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Celtic Tomes:                     Readings from Bygone Books

Gary & Ruth bring you readings from the Classic Books of Celtic Lore and Study

Oct 3, 2017

Welsh Death Omens

British Goblins: Welsh Folk Lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (1881)

Book 2 Chapter 7


Wirt Sikes

Welsh Death Omens includes the Welsh Banshee or Gwrach y Rhibyn, crying spirits, the groaning spirits as well as corpse candles and the chirping of a bird at the door of a person about to die. Taliesin predicted the frightful monster known as the Fad Felen which comes from the marsh with hair, teeth and eyes like gold and brings death in its wake. Sikes also talks about the frightful female spectres, banshees and black maidens familiar across the Celtic World as harbingers of death.

Running Order:

  • Cambrian Death Portents 1:33
  • The Corpse-Bird 2:48
  • The Tan-Wedd 4:00
  • Listening at the Church Door 6:12
  • The Lledrith 7:27
  • The Gwrach y Rhibyn 9:22
  • The Llandaff Gwrach 12:08
  • Ugliness of this Female Apparition 15:03
  • The Black Maiden 15:13
  • The Cyhyraeth, or Crying Spirit 16:45
  • Its Moans on Land and Sea 17:55
  • The St. Mellons Cuhyraeth 21:22
  • The Groaning Spirit of Bedwellty 23:05


Names Used in this Section

All proper names, and words in Welsh or other languages, are recorded here in the show-notes and we've done our best to get the pronunciations right for you.

Gwrach y Rhibyn
Llandaff Gwrach
St. Mellons Cuhyraeth
The Banshee
Mr. Baring-Gould
Cwn Annwn
Cwn y Wybr
Canwyll Corph
Aderyn y Corph
Mr. Davis to Mr. Baxter
Walter Watkins
Neuadd, parish of Brecknockshire
Taf Fechan Chapel
Llewelyn Sion of Llangewydd
Fad Felen
Rhos Church
Maelgwyn Gwynedd
Mallt y Nos
Rev. D. R. Thomas
Archaeologia Cambrensis
Ceffyl heb un pen
Marw coel
Y mae mor salw a Gwrach y Rhibyn
Fy ngwr (my husband)
Fm ngwraig (my wife)
Fy mlentyn bach (my little child)
Och Dduw!
Cow and Snuffers Inn
Sir Walter Scott
Black Maiden
Prophet Jones
David Prosser, of Llanbyther Parish
Joshua Coslet
Inis Cenin
Non, mother of St. David
Llan-non, Church of Non
Mary Morgan
Crumlyn Bridge
'O Dduw, beth a wnaf fi?' (O God, what shall I do?)
Meredith Thomas
Thomas Edward Morgan
Anthony Aaron
William Harry Rees


British Goblins can be found on

You can find out more about Wirt Sikes on Wikipedia.

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