In late October (27th) Louis Duffy, purported to be a crew member of the Grampus arrived on the Mohican with a tale of vengeance and murder. According to Duffy the crew of the Grampus had misused the local women and the Eskimo men repaid them by killing almost all of them. The tale spread like wildfire and newspapers across the nation repeated the tale of abuse and revenge. Duffy added details of his own tribulations and escape from the evil captain, who beat him severely and starved the crew. Local newspapers had a field day embellishing the whole story. Yet rumors persisted that there were problems with the tale.
On Halloween of that year the ghosts of the Grampus made their presence felt in earnest. The fully-crewed Grampus arrived in San Francisco, with its holds containing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of whale oil. It was no ghost ship. The two-year voyage of the ship was a financial success and the ship had suffered the loss of a single sailor by disease. Despite the fact that the massacre tale was a pure fabrication, newspapers continued to spread the initial story, with the news of the survival of the crew following weeks to months later. As an example, on November 5, 1891 the readers of the Newton Kansan were reading Duffy's initial lies about the massacre. With the Grampus safe in port, Duffy had long since faded into obscurity in San Francisco.
The Grampus and other whaling ships wintering on the McKenzie that winter had shown the bounty of the the northern whaling groups of Alaska. The captain and crew had good things to say about their native hosts during the voyage. The newspapers subsequently published accounts of mistreatment of the crew by the captain, starving them and hooking them along with dogs to dogsleds. The crew claimed to be fed dog food and that they were beaten like dogs. When several attempted to desert they were hunted down, abused, and returned to service on the ship. The Grampus had over a decade of whaling ahead of it, but none of the later expeditions matched the 1890-1891 voyage.