Ghostly Encounters In Music

Here are some of the most famous stories of artists and bands being influenced by spirits or ghosts.

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Rock n' roll has always attracted strange tales of ghosts and spirits. Whether they are true ghostly experiences or a by-product of copious drug abuse I'll leave that to your interpretation. Either way, here are some of the most famous stories of artists and bands being influenced by spirits or ghosts. I'm sure I will have missed some so make sure you add them to the comments below.

Rick Rubin's Haunted Mansion

Perhaps one of the most famous ghost stories in music is Rick Rubin's haunted mansion in Laurel Canyon. Made famous by Red Hot Chili Peppers' documentary, "Funky Monks", the mansion has been used to record bands including The Mars Volta, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Red Hot Chili Peppers. All of which reported ghostly encounters. Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison claimed to have felt something walk through him whilst in the basement and refused to go down again. Vocalist Corey Taylor claimed he saw figures appear before him in his room and has since maintained, It's so weird, I don't even like talking about it. Red Hot Chili Peppers also reported ghostly sightings at the house. Bassist Flea told MTV that they had these psychics that came up and at one point they said that they saw a lady in black walking in the back and that she was a ghost. The band spent the entire recording process without leaving the house, all except drummer Chad Smith who refused to stay at the house because of the hauntings. I mean, I'm not scared of ghosts. But I felt a presence, he said.

The Mars Volta

Omar and Cedric of The Mars Volta famously claimed the inspiration for the concept behind "The Bedlam in Goliath" came from a three-way love story played out through a Ouija board. The spirits that spoke to them also began to haunt them and they experienced a number of ghostly encounters during the recording process. Their studio flooded, equipment began to malfunction and Cedric suffered a severe foot injury. With the band about to bin the entire album as a result, Omar buried the Ouija board and kept its location secret.

John Frusciante

At the height of his drug addiction, RHCP guitarist John Frusciante claimed to be heavily influenced by spirits. Even since being clean John often talk about how spirits influence his decisions in life and has very complex philosophies of how songs exist in different forms in different dimensions. Frusciante recalls being in a room and sitting there with a ghost, hearing their voice in your head and seeing them as clearly as I'm seeing you right now. During the recording of his second solo album, "Smile From The Streets You Hold", he explained in an interview how he communicated with spirits. The spirits give you ideas for things, and what's important to them is what's important to me.

Brandon Flowers

Killers' lead singer Brandon Flowers is convinced that he will die on his birthday after experimenting with a Ouija board during his teenage years. A spirit summoned by the board told him his death would be associated with the number 621. Flowers' birthday is the June 21. Once I had to fly to Glastonbury on my birthday, he says, that was a real mess. Flowers is not the only one to have experimented with a Ouija board. Alice Cooper's early press releases claimed the alter-ego name came after a spirit told Vincent Furnier that he was the reincarnation of a 17th century witch named Alice Cooper.

Robert Johnson

Though not strictly a ghost story, my favourite spooky musician tale is Robert Johnson's meeting with the devil. The legend tells how the blues genius sold his soul in exchange for his expert skills. After waiting at the crossroads deep in the Mississippi Delta, the devil appeared, tuned Johnson's guitar and he returned with incredible guitar chops. It is suggested that the devil came to claim his dues a few years later as Robert Johnson died aged only 27. Coincidence? Johnson wasn't the only musical genius the devil claimed at that age. Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin all died aged 27. The devil drives a hard bargain. Text by Ben Brown Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2010

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    Axeman96
    Slash_is_a_God wrote: Nikki Sixx's flying silver-wear while writing material for Shout at the Devil, anyone?
    Yeh He was reading some death book. I think the scariest things about ghosts is theirs no evidence...
    Ali-b912
    JimBonJovi wrote: based on the conclusive information, that being videos, photos & witnesses
    >conclusive information >videos, photos & witnesses The same ones that prove Aliens, Sasquatch, The Loch Ness Monster, and that Jews/The Government/Commies/Nazis/Blacks/Potatoes did the 9/11 attacks? Right.
    Martis93
    I can't believe you guys... You people going on about their not being ghost and spirits and all, but the Robert Johnson thing? Sure thing! Know why? Cause you all love the thought of a black man being dragged to hell. Disgusting...
    From what you've said, it seems to me that this actually IS your opinion. No one said a thing insulting Robert or giving hints of racism, you brought it up. But I won't be arguing about racism here. The article was good, could've been longer though.These stories really pulled me in!
    metalgod97
    I am agnostic, but that has absolutely nothing to do with whether you believe in spirits or not. After having close encounters, you will soon shift your eyes... trust me
    Gyoung1991
    Lord_Vhailor wrote: Didn't Black Sabbath's name come from the movie of the same title?
    Yes, but the song's lyrics were about Geeze seeing a figure in black at the end of his bed and such. "What is this that stands before me, figure in black da da da da da"
    jimmysaint
    and has very complex philosophies of how songs exist in different forms in different dimensions
    john you are my hero
    Romper Stomper
    Coincidence? Johnson wasnt the only musical genius the devil claimed at that age. Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin all died aged 27. The devil drives a hard bargain. This made me laugh! Good read!
    ThatCrookedBoy
    [quote}Yeh He was reading some death book. I think the scariest things about ghosts is theirs no evidence...[/quote] occams razor anyone?
    LedZoso4
    Isn't Lucretia about a ghost that Dave Mustaine would just hang out with in his attic?
    Rebel Scum
    Mr.DeadDuck wrote: Kurt was 28 years old when he killed himself.
    Ahh...no he was 27
    CG138
    ThatCrookedBoy wrote: occams razor anyone?
    Haha. Common delusion based on widespread media saturation and basic psychological phenomena, or magical minds existing without physical brains/properties/intrinsic value? That's a tough one, my friend.
    Senor Kristian
    I can't believe you guys... You people going on about their not being ghost and spirits and all, but the Robert Johnson thing? Sure thing! Know why? Cause you all love the thought of a black man being dragged to hell. Disgusting...
    shwilly
    So does this mean I have to light a candle each day on Brandon Flowers' birthday and hope his prediction comes true? I don't know if I could handle 10 more years of his sh*tty band
    bass-man9712
    The devil drives a hard bargain.
    you think he's gonna take sh*t from some musician?(no disrespect intended) didn't Marilyn Manson have one too?
    §tranger
    Why the hell did that kid have to bring in ****ing religion, I mean come on. 1. You don't know what the hell you talking about (no pun intended) 2. Atheism got shit on Spirituality. And these stories are pretty awesome, seems that music is literary influenced by other worldly things.
    MightyAri
    I would put money on all these being publicity stunts or easily explainable.
    ProgJazzMath
    MightyAri wrote: I would put money on all these being publicity stunts or easily explainable.
    I wouldn't. Personally I believe everything these guys have to say because I have had a shit ton of experience with the paranormal. One day I heard something call my name in my room, and I was the only one there. After that I set up cameras and recording devices to catch stuff falling off of shelves, voices speaking into the recorders and lights failing. Also have heard something rummaging through my stuff at night. Definitely wouldn't say these things to be a publicity stunt. Although I will say the validity of Frusciante's experience are debatable considering he was run over with drugs at the time.
    Taraalcar
    Ghosts are all a foolish business. Any one of them could have been high... (and if you have proof ghosts exist, the James Randi Educational Foundation will pay you 1 million bucks). Although I always liked the Robert Johnson tale.
    Taraalcar
    SumFX wrote: im just gonna go ahead and assume most of these people are druggies. ghosts pfffft.
    +1
    18th_Angel
    JimBonJovi wrote: sticksause wrote: I'm an atheist and don't really believe in ghosts and stuff like that, but I am just a sucker for stories like these Atheism has nothing to do with the spiritual realm. It's not about religious beliefs at all. Point being, we are all alive and we don't know what happens when someone passes away but based on the conclusive information, that being videos, photos & witnesses, I'd say the the arrow points more towards the truth of therebeing a spirit realm or another life beyond the one we live now. Non one can for sure but wel...there it is.
    Believing in spirits is a religious belief, because there is no evidence what so ever that points towards the existence of them. If you believe there is then your standards of evidence are not high enough and you are deluding yourself. It is far greater to perceive the universe as it actually is than to persist in any delusion, no matter how reassuring it is.
    Skuzzmo
    ProgJazzMath wrote: MightyAri wrote: I would put money on all these being publicity stunts or easily explainable. I wouldn't. Personally I believe everything these guys have to say because I have had a shit ton of experience with the paranormal. One day I heard something call my name in my room, and I was the only one there. After that I set up cameras and recording devices to catch stuff falling off of shelves, voices speaking into the recorders and lights failing. Also have heard something rummaging through my stuff at night. Definitely wouldn't say these things to be a publicity stunt. Although I will say the validity of Frusciante's experience are debatable considering he was run over with drugs at the time.
    So you came across some things that you couldn't explain easily and you instantly thought it must be paranormal. Is that what you're saying? Also, did you catch anything with the camera and recording equipment? I'm gonna have a wild stab in the dark here and say you didn't...or certainly nothing of any merit..but please do post on youtube and lets have a look if think you have....
    JimBonJovi
    18th_Angel wrote: JimBonJovi wrote: sticksause wrote: I'm an atheist and don't really believe in ghosts and stuff like that, but I am just a sucker for stories like these Atheism has nothing to do with the spiritual realm. It's not about religious beliefs at all. Point being, we are all alive and we don't know what happens when someone passes away but based on the conclusive information, that being videos, photos & witnesses, I'd say the the arrow points more towards the truth of therebeing a spirit realm or another life beyond the one we live now. Non one can for sure but wel...there it is. Believing in spirits is a religious belief, because there is no evidence what so ever that points towards the existence of them. If you believe there is then your standards of evidence are not high enough and you are deluding yourself. It is far greater to perceive the universe as it actually is than to persist in any delusion, no matter how reassuring it is.
    Wrong my friend. We'll be here all day if we discuss religion in it's entirety. Religion is man made. It revolves around the Sun being "God" as it gives light and life to the earth...so ancients started praising it. It's that and the possibility that another far more advanced civilization was visiting us. Both of these points are quite valid, but the religious types will have a tough time thinking for themselves...because that's the problem with the world.
    JimBonJovi
    I'm not religious but there has to be something pulling strings for every planet and every universe(multiple universes). But to not know what that is, is the reason why life is so precious. The spiritual world is seperate. No human can explain anything mysterious on earth or of a planet trillions of lights years away in another galaxy with 100% validity and that's what makes life mysterious.
    syke5
    LedZoso4 wrote: Isn't Lucretia about a ghost that Dave Mustaine would just hang out with in his attic?
    yes and that was him being on drugs and writing that song
    Zeerion
    Black Sabbath's first song was about Geezer's encounter with a dark figure in his house. He ran to grab a book on spirits and magic to try to ward the thing off and the book was gone.
    theotherguy7145
    "At the height of his drug addiction, RHCP guitarist John Frusciante claimed to be heavily influenced by spirits." You mean he was heavily into whisky?
    sneyob
    Surprised Black Sabbath wasn't number 1 on this list. The so called 'black figure' is why they named the band what they did.
    jm911
    dunno about the spirits of the dead but the devil is as real as heck
    Bass21
    What does atheism have too do with not believing in ghosts and crap like that?! I'm an atheist and i don't believe in ghosts but its not cause I'm an atheist.
    TheRealBillyTro
    Ah, you're the kind of guy who likes to whip out his dic. . .tionary. When someone says "I am an atheist" it communicates a different idea to each individual who hears it. The idea communicated isn't necessarily dictionary definition. It's too common for the title of atheist to communicate that someone is skeptical of the supernatural for you to nitpick about what academics have agreed the term means in it's most specific usage.
    JimBonJovi
    sticksause wrote: I'm an atheist and don't really believe in ghosts and stuff like that, but I am just a sucker for stories like these
    Atheism has nothing to do with the spiritual realm. It's not about religious beliefs at all. Point being, we are all alive and we don't know what happens when someone passes away but based on the conclusive information, that being videos, photos & witnesses, I'd say the the arrow points more towards the truth of therebeing a spirit realm or another life beyond the one we live now. Non one can for sure but wel...there it is.
    TheRealBillyTro
    I just want to say that there is absolutely nothing to suggest that spirituality is anything more than, at best, human description of the abstract, and at worst, delusion and lie. If the best defense of your position is that while it can't be proven true, it also can't be proven false, that doesn't make it true. It does, though, make you seem dim.
    Clabbe
    I like the stories, but id like to see some spirits or the devil before i could believe them. Though great stories =D
    SumFX
    im just gonna go ahead and assume most of these people are druggies. ghosts pfffft.
    '93
    TheReverend724 wrote: I'm glad to see TMV mentioned. Bedlam is one of my favorite albums
    yeah and JFs solo albums all cool music