Apparently, Wales is one of the most haunted countries in the world. From bumps in the night to mysterious frog women in the rivers, Wales has it all. What about our capital though? What is Cardiff’s place in this spectral madness? Well, according to Paranormal Cardiff, the latest in Amberley’s Paranormal series, “Cardiff excels in what might be described as the more chilling cases of supernatural history”.
Author Mark Rees paints vivid imagery of various hauntings, seances and other paranormal activity throughout Cardiff’s history, from Adamsdown to Whitchurch and everywhere in between. Its cast of characters include the 3rd Marquess Of Bute John Crichton-Stuart and his various paranormal investigations, Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle – who visited Cardiff in 1919 to attend a séance at the Penylan home of one Mr Wall – and a number of smaller local characters who would otherwise presumably be lost to time.
It’s not just ghosts and poltergeists that Rees tells stories of: he extends the book to Welsh folklore too, including tales of Mallt-y-Nos near Castell Coch; a woman who loved hunting so much she joined Arawn’s Wild Hunt in spirit form; and of the Cyhyraeth, an omen often heard before a death.
There’s tales of latter-day experiences, too, in buildings that thousands pass each day – including the New Theatre and the Royal Infirmary. In telling these stories, not only is Rees bringing them to a wider audience but also bringing them to life. His words paint such a vivid picture of the spooky goings-on in the Welsh capital’s history, you almost feel you’re being watched by one of the other worldly characters contained within the pages.
Paranormal Cardiff, Mark Rees (Amberley)
Price: £15.99. Info: here
words JOSHUA WILLIAMS