Case File: General Wayne Inn
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Description: The General Wayne Inn is a two-story split-level pre-Revolutionary War structure used as a restaurant. It's considered one of the longest continuously used restaurants in the United States.
History: Barton Johnson is the innkeeper of the General Wayne Inn; he is also the Vice President of the local historical society. He claims that there have been several strange occurrences that have happened at the inn. These reported occurrences include: towels being thrown across the kitchen, problems with the adding machine, unexplained issues with the televisions, and sightings of ghosts.
One incident occurred in 1987, when a valet walked passed a parked Cadillac outside the inn. The owner had gone inside and had taken the keys with him. Suddenly, the car started blaring its horn and the window wipers began moving back and forth. However, the doors and windows were still locked. The valet and the car's owner could find no explanation for the incident.
Barton says that he enjoys the ghosts and they don't bother him at all. He says that they come up with clever things to "entertain" themselves. He claims to have witnessed one ghost going down the bar, blowing on the backs of the girl's necks. He claims to have witnessed this occur dozens of times. He has witnessed many ghostly events; however, he has never actually seen a ghost.
Dave Rogers, a former maitre de, claimed that he saw a ghost one night while closing up the restaurant. While in the kitchen, he saw a decapitated head sitting on a chest of drawers for just a second. It took him a few seconds to realize that he had seen a ghost. Other employees have also seen apparitions. One day, Alice Gormley was walking through the dining room when she heard someone calling her name. She walked into the hallway and saw the apparition of a frightened soldier on the stairwell who disappeared. Local historian Jay Robert Manty studied the inn's history and discovered that the same ghost had been seen in the basement over a hundred years earlier.
One night during a local Halloween newscast about the inn, a number of regular patrons went to the bar to watch it. As the story began, the picture on the TV mysteriously began turning clockwise and continued to turn clockwise until the segment was over; this has never happened to the TV before or since. It also did not happen to any other TVs in the neighborhood. Many people at the inn are certain that ghosts haunt the place, and that they will continue to haunt the location.
Background: The General Wayne Inn opened in 1704, and is reputed to be the oldest continuously functioning inn in America. Many famous people, including Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Edgar Allen Poe, have stayed at the inn through the years. Poe even wrote part of his famous "The Raven" while there.
Investigations: Local historian Jay Robert Manty researched the inn's history and found that the ghost that Alice Gormley had also been seen over one hundred years ago at the inn. In 1848, an election took place at the inn. During this, a woman went down to get some more ballots when she saw a soldier in a green uniform. This same soldier has been seen numerous times in the basement by the wine cellar. The witnesses perfectly described the features and clothing of the Hessian soldiers that occupied Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War.
Unsolved Mysteries invited parapsychologist Michaeleen Maher to the General Wayne Inn to see if she could determine if the sightings were genuine. Starting with detailed floor plans, she uses statistical analysis to evaluate the responses of both skeptics and psychics that have been brought to the scene of the hauntings.
Michaeleen asked psychic Paula Rogers to walk through the building. She knew nothing about the inn's history. While in the basement, she saw a young soldier hiding there. She believed that the clothing he was wearing was from the 1700s. She believed that he had been "left behind". She sensed the soldier just a few feet from the spot where witnesses had reported seeing the Hessian soldier.
Michaeleen believes that something unexplainable is going on, but she isn't certain if it is caused by ghosts or not.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of a Halloween episode that aired on October 26, 1988.
In 1996, the General Wayne Inn was the scene of a murder featured on America's Most Wanted; their coverage of the case also briefly mentioned the haunting activity. It was also later featured on Forensic Files.
Results: Unsolved. In 1995, executive chef Jim Webb and his business partner Guy Sileo purchased the General Wayne Inn. On December 27, 1996, Jim was found murdered in his office in the inn. Police later determined that Sileo had killed Jim in order to collect a $650,000 life insurance policy he had on Jim. He allegedly needed the money because their business was failing and he owed his father $100,000. The gun used to kill Jim was later linked to him. In 2001, Sileo was convicted of the murder.
In 2005, the inn was converted into a Jewish synagogue and community center.
- The General Wayne Inn on Wikipedia
- General Wayne Inn at HauntedHouses.com
- Quantitative Investigation of the General Wayne Inn by Michaeleen Maher
- Ghosts continue to haunt restaurant
- New Life For The Haunted General Wayne Inn
- The Eternal Guests of the General Wayne Inn
- Restaurant owner arraigned on murder charges
- Victim's wife recounts fatal night
- Ex-chef convicted of murder at General Wayne wins a new trial
- Guy Sileo denied new trial in murder of chef, business partner Jim Webb