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Bendith Eu Mammau

Scary Books: The Haunters & The Haunted

They appeared diverse ways, but their most frequent way of appearing was

like dancing-companies with musick, or in the form of funerals. When

they appeared like dancing-companies, they were desirous to entice

persons into their company, and some were drawn among them and remained

among them some time, usually a whole year; as did Edmund William Rees,

a man whom I well knew, and was a neighbour, who came back at the year's

/> end, and looked very bad. But either they were not able to give much

account of themselves, or they durst not give it, only said they had

been dancing, and that the time was short. But there were some others

who went with them at night, and returned sometimes at night, and

sometimes the next morning; especially those persons who took upon them

to cure the hurts received from the fairies, as Charles Hugh of Coed yr

Pame, in Langybi parish, and Rissiart Cap Dee, of Aberystruth; for the

former of these must certainly converse with them, for how else could he

declare the words which his visitors had spoken a day or days before

they came to him, to their great surprise and wonder?

And as for Rissiart Cap Dee, so called because he wore a black cap, it

is said of him that when he lodged in some houses to cure those who

were hurt by the fairies, he would suddenly rise up in the night, and

make a very hasty preparation to go downstairs; which when one person

observ'd, he said, "Go softly, Uncle Richard, least you fall": he made

answer, "O, here are some to receive me." But when he was called to one

person, who had inadvertently fallen among the fairies, and had been

greatly hurt by them, and kept his bed upon it, whose relations had sent

for the said Rissiart Cap Dee to cure him; who, when he came up to the

sick man's chamber, the sick man took up a pound-weight stone, which was

by the bed-side, and threw it at the infernal charmer with all his

might, saying, "Thou old villain, wast one of the worst of them to hurt

me!" for he had seen him among them acting his part against him; upon

which the old charmer went away muttering some words of malevolence

against him. He lived at the foot of Rhyw Coelbren, and there was a

large hole in the side of the thatch of his house, thro' which the

people believed he went out at night to the fairies, and came in from

them at night; but he pretended it was that he might see the stars at

night. The house is down long ago. He lived by himself, as did the

before-mentioned Charles Hugh, who was very famous in the county for his

cures, and knowledge of things at a distance; which he could not

possibly know without conversing with evil spirits, who walked the earth

to and fro. He is yet said to be an affable, friendly man, and cheerful;

'tis then a pity he should be in alliance with hell, and an agent in the

kingdom of darkness.

I will only give one instance of his knowledge of things at a distance,

and of secret things. Henry John Thomas, of the parish of Aberystruth, a

relation of mine, an honest man, went with the water of a young woman

whom he courted, and was sick, to the said Charles Hugh, who, as soon as

he saw Henry John, pleasantly told him, "Ho! you come with your

sweetheart's water to me." And he told him the very words which they

had spoken together in a secret place, and described the place where

they spoke. It was the general opinion in times past, when these things

were very frequent, that the fairies knew whatever was spoken in the air

without the houses, not so much what was spoken in the houses. I suppose

they chiefly knew what was spoken in the air at night. It was also said

they rather appeared to an uneven number of persons, to one, three,

five, &c.; and oftener to men than to women. Thomas William Edmund, of

Havodavel, an honest, pious man, who often saw them, declared that they

appeared with one bigger than the rest, going before them in the


But they very often appeared in the form of a funeral before the death

of many persons, with a bier and a black cloth, in the midst of a

company about it, on every side, before and after it. The instances of

this were so numerous, that it is plain, and past all dispute, that they

infallibly foreknew the time of men's death: the difficulty is, whence

they had this knowledge. It cannot be supposed that either God Himself,

or His angels, discovered this to these spirits of darkness. For _the

secrets of the Lord are with those that fear Him_, not with His enemies.

Psalm xxv. 14. They must therefore have this knowledge from the position

of the stars at the time of birth, and their influence, which they

perfectly understand beyond what mortal men can do. We have a constant

proof of this in the corps candles, whose appearance is an infallible

sign that death will follow, and they never fail going the way that the

corps will go to be buried, be the way ever so unlikely that it should

go through. But to give some instances in Aberystruth Parish.