A Spirit In Llangerniew Church_ _denbighshire


There was a tradition in this parish that on All-Hallows' Eve a Spirit

announced from the altar the names of those who were doomed to die in the

coming year. The Spirit was locally called Angelystor. Those who were

anxious to know whether they or their neighbours had a longer time to

live stood underneath the east window on that eve, and anxiously listened

for the dreaded revelation. It is related of a tailor, who was reckoned
a wit, and affected disbelief in the Spirit story, that he announced his

intention to prove the thing a myth, and so, one Nos G'lan Geua', Shon

Robert, as he was called, proceeded to the church just before midnight,

and, to his horror, he heard his own name--Shon ap Robert, uttered by

the Spirit. Hold, hold! said the tailor, I am not quite ready! But,

ready or not ready, it made no difference to the messenger of death, for

that year the tailor died.

According to rustic opinion, demons were, from sinister motives, much

given to frequenting churches; still it was thought that as the Priest

entered the sacred building by the south door these Spirits were obliged

to make their exit through the north door, which was called in

consequence the Devil's Door; and this door was opened, and left open

awhile, to enable these Evil Spirits to escape from the church, before

divine service commenced. In agreement with this notion, the north side

of church yards was designated the Domain of Demons, and, by association

of ideas, no one formerly was buried in this side, but in our days the

north part of the church yard--where the space in the other parts has

already been occupied--is used for interments, and the north doors in

most old churches have been built up.

Formerly, at baptisms, the north church door was, in Wales, left open,

and that too for the same reason that it was opened before the hours of

prayer. But these superstitions have departed, as intimated by the

blocking up of north church doors.