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Fiddler On Church Steps


First of all I have to put the obligatory "long time reader, first time submitting". I have been reading this website on a near nightly basis for a long time, I love it. Second, I'm not really positive that this was a spirit. It could have just been a person, but it was supremely strange and definitely had a supernatural air about it, and I cannot be for sure if it was a ghost or not!

I used to work at a movie theater and would sometimes get off of work between midnight and two o'clock in the morning. One such night I was driving home and was in the suburbs nearing my home. It was dark and very quiet because, after all, it was quite late at night and there weren't many cars out and no pedestrians.

I slowly drove by a church on my passenger side that I was pretty familiar with. This was my home town and I had passed the church countless times, and had even been inside several times. There was a stop sign right in front of the church, so I had to come to a halt, but as I was approaching the church I noticed a figure on the front steps. This was a little strange because of the time of night, but as I drew closer and I could take in more details things got even stranger.

The front of the church has just a small set of wide steps that lead to double doors. Above the doors is a large circular window that is made of stained glass and is illuminated beautifully at night. Standing at the top of the steps was an elderly man, wearing a "newsboy" type cap. What I found to be peculiar, however, was that he was playing a violin. I had my windows rolled up so I couldn't hear the music, but even so, as I slowed to a halt at the stop sign, he slowly lowered the fiddle from his chin and looked right at me. Eventually he had the violin and bow down at his sides and was following my car with his head (it was too dark to make out his face or eyes).

I didn't stick around at the stop sign to take a closer look. I was seriously creeped out! It was like something out of a folktale. Again, I don't know for sure if it was a spirit or a live person or WHAT but it stayed with me to this day and I kind of wish I could have stopped to talk to him or just listen to the music. As spooky as it was, it was kind of magical at the same time.

I can't promise I will get back to any comments in a timely fashion, but I would love to hear if anyone has a similar experience. I love it when people respond to stories with similar experiences they have had or folkloric references, I think its fascinating. Thanks for reading!

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

goblinkwain (1 stories) (9 posts)
4 weeks ago (2021-09-25)

Thank you once again for your long and thoughtful comment and my apologies for my delay in response.

Crossroads! How could I not have realized this earlier! I have long been fascinated with crossroads and all twixt and tween places.

I also love the Fey, as I noted having Irish ancestry, or the Sidhe, or whatever you love to call them 😊 I cannot wait to read this article you have linked, I am loving the helper spirit you mentioned! I am dying to know more about your experience as messenger at the crossroads...

THANK YOU for sharing your account, I got chills reading it.

I will have to think more on what I was seeking to learn from this guide... Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond so thoughtfully!
goblinkwain (1 stories) (9 posts)
4 weeks ago (2021-09-21)
ladydarke, thank you your comment means so much to me. I'm sorry I haven't seen it until just now and I will respond properly tomorrow because I think I will have a lot to say. Thank you!
MrsRamsay (10 stories) (212 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-16)
ladydarke, I read your post with complete fascination. Thanks for the input and the incredible story!
ladydarke (104 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-15)
"I met a fiddler at the crossroads," he said. "Is there any folkloric reference?"

Start here: http://www.luckymojo.com/crossroads.html

You mention a stop sign right in front of the church, hence an intersection: hence a crossroads. Crossroads themselves are important in a number of traditions. In Europe, suicides and others denied burial in consecrated earth were buried at a crossroads. Gallows were erected there. Numerous magical traditions around the world dispose of workings at a crossroads.

And, of course, there is the devil at the crossroads who will teach you to play the fiddle, or guitar, or to dance, and so on. If you read the article linked above, it goes into detail about how what Christianity has come to term "the devil" has roots in an ancient pre-Christian helper spirit who would teach a skill. If indeed you saw not a regular lil' ol' man but a spirit of the crossroads, it would likely belong to the ancient class of nature spirits like the fey, which would in turn synch up with your fairy ring. (Very cool pic btw).

Intuition counts for a lot in these situations. If you felt that "weird pricking of your thumb," as the saying goes, it's likely there was something there. It does seem necessary to note that it's not always a spirit at the crossroads: sometimes one of us plain old embodied people is asked to step in. I myself have been called to stand at the crossroads and pass on a message. Sometimes it's even a literal crossroads.

As you asked for stories, There was a time when a fellow traveler on a country road in the middle of a ice storm came out from a crossroads, right when I most needed it, and let the way. You see, my alternator had suddenly started to fail. My car would start losing power, lights dimming, engine dying, then kick back on for a few more minutes of travel before repeating the cycle. It was storming, poor visibility, roads covered in thick snow, slush, and ice such that a small car like mine had to stay exactly in the thin and fading tracks left by other cars - except with the conditions and my dimming lights, I couldn't even see them. No one else was on the road that I saw. There were fields and woods for a long way around, no houses, the worst possible place to break down especially with a car that lost power and as such would have no heater. I called on my guides and guardians for help, and that was when the power got steadier, and this other car turned on the road in front of me: a big heavy old school boat of a car, it was. It made tracks for me to follow, navigating flawlessly through the blackness of icy rain and sleet, it drove at exactly the speed I felt safe at, and it took my exact route through the country roads to my small town. This car turned off on the final backroad leading right into my town - this one was finally clear, plowed and salted, with the occasional streetlight. Immediately upon making this final turn, the car I followed pulled over onto the shoulder. There was nothing there, no driveway, no mailbox, no reason to stop. Conditions had suddenly improved, so no reason to stop for that. The only thing that changed was that I didn't need a guide anymore. I hesitated, then slowly passed, looking across at the driver. He was the sole occupant of the car, an old man with a hat pulled low almost like a deliberate attempt to obscure his face. He didn't acknowledge me as I passed. The mechanic looked at my car the next day and my alternator belt was shredded, held together by threads. It was pretty incredible I made it home.

So, with your old man at the crossroads, if that is indeed the interpretation here - what skill had you been trying to learn? As he had a fiddle, was yours the traditional desire to be able to play anything you desired? If not that, what knowledge had you been seeking?

From your recounting, he seemed surprised you didn't recognize him, or the moment, and that you chose to breeze on by. Ah well. Perhaps you weren't ready. In some legends, King Arthur breaks the sword in the stone, then gets Excalibur from the lady in the lake. We see there are sometimes second chances.

Thanks for sharing your story.

MrsRamsay (10 stories) (212 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-13)
That's a beautiful church! I'm going to stick with my "ancestor watching over you on your late night drive home" narrative.

Or an angel. Yeah. An angel!
All the best, stay safe!
goblinkwain (1 stories) (9 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-11)
and here actually is a picture of the church I am talking about 😆 the exact location where I saw the fiddler actually. Okay I swear I'm done!

goblinkwain (1 stories) (9 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-11)
All right sorry for the manic posting but I found the picture I mentioned in my previous comment. Thanks for making me feel comfortable as a first time poster on YGS 🖤

goblinkwain (1 stories) (9 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-11)
I think it's worth mentioning that one of the only true, full fairy rings I have found (as in a circle of mushrooms/toadstools) was in the grass directly across from this church. I even have a picture of it that I may be able to dig up.
goblinkwain (1 stories) (9 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-10)
Rob, I LOVE that story! I like that both of our stories have a shared theme of music and its presumed ghostly source. Yours even has a folkoric aspect to it, which I LOVE 😁 And I think I can say that even if the ghosts in neither your wife's story or mine are real, they are still quite fun and interesting.

I have certainly seemed to have gotten MrsRamsay's imagination going 😊 thank you once again for your engaging comments, and to Rob for sharing that lovely story.
robmkivseries70 (1 stories) (25 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-09)
Hi [at] goblinkwain,
I have a story from the Mrs which turned out to have a more earthly explanation. As a kid, she would lay in bed of a summers night and hear this most beautiful horn music. As it worked out, her house was a city street and a couple of properties from the local college music building. Going into HS, one of her friends was able to solve the mystery by mentioning that her dad, when he couldn't sleep, would go down to the music building and play his French horn. Of course he was seen by some students who had no idea anyone could be playing music well into the wee hours of the morning; thus, he became known as the Ghost of Solarno Hall.
MrsRamsay (10 stories) (212 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-09)
So very interesting about the Irish ancestry. I wonder also if there is anything significant about him playing on some church steps. If I should try to think of a narrative for you to consider, I'd consider that perhaps you have an Irish ancestor you aren't real familiar with and he was keeping an eye on you on your drive home, maybe even wanted you to see him?

You describe it as both spooky and magical... Isn't it interesting how our intuition can throw a wrench into things? You could also look at it like... Maybe it was a seriously evil guy just trying to lure someone. Yikes! Glad you didn't stop!
goblinkwain (1 stories) (9 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-09)
Thank you both SO much for reading my story, and responding with experiences of your own. As I said, it is what I love about this website.

You both do make a solid point about it being a strange time and place for someone to be out and about playing violin.

MrsRamsay, I did not look closely for a vehicle the man may have had parked. The hat does have a bit of significance to me, I feel like a lot of Irish people wear those type of hat, and I come from Irish ancestry. My grandpa was a musician but a drummer, not a fiddler. Thank you again for sharing your own story with me!

Rajine, all I remember is him stopping to stare at me until I was gone/had stopped looking back. So as far as I know he did not vanish. Both of your experiences you shared are really spooky, even more so at night I would imagine! Thank you so much for recounting them to me!
Rajine (14 stories) (277 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-09)
Hi Goblinkwain

That definitely is creepy, I don't think someone in their normal mind would stand outside at around 2am playing a musical instrument for no reason or rather for no one and that too being an elderly man out late at night.

As you drove off did you look back to see if he was still standing on the church steps?

I've had a similar experience where I walked past a man who literally disappeared a split second later, when I turned to look back he was gone, and another where I was walking down the road and I could hear footsteps behind me and when I stopped to cross the road to get home I still heard the footsteps walk past me but I saw no one around, both these experiences happened after dark but not as late as your incident.
MrsRamsay (10 stories) (212 posts)
1 month ago (2021-09-05)
Goblinkwain, that's a pretty wild story and I'm going to say I believe it was supernatural, if only because of the late hour and the unusual circumstances of it being a church. Most seniors aren't out fiddling, dancing, partying or anything that late at night. Do you remember seeing a vehicle of any kind?

It reminds me of something that happened on my way to my aunt's house a couple years ago. It was about 7:30 in the morning, and my aunt called to tell my my beloved uncle had died that morning after a long illness. He was at home, so I got the kids off to school and left asap, as the drive was almost an hour to get there and she was alone except for one nurse who'd been helping.

On my way, I had to pass the local homeless ministry, which is never a big deal. There are always a half dozen homeless headed to or from to get their latest meal or whatever, some of them have bikes and some just walk, but all are recognizable because this is a suburban business district and other people's clothing is obviously different.

As I slowed for a traffic light, I had been thinking specifically about my uncle and how much fun he had been when I was young. He stood in for my Dad sometimes on special occasions or holidays (because Dad was killed in Vietnam) and though I am in my late 50s we've always been close. I was pretty composed up until that point, but as I approached the stoplight, I was starting to feel the tears fall. I actually spoke out loud to my uncle, saying something about "oh I'm going to really miss you!" Immediately upon completing my sentence, I happened to look to the side of the car through the passenger window where I met the eyes of an older homeless man walking near the intersection. It happened SO fast, but our eyes met and he gave me the MOST BRILLIANT SMILE I think I've ever seen in a homeless person (frankly, don't think I've ever seen one of them meet anyone's eye let alone smile). It was surreal. In that moment, I felt like God or an angel or someone had made it happen. It was like out of a movie, and the piercing gaze, the best way I can describe it, was SO brief. I almost didn't believe it really happened. But then, I'm starting to recognize spiritual or unusually unusual things when they happen, and most often they occur when someone I know dies. Was I getting a message from someone, trying to tell me my Uncle was ok? Or that they got my message? I could not stop or turn around to see what the man did next, had to keep driving, but felt like electricity had hit my car!

Was there anything going on in your life at the time that might be interpreted as a reason for this... Is the type of hat significant to your family or ancestors? Did any of your family or ancestors attend that church? And finally, even if it makes no sense to you now, something could happen ten years from now that clarifies the whole scene. I recommend you write it down (with more detail if you can remember any) and keep it in your "memory file" just in case!

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