Hidden in the crook of a long and winding lane secreted in the folds of Flint Mountain stands Pwll-yr-Wrach, ‘The Witch’s Pool’.

While it may be clear, still and peaceful on a summer’s day, this pool has a sinister reputation.

According to local legend, strange beings live beneath its surface.

One early winter’s morning in 1852, a farm labourer is said to have suffered a fatal encounter with one of these beings.It was a seemingly ordinary winter’s day in 1852 when John Roberts stepped out of his cottage door to begin his day's work.

However, on this particular day, the farm labourer found that his path was blocked by an unfamiliar youth.

He spoke to the boy but, on receiving no response, he attempted to brush past him.
At that moment the youth grabbed Roberts and in an instant the terrified man found himself hurtling through the air.

In just a few seconds they reached the shore of Pwll-yr-Wrach and his unearthly captor forced Roberts's face to a few inches above the surface of the water and held him there in an iron grip.

Struggling, Roberts heard a cock crow from a nearby farm and suddenly found himself released.

The boy stood above him, eyeing him passively.

“When the cuckoo sings its first note on Flint Mountain I shall come again to fetch you,” said the boy, and then he vanished.

John Roberts died the following May.

He had been carrying out some building repairs at Penyglyn on the mountain when a wall fell and crushed him.

A young woman who had witnessed the accident said that it happened just as she
noted a cuckoo come to rest on a nearby tree.

She added that when the body was being carried away to Roberts's home, the cuckoo had followed, singing from tree to tree all the way to his front door.

Story taken from ‘Wales of the Unexpected’ (2005) by Richard Holland published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. Richard is now editor of Paranormal Magazine (www.paranormalmagazine.co.uk) and www.uncannyuk.com