You can soon own one of the scariest souvenirs related to the sinking of the Titanic. An auction house in England is offering a mirror once owned by the captain of the fatal ship and its previous owners swear he shows his face in it every year on the anniversary of the disaster. Is it worth the £10,000 ($13,109) asking price? Will they be playing that annoying theme song during the bidding?
“The last time Captain Edward John Smith saw his own noble, bearded visage before leaving home to take the helm of the Titanic was possibly in this very mirror.”
The mirror will be up for bids on December 12th at the Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Fine & Decorative Arts Sale (click on link to see photos) at The Lichfield Auction Centre in Staffordshire, the home county of the heroic Captain Edward John Smith, who went down with the Titanic on April 14, 1912. Fortunately, the silver-framed easel mirror didn’t because it was back home on his dressing table.
“I saw Captain Smith on the bridge. My eyes seemingly clung to him. The deck from which I had leapt was immersed. The water had risen slowly, and was now to the floor of the bridge. Then it was to Captain Smith’s waist. I saw him no more. He died a hero.”
Robert Williams Daniel, a passenger who survived the sinking, described the last moments of the captain. Some time after the disaster, Captain Smith’s possessions were divided up. His housekeeper, Ethelwynne, was allowed to choose something to remember him by … which would also be her last paycheck. Although it was already worth quite a bit at the time, Ethelwynne’s sister-in-law Hilda, explained in a letter (which is included in the sale) why she may have kept it.
“She [Ethelwynne] always spooked me when she said that at times she could still see Captain Smith’s face in it on the anniversary of when the Titanic was sunk.”
If you miss out on the auction, there are other places to see the ghost of Captain Edward John Smith. Crews of ships sailing in the area where the Titanic sank have reported seeing the captain on their own boat. He has also been spotted at his childhood home in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, where tenants who have rented it report hearing banging and whispers, feeling cold spots and seeing the ghost of the captain in the bedroom.
While the mirror comes with no guaranteed that the new owner will see the ghost of Captain Smith, they’ll only have to wait a few months to find out. If the captain is like me, he may go into hiding if they decide to play that song while watching for him.