Captain Harding (also known as Ephraim Harding) was the captain of the John Milton.
In the winter, the John Milton was caught in a storm while coming back from the Chincha Islands. General speculation has it that Captain Harding misidentified a lighthouse, which caused him to take the ship the wrong way and it ran aground. In mid-February 1858, the John Milton sank and killed everyone on board. Captain Harding's body was recovered and interred at the Village Cemetery in Vineyard Haven, Tisbury, Massachusetts. Peter Venkman and Ray Stantz brought the Trap holding the ghost of his son Francis Harding and released him. Francis recognized his father and his connection with the construct of the John Milton was severed.