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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...



An Evil Spirit In Llandysilio Church Montgomeryshire






Category: STORIES OF SATAN, GHOSTS, ETC.

The history of this Spirit's proceedings is given in Bye-Gones, Vol.
ii, p. 179, and the writer's fictitious name is Gypt.

This church, says Gypt, was terribly troubled by a Spirit in times
gone by, so I was informed by a person who took me over the church, and,
being curious to hear the story, my guide related the following:--

To such extremes had things come that it was resolved to send for a well
known and expert person to lay the Spirit. But the Spirit nearly
overcame the expert, and the fight continued hard and fast for a long
time. The ghost layer came out often for fresh air and beer, and then
was plainly seen, from his bared arms and the perspiration running down
his face, that there was a terrible conflict going on within the church.
At last success crowned the effort, and the Spirit, not unlike a large
fly, was put into a bottle and thrown into a deep pool in the River
Verniew, where it remains to this day, and the church was troubled no
more.

Gypt adds:--As a proof of the truth of the story, my informant showed
me the beams which were cracked at the time the Spirit troubled the
church.

In these tales we have a few facts common to them all. An Evil Spirit
troubles the people, and makes his home nightly in the church, which he
illuminates. His presence there becomes obnoxious, and ultimately,
either by force or trickery, he is ejected, and loses his life, or at
least he is deposited by his captors in a lake, or pool of water, and
then peace and quietness ensue.

There is a good deal that is human about these stories when stripped of
the marvellous, which surrounds them, and it is not unreasonable to ask
whether they had, or had not, a foundation in fact, or whether they were
solely the creations of an imaginative people. It is not, at least,
improbable that these ghostly stories had, in long distant pre-historic
times, their origin in fact, and that they have reached our days with
glosses received from the intervening ages.

They seem to imply that, in ancient times, there was deadly antagonism
between one form of Pagan worship and another, and, although it is but
dimly hinted, it would appear that fire was the emblem or the god of one
party, and water the god of the other; and that the water worshippers
prevailed and destroyed the image, or laid the priest, of the
vanquished deity in a pool, and took possession of his sacred enclosures.

It was commonly believed, within the last hundred years or so, that Evil
Spirits at certain times of the year, such as St. John's Eve, and May Day
Eve, and All Hallows' Eve, were let loose, and that on these nights they
held high revelry in churches. This is but another and more modern phase
of the preceding stories. This superstitious belief was common to
Scotland, and everyone who has read Burns has heard of Alloway Kirk, and
of the unco sight which met Tam o' Shanter's eye there, who, looking
into the haunted kirk, saw witches, Evil Spirits, and Old Nick himself.
Thus sings the poet:--

There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gi'e them music was his charge.

But in Wales it was believed that a Spirit--an evil one--certainly not an
Angel of Light, revealed, to the inquisitive, coming events, provided
they went to the church porch on Nos G'lan Geua', or All-Hallows' Eve,
and waited there until midnight, when they would hear the Spirit announce
the death roll for the coming year. Should, however, no voice be heard,
it was a sign that no death would occur within the twelve succeeding
months. A couple of tales shall suffice as illustrative of this
superstition.


A Spirit in Aberhafesp Church announcing the death of a person on Nos
G'lan Geua'.


Mr. Breeze, late governor of the Union House at Caersws, told me that he
had heard of a person going to Aberhafesp Church porch, on All-Hallows'
Eve, to ascertain whether there would be a death in that parish in the
coming year.

A couple of men, one of whom, I believe, Mr. Breeze said was his
relative, went to the church porch before twelve o'clock at night, and
sat there a length of time without hearing any sound in the church; but
about the midnight hour, one of the men distinctly heard the name of his
companion uttered by a voice within the church. He was greatly
terrified, and, addressing his friend, he found that he had fallen
asleep, and that, therefore, fortunately he had not heard the ominous
voice. Awaking his companion, he said--Let's go away, it's no use
waiting here any longer.

In the course of a few weeks, there was a funeral from the opposite
parish of Penstrowed, and the departed was to be buried in Aberhafesp
Church yard. The River Severn runs between these two parishes, and there
is no bridge nearer than that which spans the river at Caersws, and to
take the funeral that way would mean a journey of more than five miles.
It was determined, therefore, to ford the river opposite Aberhafesp
Church. The person who had fallen asleep in the porch volunteered to
carry the coffin over the river, and it was placed on the saddle in front
of this person, who, to save it from falling, was obliged to grasp it
with both arms; and, as the deceased had died of an infectious fever, the
coffin bearer was stricken, and within a week he too was a dead man, and
he was the first parishioner, as foretold by the Spirit, who died in the
parish of Aberhafesp that year.

According to Croker, in Fairy Legends of Ireland, vol. II., p. 288, the
Irish at Easter, Whitsuntide, and Christmas, after decorating the graves
of their ancestors:--Also listen at the church door in the dark, when
they sometimes fancy they hear the names called over in church of those
who are destined shortly to join their lost relatives in the tomb.

It is not difficult to multiply instances of Spirits speaking in
churches, for legendary stories of this kind were attached to, or were
related of, many churches in Wales. One further tale therefore, shall
suffice.





Next: A Spirit In Llangerniew Church_ _denbighshire

Previous: The Ejectment Of The Evil Spirit From Llanfor Church



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