Do you dream about houses? I do, quite often. When we dream about a dwelling it might represent our Being, our Self, our Soul, according to Jungian psychology. Which might be the underlying reason for our collective fascination with haunted houses.

Yet as actor and comedian Eddie Murphy quipped on Saturday Night Live: “Why don’t the people just get the hell out of the house?” (John Podhoretz; Washington Examiner; Mar. 23, 2017)

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Very practical advice. But what if you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean? It’s a haunted boat and you’re floating, adrift in the doldrums and the boat has no engine. The radio has been commandeered by the ghosts and one by one the crew goes missing. Is the narrator reliable? Can your own senses be trusted? What would Carl Jung and Eddie Murphy say?

Hallucinations at sea are not unknown – generally due to fatigue and sensory deprivation. And water ghosts, of course!

Computer generated 3D illustration with a Chinese Junk at sunset

If you don’t believe in ghosts, there is still the matter of survival at sea. Physical and psychological survival.  A High Wind in Jamaica, Life of Pi, Heart of Darkness are three novels that deal with this theme in unique ways. All are told by unreliable narrators.

For The Best Books on Sea Voyages Gone Badly, and many other “Best Books” recommended by authors on a variety of topics, visit the Book Shepherd


Happy Halloween, Delightful Day of the Dead, and a Merry Night of the Hungry Ghost to all!


Water Ghosts is available in trade paperback, e-reader and audiobook format from independent booksellers, Barnes & Noble, and

Water Ghosts

Storms were the least of their worries