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A Spirit In Llangerniew Church_ _denbighshire


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

There was a tradition in this parish that on All-Hallows' Eve a Spirit
announced from the altar the names of those who were doomed to die in the
coming year. The Spirit was locally called Angelystor. Those who were
anxious to know whether they or their neighbours had a longer time to
live stood underneath the east window on that eve, and anxiously listened
for the dreaded revelation. It is related of a tailor, who was reckoned
a wit, and affected disbelief in the Spirit story, that he announced his
intention to prove the thing a myth, and so, one Nos G'lan Geua', Shon
Robert, as he was called, proceeded to the church just before midnight,
and, to his horror, he heard his own name--Shon ap Robert, uttered by
the Spirit. Hold, hold! said the tailor, I am not quite ready! But,
ready or not ready, it made no difference to the messenger of death, for
that year the tailor died.

According to rustic opinion, demons were, from sinister motives, much
given to frequenting churches; still it was thought that as the Priest
entered the sacred building by the south door these Spirits were obliged
to make their exit through the north door, which was called in
consequence the Devil's Door; and this door was opened, and left open
awhile, to enable these Evil Spirits to escape from the church, before
divine service commenced. In agreement with this notion, the north side
of church yards was designated the Domain of Demons, and, by association
of ideas, no one formerly was buried in this side, but in our days the
north part of the church yard--where the space in the other parts has
already been occupied--is used for interments, and the north doors in
most old churches have been built up.

Formerly, at baptisms, the north church door was, in Wales, left open,
and that too for the same reason that it was opened before the hours of
prayer. But these superstitions have departed, as intimated by the
blocking up of north church doors.

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