The USS Lexington – one of the most infamously haunted locations in Texas. But is it as haunted as some people believe?

On the shore of Corpus Christi, Texas, a mountain of steel rises 52 feet above the water. As the massive ship gently rocks in the waves, the creaks and groans of shifting metal echo through seemingly empty corridors. If you listen carefully though, you just may catch the sound of a whisper rising above the ambient noise.

The USS Lexington is not only considered one of the most storied vessels in Naval history, but also one of the most haunted places in America. In this article, we will explore how “The Blue Ghost” came to have so many ghosts of her own.

The History of the USS Lexington

World War II

The 33,000-ton Essex Class carrier ship was built in Quincy, Massachusetts under the name USS Cabot. Another ship bore the name Lexington until 1942, when it was sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Employees of the shipyard that had constructed both vessels petitioned for the Cabot to be renamed to honor the lost ship. The Navy Secretary agreed to the proposal and in June of 1942, the Cabot was officially renamed USS Lexington.

She joined the Fifth Fleet at Pearl Harbor and went on to participate in nearly every major World War II operation in the Pacific theater. The Lexington spent 21 months in combat and proved to be a major asset to the Allies.

Planes launched from her decks destroyed 372 enemy aircraft in the air and 475 on the ground. She sank or destroyed 300,000 tons of enemy cargo and damaged even more. The ship’s guns downed fifteen planes and assisted in downing an additional five.

The Blue Ghost Legend

The Legendary Blue Ghost - USS Lexington
The Lexington was listed as sunk no less than four times, earning her the nickname, “The Blue Ghost” when she continued to return to battle.

The Lexington was not without her own casualties, however. The first man lost from her ranks was Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick, whose plane crashed into the sea during a training flight.

Shortly after joining the war efforts in 1943, Japanese forces struck the USS Lexington with a torpedo. The impact killed nine sailors, but the remaining crew were able to make the ship watertight and get her back to Pearl Harbor. Despite her escape, the Japanese reported that they had successfully sunk the Lexington.

The carrier ship returned to service in early 1944 after being fully repaired, and aided attacks at Hollandia and Truk Lagoon. She faced heavy attacks by enemy forces but was able to leave the battles entirely unscathed.

Despite this, she was once again listed as sunk by Japanese forces. The Lexington was listed as sunk no less than four times, earning her the nickname, “The Blue Ghost” when she continued to return to battle.

USS Lexington After World War II

The reportedly haunted USS Lexington in Corpus Christi TX
On November 26, 1991, the Lexington was officially turned over to the city of Corpus Christi, Texas.

After World War II ended, the Lexington was decommissioned for eight years. In 1955, she was modernized and reactivated as an attack carrier, though she didn’t see any active combat during this second half of her career.

In 1962, USS Lexington sailed into Pensacola, Florida and from here, operated as a training carrier for nearly 30 years. Finally, in 1991, she was fully decommissioned. Over her career, she set more records and had a longer active service life than any other Essex Class carrier.

On November 26, 1991, the Lexington was officially turned over to the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1992, the ship was opened as the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay.

She is carefully maintained by staff, and new parts of the ship have been made accessible to the public every few years. As more and more of the ship becomes available, the reports of paranormal activity have increased in frequency.

The Hauntings

Visitors and staff alike have been touched by ghostly hands and regularly experience feelings of unease. Disembodied voices, and even screams, echo down the corridors, sometimes accompanied by the sounds of gunfire.

Pots and pans clank in the old kitchen, and the smell of food will waft from the room, as if the ship’s chefs are still hard at work.

Many have reported hearing loud crashes from nearby with no explanation. Footsteps can be heard sprinting around the hangar bay in the middle of the night.

Shadowy figures are seen darting about, either roaming the decks or racing from one place to another. It is believed that these spirits are stuck in time, reliving their daily duties and maintaining the ship.

One museum official tells of an encounter with a seemingly playful spirit with an affinity for pen caps. This employee lost six caps over the course of five weeks. He searched his entire office, checking every surface of the room, but there was no sign of the lost caps. The next morning, all six pen caps were neatly arranged in front of his computer keyboard.

The most famous spirit onboard the USS Lexington is Charlie. He is frequently encountered in the engine room, giving tours to guests. Many tourists have reported to museum employees about how helpful the young man in the engine room had been.

The stories are always the same; a handsome man with blue eyes, dressed in a World War II-era uniform that identifies himself as Charlie. He is described as incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable about the ship and its history. However, there is no tour guide named Charlie who works on the ship. In fact, there isn’t a tour guide stationed in the engine room at all.

Visiting the USS Lexington

For your chance to meet Charlie, or any of the other spirits on the Lexington, the museum is open seven days a week, year-round. Admission prices range from $14.95 for children up to $20.95 for adults.

In addition to the museum, the ship also offers three different themed escape rooms for $38 per person. Ghost tours are available at $50 per person, and last between 3-4 hours.

For more experienced investigators, late night ghost hunts are available for $75 per ticket. All guided tours must be booked at least 2-3 business days in advance.

Happy ghost hunting!