The Harrowing History Behind Deadman’s Island Is Absolutely Shocking

by : Daniel Richardson on : 05 Jul 2021 21:13

Off the River Medway in the UK, there is a creepy island called Deadman’s Island that has the remains of criminals scattered across it. 

As the name of the island suggests, there are plenty of creepy stories about it, and it has a sad history. The island was used as a burial site for criminals who had died on ships more than 200 years ago, and the skeletons can still be seen.


More than 160,000 convicts were transported to Australia from the British Isles between 1788 and 1868, and this is a key part of the island’s history. When the criminals were shipped to Australia it could lead to death for those who weren’t fit. As a result, these criminals were buried on Deadman’s Island.


Typically, people who weren’t going to survive the trip were separated from others and put in the lower decks of a prison hulk. Once the prisoners had died, they were put into a wooden box and stored at the bottom of the ship before they were buried on the island.

Despite being buried six feet deep, the coffins and skeletons have resurfaced. This is partly due to the muddy terrain. However, the primary reason for the skeletons appearing is rising sea levels and lower tides bringing up the remains of a burial ground. Due to this changing surface, skeletons can be found all along the Coffin Bay area.


As the video shows, numerous body parts can be found along the island. With this in mind, some may feel that the remains should be reburied. However, it has been said that the bones have been weathered and scattered, which means a proper burial could not take place.

Deadman's Island (UNILAD)UNILAD

The weathering of the bones means that they may not survive being removed from the ground to be buried. Other parts may have also fully decomposed in the muddy landscape. Furthermore, there would be issues trying to identify the deceased from the fragments that remain.

Many will be interested in visiting the island and uncovering a piece of strange history. Despite people wanting to see it, the island is restricted to visitors as it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and it is also a bird nesting and breeding area. On the back of this, visitors are rarely allowed to see the eerie island.


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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. These included the likes of The Hook, WhatCulture and Game Rant. Eventually, Dan found a home for his journalism at UNILAD.

Topics: News, history, Now, UK



    The Harrowing History Behind Deadman's Island