The Ghost Ship of Malignant Cove

Old sailing ship run aground



Malignant Cove is a small community located in Antigonish County, NS. It was named for the sailing vessel Malignant, which ran aground there during the American Revolution. 

A variety of sunken or disappeared vessels across the Maritimes have also been credited as the Phantom Ship but to many growing up in Malignant Cove, the ship is believed to be the ghostly remains of the pirate ship, Malignant. Remnants of the ship are believed to still be visible today during major ‘nor-easter storms. 

Prior to the arrival of Scottish settlers this area was Mik'maq territory. No white man had been there until the pirate ship "Malignant" entered the cove to escape a British warship. It is not clear if the ship ran aground or was scuttled by the pirate captain to ensure the British would not take his ill-gotten riches. Some have actually seen the "ghost ship" navigating the cove, its sails and masts in flames.

The earliest recorded sightings date back to 1786, when a light house keeper in Prince Edward Island reported seeing a three-masted phantom ship sailing towards a cliff before disappearing into the rain. 

Mi’kmaq legends told of a sighting known as “fire upon the water.” Elders claim the moaning of the ocean is the sound of the spirits that guard the ship and its looted goods. Many believe that buried treasure can also be found on Pomquet Island. 

It’s believed the ship is most commonly seen in September, October and November. If you’re traveling along the Northumberland Strait this fall, be sure to watch the water. Who knows what you will see.


The paranormal world can very fascinating! If you are from Nova Scotia, and have experienced something paranormal, or a event that happened to someone you know, we would love to share your story! 


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