Eerie Gothic funeral traditions, the golden ghost and fairy lights: May on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast

Ghosts and Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees podcast

In May 2021 the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast celebrated the 50 (yes, 50!) episodes milestone with a party with the fairy folk. There was also a look at some eerie Gothic funeral traditions, the golden ghost of Mold, and some dangerous fairy lights which lead travellers astray.

EP52 Beware the Fairy Lights!

Does elf fire – so-called fairy lights – really lure weary travellers to their doom at night?

For centuries, strange glowing lights have been reported in the wilds of Wales and around the world.

Sharing similarities with fellow elf-like creatures, from the English Will-o’-wisp to the Breton sprite, they are blamed for leading people off the beaten track and into dangerous marshy lands where they might come to a sticky end.

They also have a connection with one of William Shakespeare’s more famous creatures, the mischievous puck in the fairy-filled masterpiece A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and these pwca or pooka once roamed all over Britain causing all manner of chaos.

To discover the secrets of these “luring elf-fire”, join author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) as he goes in search of the secrets of the Ellylldan on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast.

EP51 The Golden Ghost

Is there really a haunted artefact in London’s British Museum? And what connection does it have with an ancient Welsh burial site?

The so-called “Golden Ghost” has been sighted in Mold, Flintshire for centuries. But where did it come from, and what does it want?

Believed to be a soldier wearing golden armour, some say it haunts the area after road-building works disturbed its remains. Others say it has been luring people off the beaten track for centuries. Maybe they are all right?

EP50 Party with the Fairy Folk

Warning: don’t disturb the fairy folk as they party by night!

The fairy folk of Wales (y tylwyth teg) don’t take kindly to being interrupted by nosy humans.

In these cautionary tales, find out exactly how they react when curious people get a little too close to their merrymaking for comfort.

Join author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) as he celebrates 50 episodes of the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast with a party with the fairy folk, and explores some of the pranks they play on unsuspecting victims.

Get the wine and cake, and iechyd da!

EP49 For Whom the Bell Tolls

Can church bells really protect your soul from evil spirits, fairies, trolls, plague, and the Devil himself?

Bells have long been a familiar sight and sound at funerals.

From the passing bell at the head of the procession to the church bells reverberating throughout the graveyard, we’ve come to expect their incessant ringing on such sombre occasions.

But far from just being a means of breaking the silence at such sad times, there are also countless superstitions attached to these age-old traditions which could prove to be highly beneficial.

Did you know, for example, that they could keep away such supernatural creatures as fairies, trolls, evil spirits and the Devil himself?

For some answers – and a few more questions – join author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) as he explores the folklore surrounding church bells on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast.

He even sneaks in some folklore about stones, and how the “devil stone” was made by a bell-stealing demon!

Enjoy these podcasts? Read more about the ghosts and folklore of Wales in The A-Z of Curious Wales!

Ghosts of Wales by Mark Rees, host of the Ghosts of Wales podcast

The A-Z of curious Wales by Mark Rees – as well as Mark’s other weird and wonderful books – is available now from all good bookshops, and online from the books page.

Published in 2019 by The History Press, here’s the blurb:

Wales’ history is packed with peculiar customs and curious characters. Here you will discover alien landscapes, ancient druids and a Victorian ghost hunter.

Find out why revellers would carry a decorated horse’s skull on a pole door to door at Christmastime, how an eccentric inventor hoped to defeat Hitler with his futuristic ray gun, and why a cursed wall is protected by a global corporation for fear it might destroy a town.

From the folklore surrounding the red dragon on the flag, to the evolution of the song ‘Sosban Fach’, this compendium of weird and wonderful facts will surprise and delight even the most knowledgeable resident or visitor.

Click here to order The A-Z of Curious Wales by Mark Rees