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


A resident of Llanfor named Mr. Roberts states that his grandmother, born in 1744, had only traditions of this spirit.  The evil spirit at Llanfor Church was said to have worn a three-cocked hat and appeared as a gentleman, and whilst divine service was performed he stood up in the church.  But at night the church was lit up by his presence, and the staves between the railings of the gallery were set in motion, by him, like so many spindles, although they were fast in their sockets.  He is not reported to have harmed anyone; neither did he commit any damage in the church.  It is said he had been seen taking a walk to the top of Moel-y-llan, and although harmless he was a great terror to the neighbourhood and but few would venture to enter the church alone.  Mr. Roberts was told that on a certain occasion a vestry was held in a public house that stood on the north side of the church, not a vestige of which now remains, but no one would go to the church for the parish books.  The landlady had the courage to go but no sooner had she crossed the threshold than the Evil Spirit blew the light out; she got a light again, but this also was blown out.  Instead of returning for another light, she went straight to the coffer in the dark and brought the books to the house and that without any molestation.| Mr. Roberts states that as the Spirit of darkness became more and more troublesome. It was determined to have him removed, and two gentlemen skilled in divination were called to offer him to Llyn-y-Geulan-Goch.  These men were procured and they entered the church in the afternoon and held a conversation with the Spirit and in the end told him that they would call at such an hour of the night to remove him to his rest.  But they were not punctual and when they entered they found him intractable. However, he was compelled to submit and was driven out of the church in the form of a cock, carried behind his vanquisher on horseback, and thrown into Llyn-y-Geulan-Goch, a pool in the river Dee, about a quarter of a mile from Llanfor village. According to tradition the horse made the journey from the church to the pool by two leaps.  The distance was two fields’ breadth.| On their arrival at the river side, a terrible struggle ensued. The evil, devilish spirit would not submit to be imprisoned and he made a most determined attempt to drag his captors into the water.  He, however, by and by, agreed to enter his prison on the condition that they would lie on their faces towards the ground when he entered the river; this they did and the Spirit with a splash jumped into the water.| The case of the imprisoned Spirit was not hopeless—tradition says he was to remain in the pool only until he counted all the sand in it. It would almost appear that he had accomplished his task, for Mr. Roberts says that he had heard that his father’s eldest brother whilst driving his team in the dead of night through Llanfor village saw two pigs walking behind the waggon. He thought nothing of this, and began to apply his whip to them, but to no purpose, for they followed him to Llyn-y-Geulan-Goch, and then disappeared.| There was in these latter times some dispute as to the Spirit being still in the pool. This, however, has been settled in the affirmative. A wise man, in company with others, proceeded to the river and threw a stone with writing on it into the pool, but nothing came of it, and he then affirmed there was no spirit there. This the people would not believe, so he threw another stone into the water and now the river boiled up and foamed. “Yes,” said the sceptic, “he is there, and there he will remain for a long time.”


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