martin helmed the ship for this voyage, and it carried a cargo of coal. Its destination was Saint-Brieuc in France. However, Zebrina failed to complete its journey and went missing.

Two days later, Zebrina was discovered near Cherbourg. Zebrina was relatively undamaged, but the ship’s crew of five sailors and Captain Martin were nowhere to be found. It is widely speculated that Zebrina was under attack, and the crew was either killed or apprehended. However, Zebrina’s two-day journey and its crew members’ fate remain a mystery. The ship was destroyed by fire in 1953 at Velder Creek in Portsmouth.

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