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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 December, 2004, 10:25 GMT
Weird stories to wake up Wales
Vaughan Roderick
By Vaughan Roderick
BBC Radio Wales

Plas Teg
Is Plas Teg the most haunted house in Wales?
Presenting Good Morning Wales on Radio Wales is always a bit of a roller coaster ride.

Each morning, there are 20 or so interviews to do, on subjects varying from the sad and the serious to the bizarre or bonkers.

I have always had a sneaking affection for the slot the GMW team refer to as the "five to nine".

Not just because it is the last item on the programme, but because it also gives us our window on the weird.

The stranger the better is the motto for stories to end the programme, and if we leave Roy Noble - who takes over at nine - speechless, well, so be it.

This, like most years, has provided us with quite a harvest of weird happenings and events in Wales.

First, we had the competing claims to be the most haunted building in Wales.

The Skirrid Mountain Inn near Abergavenny has a pretty good claim. Not only is it the oldest pub in Wales but it is claimed that 182 people have been hanged on its staircase - although quite who did the counting is not made clear.

Wild boar
Wild boar were spotted in Wales this year

Plas Teg near Mold though claims to be even spookier, with its owners running regular ghost tours.

The 17th century manor house is said to have several different spirits haunting it - although why Plas Teg should be spook central is not clear.

Some apparitions are more real than others, of course. The wild boars of Monmouth may sound like something from the Mabinogi but, in all likelihood probably owe more to careless husbandry than ancient Welsh legend.

Meanwhile the hunt for the grave of Owain Glyndwr continued apace this year with various claimants putting forward theories - mostly involving two different villages called Monnington in western Herefordshire.

Some of the claims are more credible than others but the chance of any one of the being proved is about as likely as the trapping of the Beast of Brechfa or Tegi, the Llyn Tegid monster.

All in all it has been a pretty good year for the weird in Wales, but nothing really to compare with my own personal "close encounter" a few years ago.

So to end, here is a (totally true) Christmas ghost story - not something that happened to the "friend of a friend" but a first-hand experience.

Coins on grave

Some years ago I was living in the village of Coity near Bridgend and had followed the Christmas Eve ritual of a few beers in the Six Bells before heading to the church for midnight mass.

My route home took me on a short-cut through the graveyard where I saw something glittering on a newly-dug grave.

Placed carefully on the grave were two mint-condition half-crown coins both carrying the date 1940.

I took the coins home and a few days later took them to the local priest.

The grave, it turned out, was of an elderly lady who had recently died. She never married and often expressed her distress at not having known her father who had been killed in France in the early days of World War II.

The year of his death was 1940. Did his daughter, in death, receive a Christmas gift from the father she never knew?

Welcome to the haunted house
27 Apr 04 |  North East Wales
Wales' trail of ghost tales
31 Oct 03 |  Wales


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