Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Johnny Coyle and the Accomac Inn

accomac inn
The Accomac Inn from York County Dining

The Accomac Inn (Wrightsville, York County) started out as Anderson's Ferry in 1742, and a hotel was added in 1771. It later became Keesey's Ferry, then Coyle's Ferry, and by 1875 was the Accomac Inn. It was destroyed by fire in 1935 and rebuilt.

But the ghosts are from its' days as Coyle's Ferry. Johnny Coyle was the son of the ferry owner, and fell hard for a girl working there named Emily Myers. Emily had no time for Johnny. One day as she was milking the cows in the barn, Johnny started to press his advances on her again. She spurned him again, and the frustrated Johnny couldn't take it any more. He shot her.

It was one of the big trials of the day. Johnny pleaded not guilty because of a weak mind (and in truth he wasn't the brightest bulb in Wrightsville.) Bad plea - he was sentenced to be hung by his irate neighbors. He appealed and got a retrial in another county, in front of a neutral jury. It ended with the same results. He was hung this time, in Gettysburg, and his mom took his body home.

His stone marker is just off the current parking lot of the Inn, fifty feet from the front door. Johnny's spirit still allegedly roams the Accomac. His spook has been reported by many folk, and Johnny loves to play poltergeist games like breaking dishes, slamming doors, and hiding objects inside the Inn.

It's said Emily also haunts the Accomac Inn. Her presence is especially felt late at night when you can hear soft music and a woman's voice in the building.

One employee reported seeing a young spectral couple together in the upstairs storage room. We're not sure who they are. We'd like to think that perhaps Emily finally gave in to the persistent Johnny's charms in the afterlife and they're together at last. Then again, she might still be holding a small grudge against him, so...

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