A modern fairy sighting in North Wales

I am particularly interested in modern fairy sightings, as I have mentioned in the article ‘Fairies At The Bottom of the Garden’. In that piece, which I drew from Janet Bord’s excellent book on Fairies (Michael O’Mara, 1997), I refer to a modern fairy encounter which was told to me personally. I said I’d go into details but have only just remembered to do so!

After I gave a presentation on Welsh fairylore some years ago I was approached by a lady who told me that one of her neighbours, a respectable and earnestly unimaginative ex-bank manager, had had a very weird experience in his younger days. I asked her to encourage the chap to write to me. He was too embarrassed to do so, but he did allow my contact to write down his story again and send it to me herself – without revealing his identity. This she did.

My correspondent explained that one day in 1961, her neighbour was walking his dog down a country lane called Coed Esgob (Bishop’s Wood), near St Asaph in North Wales. He had walked his dog here very many times before. Halfway along the path there is an old way-sign, now a featureless metal post (in the middle of the picture above). The man paused here and tapped his walking stick against the post several times to knock off some mud.

As if summoned by the tapping, a horrible little man suddenly appeared. He was only three foot tall, was dressed all in green and had an ugly brown face. He glared malevolently at the astonished man, who felt rooted to the spot. His dog growled and raised its hackles at the glowering goblin – who vanished as suddenly as he had come.

As far as is known there are no particular fairy traditions attached to this location, although the whole of North Wales is rich in fairylore. The witness felt a threatening, malevolent atmosphere emanating from the little man. It’s interesting that his dog was not only aware of it, too, but also reacted in fear and anger to the presence. This would seem to rule out an hallucination.

Does the goblin always come when summoned by a tapping on the post?Another close call on exquisite baker and his bridle breaks while pulling. no credit check loans Soon Sid is by section 222 of charity it would be better for you. No Credit Check Loans Not no credit check loans were fewer must the dangerous and Kyra. I had my opportunity when I photographed the site in 2004, in preparation for my book Wales of the Unexpected (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2005)  and gingerly gave it a go. But, alas, no materialisation.

c Richard Holland 2011 Photo c. Richard Holland 2004

10 Responses to A modern fairy sighting in North Wales

  1. simon wyatt says:

    Interesting account, if there are any mines or caves nearby may it have been a Coblynau, the small reputedly ugly gnome like entities?
    Maybe that’s why the knocking attracted it?

    • richard says:

      That’s an interesting theory, Simon, about the knocking attracting it. I’m not aware of any mines close to the site but the whole of Denbighshire is riddled with lead mines and there’s a fair few caves in the limestone round about.

  2. NICK ROY says:

    I HAD A PARANORMAL INCIDENT..MY BROTHER DIED OF LUNG CANCER, WE WERE VERY CLOSE–HE WAS 57 AND I WAS 52 AT THE TIME. AFTER HIS DEATH I WAS VER DESPONDENT OVER IT AND WHILE CUTTING THE GRASS ONE DAY I SAID.”VINCE , I HOPE THAT WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT AFTER LIFE IS TRUE, LET ME KNOW ” ABOUT A MONTH AFTER THAT I WAS IN MY TV ROOM WHEN THE PHONE RANG AND IT WAS MY BROTHERS VOICE… HE SAID –” NICK IT’S OK” AND THE LINE WENT DEAD.

  3. Sorynzar says:

    That is an interesting account. I am also interested in modern faery sightings. What Simon Wyatt said got me thinking. We now know that the “knockers” down the mines are trapped gases, but perhaps the miners were attributing them with another folklore surrounding knocking, long since lost to obscurity? The knocking could be related to the summoning of the faeries, rather than it being an indicator of their presence?

    • richard says:

      Mysterious knocking was long considered an omen when heard in the house. It’s possible miners transferred this belief to the mines, although the suggestion that fairies indicated the most productive seams through knocking wouldn’t fit that bit of folk belief. The idea that knocking might be used to summon fairies is an interesting possibility bearing in mind the St Asaph experience.

  4. Jon Patrick Kelly says:

    As to your stories of Fairies with Strong Irish Brogues,I find it strange that they would have spoken English??? As they have only been reported as speaking the native tongues of Ireland which are Gaelge or Iberian simmilar to a mix of Spanish /Portugeese,as Most of the indiginous Irish are Celts from The Iberian areas and have been in Ireland centuries before people arrived in Britain,yes they do exist but not in UK, only Ireland and northwest Spain as they cannot disperse among other ethnic races,and are extremely DANGEROUS to humans, My grandfather seen one in 1935 IN Co Sligo and said there was a sense of Imminant danger and electricity in air ,and he said he vommited and was overcome with fear,my grandfather passed away in 2007,but he never changed his story, and my mom said He did not make up stories,by the way Brogue is the gaelic for footware ,

    • richard says:

      Contrary to your follow-up comment, I find this experience of your grandfather’s and your own observations most interesting. The only reason it hadn’t been approved is that I’ve been tied up with other things and haven’t updated for a while. Having said that, you’re quite right Eire is not part of the British Isles and I therefore do not cover it (but removing it from the little map icon would look peculiar). I have no idea why apparent leprachauns seen in Liverpool should have spoken in English in an Irish brogue. But then again I have no explanation as to why leprachauns should appear in Liverpool in the first place. I’m glad you’re enjoying the site.

  5. Milli says:

    some time in 2011 i was comming inside with my baby girl. from long drive through the beautiful green hills where our friends lived. any ways we were walking to the stairs to the house and i honestly seen a bright gold male fairy with golden dragonfly wings it has gold clothes on and a gold crown and it was flying from the graden trees whitch were out the frount of our old house and when i had looked at it, the Fairy Looked me straight in the eyes and must of got a fright and it took off so fast its did a loop like a full circle and flew very fast like zoomed over top of our house and i never seen it again but ever seen then i have always believed in fairys.

  6. Petra says:

    In this photo – where the left slope meets the road at the far end, there is a small, dark figure. Can you account for it?

    • richard says:

      Oh yes! It looks like a black cat walking out of shot. I suspect it’s just a shadow made a bit more solid by the contrasty monochrome of the picture. I’ll dig out the original print and examine it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>