Johnny Mason

Johnny, rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard.

'Cause Hell's broke loose in Georgia, and the Devil deals the cards.

And if you win, you get this shiny fiddle made of gold.

But if you lose, the Devil gets your soul.

rating: +25+x

Johnny Mason performing in Level 10.

NAME: Johnny Mason
ALIASES: 'The Crossroads Wanderer'


Johnny Mason is a performer and musician based in Level 11 who claims to have met the Devil before entering the backrooms. His skill in the fiddle, banjo, and other string instruments is considered unrivaled, though he is incapable of playing guitar.1

He is considered a friendly but mysterious man, with rumors about his past beginning to circulate immediately after his first show in Level 1. He speaks with a heavy southern accent, but has never disclosed his place of birth. Although he likes to schedule his hours, he will almost always play a song if asked. According to himself, he possesses the ability to play any song on any string instrument, though this has yet to be proven.

Whilst he does not often talk about his past, he claims to have met and fought the Devil two different times; once when he was a younger man, and once on a crossroads, where he also claims to have lost the ability to play guitar.


Johnny's golden fiddle.


Mason's prize instrument is his golden fiddle, which he often brings to his shows. When he isn't using it, he leaves it in a display case in Level 222 where it is taken care of and analyzed by Leo Castellos.

The sound of the fiddle has been described as mesmerizing or even satanic by those that have heard it. It appears to have the ability to put audience members in a sort of "hypnotic trance", which is done through unknown means.

Castellos has yet to find a source for the fiddle's anomalous capabilities, nor has its origin been determined. During his first examination of the fiddle, he described it as being "impossibly ancient", seemingly pre-dating the invention of string instruments entirely.


Interview 109
Interviewer: Doctor Bierre
Interviewee: Johnny Mason

Doctor Bierre: Thank you for your time, Mister Mason. I'm sure you're a very busy man.

Johnny Mason: Call me Johnny, partner. Everybody does.

Doctor Bierre: Understood. So, you claim that your skill in the fiddle is of the supernatural variety?

Johnny Mason: I 'spose that's what you fellers would call it. I was pretty good beforehand, mind you, but most of that skill wasn't given to me naturally. It was from the Devil.

Doctor Bierre: Right. Could you tell me more about the Devil?

Johnny Mason: The first time we met, I was a helluva lot younger. He wasn't quite what you'd expect; no fire and brimstone or any of that. He was a lot more elegant, wearin' a suit and tie and whatnot. He had a funny look in his eye, though.

Doctor Bierre: …And I suppose this Devil was from Georgia?

Johnny sighs.

Johnny Mason: Word travels fast, I guess. But those songwriters got one thing wrong: he weren't from Georgia. We had our duel down in the bayou.

Doctor Bierre: Louisiana?

Johnny Mason: It was the best spot at the time. I kicked his ass, too. The duel became kind of a local legend 'round Louisiana after a while, so some folks wrote a song 'bout it, and the rest is history.

Doctor Bierre: But you claim to have met the Devil a second time?

Johnny Mason: I was foolish, and too darned young to understand so. I wanted to learn the guitar, and I thought ole' Lucifer still owed me a trick or two. So I tuned my strings at a crossroads one night in Arkansas, and waited for him to arrive.

Doctor Bierre: What happened?

Johnny Mason: He cursed me. Made it so that I could never play on somethin' that weren't a damned fiddle or a violin. I can't pluck a guitar worth a damn now.

Johnny Mason: That's why I'm here. I heard that the Devil took a trip down here some time ago, so I followed his trail.

Doctor Bierre: What exactly do you have to gain from finding him?

Johnny Mason: A rematch.



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