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Antique Piano Finds A Forever Home


This story started as a reply to Phillip Kafka's recent post about "50 King Street." I realized it just got too lengthy for a reply, so decided to make it a story. It never occurred to me before that it was a "haunting" or anything paranormal, but maybe it is?

PhillipKafka had talked about his time in an apartment with antiques that might've been visited by spirits. I have a lot of antique furniture, including wardrobe with mirror, 18th century linen press and others. I have an old secretery with glass doors next to my bed, and after my mom died I was having lots of dreams and woke one morning to find the glass doors open, sort of creepy. Otherwise have never experienced anything overt connected with my antiques. I do, as I'm polishing maybe, or dusting them or otherwise caring for them, sometimes get a sort of energy from them and always am aware of how I appreciate them and have sort of a "duty" to care for them to the best of my ability. It's all positive. And though I've probably seen too many movies, etc. About "haunted furniture" -- it does strike the imagination -- my home is a bright, cheery place decorated in a southern traditional "beachy" style, with these pieces interspersed (sorry for you all who're yawning at the decorating stuff, haha).

I also had an upright piano, bought in the '90s. It was a former player piano c. 1908, refinished, very pretty with a mirror installed where the music roll had been. The old piano collector/refurbisher in McDonough, Georgia had it out in his refinishing shed, a dreary, humid, barn-like place with many other pianos in various stages of work. I drove over an hour (I'm north of Atlanta), answering a small ad in the paper, and the old gentleman sold the instrument to me for about $150. I was a single mom, a widow, in my thirties and thought I hit the jackpot! My 8 year old daughter really wanted to learn (I wasn't musical and didn't realize I could've also bought a keyboard). Anyway, we got guys to move it cheap, and it became the center of our home and a happy thing... Daughter would play, practice and she and her friends would always mess around with it, being creative. A few years later, she could play Christmas carols and we'd all stand around and sing while she played, and it was perfect for putting decorations on top. The old player really held a place of honor in our family room.

When I re-married and we moved to our next home, daughter was a teen and decided to stop playing, so the heavy piece stayed in our drive-under basement storage room. At one point there was a sofa stored on top of it. One night, in the very middle of the night, my daughter woke up (in her room two stories directly above where the piano was stored) screaming, "MOM! MOM!" She swore she heard the piano playing. I had remarried and had a new baby, so I'm sure I was just exhausted, but have a vague memory of maybe believing I heard it too, and my new husband (who also thinks he heard it) immediately grabbed a baseball bat and went down to investigate. The lid to the piano keys was closed, so it couldn't have been an animal or anything walking on top. He saw nothing else out of place.

I like to think it was just the piano, reminding us it was still there for whatever reason, however spooky or dreamlike. We lived there ten years, never using the piano. But when we moved in here to our forever home, the piano got back a new place of honor, right at the center of our home, even though our daughter had gone to college. Then we inherited my mom's baby grand, so we had two pianos! Eventually, we decided to get rid of the antique, and were in the process of trying to figure out how. At one point, I was going to give it to a young family whose kids wanted to learn, but that fell through. Then one Saturday, my husband and I were literally talking about it when a knock came on our door. A local church youth group was playing this game where they start with a pencil and have to go around and trade UP for objects larger or better. They currently had an old flat screen tv, did we have anything that worked for their game? Immediately, we looked at each other and said, "How about a piano?" We truly didn't think they could do it, but they said, "Oh, we have a truck!" They were thrilled! So 10 big teenage boys rolled the piano out and onto the truck. A couple of them could play, and they played it even as they were lifting it into the truck (which conveniently had a hydrolic lift) and it's now sitting in the church youth room (in the church where our babies had attended pre-school). It seemed the PERFECT place for our old piano, and I often believe it's what God had intended. Perhaps we were just the care-givers in between homes! Sorry to tell such a long story. I never even thought about personifying that piano, and had completely forgotten about the night we thought we heard it play, until PhillipKafka made me think of my antiques. Thanks for reading!

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, MrsRamsay, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Tweed (33 stories) (2475 posts)
4 years ago (2020-05-11)
Hi Mrs Ramsay,

Sorry to be a grinch, but in the spirit of paranormal phenomena, I confess I don't believe this was paranormal. The restoration guy may not have converted it from pianola to piano, rather simply boarding it up with a mirror. Having a sofa placed on it in a basement isn't going to do the wood any favours, naturally expanding etc with temperature and humidity fluctuations, with a heavy load on top could be enough to warp it, and switch it to play mode. I've heard of warped wood creating pianola malfunctions, where they play a few bars and then stop. Heck the same thing happens with music boxes, children's jewellery boxes and such.

I used to have a turn of the century upright in my bedroom as a teenager and the blessed thing would loudly ring every single string/note like it had been dropped from ten feet. Stacks of fun hearing that in the middle of the night. That was thanks to wood movement and weather extremes in a house with no aircon. I'm super glad it wasn't a pianola now lol!

I believe musical instruments (amongst other things) have some kind of soul/intelligence. So I find the crux of your narrative within the boys at your door. The piano truly found itself a forever home and you and your family were an important part in its journey, and it in yours.

Thanks for sharing.
silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
4 years ago (2020-05-08)
Thank you for sharing this uplifting story! I hope the energies (if any) behind the piano are happy with the new home.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3144 posts)
4 years ago (2020-05-07)
Very interesting story. I think you hit the nail with the idea of your family being the piano's keepers until it found its way to its, hopefully, forever home.

Who or what play the piano that night may remain a mystery but, in my opinion, only makes an interesting piece of furniture even more interesting.

Thanks for sharing this intriguing and beautifully written story.
MrsRamsay (guest)
4 years ago (2020-05-07)
Hi Alina and LFrog, thank you for the kind words!
I spoke with my now-29 year old daughter about this today, told her I'd written the story of the piano and did she remember what happened with it? She IMMEDIATELY remembered, said she thought she was in about 10th grade and it had scared her to death. She said again today she is certain it was not a dream, that she had gone to bed late, after 2am, up reading, and had not yet fallen asleep, when she heard the keys playing, not a song but just randomly like someone was pounding on it. I asked if she was certain she could hear it from our second floor and she said it was so clear, with everything else being so quiet. I guess it will remain a mystery! I've said in my other posts that there is something about some of these incidents... The memories seem to fade very quickly and we move on to live our lives. But it's interesting when something sparks those memories and even more interesting to compare your version with another's rememberances. Take care!
Alina5 (3 stories) (136 posts)
4 years ago (2020-05-07)
Hello MrsRamsay,

A very heartfelt narrative. The title itself drew me in, it happens very rarely. I'm dazzled by your choice of antiques as I too maybe am a big fan of these ancient arts. I occasionally buy a few antique pots as decoration in the living room.

Well, often a times I've heard that many old items that has been used for years develop a memory of it. They recollect the events already occurred and tend to replay them. I read it in a Japanese folktale.
Probably the piano keys you've heard can be an example of this.

Nevertheless, beautiful narrative.

Thanks for sharing.

LFrog1386 (1 stories) (73 posts)
4 years ago (2020-05-06)
That is such a cool story and heartwarming, too. If the piano did indeed play when it was in storage, I also would like to believe it was a bit forlorn and lonely and wanted to be restored to its former place of glory in the home. I am touched that it did, then found a new home where it should be cherished for years to come. Thanks for sharing!

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