Ghosts and Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees

Ghosts and Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees

Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast with Mark Rees: Real-life ghost stories, folklore, myths and legends from haunted Wales. Join Mark Rees - "arguably Wales' leading authority on the curious and paranormal aspects of the country's history." (Western Mail) and author of book such as Ghosts of Wales, Paranormal Wales and The A-Z of Curious Wales - for a fascinating journey through the weird and wonderful history of Wales and the world. From 'most haunted' Welsh castles to fairy-filled forests, discover long-lost cases of pesky poltergeists, sea-faring stories of mermaids and mermen, and ancient tales from the Mabinogion and King Arthur on this spine-chilling tour of Wales’ magical, fantastical, dark and, at times, horrible history. Each episode of this unique podcast explores at a different topic, and offers Mark's unique insight and research into: seasonal traditions from the Mari Lwyd to Halloween (Nos Calan Gaeaf); unusual funeral and wedding customs, such as the macabre Sin Eater and eerie corpse candles; how the magic of witches, wizards and the ancient Druids continue to cast a spell over the land today.

Episodes

What supernatural creatures were scaring the miners of Wales deep underground?

For centuries, those working hard in the dark have reported strange sights and sounds lurking in the mines. From the deadly stare of the basilisk to evil spirits and fire demons, this was not a place for the faint of heart.

And yet the coblynau - the mine fairies of Wales - were said to be helpful souls who could lead the colliers to treasure buried dee...

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Why is a disembodied hand haunting a secluded mansion on the wind-swept coast of Wales?

Staff working at the house have long reported seeing the severed hand in one of the bedrooms, as well as other spirits besides, but what does it all mean - and does it have anything to do with the smugglers caves nearby?

Join author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) for a paranormal investigation as he goes in search of the supernatural secrets on th...

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Multiple reports of paranormal activity in a Welsh parish lead to the residents calling in the ghost hunters and exorcists.

From a spectral nun to an oyster-eating monk, the activity - including bangs in the dead of night and a ghost circling the bed - continue to mount, and lead to some "gruesome" and "macabre" discoveries.

But what does it all have to do with the skeletons discovered in a nearby wall? And how doe...

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Can you really solve a mystery by digging up skulls in a graveyard?

That seemed to be the case when notorious Welsh wizard Robin Ddu (Black Robin) was hired to solve a riddle using his psychic powers.

But appearances and reputations can be deceiving, and not all is as it seems with this master of witchcraft. 

To find out all the secrets, join author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) as he goes in search of the gothic truth of this maca...

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Do werewolves really roam the wilds of Wales?

That certainly seemed to be the case for one Oxford professor who encountered a strange creature while on a fishing trip in the Welsh mountains.

Far from an idyllic holiday, it soon began to resemble a horror film when a dog-like creature with hellish red eyes laid siege to the cottage one night. The professor, however, did discovered a way to send the wolf packing with its tail betwee...

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Can a witch really curse somebody who refuses to assist them?

That certainly seems to be the case in this old Welsh folk tale in which Bethan Jones - the accused witch - is blamed with striking down a woman.

But is it really evil witchcraft, or is it all in the victim's mind? And if it a real curse, how can it be broken?

Join author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) who goes in search of clues on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales po...

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Can a ghost really carry a person across the world in the blink of an eye?

That seemed to be the case in Wales in the 18th century when a man was seemingly whisked away across the Atlantic from his home in Ystradgynlais to a secret location in the USA.

In this "real life" ghost story, the American apparition - a "well-dressed" woman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - tasked him with completing a task for her is he w...

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Water has many uses in Welsh folklore, from repelling evil to bringing good luck.

Some of these traditions are practical, such as not spilling this most valuable of commodities, while others are more gothic in nature, and concern vampires, spirits, and witches.

Do any of these old customs still work today? Join author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) as he goes in search of the watery secrets on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast...

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If there's something strange in the graveyard, who ya gonna call?

In the Victorian age, two tales of paranormal activity in the grounds of churches spooked the locals in the north of Wales.

In Wrexham cemetery, the police paid a visit to try and solve the mystery of floating flaming heads. Just outside the town, there was an eerie white mist spooking the unsuspected.

But are these tales paranormal fact, or paranormal fiction?...

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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 a...

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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 peop...

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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 t...

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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, t...

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Not all strange glowing balls are corpse candles or death omens - some are the wandering souls of those with scores to settle.

Can a soul really leave the body to complete a task, and then return to the body afterwards when finished?

In these four eerie accounts from Wales and the border with England, strange lights are said to enter homes, attract the attention of ghostly characters, and even fight other lights under the shadow o...

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Warning: don't mess with fairy women, and don't mess with fairy cows!

In this cautionary Welsh folk tale, a greedy farmer finds out the hard way that you shouldn't look a gift horse - or, in this case, a gift cow - in the mouth.

When the dark waters of Llyn Barfog provide him with a cash cow he can't believe his luck. But when madness takes over, and darkness descends... 

To discover all the secrets, join author M...

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Why does the apparition of a woman return to haunt a love-sick traveller?

In this "real-life" ghost story from 18th century Wales, a man's ill-fated visit to his sweetheart' ends with a "terrifying" encounter with the so-called Hanged Lady.

But this was not an isolated incident - why did she return again and again to haunt him? And how can he end his ordeal?

One person who attempted to solve the riddle was...

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From nautical corpse candles to swashbuckling Devils, explore the folklore of the high seas on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast.

In times gone by, the brave seafaring men who set sail from Wales needed all the help they could get for a trouble-free voyage. What would the weather be like? Would it be calm sailing? And were there any evil entities in the waves looking to cause them mischief?

In the folklore-packed episode of...

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Who is the mysterious Lady in Grey haunting Victorian Cardiff?

In October 1893, strange events were reported in the village of Tongwynlais. The country house owned of Mr and Mrs Lewis was said to be haunted by many a ghost, including the so-called Lady in Grey who was heard, felt, and even seen - a full body apparition.

Its activity included wrapping her arm around an unsuspecting victim, stomping around in her high-heeled shoes, ...

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The Secret Origins of the Ellyllon, Wales' mischievous fairy folk 

If you think all elves are tall and noble like in a J.R.R. Tolkien Middle Earth book or a Games Workshop Warhammer game, think again!

The ellyllon - Welsh fairy folk - are small and goblin-like, dwelling in misty and sleepy hollows where they can help you make your fortune, or take it away again at the drop of a hat.

But how can you tell them apart from the ot...

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Mystery of the Ghost Ship and Phantom Funeral 

The town of Milford Haven is well-known for its harbour.

What might be less well-known are the eerie ghost ships which are said to dock there at night. Oh, and there's also been sightings of a phantom funeral nearby. 

Is there a connection between these two real-life ghost stories?

To find out more, journalist and author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) explores the spooky history of...

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