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Welsh Folk Lore - Stories Of Satan, Ghosts, Etc.

Mermaids And Mermen
It is said that these fabulous beings frequented the sea-co...

Stories Of Satan Ghosts Etc
Although Max Muller, in Chips from a German Workshop, vol. ...

Satan Playing Cards
A good many years ago I travelled from Pentrevoelas to Yspy...

Satan Playing Cards At A Merry Meeting
It was formerly a general custom in Wales for young lads an...

Satan Playing Cards On Rhyd-y-cae Bridge_ _pentrevoelas
Gwas yn y Gilar a phen campwr ei oes am chwareu cardiau oed...

Satan Snatching A Man Up Into The Air
It would appear that poor Bob was doomed to a sad end. His...

Satan Frightening A Man For Gathering Nuts On Sunday
The following tale was related to me by the Rev. W. E. Jone...

Satan Taking Possession Of A Man Who Fished On Sunday
The following tale is in its main features still current in...

Satan Appearing In Many Forms To A Man Who Travelled On Sunday
I received the following tale from my deceased friend, the ...

The Evil Spirit Appearing To A Man Who Frequented Alehouses On Sunday
Jones writes as follows:--W. J. was once a Sabbath-breaker ...

Satan Outwitted
In the preceding tales the Evil One is depicted as an agent...

Satan And Churches
The traditional stories that are still extant respecting th...

The Ejectment Of The Evil Spirit From Llanfor Church
Mr. Roberts states that his grandmother, born in 1744, had ...

An Evil Spirit In Llandysilio Church Montgomeryshire
The history of this Spirit's proceedings is given in Bye-Go...

A Spirit In Llangerniew Church_ _denbighshire
There was a tradition in this parish that on All-Hallows' E...

Satan And Bell Ringing
Durand, according to Bourne, in his Antiquities of the Comm...

Mysterious Removal Of Churches
I. LLANLLECHID CHURCH. There was a tradition extant i...

Apparitions Of The Devil
To accomplish his nefarious designs the Evil Spirit assumed...

The Devil Appearing To A Dissenting Minister At Denbigh
The Rev. Mr. Thomas Baddy, who lived in Denbigh Town, and w...

The Devil's Tree By Eglwys Rhos
At the corner of the first turning after passing the villag...

Satan Appearing As A Lovely Maiden
The following story I received from the Rev. Owen Jones, Pe...

A Man Carried Away By The Evil One
W. E., of Ll--- M---, was a very bad man; he was a brawler,...

Satan Appearing To A Young Man
A young man, who had left Pentrevoelas to live in a farm ho...

Satan Appearing To A Collier
John Roberts of Colliers' Row, Cyfartha, Merthyr, was once ...

Ghosts Or Spirits
Ghosts, or Spirits, were supposed to be the shades of depar...

The Gloddaeth Ghost
The following tale was told the Rev. Owen Jones, Pentrevoel...

Tymawr Ghost Bryneglwys
This Ghost plagued the servants, pinched and tormented them...

Ffrith Farm Ghost
I am indebted to Mr. Williams, schoolmaster, Bryneglwys, fo...

Pont-y-glyn Ghost
There is a picturesque glen between Corwen and Cerrig-y-Dru...

Ysbryd Ystrad Fawr
Yr oedd Ysbryd yn Ystrad Fawr, ger Llangwm, yn arfer ymddan...

Ty Felin Ghost Llanynys
An exciseman, overtaken by night, went to a house called Ty...

Llandegla Spirit
The tale of this Spirit was given me by Mr. Roberts, late S...

Lady Jeffrey's Spirit
This lady could not rest in her grave because of her misdee...

Pentrevoelas Squire Griffith's Ghost
A couple of workmen engaged at Foelas, the seat of the late...

David Salisbury's Ghost
I will quote from Bye-Gones, vol. iii., p. 211, an account ...

A Ghost Appearing To Point Out Hidden Treasures
There is a farm house called Clwchdyrnog in the parish of L...

The Powis Castle Ghost Revealing A Hidden Box To A Woman
The following is the narrative:--It had been for some time ...

The Spirit Of Llyn-nad-y-forwyn
It is said that a young man was about to marry a young girl...

Spirit Laying
It must have been a consolation to those who believed in th...

Cynon's Ghost
One of the wicked Spirits which plagued the secluded Valley...

Caellwyngrydd Spirit
This was a dangerous Spirit. People passing along the road...

Ghost Raising
If the possibility of Ghost Laying was believed in, so also...

Witches And Conjurors
From and before the days of King Saul, to the present momen...

Llanddona Witches
There is a tradition in the parish of Llanddona, Anglesey, th...

Witches Transforming Themselves Into Cats
One of the forms that witches were supposed to change thems...

The Witches' Revenge On Huw Llwyd
Several months after the occurrence recorded above of Huw L...

A Witch Transformed Into A Hare Injured By One Whom She Tormented
An old woman, thought to be a witch, was said by a neighbou...

A Witch Shot When In The Form Of A Hare
The following tale was told me by the Rev. R. Jones, Rector...

A Witch In The Form Of A Hare In A Churn
In the Spectator, No. 117, are these words:-- If the...

A Hare Crossing The Road
Mr. Jones said that when he was a lad, he and his mother we...

A Witch In The Form Of A Hare Hunted By A Black Greyhound
The writer has heard variants of the following tale in seve...

Early Reference To Witches Turning Themselves Into Hares
The prevalence of the belief that witches could transform t...

Ceridwen And Gwion_ (_gwiawn_) _bach's Transformation
But a striking instance of rapid transition from one form t...

A Man Turned Into A Hare
One of the servant men at Dolfawr, some years before Mr. Wi...

A Man Changed Into A Horse
Mr. Williams writes of the same servant man who figures in ...

A Witch Who Turned A Blue Dye Into A Red Dye
An old hag went to a small farmhouse in Clocaenog parish, a...

A Pig Witched
A woman sold a pig at Beaumaris to a man called Dick y Gree...

A Witch Who Was Refused A Goose And Her Revenge
A witch called at a farm when they were feathering geese fo...

A Horse Witched
Pedws Ffoulk, a supposed witch, was going through a field w...

Cows And Horses Witched
The writer was told the name of the farm where the followin...

Witches Punished
A neighbour, who does not wish to have his name recorded, s...

Conjurors
1. It was formerly believed that men could sell themselves...

Huw Llwyd And His Magical Books
The story, as it has reached our days, is as follows:--It i...

The Magician's Glass
This glass, into which a person looked when he wished to so...

A Conjuror And Robbers
A conjuror, or Gwr Cyfarwydd, was travelling over the Denbi...

The Conjuror And The Cattle
R. H., a farmer in Llansilin parish, who lost several head ...

A Conjuror's Collusion Exposed
This man's house consisted of but few rooms. Between the kit...

The Conjuror's Dress
Conjurors, when engaged in their uncanny work, usually wore...

Charms
The cure of diseases by charms is generally supposed to be ...

Swyno'r 'ryri (charming The Shingles)
The shingles is a skin disease, which encircles the body li...

A Charm For The Shingles
This custom (charming for the shingles) was more prevalent ...

Toothache Charms
By repeating the following doggerel lines the worst case of...

Rosemary Charm For Toothache
Llosg ei bren (Rhosmari) hyd oni bo yn lo du, ac yna dyro e...

Whooping Cough Charm
Children suffering from whooping cough were taken to a seve...

Charm For Fits
A ring made out of the offertory money was a cure for fits....

Charm For Cocks About To Fight
The charm consisted of a verse taken from the Bible, writte...

Charm For Asthma
Place the Bible for three successive nights under the bolst...

Charms For Warts
1. Drop a pin into a holy well and your warts will disappe...

Charm For Removing A Stye From The Eye
Take an ordinary knitting needle, and pass it back and fore...

Charms For Quinsy
Apply to the throat hair cut at midnight from the black sho...

Charming The Wild Wart
Take a branch of elder tree, strip off the bark, split off ...

Charm For Rheumatism
Carry a potato in your pocket, and when one is finished, su...

Charm For Removing The Ringworm
1. Spit on the ground the first thing in the morning, mix ...

Cattle Charms
Mr. Hamer in his Parochial Account of Llanidloes published ...

Charm Against Foot And Mouth Disease
The cattle on a certain farm in Llansilin parish suffered f...

Another Cattle Charm Spell
Mr. Hughes, Plasnewydd, Llansilin, lost several head of cat...

A Charm For Stopping Bleeding
Mrs. Reynolds, whom I have already mentioned in connection ...

Charm To Make A Servant Reliable
Y neb a fyno gael ei weinidog yn gywir, doded beth o'r llud...

Charms Performed With Snake's Skin
1. Burn the skin and preserve the ashes. A little salve m...

The Charms Performed With Rosemary
Rosemary dried in the sun and made into powder, tied in a c...

Charm For Clefyd Y Galon_ _or Heart Disease
The Rev. J. Felix, vicar of Cilcen, near Mold, when a young...



A Witch In The Form Of A Hare Hunted By A Black Greyhound






Category: STORIES OF SATAN, GHOSTS, ETC.

The writer has heard variants of the following tale in several parts of
Wales:--

An old woman, credited to be a witch, lived on the confines of the hills
in a small hut in south Carnarvonshire. Her grandson, a sharp
intelligent lad, lived with her. Many gentlemen came to that part with
greyhounds for the purpose of coursing, and the lad's services were
always in requisition, for he never failed in starting a hare, and
whenever he did so he was rewarded with a shilling. But it was noticed
that the greyhounds never caught the hare which the lad started. The
sport was always good, the race long and exciting, but the hare never
failed to elude her pursuers. Scores of times this occurred, until at
last the sportsmen consulted a wise man, who gave it as his opinion that
this was no ordinary hare, but a witch, and, said he--She can never be
caught but by a black greyhound. A dog of this colour was sought for
far and near, and at last found and bought. Away to the hills the
coursers went, believing that now the hare was theirs. They called at
the cottage for the lad to accompany them and start the prey. He was as
ready as ever to lead them to their sport. The hare was soon started,
and off the dog was slipped and started after it, and the hare bounded
away as usual, but it is now seen that her pursuer is a match for her in
swiftness, and, notwithstanding the twistings and windings, the dog was
soon close behind the distressed hare.

The race became more and more exciting, for hound and hare exerted
themselves to their very utmost, and the chase became hot, and still
hotter. The spectators shout in their excitement--Hei! ci du, (Hi!
black dog,) for it was seen that he was gaining on his victim. Hei!
Mam, gu, (Hei! grandmother, dear,) shouted the lad, forgetting
in his trouble that his grandmother was in the form of a hare. His was
the only encouraging voice uttered on behalf of the poor hunted hare.
His single voice was hardly heard amidst the shouts of the many. The
pursuit was long and hard, dog and hare gave signs of distress, but
shouts of encouragement buoyed up the strength of the dog. The chase was
evidently coming to a close, and the hare was approaching the spot whence
it started. One single heart was filled with dread and dismay at the
failing strength of the hare, and from that heart came the words--Hei!
Mam gu (Hi! grandmother, dear.) All followed the chase, which
was now nearing the old woman's cottage, the window of which was open.
With a bound the hare jumped through the small casement into the cottage,
but the black dog was close behind her, and just as she was disappearing
through the window, he bit the hare and retained a piece of her skin in
his mouth, but he could not follow the hare into the cottage, as the
aperture was too small. The sportsmen lost no time in getting into the
cottage, but, after much searching, they failed to discover puss. They,
however, saw the old woman seated by the fire spinning. They also
noticed that there was blood trickling from underneath her seat, and this
they considered sufficient proof that it was the witch in the form of a
hare that had been coursed and had been bitten by the dog just as she
bounded into the cottage.

It was believed in England, as well as in Wales, that witches were often
hunted in the shape of hares. Thus in the Spectator, No. 117, these
words occur:--

If a hare makes an unexpected escape from the hounds the huntsman curses
Moll White (the witch)! Nay, (says Sir Roger,) I have known the
master of the pack, upon such an occasion, send one of his servants to
see if Moll White had been out that morning.

In Yorkshire Legends and Traditions, p. 160, is a tale very much like
the one which is given above. It is as follows:--

There was a hare which baffled all the greyhounds that were slipped at
her. They seemed to have no more chance with her than if they coursed
the wind. There was, at the time, a noted witch residing near, and her
advice was asked about this wonderful hare. She seemed to have little to
say about it, however, only she thought they had better let it be, but,
above all, they must take care how they slipped a black dog at it.
Nevertheless, either from recklessness or from defiance, the party did go
out coursing, soon after, with a black dog. The dog was slipped, and
they perceived at once that puss was at a disadvantage. She made as soon
as possible for a stone wall, and endeavoured to escape through a
sheep-hole at the bottom. Just as she reached this hole the dog threw
himself upon her and caught her in the haunch, but was unable to hold
her. She got through and was seen no more. The sportsmen, either in
bravado or from terror of the consequences, went straight to the house of
the witch to inform her of what had happened. They found her in bed,
hurt, she said, by a fall; but the wound looked very much as if it had
been produced by the teeth of a dog, and it was on a part of the woman
corresponding to that by which the hare had been seized by the black
hound before their eyes.





Next: Early Reference To Witches Turning Themselves Into Hares

Previous: A Hare Crossing The Road



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