Built in 1916, a German U-Boat, a submarine U-65, became notorious for being haunted by an unexplained number of events, from accidents to deaths. Even an exorcism took place inside the ship.
From 1871 until 1919, the German Empire built a strong military naval fleet.
It became known as ‘Kaiserliche Marine’, or the Imperial Navy, created with the intentions of German’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, to surpass the British fleet power.
By 1916, in Hamburg’s shipyards the U-Boats, U-60’s and U-65, were assembled, twenty-four submarines especially designed to operate out of the ports of Belgium.
U-boat is the English version of the German word U-Boot. The “U” refers to the German word “Unterseeboot” translating to “Underwater boat.”
Strange and Unexplainable Deaths in the U-Boat
By 1917, most of the fleet were complete. But since its construction, one of them, a U-65 became a legend on his own, but not of the good kind.
Construction workers from the U-65 were struck by a heavy girder that slipped from the crane killing one instantly in 1916.
Another worker was also injured in the accident and died days later at the hospital.
Months later, on January 26, 1917, the U-Boat was moved to the open sea for final tests.
During the tests, three crewmen became stranded in the engine room when the door supposedly got stuck or locked.
All three died of asphyxiation, but when rescue arrived at the scene the door opened without any problem.
The Haunting of the U-Boat
During joint maneuvers with two other U-Boats, days later, the captain ordered an Auxiliary to inspect the hatchways and the deck before submerge.
An operation witnessed terrified the Auxiliary Officer, he calmly and quietly walked across the deck and was swept overboard close by the U-boat’s propellers.
The ocean was reported to be calm and glassy.
Informed by the event, the captain ordered to stop the submerging process and stop the engines but the submarine continues to sink.
It dropped to the bottom of the sea with a crack in the forward ballast tank.
The U-Boat remained for 12 hours stranded at the bottom. The terrified crew spread the belief of a curse for the recent tragedy history.
Close to lack oxygen, the U-Boat surfaced by itself. The entire U-65’s crew became violently ill, including two sailors who died in a hospital from poisoning.
The German submarine returned to the shipyard for repairs from the collision with the bottom and to detect any problem with the engines.
Nothing abnormal was found and was cleared to be back to service.
But while re-arming the U-Boat, a warhead exploded taking the life of a Second Officer and eight sailors.
Nine other crew members were seriously wounded.
Ghost on Board
To calm the crew, in February 1917, Oberleutnant Karl Honig was appointed to command the U-65.
He was a regular officer with experience and had a high reputation serving on submarines.
A terrified crew boarded on the U-Boat to soon some of them claimed to have witnessed the dead officer with arms crossed standing on deck.
The fear took over upon arriving in Dover, England, during combat. The crew preferred to land under heavy bomb fire rather than to continue safely on board.
It was just after some steps on land the captain was hit by machine-gun bullets and died.
The rest of the U-65’s crew refused to re-embark against a War Council order, claiming that they will be doom for getting inside a haunted submarine.
To appease the crew the War Council sent in an exorcist.
But the curse or bad luck continued on board.
On that same night, the artillery operator fainted, when he woke up, he told he witnessed seeing the dead officer again with his arms crossed on the deck.
By the morning the sailor committed suicide and was found by the crew.
In the engine room, another sailor was involved in an accident that resulted in a broken leg.
The Weird and Mysterious End of the U-65
With only four months to end the WWI, on July 18, 1918, the Haunted U-Boat legend was already known throughout the German fleet.
About this time, an American submarine, USS L-2, patrolling off the coast of Ireland, at periscope depth, locked its target on the German U-Boat.
According to the American Captain’s transcriptions, he spotted a man with arms crossed on the deck of the German U-65.
But before he could confirm the order to release the torpedos the German U-Boat exploded in the mid air.
He tried to find the person responsible for firing without his orders, only to discover that all torpedoes were still on board.
The German Imperial Navy would have reported thirty-four lives were lost in that explosion.
after the end of the WWI, several sailors from the U-65 confirmed that they deserted and more stories from the inside of the submarine became public.
Many crew members and officials witnessed strange lights inside the boat. Another witness told a disembodied hand touched his face.
When the stories reached the other side of the Atlantic, an American journalist, Edgar Cayce made an investigation. He added more incredible unconfirmed paranormal stories.
What Officially Happened to the German U-65?
Not many records can be found from that era, especially after the WWII.
The “Kaiserliche Marine” issues and alternate report about the submarine, denying some of the events surrounding their U-Boat.
Most of the report’s actions had never existed. Though they admitted that “at some point, the submarine had carried out unexplained maneuvers that were beyond the control and knowledge of its experienced crew.”
The U-65 was built in Kiel rather than Wilhelmshaven in 1915, instead of 1916.
The German U-Boat sank 52 enemy ships on 11 patrols, while stationed in Pula during the WWI.
By the end of the war, on Oct. 28, 1918, U-65 was scuttled at Pula during the evacuation.
What really happened to that German U-Boat is still a mystery. With the years and lack of official documents, the legend continues to grow.