19th C. – ONGOING
The ghost barge of Ironbridge is a frequently reported haunting. This ghostly vessel is frequently reported (one of my grandfathers was reputed to have seen it once, whilst walking home from the foundry he worked at) and is almost always a full apparition. It first appears not too far from the Ironbridge, and presents as a long, dark ship, but not largely different from any open topped boat. At its helm, a tall figure stands, often described as wearing old fashioned clothes, or a dark cloak. It sails slowly down the river, and as it gets closer, its cargo is revealed. The ghost barge is often witnessed from the Ironbridge- which gives you a great vantage point to see what it is carrying. It’s believed that on the barge, is row upon row of corpses, piled high. This is obviously a very macabre and shocking sight, but almost as soon as the corpses are noticed, the barge shimmers, and disappears from view. However, Ironbridge is not the only area the ghost barge is reported, for many have recounted similar instances down the river in Jackfield. Here there have been sightings of a ghostly barge tethered to the riverbed. Accompanying the boat is the bargeman from before, now stood on the riverbed- as if waiting, alongside rows of corpses. I believe these two hauntings are related, and we’ve simply re-joined the bargeman at the end of his journey. This apparition is believed to be a plague barge- transporting the dead to the mass graves that were in Jackfield.
Submitted by Amy B