The phantom fiddler is pretty common in American folklore, depending upon which region you’re researching. Here is a growing collection of “phantom fiddler” lore and legend.


The Phantom Fiddler of Johnson County, Tennessee

Years ago, in Johnson County, Tennessee, there was an expert fiddle player named Martin Stone.

The majority of the people in the region loved to hear Stone play and soon they found a second use for his musical skill—that of charming snakes. Rattlesnakes to be precise.

Stone knew how to achieve an octave on the fiddle which seemed to entrance the reptiles. He became so proficient with his talent, he could stand on a rock beside an entire den of the rattlers and all of them would lose the aggression and calm with the music.

The enchantment was not to be forever. At one point, Stone did something. He stood outside the same cave, enticing the same snakes, but they turned on him. The snakes attacked.

They found his body the next day. He was gone, but his legacy was not and even today, locals say people can stand around the rock he once played upon, and on summer evenings, you can still hear a phantom fiddler playing music inside the cave.

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