According to folklore, the Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship that must ravel through the ocean forever and can never go back to home, or to port. Often spotted from far away, the Flying Dutchman glows with a pale, ghostly type of light. If hailed by another ship, her crew will often try to send messages to land, to reach the deceased.
Dean: You know, I was thinking. You heard of the Flying Dutchman?
Sam: Yeah. A ghost ship infused with the captain's evil spirit. It was basically part of him.
Sam: Well, there are apparitions of old wrecks sighted all over the world. The S.S. Violet, the Griffin, the Flying Dutchman – almost all of them are death omens.
Flying Dutchman in Lore
On July 11, 1881, at approximately 4:00 a.m., the Flying Dutchman was sighted by crew members on board the H.M.S. Inconstant, including the future King George V of England. She was also seen by personnel on board two other ships nearby (the Tourmaline and the Cleopatra).
The Prince described her as a brig which emitted a "strange phosphorescent light as of a phantom ship all aglow". Since it is considered a most ominous sign to have seen the Dutchman, it is interesting to note that the sailor who first spotted her was killed in a fall on board ship and the admiral himself died shortly after this event.