Many, many years ago during the time of the great Civil War, there was a kind and loving couple by the name of Rufus and Clarice Ingle. As a younger couple, newly wedded and full of hopes and ideas they had dreamed together of someday owning their own inn. Finally, when they had saved enough money they purchased a small piece of land, and built a cozy little inn upon it. They aptly named it Ingle’s Inn.
Rufus had been a colonel in the Army of Northern Virginia during the war, and it was said that famous acquaintances of his such as the General Robert E Lee and James Longstreet would stop and lodge at the inn when passing through the area.
Now, every year on the second Saturday in October, Ingle’s Inn would host the great Harvest Ball, to which the townsfolk would come dressed in their best and celebrate the festive and plentiful time of the harvest.
These were happy times for the couple, but they were sadly not to last. One year on the night of the ball, after the festivities had ceased and everyone had gone home, Rufus Ingle killed his wife Clarice with an old axe he had in a barn on the back property.
After this terrible act he walked across the stream to the garden where he used to sit in an old wooden chair, under his favorite shade tree, and laid down and died of unknown causes. There was no explanation; no answer for this brutal act; no way to find closure or peace, and as is usual when life is taken so cruelly, the spirits of the departed struggle to find rest.
Rufus and Clarice were buried there in the old garden which eventually became a small cemetery. Well, after that a shadow of darkness hung over the place, and no one would set foot in the old inn. As the years of vacancy passed it grew up, and became run down and abandoned and some say it haunted.
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Yes, many people have said that oftentimes on the second Saturday in October on the anniversary of the last harvest ball you can see the ghost of Clarice wandering in the woods behind the inn still in her harvest ball gown. Others say they have seen old Rufus’ ghost wandering the area of the graveyard across the creek or sitting by the cemetery in his favorite chair.
For those reasons the old Ingle Inn became known by folks in these parts as the Crossbones Inn, a place where none would dare to enter.
Well, many decades later the property was inherited by the descendants of Rufus and Clarice, and the old Inn was restored into a little cottage house. To this day the old Ingle Inn where Rufus and Clarice entertained their guests that fateful night is inhabited by their family.
There remain many stories of strange and unusual sights and sounds in the woods behind the old inn and the graveyard by the creek, which have been unexplained and mysterious.