This Merion Pennsylvania English-style coaching inn dates back to 1704. Famous guests include none other than George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Allen Poe, and General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, for whom the place was named.
The General Wayne Inn was originally known as the William Penn Inn, then it became the Wayside Inn, then Tunis Ordinary, then Streepers Tavern before settling on its current name in 1793.
Murders at this location date back to the Revolutionary war when Patriot soldiers killed and burned a Hessian soldier and buried his remains in the cellar. There have been literally hundreds of recorded accounts of paranormal sightings in the following centuries.
Due to its propensity for hosting famous guests and infamous spirits, The General Wayne Inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Fast forward to the 1990’s and all hell broke loose at the General Wayne. In the early 1990’s, there were frequent sightings of a beheaded soldier – whose disembodied head often appeared to employees on a pantry shelf. Ew.
In 1996, the co-owner of the Inn – James Webb – was found murdered in the third floor office. James’ business partner and friend Guy Sileo, is currently serving a life sentence for the murder. Yikes.
But it gets worse. Felicia Moyse, a 20-year-old assistant chef at the inn (and witness in the James Webb murder trial), committed suicide on February 22, 1997. Questions about her suicide persist to this day. Some say that she was the mistress of Guy Sileo and had some involvement in the murder.
Unfortunately, the ill-fated Inn closed in 2004 after having been in continuous operation since 1704.
That’s 300 years of serving suds folks!!
In recent years the General Wayne was purchased by a Jewish group called Chabad of the Main Line, and converted into a synagogue and Center For Jewish Life. So even though suds are no longer on tap at the General Wayne, the old place gets to live another century – even if it is a totally new reincarnation.
These are some photos I found on the Chabad website of the renovations that were done at the General Wayne…
Unfortunately they were renovations, rather than true restorations, so the Inn scarcely resembles an 18th century English tavern on the interior these days.
However, the new owners were required to maintain the historical integrity of the exterior.
You can see [below] that even though the “General Wayne Inn” sign has been replaced on the addition, the “1704” date is still visible under the peak of the original building:
Nothing stays the same forever, and the General Wayne Inn of Merion Pennsylvania is a testament to that.
BUT, spirits from the otherworld don’t always take kindly to changes in their earthly dwelling place. No word on if the Jewish faithful have witnessed any unruly apparitions here.
Perhaps becoming a place of worship has cleansed the bad energy that had plagued this old Inn for the past three centuries…. perhaps.