A Spirit of Llangernyw Church, The Devil, Evil Spirits, Satan in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Llangernyw Wales
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Category: The Devil, Evil Spirits, Satan
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Title: A Spirit of Llangernyw Church


There was a tradition in this parish that on All-Hallows’ Eve a Spirit announced from the altar the names of those who were doomed to die in the coming year.  The Spirit was locally called Angelystor.  Those who were anxious to know whether they or their neighbours had a longer time to live stood underneath the east window on that eve and anxiously listened for the dreaded revelation.  It is related of a tailor, who was reckoned a wit, and affected disbelief in the Spirit story, that he announced his intention to prove the thing a myth, and so, one Nos Galan Geuaf (All Hallows’ Eve), Shon Robert, as he was called, proceeded to the church just before midnight, and, to his horror, he heard his own name—“Shon ap Robert,” uttered by the Spirit.  “Hold, hold!” said the tailor, “I am not quite ready!”  But, ready or not ready, it made no difference to the messenger of death, for that year the tailor died.|According to rustic opinion, demons were, from sinister motives, much given to frequenting churches; still it was thought that as the Priest entered the sacred building by the south door these Spirits were obliged to make their exit through the north door, which was called in consequence the Devil’s Door; and this door was opened, and left open p. 171awhile, to enable these Evil Spirits to escape from the church, before divine service commenced. In agreement with this notion, the north side of church yards was designated the Domain of Demons, and, by association of ideas, no one formerly was buried in this side, but in our days the north part of the church yard—where the space in the other parts has already been occupied—is used for interments, and the north doors in most old churches have been built up.|Formerly, at baptisms, the north church door was, in Wales, left open, and that too for the same reason that it was opened before the hours of prayer. But these superstitions have departed, as intimated by the blocking up of north church doors.


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