Last night was an…interesting experience.
We met our friends at 10pm and headed for Pontypridd Common. This is an interesting place in many ways. High above the crossroads of two major rivers and five valleys it can’t help but be imposing and powerful – whether that be in any kind of magical, mystical or imaginative sense.
Our first stopping place was The Rocking Stone.
The central stone is a naturally occurring phenomenon of glaciation. In the ice age. the movement of a glacier (responsible for carving out the valleys) deposited the bottom stone, then dropped the top one too. When the glacier melted the two stones remained, perfectly balanced and rocking. There are rocking stones all over the world, anywhere glaciers have been. I can imagine the glacier slowly retreating, stretching out its arms and saying in a deep, booming voice, “Ta Da.”
A local celebrity, Dr William Price (1800 – 1893) began to use the stone as a meeting place for a fledgling druidic order, following the writings of the inimitable Iolo Morganwg who established a neo-druidic movement which first met on Primrose Hill in London, where he had erected twelve stones called the Great Circle in 1792, and which is enshrined in the National Eisteddfod.
In 1928 it was held in my home town and there is, incredibly, news footage of the inauguration ceremony Welsh National Eisteddford Treorchy 1828
Anyhow, I digress. Sometime around 1818 Dt William Price erected a stone circle around the stone, as well as a processional avenue from the circle, down through a shallow valley, through a stream and up onto the other side where it coiled like a snake, with two stone eyes
We thought we might start at the stone. I would have liked to follow the snake to its head but it was very dark and all the light we had was a torch and couple of phones. Neither Efan nor I are sure footed and I did not want to end the evening at the local casualty so I though scrambling through streams and up mounds could wait for another day – in daylight.
I was hoping we might get some EVP readings at the circle, or even contact Dr Price himself, as his ghost is rumoured to wander the common. I would love to have spoken to the brilliant man and I am sure that if he had been there our EVP, pendulum and spirit radio would have been more than enough for him to make himself known. Hell, he wouldn’t have needed any of it.
Unfortunately Dr Price was not at home so we struggled to find someone else who was prepared to talk to us. We did manage to briefly speak to an elderly gentleman who appears to have died at the cottage hospital but who was perfectly happy with his lot and didn’t want any help from us.
I started to get a bit uneasy at that point and was quite eager to leave. As we passed back between the stones I got a strong sense of energy and after dowsing a bit I’m fairly certain the circle is active, that is that it’s being used for ritual, probably by a local coven or druidic group. I apologised for the intrusion and we moved on.
From the stones, the path passes between trees until it opens into a clear area, probably the size of two or three football pitches. I have discovered later that there is a kerb cairn here, and the remains of a much older stone circle. I wish I’d know earlier, although I don’t see how we could have explored last night without breaking my neck.
As we walked toward the open area, I started to feel uneasy. Teri, my friend, had mentioned she’d had disturbing visions here so I was in a state of expectation. Even so, I was surprised by the violence of the feelings/visions I had here. It was also striking how similar were the things Teri, Efan and I reported.
From the strong smell of blood and burning, the sense of peace violated and the images of slaughter we can only assume that one group of people (men women and children who were at peace and feeling themselves to be safe) were attacked and massacred by another group without warning or mercy.
I have not been able to find any records of such assaults/massacres in this location, but all that means is that it wasn’t important enough to be recorded, at a time when there was probably a lot of upheaval and unrest.
We tried to pick up something interesting but although there were some little things coming through the spirit radio, there wasn’t really much else. The names Steven and Christopher and various voices, some urgent, even fearful seemed intent on making us aware of a witch. Whether that was a warning for us or an indication they were afraid of us. I don’t know. It’s a bit tricky, in any event, because the word ‘witch’ is a fairly modern one, and has been given many different meanings’interpretations through the years.
I have to say that, despite the unsettling visions, echoes of screams and cries, the clash of steel and the smell of burning, I did not at any time feel we were at risk or that we were being forcibly required to leave.
We came to a place, no far off from the war memorial/obelisk, when Efan drew our attention to a rather strange, ivy-covered fallen tree-trunk. Empirically it was nothing but that – a tree trunk covered with ivy, but I couldn’t deny there was something about it…
We tried poking around a bit. The EVP meter was silent, but the pendulum showed the presence of some energy. There were bits and pieces coming through the spirit radio, but then we got some of the clearest warnings I have ever had in this manner telling us in no uncertain terms to back off. This culminated in the extremely clear and vehement command DO NOT.
I still didn’t feel threatened in any way, or that anything was particularly pissed off with us and I would be the first to resist any arbitrary warning, however, I did get the feeling we were treading on someone/something’s toes and it would be a mark of respect to apologize and bow out, which is what we did.
On the way back, Teri picked up someone called John on the spirit radio. He spoke with a distinctly Irish accident and he may/may not have committed suicide by throwing himself off the cliff. His name was John and we were in the process of trying to get a surname when Efan came running over after heading off to check if the bench we’d just passed was a memorial and might have a name on it.
Efan was totally spooked and demanded we leave right then, which we did. Apparently he’d seen a face in the bushes – white skin, dead eyes, long hair, almost a cliche – as he said.
After that we kind of lost heart and headed back to Teri’s. Whilst we can’t honestly claim any real success in the ghost hunting, we had an amazing evening and I am definitely eager to delve a bit more into the ghostly inhabitants of the valleys.