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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 forest ...
 
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show series
 
Does the ghost of a lady in white really haunt one of Wales's "most haunted" castles? When darkness falls on Oystermouth Castle, one of Swansea’s more mysterious inhabitants emerges from the shadows to peer out over the village of Mumbles. And, if you believe the tales, she can even be summoned in a similar way to saying Candyman or Beetlejuice mor…
 
When corpse candles and deathlike fingers materialise during a séance in Swansea, is it the work of spirits of the dead, or is something else going on? In this real-life account of a 19th century séance, a group of friends visit a spirit medium for what they believe will be a little light entertainment. But the paranormal activity spirals out of co…
 
Did an old folk tale of a wicked witch and an evil giant really lead to the discovery of coal in the Welsh valleys? In this traditional story, a shadow is cast over a once-happy fairy-filled valley when a giant arrives to eat all of the small inhabitants. Their only chance of survival is to kill their unwelcome visitor, but that just poses an even …
 
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, remaine…
 
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…
 
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 cas…
 
What do you do when the ghosts of policemen start patrolling the streets? That was the problem facing a Welsh town in the Swinging Sixties 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... Join author Mark Rees …
 
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 Wale…
 
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) f…
 
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 ha…
 
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…
 
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 pr…
 
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 (Ghos…
 
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 Philadelph…
 
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…
 
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 spooki…
 
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 …
 
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-…
 
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 …
 
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 occasion…
 
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…
 
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, a…
 
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 h…
 
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 ent…
 
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 wrappi…
 
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 i…
 
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, jour…
 
Beware the Devil Goats: A cautionary folk horror fairy tale They might look friendly enough, but you should never mess with a goat. We've all heard tales of how they might - just might - be in league with the Devil or some other diabolical characters, and it pays to keep on their good side. As this cautionary folk horror fairy tale reveals, a Welsh…
 
The Haunted Highway: Phantom Coaches and the Ice-cold Ghosts For centuries, a phantom coach has been spotted travelling along the same Welsh road. And while the times might have changed, this carriage with it's black horses and eerie passenger continue to travel at speed after night has fallen. If that wasn't eerie enough, ghostly women have also b…
 
St David's Day Special: How to fight evil spirits and other uses for the leek, Wales' national vegetable St David's Day is celebrated in Wales and around the world on March 1, but why do people wear a leek to commemorate Wales' patron saint? Welsh folklore tells us that the leek has many important historical uses, from winning wars to fighting off …
 
Vampires of the Valley and Other Strange Creatures There are strange creatures lurking in the Vale of Neath. There are vampires, witches, dog demons and the devil, not to mention the poison fish and the magical frog. Join Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales) as he goes in search of the weird and wonderful entities that inhabit Wales' "waterfall co…
 
Pesky Poltergeists in Wild Wales Join Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales) for some eerie tales of "evil spirits" - what we might call poltergeists nowadays - from Wales' oldest collection of "real-life" ghost stories. Dating from as far back as the seventeenth century, while these "most haunted" tales might be old, they are just as terrifying - i…
 
Ghosts, Devils and Death Omens; or, A Wild Night by the Romantic Lakes In this long-lost ghost story from the archives, Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales) explores a real-life account of an apparition which haunted the sublime lakes and mountains of Wales. It was one moonlit night that a Victorian painter, who was in Wales to capture the romanti…
 
The Dark Fairy Tale of Rhys and Llewellyn Have you ever heard sweet music drifting on the breeze as you walk home through the woods at night? And what would happen if you followed that music, and were lured into an endless dance with the Welsh fairy folk - y Tylwyth Teg? All is revealed as Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales) investigates the dark…
 
Witchcraft by the Sea; or, A Tragic Prophesy Do you believe in clairvoyance? What about fortune telling? One Welsh man thought it was all a load of rubbish, but soon changed his mind after a chilling death omen was sent his way from an all-seeing 19th century witch. To find out more, join Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales) as he investigates thi…
 
St Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers and the 'island of love' According to the legend, the life of fifth-century saint St Dwynen was far from easy. She is said to have forsaken love for herself in order to bring it to others, and was granted wished by angels, and a magic potion, in order to make it happen from a church off the coast of Angl…
 
The Murdered Knight The Ghosts and Folklore podcast kicks off 2021 in the best possible way - with a real-life "Ghosts of Wales" story sure to send a shiver down your spine! Join Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales) as he investigates a long-lost tale from the Victorian archives, in which an "intelligent" man is turned from a hard-nosed sceptic to…
 
New Year's Folklore of Wales It's out with the old and in with the new on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast! Join Mark Rees (author of Paranormal Wales/ Ghosts of Wales) as he explores the old New Year's Eve and New Year's Day traditions, from such curious customs as the Mari Lwyd to seasonal favourite Calennig. Is it good luck or bad luck i…
 
It's Christmas Eve - the perfect time to pull up a chair next to the log fire, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and listen to some old folklore of Wales. In this festive special, Mark Rees takes a look at: • Why kissing under the mistletoe isn't just about the romance • The incredible Plygain services, in which countless candles are used to ill…
 
Welsh folklore tells us that on Christmas Eve, a magical Christmas tree would spring to life in the garden of a west Wales mansion. What was its supernatural purpose, and where did it come from? And more to the point, where is it now? The old tales tell us that the tree was destroyed, but that isn't the whole story. In fact, there could be a lot mo…
 
There is a Welsh pub which is said to be haunted by many ghosts, which range from the good old "lady in black" to a "headless cavalier." They are, for most part, seemingly harmless enough, but on Christmas Eve a more troublesome phantom - a pesky poltergeist, you might say - has been known to cause mischief at the Castle Hotel in Neath. This spirit…
 
The Mari Lwyd is arguably the most well-known character in Welsh folklore. But why do people carry a horse's skull door-to-door late at night, and challenge their neighbours to a battle in verse? In a similar way to Krampus, the Central European "evil Santa", and Gryla, the Icelandic troll, this curious Christmas custom fascinates people around the…
 
What is it REALLY like to go ghost hunting in Wales' "most haunted" places? To find out, Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales) caught up with fully-trained paranormal investigators Cymru Paranormal to learn not just how to track down the paranormal, but how to do it ethically. What are their scariest experiences? What equipment do you need for an o…
 
Welsh folklore tells us that the fairy folk of Wales can be traced back to the times of King Arthur. But what connection do they have with the legendary island of Avalon, and why are they called y Tylwyth Teg in Welsh? Join Mark Rees (author of "Ghosts of Wales"/ "Paranormal Wales" etc.) as he explores these questions and more in this episode of th…
 
Can the changing room of a sports stadium really be jinxed? And did it really cause team after team to continuously lose important games? That's exactly what was claimed to be happening at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, when more than 10 English football league teams in a row (along with a few rugby teams) lost major games after being stationed i…
 
Guy Fawkes Night: The folklore, ghosts, history and traditions Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot! On this episode, Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales/ Paranormal Wales etc.) is joined by storyteller Owen Staton to discuss Guy Fawkes Night in Wales. Because while Halloween might be a few days behind us, there's…
 
Ghosts of Wales Live - A Halloween Special: A paranormal podcast party for Nos Calan Gaeaf How are you celebrating Halloween this year? Do you fancy some ghost hunting, but don't where to start? Or maybe you want to visit a haunted pub, but need some tips and advice? Or maybe you're just looking for a good spooky book to read? Then this is the podc…
 
Halloween Folklore and Traditions of Wales: How to celebrate Nos Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh Halloween Join cultural adventurer Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales/ Paranormal Wales etc.) on this journey in search of the curious, dark, and at times macabre history and folklore of Nos Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh Halloween. One of three spirit nights, it was …
 
Halloween in Wales: The secret history of Nos Calan Gaeaf In Wales, October 31 is a magical night when ghosts, fairies, and all manner of supernatural creatures may be encountered. On this special Halloween podcast episode, join Mark Rees ( author of Ghosts of Wales/ Paranormal Wales etc.) as he goes in search of the secret origins of Nos Calan Gae…
 
The Welsh jack-o’-lantern is far more terrifying than some carved pumpkin. While the image of a grinning orange vegetable might be a modern-day staple of Halloween, in Wales it was traditionally carved from a swede and was known as Jack y Lantern. This "dreaded ghost" was thought to be a diabolical form of corpse candle that would lure lonely trave…
 
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