Halloween seems like the perfect day for a good ghost story, right? If you thought Edgar Allen Poe cornered the market on creepy here in Charm City, you’re dead wrong. An Inner Harbor landmark you pass every day might just be harboring spirits… Warning: this story might not be appropriate for mini pint-sizers.
The fog rolls into the Inner Harbor. Off in the distance you hear the creaking of an anchor, the eerie sound of the tide creeping up the sides of a metal hull sets the scene.
Joseph Grant Snow was born in a small town in Utah back in 1924. He was an Eagle Scout, played Varsity football, and was voted class president his senior year of High School in 1942.Doesn’t seem like the type of guy that would turn ghost and haunt folks… but some say he does, right here in in the Inner Harbor.
Snow was a crewmember of the USS Torsk, a Tench Class submarine whose keel was laid in 1944. She was promptly sent to the Pacific Fleet, where she earned the nickname “Galloping Ghost of the Japanese Coast” for her successful patrols of enemy waters. Torsk earned the distinction of having sunk the last Japanese warship of World War II. She received two battle stars for World War II service and the Navy Commendation Medal for her service during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She set the all-time record of career dives: 11,884.
One of those dives took the life of Joseph Grant Snow.
Per the Torsk’s official logbook, Snow was apparently left topside during a training dive on January 4, 1944. He was just 21 years old. It is said that his desperate spirit haunts the deck of the submarine, eternally trying to get back to the safety of a hatch.
(And you thought haunted HOUSES were scary. Pfffft.)
The submarine USS Torsk and its ethereal crew member are now berthed at the Inner Harbor, riding alongside the Sloop-of-War USS Constellation, USCGC Taney, Lightship Chesapeake and Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse as part of the Baltimore Maritime Museum’s Historic Ships Complex. Three of the four are purportedly haunted, and tours are offered daily throughout most of the year. They even offer group overnight stays…if you dare.
If you like your history with a side of supernatural – or vice versa – eschew the commercial haunted house this year and visit Torsk and Joe Snow instead.
Maybe leave a hatch door open for him. Just in case.
The Baltimore Maritime Museum’s Historic Ships in Baltimore Complex can be found at 301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. Call 410-539-1797 or visit http://www.historicships.org/ to plan your trip.
Image Credit: Wikimedia