by Charles Reis
Wales is a land filled with breathtaking natural beauty and wondrous history. But among the mountains, castles, and lakes also lies many legends concerning ghosts and other things that go bump in the night. Whether it’s the ceffyl dŵr (a water spirit that resembles a horse) or the afanc (a demon that is often found in lakes), there is always something lurking behind you.
Resting near the River Ewenny in Glamorgan, Wales is a 12th century structure called Ogmore Castle. It is believed the construction of the castle began around 1106 by William de Londres, who was one of the legendary Twelve Knights of Glamorgan. The property had many owners over the centuries, and around 1345 it served as a center for administrative justice for the Earls of Lancaster. In 1405, the castle suffered damage during the Glyndŵr Rising, a conflict that lasted from 1405 to 1415. Today, the castle is in ruins and can be visited for free. But, is there something that lurks here of the supernatural variety? According to local legend, it’s the Y Ladi Wen.
Y Ladi Wen, or the White Lady, is a type of “boogeyman” that has it’s origins in Celtic Mythology. While there are many variations to the story about her, she usually appears in a terrifying form and at times will ask for help in an attempt to lure people to their doom. Parents use these stories to serve as a warning to their children about the dangers of immoral behavior. As for Ogmore Castle, it has it’s own unique tale concerning the White Lady.
The story goes that a man was visiting Ogmore Castle in an attempt to find it’s hidden treasure, which was widely believed to be guarded by the White Lady. When he found the spirit, he demanded she give him to the treasure. She agreed and took him to it, and the man smiled at the vast treasure that consisted of a large amount of gold guineas. However, she did have one rule for him: he could only take half of the gold but leave the rest. He agreed, but deceit was within his heart. Later on in the evening, he returned to the castle. Going to the spot where the treasure was, he filled his pockets with as much gold as he could hold. When he began to leave the castle, the White Lady appeared and was filled with anger. She accused him of being a thief, a charge he denied. However, she forced him to remove his jacket, and this is when the gold fell to the ground. She was none too pleased and viciously attacked him with her claws, badly injuring him. Though he escaped alive, he became very ill soon after and wasted away until he died. While doctors believed it was an unknown illness that killed him, the locals knew it was “The White Lady’s Revenge!” What is the moral of the story: don’t be a liar, greedy, or a thief.
The location’s interesting history and legend was what brought me to this castle in 2014 with my paranormal equipment in hand. At first, my friend Andrew and I couldn’t do an investigation due to the nearby horses and a family playing soccer in the middle of the castle ruins (only in the UK!). So, we first had some tea in a nearby cottage. A few hours later, the castle grounds were empty of all people.
I conducted two EVP sessions, one in the 19th century courthouse ruins and the other in the “cellar” of the castle. Considering this was Wales, I decided it was proper to ask my questions in the Welsh language. Granted, I used Google translate to create my questions, and therefor it was not a proper translation, but I figured it was worth a try. However, my time in Wales helped me learn a few rules concerning the language, such as “ll” makes a “cl” sound, so it wasn’t completely hopeless.
I asked various questions in the language, such as “Is the White Lady here?” and “Is there treasure hidden in the castle?” (Trust me, saying it in Welsh was not easy at all). After going over the evidence, I caught no voices in the courthouse, no strange anomalies in pictures, and my K2 and heat reader got no stranger readings. However, all wasn’t lost as the cellar section was more fruitful. Towards the end of my EVP session, I tried to use the heat reader when I caught on my recorder a female voice going “Hmmmm.” On the castle grounds, there was only Andrew and myself, and while there were horses and a few people by the river, it was several yards away. This voice was loud, clear, and very close.
This begs the question: was this the voice of the White Lady? If it wasn’t her, then what female spirit is roaming this castle? Maybe no one will ever know. But, maybe one day she will let herself be known to others. Then again, if it is the White Lady, it may not be a good idea for her to come forth… it might not end well!