The Endeavour: a haunting tale.
Living in Whitby as I do, makes one constantly aware of the sea around us and I have always had an affinity for boats and for the adventurous voyages of famous sailors and navigators. Not only was Captain Cook apprenticed here and sailed from the harbour but also the famous Captain William Scoresby and his son Captain William Scoresby Junior were born near Whitby and sailed from here to the Arctic. Whitby itself has a charm all of its own and being an old sea port has retained much of its old buildings including the fishermens' cottages and narrow yards; the various old Halls and the famous Abbey and the Parish Church of St. Mary's standing high on the cliff top overlooking the sea.
There are so many tales of ghosts and hauntings here that when walking down the streets one is never sure whether the person in front of you is real or not and glancing up the narrow entrances of the yards one thinks that maybe the figure flitting across the way is strangely vague and misty in shape. Along the river-side past the harbour there is an old derelict boatyard which always appears to be haunted to me. Unfortunately the yards where Captain Cook's boats were built are now gone, and a small part of the harbour here has been filled in to make way for car parks and a super market and so I cannot imagine any self-respecting ghost ever walking there.
That is how the haunting tale which I have written first came into my head.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1308, volume 19, number 3 (1996).