Dining with Ghosts at the Captain Daniel Packer Inne
There are creaks and moans and bumps in the night at the old Captain Daniel Packer Inne in Mystic, CT. Fingerprints mysteriously appear on a certain window on the second floor. Is this the ghost of Captain Daniel Parker or of his poor great-niece Ada who died at the Inn?
Take a step back in time at one of the best historic examples of a New England Inn. The Captain Daniel Packer Inne was built by Captain Daniel Packer, across the street from the Mystic River 264 years ago. The inn is just a short walk from Main Street and is a cozy place to sit by the fire and enjoy live music, drinks, and fine food.
Daniel Packer earned the rank of captain during the Revolutionary War. The Captain was also a captain of square-riggers. After retiring from the sea he purchased the land bordering Water Street in 1754. He completed construction of the inn in 1756 and operated a rope ferry across the Mystic River at Packer Landing. Travelers going from New York to Boston would stay overnight at the inn then board the ferry in the morning after enjoying the captain’s hospitality. While they dined, Captain Packer would entertain his guests with thrilling tales of his adventures on the high seas. It’s quite possible George Washington was a guest at the inn.
Captain Packer and his wife, Hannah, had seven children and the inn was a bustling place. The Captain swore he would never leave his beloved inn and ran the inn up until the time of his death. Many people, including employees at the inn, have reported sighting the figure of a sea captain. The figure appears mysteriously only to disappear again. Are the mysterious sightings the old Captain watching over his inn?
Over 100 years later, in 1874, Captain Packer’s great-grandson ran the inn and his niece Ada Clift, who lived at the inn, came down with scarlet fever. Ada was seven years old when she passed away and, like Captain Packer, she loved the inn. Many people think it could be Ada’s ghost that still roams the old inn and leaves her fingerprints on the upstairs window.
Over the years the old weather-beaten inn slowly deteriorated and in 1979 the first proprietors, not of the Packer family, purchased the property. Richard and Lulu Kiley started a restoration that took four years. The preservation of the original fireplaces, mantles, beams, and other structural details was achieved through methods of construction dating back to the 1700s.
Today the Kiley’s invite visitors to step back in time and experience the fine fare and hospitality guests at the Captain Daniel Packer Inne experienced over 200 years ago. Many people remember and still request, some of the inn’s signature dishes such as lemon peppered chicken, scallops Nantucket, and Blackjack sirloin so they are still on the menu. On your next visit to Mystic be sure to visit the Captain Daniel Packer Inne and say hello to Ada and the old Captain.