Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Swansea Ghosts

Bevly Louise tells us about her ghost story.

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My Paranormal Story
By Bevly Louise
   
I'm not really interested in the paranormal (and I'm not really sure that I believe in a lot of stories) but I do have an awesome paranormal story for you. Between last christmas and new year I held a small party at my house. After everyone else had gone two of my closest (male) friends decided to stay up drinking. I was tired and it was about 5.00am so I went to bed and left them to the sofas. About two hours later, I could hear one of them (Jarrad) calling my name from the stairs. He'd gotten lost in the house and was in a real state and couldn't remember where my room was (note: it's not a big house; he was just very drunk and stupid). Once I calmed him down he told me that there were ghosts downstairs and I needed to come down and "sort it out". I went down in full sceptic mode to find my other friend (Mike) curled up in a ball in a corner. Apparently Mike had seen two old men and a young man who had appeared in the house and stood in the room questioning how my friends knew me and what was going on. My friend Jarrad's story changed frequently, but settled on him denying having seen them himself. However, he did say that one of the men had told him that their name (Tony). Both fully grown (quite masculine) men were visibly shaken and wouldn't be left alone. Neither boy would let me go back to sleep and would not be alone (even went to the toilet together). At first, I assumed that these were burglars and checked the house. Then I thought that maybe they were neighbours (but afterwards confirmed that they hadn't come into the house). I doubt that they were "guests" at the party since I myself locked everything up before going to bed and my friends would not have been scared if they'd let someone in. My mum pointed out later that when I was young the man living next door was my godfather and called Tony. My friends refuse to talk about it now (or when they do, they joke and put up a lot of bravado) so I guess I'll never know what happened.
 
 
If you would like to contribute a guest article for the website please contact Richard Thomas at richard@richardthomas.eu.

Welsh Dragons

The below guest article is by Richard Freeman, Zoologcal director at the Centre for Fortean Zoology.
 
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Welsh Dragons
By Richard Freeman
 
GLAMORGAN

Penllin
Brilliantly coloured flying serpents were said to inhabit the woods of Penllin as recently as the mid 19th century. People who were old men and women at the beginning of the 20th century recalled them well from their youth. They were prone to raid chicken coops and as a result were hunted into extinction.

Penmark
Another colony of the winged serpents resided here. One old woman said her grandfather had killed one after a fierce fight. She recalled seeing the skin preserved at his house when she was a girl. To the horror of cryptozoologists, it was thrown away upon his death.

Cardiff
A worm was supposed to live at the bottom of a whirlpool in the River Taff. It was said to drown people and suck down their bodies to eat.

DYFED

Trellech a’r Betws
A gwiber is supposed to guard a prehistoric tumulus in the area.

Newcastle Emlyn
A flame-spewing wyvern lived in a ruined castle, and was covered in impenetrable scales. A soldier waded into the river with a large piece of red cloth. The wyvern reacted to the cloth like a bull (or a male robin) and swooped down to attack it, allowing the soldier to shoot it in its one vulnerable spot. Like the dragon of Wantley, the vital spot was its rear end!

Castle Gwys
In one of the strangest British dragon legends, the beast here was a cockatrice whose body was covered in eyes. For some unexplained reason the estates of Winston were up for grabs to whoever could look on the freakish thing without it seeing them.

One resourceful chap hid inside a barrel and rolled into the cockatrice’s lair. He shouted out “Ha, bold cockatrice! I can see you but you cannot see me!”

He was granted the estates. What happened to the multi-eyed monster is anyone’s guess.

POWYS

Llandelio Graban
A dragon roosted in the tower of Llandelio Graban church until a local ploughboy worked out a way of destroying it. He carved a dummy dragon out of oak, and had the blacksmith cover it with steel hooks and spikes. It was then painted red and erected on the tower whilst the dragon was away hunting.
Upon returning, the dragon saw what it thought was a rival and savagely attacked it. The real dragon coiled about its facsimile and tried to squeeze the life from it. The genuine dragon was fatally wounded, and both the monster and the fake dragon came crashing down from the tower to their ruin.

GWYNEDD

Betws-y-Coed
A monster known as the Wybrant gwiber terrorized the neighbourhood. An outlaw from Hiraethog tried to kill it, but it bit him, tore out his throat, and flung him into the river for good measure!

CLWYD

Llarhaeadr-ym-Mochant
A gwiber brought a reign of terror to the area until the surviving locals studded a huge megalith with spikes and hooks and swathed it in red cloth. The red colour enraged the gwiber who attacked, becoming fatally entwined on the hooks. The megalith is known as the Red Pillar, or the Pillar of the Viper.

Penmynydd
In this detailed story a rich nobleman invites a soothsayer to the celebration feast after his son’s birth. The sage foretells that the boy will die of a gwiber’s bite. The boy is sent away to England for safekeeping, and his father offers a reward to whoever can slay the last gwiber in the area.

A clever lad digs a pit on the path were the gwiber usually slithers. At the bottom he places a highly polished brass mirror. He covers the pit with sticks and grass then waits. The gwiber falls into the pit and sees its own reflection. Thinking it a rival, it attacks the mirror until exhausted; then they boy leaps into the pit and hacks off the gwiber’s head.

Years later the nobleman’s son, now a spoilt teenager, returns and is shown the gwiber’s skull. He contemptuously kicks it and one of its long, dead fangs slices through his boot. The fang retains traces of venom and, as prophesied, the boy dies.

Cynwch Lake
A wyvern dwelt in this lake beneath the slopes of Moel Offrum. It emerged to poison the countryside and devour whatever it could catch. The Wizard of Ganllwyd employed a group of archers to kill it, but the wyvern always eluded them.

One day a shepherd boy named Meredydd found the wyvern sleeping on the hill. He ran two miles to Cymmer Abbey and borrowed a magick axe. He hacked the wyvern’s head off while it was asleep.

Nant Gwynant
After the Roman Legions left, Vortigern became the first British king. He decided to build a stronghold on the Iron Age hill fort of Dinas Emrys. Every time work began upon Dinas Emry, it would be destroyed by earthquake-like disturbances. Vortigern’s wizards said that in order to stop these events, the ground should be sprinkled with the blood of the son of a virgin. A boy was found whose mother had apparently been magically impregnated by a spirit. He was about to be sacrificed when he went into a trance and announced that beneath the hill was a lake. In the lake dwelt a red dragon and a white dragon who perpetually fought.

Vortigern’s men dug down and found the lake. When the lake was drained they found a pair of dragons. The two great reptiles fought until, at last, the white dragon gave way and fled. Seeing this as an omen that his forces would defeat the invading Saxons, Vortigern adopted the red dragon as his emblem.

The boy was none other than a young Merlin.

Llyn-y-Gadair
In the 18th century a group of men were swimming across this small lake close to Snowdonia. One of them was grabbed and devoured by a worm.
 

Read part one and two of my interview with Richard Freeman for Binnall of America.
 
If you would like to contribute a guest article for the website please contact Richard Thomas at richard@richardthomas.eu.