Jacob Penney

Pirate ghosts and hidden treasure

By Dale Jarvis

There are numerous locations across Newfoundland and Labrador that boast piratical phantoms. The community of Boxey on the south coast of Newfoundland, almost midway between English Harbour West and Coombs Cove, was one such locale.
In the 19th Century, Boxey was well known for an opening or “spy hole” in a local rock formation. The hole was used by local sailors to navigate safely amid treacherous rocks in the bay.

According to local legend, a man named Jacob Penney and his companion, Simon Bungay, ran aground close to the spy hole. It was said spirits had tricked them into running their boat onto the rocks.

The two men had been on a treasure hunt to haunted Deadman’s Bight, just up the coast from Boxey, when the boat ran aground.

The legend goes the men were able to pull the boat off the rocks and continue on the hunt for the buried treasure.

The twosome arrived at what was reported to be the location of the treasure, but their misadventure on the rocks had cost them valuable time. 

They arrived just in time to catch a glimpse of the fabulous treasure before a rock door slammed shut before it. The treasure was never recovered.