Sunday, 2 May 2010

Spooky Sunday

Tonight I'm giving a talk at The Sportsman's Arms, which is out in the middle of nowhere on the Denbigh Moors in North Wales. The nearest building, in fact, is the ruined hunting lodge known as 'The Haunted House' by everyone because it looks like it ought to be (although, in fact, it isn't).

This vast area of moorland and conifer woods known as the Hiraethog is rich in folklore, particularly fairylore, and in the middle of the woods some years ago local resident Judy Young found a tiny wigwam structure among the trees. It was less than a foot high but beautifully constructed of bracken and twigs and had a neat fence round it made of pine needles and woven grass. She managed to get a photo of it (it's reproduced in my Wales of the Unexpected) but was never able to find it again.

Anyway, it's Judy who's organised the talk. The Hiraethog is so vast and empty that I guess the Sportsman's has a wide catchment area. Judy has arranged a series of talks and events (holy wells expert Tristan Gray-Hulse was there recently) to keep business going out of the tourist season. There's no pay, but I'm hoping it'll be quite good fun and some interesting people to meet. It was Janet Bord, a friend of Judy's, who encouraged me to take part, so she will be there and with any luck there will also be people in the audience (assuming there is an audience!) who will have ghostly experiences of their own to relate.

I'm not putting together a formal talk, I'll wing it a bit, chatting about some of the things I've picked up since editing Paranormal Magazine, as well as weaving in some local ghost stories. Which reminds me - I must find out if anyone knows anything about the 'cursed Roman bridge' that's supposed to be in the vicinity of the pub. Allegedly, it's haunted by a Roman soldier, but to see him means certain death - unfortunately, the only source of the story is the late Jane Pugh, who was unreliable to say the least.

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