Many things can be said of the piano, but mysterious is not typically one of them. The piano is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy/instrument. It generally avoids drama and just wants to play some music for you, that’s all! But occasionally, it can find itself entangled in some far-fetched and bizarre conspiracy theories, which, like most good conspiracy theories in this world, are bogus. With that being said, below we’ve collected for you the top piano mysteries of all time, that are not really mysteries at all. Enjoy! 🙂
1. The Case of the Mute Mystery Pianist
In 2005, the character from Billy Joel’s hit Piano Man came to life right before the very eyes of the British nation, becoming the talk of the town and eventually reaching worldwide news. If you haven’t heard of the tale, we’ll gladly fill you in.
On a warm spring afternoon, in the U.K. Isle of Sheppey, police found a man in a drenched suit wandering down a seaside road. The man had no identification on himself, appeared confused and most mysterious of all, was completely mute.
I have no caption because I’m mute.
Dumbfounded, authorities transferred him to a nearby hospital for evaluation, hoping that some syringes and surgical masks would perhaps coax/scare some response out of him, but to no avail. Their only clue as to his identity: When given a pencil and paper, the man drew a detailed image of a grand piano.
Let’s hope the Piano Man is not an artist for a living…
The mysterious piano man continued to baffle hospital staff and the rest of the world for another four months, remaining mute and communicating only through art and music.The lack of information about his identify and the odd circumstances surrounding his situation resulted in people doing what they know to do best, fill in the blanks with the most mind-blowing explanations conceivable. Rumors began to swirl, ranging from him being an autistic savant who could play anything from classical music by Tchaikovsky to pop music by The Beatles, to him being a missing French street musician who had his voice box removed.
Finally, our silent friend evidently grew tired of baffling the world, and one day he just decided to start speaking again. Once that happened, imagination bubbles worldwide burst, dreams were crushed, and hopes diminished, as it quickly became apparent that Mr. Piano Man was less amazing musical genius and more just your average emo kid with a rebellious streak. The mystery man in question? 20-year-old Andreas Grassl, a recently unemployed non-musician from Germany who had traveled to the U.K. on an impulse and decided to play mute because he was displeased with how the police treated him (aren’t we all Andreas, aren’t we all?). And that magical music that was rumored to have poured from Grassl’s fingertips when in contact with a piano? Turns out that was just a tiny bit exaggerated, and that “he was only able to play one note continuously.”
The moral of the story: Looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer to meet the Beethoven of our century, because it’s not Andreas Grassl. The End.
2. The Case of the Mysterious Piano on the Santa Monica Mountains
Only mere days ago did this last case unfold, the case of the mysterious piano on the Santa Monica Mountains. You see, though we’ve told you about how pianos can be found in odd and unlikely places, it’s not every day that they seemingly reach these places on their own. Such was the case on March 27, 2015, when some adventurous hikers stumbled upon a piano on top of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu. The question on everybody’s mind, how the heck did it get there? Keep in mind this is no simple hiking trail, and pianos are not exactly little lightweight butterflies that you can easily lug around. Moreover, for over a week while the entire state of California was in a frenzy over this mysterious piano, not a single person claimed responsibility. Was this just a case of extreme and very dedicated littering? Or perhaps was this a message of peace sent by our extraterrestrial neighbors? Not a single person knew, and as a result the rumors and scope of nation-wide imagination had a number of heydays. As word spread about the mysterious piano, hundreds of people hiked to the mountain top to check it out.
Can’t a piano enjoy the view in peace?!
Not aliens, but a few mere humans. Not littering, but a music video. That’s it in a nutshell. After a week of having a laugh on everybody else’s expense, and allowing every news station from NBC to CNN cover the story, singer/songwriter Rachel Wong finally decided to break her silence. Apparently, she and six guys hauled the piano more than a mile up the narrow mountain trail for a music video.
So…. No aliens? 🙁
In between smug giggles, Wong explained, “We were silently laughing at everybody’s responses on how it got there and why. They were talking about a helicopter pad and how they must have dropped it there with like an expensive crane. We were like, ‘Nope, it was six very, very ratty gym boys.”
Seen here, the mischief maker of California
Still, despite the disappointing lack of aliens in the story, the feat accomplished by Wong and her team is not one to be overlooked. The piano in question weighed 300 pounds and took them about 45 minutes to reach the top. And despite igniting the imagination of all Californian’s in vain, Wong has committed no crime and plans on cleaning up after herself too. She said in an interview, “My mother and father were like, ‘Why did you leave it there? Did you litter on purpose? They’re the only ones I’m in trouble with.”
So now that the mystery has been solved, only one very important question remains, how is she going to get the thing down?
3. The Case of the “Haunted” Piano
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? They deal with our fear of the unknown and leave us feeling creeped out but hyped up at the same time. As any ghost story aficionado knows, ghost stories are even better when they can be proven true, and we can begin thinking that the same thing may just happen to us, too. So with that said, we’d like to tell you a little tale of a haunted piano, and yes, it is a true story. And yes, it could very likely happen to you.
Uh…. It’s a trick of the light?
It’s Autumn, the weather is getting chilly and the days are growing shorter. A woman, we’ll call her Fiona, receives an old upright piano from her son that he had discovered while working his hauling service. The piano seems to be in good working order, so a delighted Fiona cleans it up, polishes it and sets it in the enclosed front porch of her old farm house, where it quickly becomes one of her prized possessions.
Several days pass without incident until one night Fiona begins to hear the sound of the piano from the porch. In her words, “It was random notes with no particular tune”. The random playing lasts for over 15 minutes and suddenly falls silent. This phenomenon continues on a regular basis, every evening, for over two weeks, and even other family members can hear it. Fiona tries to set up cameras to see if perhaps one of the neighbors is playing tricks on her, but she never sees anyone approach the piano. She concludes that she must have received a spirit along with the piano who is trying to pass a message on to her, perhaps a tortured soul whose musical light was extinguished too soon. The story catches attention and eventually even makes the local news, at which point a sane fellow neighbor sees the story and decides to put an end to all the hocus-pocus with a mind-blowingly simple explanation.
Mice. Those pesky little mice. Yep, turns out a bunch of Stuart Little’s were having a ball in the piano every night, crawling across and plucking the keys of the piano with their little feet, all the while undoubtedly laughing at the foolish town that was freaking out with silly stories of ghosts and hauntings. The troublesome critters not only unleased a bit of mischief on the town, but also caused a great deal of damage to the piano. Along with the usual “presents” they typically leave, they also made nests under the keys, gnawed on them, and basically just caused general mayhem.
Piano Keys Damaged by Mice
So how does our story end? The mice were removed, and with that, the ghost too. Until the next haunting, friends! Ciao!
[…] the story went viral, the infatuation with the mystery pianist grew. Known only as ‘Ryan,’ outreach workers at homeless shelters said they knew him but […]
Hi. Maya. I wonder if by any chance you know the source of the piano-ghost image. I’d love to use it for a haunted piano song and wouldn’t like to break any copyrights.