Castle ghosts

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Castle ghost



A castle just wouldn't be a Castle without some Ghostly legends being connected to it and Pulyn-Y-Aleg is no exception to this rule. Legends of supernatural goings-on at the castle date back at least 400 years, and always seem to be of two types....

The Ghostly piper:

Stories of the ghostly piper have been told for generations by the locals and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone living nearby who won't claim to have heard him. Those who claim to have heard the piper (He's never seen) say it is the distinctive sound of Welsh Bagpipes (pibau cŵd).

Sceptics claim the sound is produced by wind blowing through some fissure in the rock under the castle, although those who have heard it say the sound is definitely Bagpipes and far too melodious to be attributed to this explanation. An interesting fact is that no-one has ever been able to record the sound, though there have been many attempts at doing so.

The Dark Lady:

The most well-known of the castle's ghosts, "The Dark Lady" has been seen on many occasions. She has been seen more often at night time but there have been some reported sightings in broad daylight.
There is a story, popular amongst the locals, that she is the ghost of Roger de Hastings daughter, who fell into the Castle's well and drowned. There is, however, no historical record that Roger de Hastings was even associated with the Castle, or that he even had a daughter. However, as they say, one should never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

She has become such a local identity that a park in a nearby village has a statue of her in it's gardens. Another interesting rumour amongst the locals is that Jimmy Page, guitarist with the band Led Zeppelin, visited the castle in the late 1960's while staying at "Bron-Yr-Aur", a nearby cottage, and that their hit song "Stairway to Heaven" was inspired by the legend of the dark lady.

She is consistently described as wearing a long, dark, hooded cowl and always silent. She is sometimes seen gazing through the windows of the ruins, but more often than not she is seen standing on the battlements.

One such chilling encounter in 1920 was described by the celebrated American writer J.Cheever Lupole (1875 - 1933) in his travel memoir "My Welsh sojourn"-

ghost monument

"On the evening of the 15th our party dined again at the local inn. After an excellent brace of pheasant, prepared by the inkeepers wife, we began to make our way to the salloon bar for our nightly ritual of Canasta and brandies. At this point, Roger Kint, ever the bundle of energy, suggested that, it being a particularly balmy and moonlit night, we might all take a stroll along the cliff tops to admire the view of the Castle by night. With all being agreeable to his idea, and after fortifying ourselves with a brandy each, we set off towards the cliffs. We walked the narrow path Indian file, with Roger in the lead, followed by the Italian couple Antonio Pirelli and his wife, then the German, Doctor Hackenbush, with myself bringing up the rear-guard. The bright moonlight allowed us to set a brisk pace, and before half an hour had passed we had all arrived at that vantage point on the cliffs affording the best view of the ruin.

I had barely stepped into the clearing when I heard Roger exclaim, in a startled tone, 'What the Dickens is she doing there?' Jolted by his cry we all immediately followed his gaze seaward, and there, standing upon the Castle's battlements, we saw the figure of a woman (in later discussions we all concurred that the figure was feminine in both appearance and mannerism). We were approximately one hundred yards away from her, but in the bright moonlight we could see that she was clad in a dark, hooded, long gown. She stood motionless, silently gazing towards the South and seemingly oblivious to our presence. There was no response from her to numerous cries and helloos from our party. After a minute she slowly raised her right arm, providing a glimpse of a pale hand from beneath the folds of her sleeve and appeared to point in the direction she was facing. She then slowly turned her back to us and, by degrees, disappeared behind the castle wall, as if descending by some staircase obscured to our view.

Shaken by this vision (for it was apparent to all of us that we had just witnessed something unworldly), we immediately made our way, with much agitated discussion of the event, back down the path to the village. I must confess I was very pleased to arrive back at the inn.
The inkeeper, on hearing of our encounter, seemed not in the least surprised, and said: 'Ah, you've seen the dark lady!'. He then proceeded to tell us of the local legend of..."

(Reproduced here with the kind permission of the authors estate)

In 1963, a visiting Romanian tourist, Abe Redurpaz claimed to have captured the spectre on film. He tried to sell the footage to the BBC for an undisclosed sum of money, however the film was examined and declared to be a poor quality fake.

The photograph below was taken by visiting Londoner Henry Gondorff in 1998 in the tunnel to the "Siege cave". He claimed the dark area to the right of the doorway was a "moving shadow" he saw flit through the tunnel, brushing silently past within a few feet of him.

ghost in tunnel



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The castle well


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pulyn-y-aleg, Welsh castle

pulyn-y-aleg, Welsh castle

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