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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...



Apparitions Of The Devil






Category: STORIES OF SATAN, GHOSTS, ETC.

To accomplish his nefarious designs the Evil Spirit assumed forms
calculated to attain his object. The following lines from Allan
Cunningham's Traditional Tales, p. 9, aptly describe his
transformations:--

Soon he shed
His hellish slough, and many a subtle wile
Was his to seem a heavenly spirit to man,
First, he a hermit, sore subdued in flesh,
O'er a cold cruse of water and a crust,
Poured out meet prayers abundant. Then he changed
Into a maid when she first dreams of man,
And from beneath two silken eyelids sent,
The sidelong light of two such wondrous eyes,
That all the saints grew sinners . . .
Then a professor of God's word he seemed,
And o'er a multitude of upturned eyes
Showered blessed dews, and made the pitchy path,
Down which howl damned Spirits, seem the bright
Thrice hallowed way to Heaven; yet grimly through
The glorious veil of those seducing shapes,
Frowned out the fearful Spirit.

S. Anthony, in the wilderness, as related in his life by S. Athanasius,
had many conflicts in the night with the powers of darkness, Satan
appearing personally to him, to batter him from the strongholds of his
faith. S. Dunstan, in his cell, was tempted by the Devil in the form of
a lovely woman, but a grip of his nose with a heated tongs made him
bellow out, and cease his nightly visits to that holy man. Ezra Peden,
as related by Allan Cunningham, was also tempted by one who was indeed
passing fair, and the longer he looked on her she became the
lovelier--owre lovely for mere flesh and blood, and poor Peden
succumbed to her wiles.

From the book of Tobit it would appear that an Evil Spirit slew the first
seven husbands of Sara from jealousy and lust, in the vain hope of
securing her for himself. In Giraldus Cambrensis's Itinerary through
Wales, Bohn's ed., p. 411 demons are shown to possess those qualities
which are ascribed to them in the Apocryphal book of Tobit.

There is nothing new, as far as I am aware, respecting the doings of the
Great Enemy of mankind in Welsh Folk-Lore. His tactics in the
Principality evince no originality. They are the usual weapons used by
him everywhere, and these he found to be sufficient for his purposes even
in Wales.

Gladly would I here put down my pen and leave the uncongenial task of
treating further about the spirits of darkness to others, but were I to
do so, I should be guilty of a grave omission, for, as I have already
said, ghosts, goblins, spirits, and other beings allied to Satan, occupy
a prominent place in Welsh Folk-Lore.

Of a winter's evening, by the faint light of a peat fire and rush
candles, our forefathers recounted the weird stories of olden times, of
devils, fairies, ghosts, witches, apparitions, giants, hidden treasures,
and other cognate subjects, and they delighted in implanting terrors in
the minds of the listeners that no philosophy, nor religion of after
years, could entirely eradicate. These tales made a strong impression
upon the imagination, and possibly upon the conduct of the people, and
hence the necessity laid upon me to make a further selection of the many
tales that I have collected on this subject.

I will begin with a couple of stories extracted from the work of the Rev.
Edmund Jones, by a writer in the Cambro-Briton, vol. ii., p. 276.



Satan appearing to a Man who was fetching a Load of Bibles, etc.


A Mr. Henry Llewelyn, having been sent to Samuel Davies, of Ystrad
Defodoc Parish, in Glamorganshire, to fetch a load of books, viz.,
Bibles, Testaments, Watts's Psalms, Hymns, and Songs for Children,
said--Coming home by night towards Mynyddustwyn, having just passed by
Clwyd yr Helygen ale-house, and being in a dry part of the lane--the
mare, which he rode, stood still, and, like the ass of the ungodly
Balaam, would go no farther, but kept drawing back. Presently he could
see a living thing, round like a bowl, rolling from the right hand to the
left, and crossing the lane, moving sometimes slow and sometimes very
swift--yea, swifter than a bird could fly, though it had neither wings
nor feet,--altering also its size. It appeared three times, less one
time than another, seemed least when near him, and appeared to roll
towards the mare's belly. The mare would then want to go forward, but he
stopped her, to see more carefully what manner of thing it was. He
staid, as he thought, about three minutes, to look at it; but, fearing to
see a worse sight, he thought it high time to speak to it, and
said--'What seekest thou, thou foul thing? In the name of the Lord
Jesus, go away!' And by speaking this it vanished, and sank into the
ground near the mare's feet. It appeared to be of a reddish oak
colour.

In a footnote to this tale we are told that formerly near Clwyd yr
Helygen, the Lord's Day was greatly profaned, and it may be that the
Adversary was wroth at the good books and the bringer of them; for he
well knew what burden the mare carried.

The editor of the Cambro-Briton remarks that the superstitions
recorded, if authentic, are not very creditable to the intelligence of
our lower classes in Wales; but it is some satisfaction to think that
none of them are of recent date. The latter remark was, I am sorry to
say, rather premature.

One other quotation from the same book I will here make.





Next: The Devil Appearing To A Dissenting Minister At Denbigh

Previous: Mysterious Removal Of Churches



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