Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Haunted Anglesey

The latest true ghost story on Uncanny UK has been taken from the book 'Haunted Anglesey' by Bunty Austin. The weird encounter described actually took place in Scotland, not Wales, but was told to Bunty by an Anglesey resident.

It's ironic that in my 'Haunted Wales' book (which appears to be currently unavailable, much to my annoyance), I state that ghost stories from this ancient and magical isle are remarkably thin on the ground. Well, that remains true for the pre-War stories on record, anyway. But Bunty, who has lived on Anglesey for many, many years, has succeeded in gathering a considerable collection of superb first-hand accounts of ghosts from Ynys Mon,as well as some historical sightings. 'Haunted Anglesey' is the sort of book we should have for every county in Wales - indeed the whole of the UK - a volume of previously unfamilar stories collected over many years from the witnesses themselves.

As far as current hauntings are concerned, Anglesey appears to be a very scary place indeed! When I was writing my 'Wales of the Unexpected' column in the 'Daily Post', most of the first-hand accounts of ghosts I received came from readers came in Anglesey. These are now gathered together in the book 'Wales of the Unexpected' - check out the strangling horror of Lofft Pinc!

'Haunted Anglesey' by Bunty Austin is published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (ISBN 0-86381-883-8). 'Wales of the Unexpected' by Richard Holland is also published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (ISBN 1-84527-008-8)

For more accounts of ghosts from around Britain, visit

Thursday, 10 January 2008

The Carmarthenshire Ghost train

The most recent ghost story on Uncanny UK concerns a poltergeist that caused mayhem in an old farmhouse near St Asaph over the Christmas period of 1812. I took the story from a manuscript letter that describes the disturbances first-hand. The exceedingly rare nature of this source material makes it a favourite of mine and I have mentioned it in many of my books as well as on the Uncanny UK website.

Another recent article describes a few 'ghost trains', apparitions of locomotives that have long since shunted into the Great Beyond. Briefly, I mention a phantom train that was seen in Carmarthenshire. This ghost was recorded by the folklorist J C Davies, who got it first-hand from the witness, 'an old man named James'. Here I repeat the story verbatim from his book 'Folklore of West and Mid Wales', which was published in 1911:

'Some years ago when he [James] happened to be out about midnight once, he saw a train passing, which came from the direction of Carmarthen, and went towards Llandilo, and as no train was to pass through the station of Nantgaredig at that hour, he enquired of the Stationmaster next morning what was the special train that passed at midnight. In reply he was told he had been either dreaming or had seen the spirit of a train, as no train had passed at that time of night.
'A few days after this a special train passed through the station conveying a large funeral from Carmarthen to Llandilo; and James and his friend were convinced that the train he had seen in the night was nothing but an apparition of the real train with the funeral!'

James's belief was that the ghost train had taken the form of a - for then - hi-tech version of the phantom funerals that commonly reported as shuffling through Welsh lanes at twilight to warn of real funerals to come.

To read about the Christmas poltergeist, please visit: ; to read more about phantom trains: ; and to read more about phantom funerals, visit: