The Magnus Archives Wikia

Statement of Jennifer Ling, regarding a live musical performance she attended in Soho.


Grifter's Bone is an urban legend surrounding Alfred Grifter, rumored to be a mediocre musician hungering for fame who eventually turned to the Devil, but messed up the ritual, thus cursing his music to be so awful that he (and possibly his band) have to sneak their way into other bands' concerts for a chance to perform. A common saying among the music business is that "You can always tell Grifter's Bone has been on because of the torn off ears." They are commonly used by music scene old timers to jokingly refer to bad music in general.

Jennifer Ling, formerly a music blogger, had been working for around three years for Earful, a music website. There she learned about Grifter's Bone for the first time from old timers. She noticed a weird reaction by one of her coworkers, Lee, who worked as the submissions editor, which involves listening to music sent in unsolicited. Whenever Grifter's Bone was mentioned, he would be visibly nervous. Ling started to suspect that he must have seen Grifter's Bone live and even went so far as to jokingly imply that the reason he wore his hair so long was to cover up his missing ears.

Ling decided to confront Lee about it while out drinking and learned that he indeed witnessed a "small, cruel looking man in a ragged brown suit" sneaking on stage after going to see an unmemorable metal band. However, he could not remember the music, coming to himself roughly two hour later wearing a blood soaked shirt. He showed Ling his scars and ears which were not missing, but were perpetually bleeding, stoppered somewhat by earplugs.

Despite being unable to find anything substantial about the urban legend, Ling decided to publish a short article about Grifter's Bone, incorporating what she learned from Lee. A comment appears beneath the article saying "Tonight. Soho. No earplugs required." The second line got Lings attention, as she had not mentioned anything about that particular detail as per Lee's request.

Ling spent the afternoon looking for Grifter in Soho, until she was approached by a puzzling man, who mumbled something about protecting her hearing, but before she could ask for clarification she spots a small group of people with instruments following a short, thin man in an over-sized suit dragging a rolling keyboard case.

She followed them into a small jazz club filled with 11 patrons. Ling, remembering Lee's story, left the room after setting up her mobile phone to record the music. She described the music coming from the bar as the most achingly beautiful music she ever heard, but it was soon mixed with sounds of screaming and tearing. As she left her phone below, she could not call for police, but before she could run for help the screaming stopped. She went to investigate.

The musicians on the stage calmly packed their instruments while the entire audience has been slaughtered. When the lead musician (who matched the description of and Ling presumed to be Alfred Grifter himself) asked if she wanted an encore, she grabbed her phone and fled. Ling did not call the police, fearing what might happen to her. Nothing about the massacre was reported on the news and her phone would not let her access the footage she had recorded.


According to John, the jazz club vehemently denies any sort of violence as described by Jennifer Ling. However, weeks before the alleged massacre, a total of eleven violent deaths had been reported in the greater London area during October 2013. At least one of the victims' description matches Ling's statement.

A followup with the author of the statement is not possible, as Ling assaulted her elderly neighbour with a hammer and subsequently killed herself by repeatedly hitting her own skull. John voices his suspicion that she finally may have accessed and viewed the footage on her mobile phone.


In another post-statement note, John again voices his suspicions of Martin Blackwood, who has been "very attentive" concerning John's recovery, almost neglecting his own work. He also states that during Jane Prentiss' attack Martin showed cunning and resourcefulness that does not match his apparent incompetence. John notes that he may be playing the fool to hinder his investigation.

John adds that Martin left a few of his possessions behind when moving out of the institute, among them several books containing bad poetry and an unfinished letter to his mother in Devon, including his fears of "the others finding out I've been lying". He vows to keep an eye on Martin.


This section contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.

  • Related Entity: The Slaughter, The End
    • Alfred Grifter is a Slaughter avatar.
    • The "puzzling man" is most likely Oliver Banks, an avatar of The End.
  • John confronts Martin about lying in MAG 56 and Martin admits that he lied on his CV, he does not have a master’s in parapsychology and most of his employment details are made up.