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The Witches' Revenge On Huw Llwyd


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

Several months after the occurrence recorded above of Huw Llwyd, when he
had just started from his home one Sunday morning to go to his Church to
officiate there, for he was the parson of Llan Festiniog, he observed
that the Bettws-y-Coed ladies were approaching his house, and he
perceived that their object was to witch him. He knew full well that as
long as his back was turned towards them he was in their power, but that
when he faced them they could do him no harm; so; to avoid their evil
influence, and to frustrate their designs, he faced them, and walked
backwards every step from Cynvael to the Llan, and in this way he escaped
being injured by his female enemies. But this was not all. Huw Llwyd
knew that when he reached the Church porch he was beyond witchcraft's
reach. Having arrived there he shouted out--I defy you now, and before
I leave the Church I will make you that you can never again witch
anyone. He was as good as his word, for by his skill in the black art,
he deprived those two ladies, ere he left the Church, of their power to
witch people, and during the rest of their lives they were like other

Huw Llwyd, who was born 1533, and died 1620, was a clergyman, and it was
generally believed that priests could counteract the evils of the enemy
of mankind.

The wide-spread belief of witches being able to transform themselves into
animals is shown in the legends of many countries, and, as in the case of
fairy stories, the same tale, slightly changed, may be heard in various
places. The possibility of injuring or marking the witch in her
assumed form so deeply that the bruise remained a mark on her in her
natural form was a common belief. A tale in certain points like the one
recorded of Huw Llwyd and the witches who turned themselves into cats is
to be heard in many parts of Wales. It is as follows. I quote the main
facts from my friend Mr. Hamer's account of Llanidloes, published in the
Montgomeryshire Collections, vol. x., p. 243:--

Next: A Witch Transformed Into A Hare Injured By One Whom She Tormented

Previous: Witches Transforming Themselves Into Cats

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