LEGENDARY captain of the Flying Dutchman ghost ship, Davy Jones is not just a character in Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Davy Jones is a ghost story among sailors – but could he have been a real person?
Who is Davy Jones?
Davy Jones is a mythical character whose ship floats above the water.
In the 21st century he has become popularized in the Pirates Of The Caribbean film franchise as an octopus-faced man.
While Davy Jones’ Locker appeared around the 18th century, there are lots of potential origins of the mythical man.
He is portrayed as a nautical bogeyman or devil and is also referred to as the evil god of the sea, a demon or even Satan himself.
In one legend Davy Jones is a sailor who falls in love with the goddess Calypso.
She gifts him the ship The Flying Dutchman to ferry the souls of those who died at sea to the afterworld.
Jones works for ten years believing that he and Calypso will be together after this time – but she betrays him, leaving him cruel, fierce and feared by all other sailors.
But there are also theories that a real life David Jones was the inspiration for the character.
One was a pirate captain who sailed across the Indian Ocean in the 1630s.
Others argue that Davy Jones was not a pirate but a publican who stole a ship after his pub went bankrupt.
If you look at more biblical origins, Davy Jones could be a version of Jonah who was punished for his disobedience and swallowed by a whale.
What is Davy Jones’ Locker?
No matter which tale you accept as the origin of Davy Jones, the idea of his Locker remains constant.
It is a metaphor for the bottom of the sea.
The first written mention of the Locker with a negative connotation is in The Four Years Voyages of Capt. George Roberts by Daniel Defoe, published in 1726.
In the book Jones is portrayed as the deity of death, and the Locker is the final resting place of the dead sailors.
Nineteenth century works that include a reference to Davy Jones’ Locker include Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby-Dick (1851), Charles Dickens’ Bleak House (1852-1853) and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, published in 1883.
In the 20th century he is depicted in Popeye comics as a sea spirit who inhabits the bottom of the ocean as well as his Locker, which is located in a sunken ship.
What happened to Davy Jones?
The most prevalent story of Davy Jones emerged in the 1600s and is used in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.
Davy Jones is the cursed captain of the ghost ship, The Flying Dutchman.
The ghostly vessel is caught in a storm and heading for rocks and danger but then suddenly vanishes.
The Dutchman sails the seas, hoping to find port but instead has become a harbinger of death for all those who see it.
Jones recruits unlucky sailors who see the ship to help man his ghost ship for eternity.
Others are resigned to Davy Jones’ Locker and lost forever.
Whoever the original Davy Jones was, sailors hope never to meet him to find out the truth.