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Posted on 01/11/2017 by David

As human beings, we love telling stories but there's something about this time of year that makes it a particularly good storytelling time. Could it be the early evenings? The winter's chill scratching at the door? The whispering wind or the creeping shadows outside? Who knows!

What we do know is that listening to a good story, cosy on the sofa in front of the fire takes some beating!  

And what better than a good ghost story to get the geese bumping and the spine tingling? Our Year of Legends may be almost over but, one thing's for sure, these ghoulish legends are here to stay.  

Spooky North Wales

Dr Dick and Plas Mawr, Conwy

Plas Mawr, an Elizabethan manison in the centre of Conwy, was built for the merchant Robert Wynn in the 16th century. The legend goes that Robert was away fighting in the wars, and his heavily pregnant wife and infant son were keeping watch for his return from the tower.

With no sign of their beloved Robert and feeling the cold autumn chill, they ventured down the stairs, but tragically fell. Mother, son and unborn baby were killed - despite young Dr Dick's best efforts to save them.

Robert returned not long after to find all he held most dear taken from him. Heartbroken, he swore revenge on the young doctor who fled into Plas Mawr's complex network of chimneys, never to be seen again.

Did he escape or did he perish in the sooty darkness? Today, strange noises are often reported coming from the Lantern Room - where the family died - and from within the walls of the house.

The Mermaid's Curse, Conwy

Many years earlier - long before Plas Mawr was built - fishermen caught a mermaid in their nets while fishing in the Conwy Estuary. This was a rare find indeed and the men were very pleased with their catch of the day.

The mermaid begged for her freedom but the men refused, parading her through the streets of Conwy instead. Suffocating out of water and terrified of the jeering crowds of people the mermaid struggled to take her final breaths.

Before she died, she cursed her kidnappers, vowing that Conwy would suffer wars, disease and death everafter. Since then, locals have reported hearing the mermaid’s ghostly laughter at times of communal crisis, most recently when the Town Hall was destroyed by fire in 1966.

Gwydir's ghostly residents, Llanrwst

This stunning medieval manor house on the outskirts of Llanrwst was the family seat of the Wynn family (of Plas Mawr fame). But don't be foooled by the ornate facade and gorgeous formal gardens, Gwydir is a hotbed of paranormal activity and it's no surprise. Dating back over 600 years, the house has seen much and hidden more.

One such secret was the corpse of a former housemaid, brutally murdered by her lord and master, the tyrant Sir John Wynn.

Tiring of his plaything Sir John cast off the maid but she reuturned to him begging for mercy and claiming to be carrying his child.

To avoid scandal, he murdered the girl and walled her body in a chimney breast where her body was left to rot and decompose.

Visit the castle and hold your nose while walking along the Meredith Hall, the sad spirit's presence is confirmed by her putrid odour. She's often spotted as a misty wraith in a nearby room too, earning her the nickname of the Grey Lady.  

The Grief-stricken Girl, Penrhyn Old Hall, Llandudno

It's a plethora of paranormal activity at Penrhyn Old Hall, near Llandudno! This 14th century house is heaving with spirits, ranging from mournful monks and cantankerous soldiers, to the usual sad girlish spirits and ladies of various colours. 

One such lady is alleged to be a daughter of the Pugh family, a powerful and devout Catholic family whose seat was Penrhyn from the 16th century. At a time of great religious instability, the Pugh's kept a priest hidden within the hall to conduct their services and tutor them in the Catholic faith.

The family were scandalised when their daughter fell pregnant, out of wedlock. She was in love and desired to marry her baby's father but he was a Protestant.

It's hard to imagine what was worse for such a devout family - the fact the girl was pregnant or that she wished to marry out of her faith. Either way it could not be allowed and the poor, lovelorn girl was murdered by her sisters.

She wanders the house to this day and is often seen grief-stricken on the stairway, perhaps still awaiting the arrival of her true love.

In a recent paranormal investigation a team of ghost hunters claim to have made contact with the same girl who - shockingly - did not even realise she was dead.