Caellwyngrydd Spirit

: Welsh Folk-lore

This was a dangerous Spirit. People passing along the road were stoned

by it; its work was always mischievous and hurtful. At last it was

exorcised and sent far away to the Red Sea, but it was permitted to

return the length of a barley corn every year towards its lost home.

From the tales already given, it is seen that the people believed in the

possibility of getting rid of troublesome Spirits, and the person whose
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aid was sought on these occasions was often a minister of religion. We

have seen how Griffiths of Llanarmon had reached notoriety in this

direction, and he lived in quite modern times. The clergy were often

consulted in matters of this kind, and they were commonly believed to

have power over Spirits. The Rev. Walter Davies had great credit as a

Spirit layer, and he lived far into the present century. Going further

back, I find that Archdeacon Edmund Prys, and his contemporary and

friend, Huw Llwyd, were famous opponents of Evil Spirits, and their

services are said to have been highly appreciated, because always

successful. The manner of laying Spirits differed. In this century,

prayer and Bible reading were usually resorted to, but in other days,

incantation was employed. We have seen how Griffiths surrounded himself

with an enchanted circle, which the Spirit could not break through. This

ring was thought to be impervious to the Ghost tribe, and therefore it

was the protection of the person whom it surrounded. The Spirit was

invoked and commanded to depart by the person within the magic ring and

it obeyed the mandate. Sometimes it was found necessary to conduct a

service in Church, in Latin by night, the Church being lit up with

consecrated candles, ere the Ghost could be overcome.

When Spirits were being laid, we are told that they presented themselves

in various forms to the person engaged in laying them, and that

ultimately they foolishly came transformed into some innocuous insect or

animal, which he was able to overcome. The simplicity of the Ghosts is

ridiculous, and can only be understood by supposing that the various

steps in the contest for the mastery are not forthcoming, that they have

been lost.

These various metamorphoses would imply that transmigration was believed

in by our forefathers.