Academy Award winning actor, director, and producer John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907 and he died June 11, 1979. In life he was known as a western movie star, portraying larger than life heroes and protectors of liberty. In death, he’s also known as a protector, but of a different sort.
Other than movies, John Wayne had another true love – his beloved yacht named the Wild Goose. He bought the yacht in 1964 and owned it for the rest of his life. Could the Duke himself still haunt the beloved ship? Many think he does.
Parapsychologist William G. Roll and Psychic Patricia Hayes are such people. The Wild Goose’s newest owner, a Santa Monica attorney named Lynn Hutchins also believes in the ghost of John Wayne. Weird occurrences began happening four months after he bought the boat so he invited Roll and Hayes aboard the Wild Goose to investigate. They discovered that Hutchins was not making it up. The investigators felt the presence of John Wayne and found that Hutchins was psychologically sound.
The psychologically sound Hutchins has heard footsteps up and down the deck in the middle of the night that he attributes to the spiritual Duke, who used to regularly pace on the deck while alive. It’s not just Hutchins. A caterer also has heard the same nightly steps. And it’s not just sounds, but the passed over Duke has been seen as well as heard. Hutchins has seen the ghost of John Wayne not one, not twice, but three times in total, according to this article. Hutchins has seen his ship’s previous owner in a doorway, in the bar, and another time in the salon. Usually the spirit is shaded in gray and isn’t a frightening sight, and the ghost disappears immediately. Hutchins is never afraid of the ghost of John Wayne. Quite the contrary, he feels protected by the Duke’s spiritual presence.
Then there is the case of the mysterious lanterns. According to the book “More Haunted Houses” by Richard Winer and Nancy Osborn Ishmael, Hutchins bought some unique brass hurricane lamps that the ship’s engineer recognized from when Wayne was still alive. While alive, the Duke requested they be taken down because he kept bumping his head on them, so the engineer stowed them away. When Hutchins found the stowed away lamps, he was shocked to see what must be more than a crazy coincidence: that the two lamps were identical to one another.
Time has stood still on the Wild Goose. Hutchins keeps the ship in a museum like state to honor the passed on previous owner. Wayne’s plaques are still hanging from the walls and his books still sit on the shelves. In this way Hutchins is merely sharing the Wild Goose with the spirit of John Wayne and the boat is still just as much Wayne’s as it is Hutchins’s. Hutchins may be the ship’s current owner, but John Wayne will always be the Goose’s protector. Neither Hutchins nor the Duke would want it any other way.