The Devil's Tree By Eglwys Rhos


At the corner of the first turning after passing the village of Llanrhos,

on the left hand side, is a withered oak tree, called by the natives of

those parts the Devil's Tree, and it was thought to be haunted, and

therefore the young and timid were afraid to pass it of a dark night.

The Rev. W. Arthur Jones, late Curate of the parish, told me that his

horse was in the habit of shying whenever it came opposite this bli

tree, and his servant accounted for this by saying that the horse saw

something there which was invisible to the sight of man. Be this as it

may, the tree has an uncanny appearance and a bad reputation, which some

years ago was greatly increased by an occurrence that happened there to

Cadwaladr Williams, a shoemaker, who lived at Llansantffraid Glan Conway.

Cadwaladr was in the habit of carrying his work home to Llandudno to his

customers every Saturday night in a wallet, and with the money which they

paid him he bought eatables for the coming week, and carried shoes to be

patched in one end of the wallet, and groceries, etc., in the other end,

and, by adjusting the wallet he balanced it, and carried it, over his

shoulders, home again.

This shoemaker sometimes refreshed himself too freely before starting

homewards from Llandudno, and he was in the habit of turning into the

public house at Llanrhos to gain courage to pass the Devil's Tree.

One Saturday night, instead of quietly passing this tree on the other

side, he walked fearlessly up to it, and defied the Evil One to appear if

he were there. No sooner had he uttered the defiant words than something

fell from the tree, and lit upon his shoulders, and grasped poor

Cadwaladr's neck with a grip of iron. He fought with the incubus

savagely to get rid of it, but all his exertions were in vain, and so he

was obliged to proceed on his journey with this fearful thing clinging to

him, which became heavier and heavier every step he took. At last,

thoroughly exhausted, he came to Towyn, and, more dead than alive, he

reached a friend's door and knocked, and oh, what pleasure, before the

door was opened the weight on his back had gone, but his friend knew who

it was that Cadwaladr had carried from the Devil's Tree.