Ghostly music from a stringless banjo, a favorite ghost story

Published 10:39am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

As clearly as he ever heard anything in his life, there came the sound of a squeaky fiddle and the distinctive sound of strings on a banjo, playing one of the oldest of mountain dance tunes, “Sourwood Mountain.”
He reached out his shaking hand and touched his sleeping companion. “Wake up and listen, there’s a dance going on right now in the old house.” His companion sprang to his feet saying, “I have been hearing it, but I thought I was dreaming.”
Suddenly the music stopped. There was only the sputtering of the dying fire, to which they both hurried to add dry leaves and blow them into flame. They sat for the rest of the night, listening to every sound. But the ghostly music was heard no more.
At daylight, they took their trout from the spring box and walked over two miles before they stopped for breakfast. They had no thought of looking for blood on the floor of the old house.
The young men grew to old age, never forgetting  the strains of “Sourwood Mountain” coming from an empty house, on a banjo without head or strings.

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