THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN WALES
Love a bit of sightseeing on a cold, dark, autumn evening? Look no further than creepy Cymru during the Halloween period, reckons Kaiya Simon.
ROYAL INFIRMARY, CARDIFF
This hospital in the centre of Cardiff was built in 1822 and it’s no secret that there have been spooky sightings and paranormal experiences here for over a century. Although it’s been rebuilt, staff overseeing the largely abandoned building have seen sights that will send chills up your spine; claimed to see past matrons and soldiers who’ve come through the infirmary; and have even been ‘touched’ by the ghosts, to the point of calling in an exorcist.
PEMBREY WOODS, CARMARTHENSHIRE
Pembrey Woods has seen a human presence since at least 400BC and the village of Pembrey itself has history of the spooky kind. This ranges from ghosts of soldiers from World War II to cavaliers and deformed spectres roaming around the forest. These woods have also apparently been home to a poltergeist who likes to grab people around the ankles, making them fall over. Many a camper has woken up to their equipment piled up or tossed into the woods, all of which has attracted the attention of TV show Most Haunted.
CASTELL COCH, NR CARDIFF
Another attraction in Wales known for its ghostly cavalier, the initial castle (built in 1081) is long gone; what you seen now are the flights of fancy of John Crichton-Bute, the the medieval-mad 19th-century Marquess Of Bute. That relatively recent history doesn’t distract from its spookiness, with reports of a servant woken in the night to the ghost of a cavalier standing at the bottom of his bed. Another tale tells of the old Welsh noble, Ifor Bach, who apparently used witchcraft to turn two of his men into stone. After his death, two thieves broke into the castle to try and steal his treasure, but were met with the two stoned men who made sure the thieves had a grisly end. If you fancy it, Castell Coch often hosts ghost walks during the month.
MARGAM CASTLE, PORT TALBOT
Margam Country Park is home to Margam Castle, constructed in 1830, and believed to be home to many a spirit. So much so that Ghost Hunters International flew in from LA to make the grounds the star of one episode. One notable nightmare-botherer is the ghost of Robert Scott, a former gamekeeper who was murdered, seen scouring the grounds with anger and purpose.
LLANELLY HOUSE, LLANELLI
One of the most notable historic properties in the Carmarthenshire town, and thought to be haunted. Its standout spectre is Mira Turner, believed to have committed suicide in her bedroom. She used to like dandelion and burdock to drink; the chefs working in Llanelly House often complained of bottles missing!
SKIRRID MOUNTAIN INN, ABERGAVENNY
By most accounts the most haunted place in Wales. It is one of the oldest buildings in the area, dating back to Norman times, and has long been a drinking establishment. It had a dual use as a hanging spot in the 17th century, with rope marks still visible in some of the wooden beams from where the executions occurred. At the last count, four apparitions were believed to make their home within its walls, though plenty have been spotted over the years – many are believed to be those hanged, coming back to avenge their deaths.