August was an extra spooky month on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast, with four episodes featuring the haunted rivers of Wales, the evil spirit which – apparently – burnt down a home, and how belief in spirits of the dead grew as belief in fairies declined.
EP65 Restless Spirits and Fairy Folk
When people stopped believing in fairies, how could they explain the paranormal activity that continued?
In the early 20th century, belief in the existence of fairies in Wales has almost died out. But the belief in ghosts and spirits had not, and that that belief in death omens in particular, such as the corpse candles and phantom funerals, remained ‘rather popular, even among educated people’.
But if people were no longer believing in fairies, what were these supposed phantoms and poltergeists, and what did they want?
EP64 The Evil Spirit Strikes Back
Can poltergeist activity really destroy a building, or is it just local lore?
When objects started moving of their own accord on a Welsh farm, it was assumed an evil spirit was at work.
But following a botched exorcism there was no stopping its destruction, which including first destroying the contents of a building, followed by the building itself.
Could this all have been the work of a single poltergeist, or was there something else at work? A local folk tale claims the property is cursed and, with the curse seemingly coming true, many assumed that it was more than a coincidence.
EP63 Haunted Rivers
Dare you swim in the spirit-filled waterways of Wales?
They might look calm and serene from land, but the rivers of Wales are steeped in accounts of strange creatures and trapped souls.
There’s the apparition of a wailing woman seen up and down the River Severn, the Taff whirlpool which is said to be the work of a giant serpent, and the unusual case of an image of the Virgin Mary being put on trial near the River Dee.
EP62 The Ghost Police
When the police are the ghosts, who ya gonna call? There were no Ghostbusters to deal with paranormal activity in the Swinging Sixties!
That was the problem facing a Welsh town when late at night the local bobbies were seemingly back on the beat from beyond the grave.
What was happening in Neath that fateful night? Find out more on this “real life” ghost story:
Enjoy these podcasts? Read more about the ghosts and folklore of Wales in The A-Z of Curious Wales!
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.