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Church Music

Candi, VA, USA
October 2010

I want to start by saying this isn't my story, it belongs to my Uncle Fred. This is the only "ghost" story I have ever heard him tell, and he gets very serious on the rare occasion that he does tell it. After hearing about CoS he ask that I relay his story.

Let me give you a little background, as it relates to the story. My Uncle Fred is now in his mid-seventies. As his trade he repaired ceilings, applied plaster (referred to as mud/mudding) and painted them. Most of his career he worked alone. I'll be telling the story from his perspective.

In the late summer of 1967, I was hired to re-mud the ceilings in an old church just outside of town. I had planned to do this job by myself, but after the first day of work I vowed I would never set foot in that church alone again.

I started the job about 7am on a Tuesday morning. Back then church doors were never locked, so I let myself in and start work in the basement. Now the church itself was about 50 or 60 years old then, and the two sunday school rooms in the basement were newer additions. I decided to start there as they would be the easiest job.

At around three o'clock that day I was up on a ladder working when I heard the church piano start to play. At first it startled me, I guess because I hadn't heard a sound all day. I calmed down and thought maybe the church pianist may be practicing. I listened to the music as I worked. I wasn't familiar with the song, but it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard. The song lasted for about 6 or 7 minutes. When it stopped, I waited a couple of minutes for another one to start again. It never did. About 5 more minutes went by and I decided to head out for the day. I was gathering up my stuff, when I heard a baby start to cry.

At first I thought maybe the pianist had brought her child with her, but the baby continued to cry. As went back to gathering up my stuff the music started again and the crying stopped. I walked up the stairs and when I got to the door the music stopped again. I had planned to tell the pianist how beautiful her music was before I left. When I got to main room of the church no one was there. I looked around, and thought I must have just missed her. I walked over to one of the pews and set down to tie one of my boots. As I started to bend over the urge to get out the church overwhelmed me. I've never felt that afraid before or since. I grabbed my bag, jumped up, and ran for the door. I didn't even look back. When I was outside I heard the baby again with the music. I jumped in my truck and took off to the Preacher's house. I walked up to his front porch where he and one of the church deacons were setting and told him to find someone else to finish the job, that I quit. Instead of asking why, he said "I forgot to tell you to take someone with you."

I must have had a funny look in my face because he began to explain. In 1898 the original pianist for the church was a young girl about 14 or 15. She had an affair with an older, married man from the church and got pregnant. Fearing the reactions from the community the man talked her into killing the baby after it was born. Worried that the girl might say something, he killed her too and buried them both in the basement of the church. After weeks of nightmares the man confessed to the murders. Ever since then, anytime someone is alone in the church they hear music, a baby crying or a woman crying, and feel the urge to get out of the church. I went back and finished the job, but took two of my brothers with me. I never heard anything after that. After the job was done I ever went back there, and if I drive by to this day I get a cold chill to the core of me.

This is exactly how I've heard this story for the last 30 years. I hope you've enjoyed it.

Candi, VA, USA
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