It’s nearly Halloween: the evening when tradition has it that the veil between this world and whatever lurks beyond draws back and allows us to see ghosts, spirits and other denizens of the netherworld. Of course, what most of us will actually see are lots of children in costumes with a hankering for sweets and chocolate. However, there are several local spooks of note that might make an appearance this 31 October.
The ‘Bridge of Screams’
Holt and Farndon Bridge is said to be the murder scene of two of Madog ap Gruffudd’s sons as they were carried across by their stewards, John, Earl Warren, and Roger Mortimer of Wigmore. The young boys’ screams are still said to be heard pleading for help as they, the unfortunate heirs, drowned. Although official records don’t mention their passing by violent means, the third Baron Mortimer certainly had a dastardly reputation: he was summarily hanged at Tyburn without trial, for “assuming royal power” by Edward III.
Traditionally seen in folklore as a crossing point between worlds as well as river banks, bridges are popular places for ghost stories. Another bridge at Caergwle is the scene of a sensational photograph from the Cheshire Paranormal Society. Having held a vigil on the bridge to investigate stories of orbs and the ghosts of three women who regularly haunted the bridge, paranormal investigators discovered the apparition in snaps taken on what they had assumed to be an uneventful night. The ghostly white, seemingly caped individual is thought to be a local figure from 300 years ago, although its name, “Squire Yonge”, simply means “young squire” and thus the figure’s true identity remains as mysterious as the photograph.
It’s not just medieval bridges that have the lion’s share of ghosts. Various properties have been reported and even investigated around the Wrexham area, from strange behaviour by pets walking near Erddig Hall, to numerous pubs and even a shop in Queen Street. Owners of Arnold’s Bar and the Black Lion in Babel have both reported serving spirits of an entirely different kind after unsettling events started to unnerve staff and poltergeist activity was witnessed. Paranormal investigation groups and even a local vicar were enlisted to call time on the unruly spooks, and yet sightings and reports of encounters continue.
A more traditional setting for a haunting can be found at the Plas Teg Jacobean mansion in Flintshire. The figure of a child has reportedly been captured on film by a local investigator, Paul Rowan, and with regular ‘paranormal nights’ for would-be ghost hunters fully booked until December, it would seem that many find Paul’s photographs convincing evidence. Made popular on numerous appearances on TV paranormal investigation programs, Plas Teg has a resurrection story of its own. Having once been considered a showcase of modernity when built, it was saved from ruin and dereliction by sustained restoration efforts by its succession of owners.
Whether you fancy getting into the Halloween spirit by emulating one of the local ghosts of note, or simply going with a more traditional or off-beat outfit to celebrate this year, why not try a
Halloween costume from Ace Fancy Dress
to blend in with the native spirits?