Haunted Houses and Spooky Tales of the Conwy Valley
With a rich history comes myths and legends and North Wales has more than its fair share of magical and spine-tingling stories. The past has left many tangible marks on our landscape but it’s also left less visible signs too.
Along the Conwy Valley there are many supernatural hotspots with stories that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. It is said that in Wales there is a ghost for every square mile… and with our country covering more than 8,000 square miles it’s inevitable you’ll bump into one sooner or later.
Read our spooky stories and perhaps plan a ghost hunt of your own on your next trip on the Conwy Valley ‘ghost train’!
Conwy Castle – Conwy
Lots of castles have spooky tales, and Conwy Castle is no different. The apparition of a monk is seen from time to time, lamenting to desecration of his cherished abbey, and a strong smell of incense has been reported on entering the upstairs chapel within the castle walls. A black silhouette has been spied watching visitors, and many people report feeling overwhelmed with terror while in the towers, fleeing the castle – even in daylight!
Some people claim to have seen a large man in armour illuminated by candlelight through one of the tower windows. A sentry of centuries gone by perhaps?
Penryhn Old Hall – Penrhyn Bay
According to locals, the Penrhyn Old Hall pub is haunted by numerous ghosts. In fact, there’s so many it’s a popular place for organised ghost hunts with much paranormal activity recorded during investigations.
This ancient dwelling has served many purposes in its long life so its no surprise there are an assortment of ghostly residents within its walls.
A monk walks through the room above the Baronial Hall, drifting along the passage, and a young girl haunts the stairway.
The spirit of a young girl who was murdered by her family for wanting to give up her Catholic faith drifts around the hall, lost in grief.
On the dance floor, you may meet an old soldier, said to be frustrated by not being able to go to war and in one corner of the function room, there sits the ghost of an ill-tempered young man who hates disturbances.
Good job the pub serves beer… and spirits!
Conwy Quay – Conwy
One of the lesser-known myths of Conwy town is that of the Mermaid’s Curse.
Fishermen caught a mermaid in their nets while fishing on the river one day. She begged to be released but the men chose to parade their prize catch through the streets of the town. Like many sea creatures out of water, the mermaid started to suffocate.
As she slowly died, she cursed the men of Conwy, vowing that the town would suffer wars, disease and poor harvests for eternity.
The mermaid was said to have died at the site of the old Town Hall in Conwy. In 1966, it burned down. Some of the locals said they heard the mermaid’s ghostly laughter wafting through the flames.
The Devil’s Tree – Llanrhos
A really menacing story is that of the Devil’s Tree, close to the quaint church of St Hilary in Llanrhos just outside Llandudno.
It’s said that hiding in the branches of this old, withered oak tree, a devilish being named Old Nick lurks to surprise unsuspecting travellers. This creepy entity leaps onto the backs of men as they pass, draining them of energy and refusing to let go until they are able to get to safety.
The tree still stands to this day and even the cattle that graze the field surrounding it give it a wide berth.
Gwydir Castle – Llanrwst
According to TripAdvisor, Gwydir Castle in Llanrwst is listed as the eighth most haunted place to stay globally!
This fortified house was built by the influential Wynn family in the 15th century but the site was occupied long before. It’s a stunning example of a Tudor courtyard house and has a well-deserved spooky reputation. Like Penrhyn Old Hall, it’s a Mecca for ghost hunters, especially as the current owners are believers too.
There are many tales of paranormal activity at Gwydir, with eyewitness accounts dating back to the 19th century. Former lord of the manor (and all-round Mr Not Nice Guy) Sir John Wynn, the spirit of a murdered maid, and a grey woman are all frequently seen and heard about the property.
Castle owner Judy, said: “Many people continue to feel, see and even smell a range of paranormal things here, which are always uncannily consistent in terms of location and recorded experiences.”
All the haunted places we’ve mentioned in our blog are within easy reach of the Conwy Valley Railway, but the question is, are you brave enough to visit them and judge for yourself?
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