Day 304 Mile 304: Hallowe’en Ghost Run. Today is Halloween, and sometimes living in an old part of an old country has its advantages, especially when it comes to ghost stories. Conwy is an ancient town siting at the point where the river of the same name meets the sea. The town walls and castle date from the late 13th century but there has been settlement here for even longer.
This rich and varied history; full of conflict and love, beer and sex, tragedy and compassion (not to mention the occasional bout of cross-dressing!) leaves a copious tapestry of memories embedded in the place, just below the surface.
As such for Hallowe’en it only seems right to take in some of those stories.
Starting with the iconic Castle itself, it is said to be haunted by two monks. These are believed to be from St. Mary’s Church and were forcibly relocated in c. 1284 by Edward I during the time of the castle and town wall’s construction to a new abbey some 7 miles into the mountains. To this day their sighting is believed to be something of a warning or ill omen.
Running down to the quay the Liverpool Arms is said to occasionally be visited by a spectral man with a young child on his shoulders. While this seems something perfectly plausible to do on a nice day it becomes considerably more chilling once you are aware that in the 1930s the landlord and his young son drowned in Conwy estuary in a terrible accident.
Moving further down the quay we come to the smallest house in Great Britain, a heady 72 inches across. It was built in the 16th century and was lived in by fishermen until 1900 when it was declared too small for human habitation as its then occupier (a Mr Robert Jones who measured 6’3’’ tall) had to sleep with his feet sticking out of the window. These days it is a tourist attraction but often smells of cooking fish and salt water when opened up in the mornings….
Moving back up though the town the route takes me to Aberconwy house, parts of which are the oldest house in Wales where the wife of the first owner can still occasionally be seen sat by the fireplace in 1300s attire.
Finally running up through the High Street I came across the imposing Plas Mawr House. The building was completed in 1580 for the squire Robert Wynn. While Wynn was away on business his wife and infant slipped on the stairs suffering dreadful injuries. Their usual doctor was unavailable so a less experienced doctor was called for. Overwhelmed by the situation the stand in doctor tried to make his escape but was locked in by the house servants in a desperate effort to force him to perform some variety of treatment. When Robert Wynn returned home he found his wife and child dead and the doctor nowhere to be seen. In his desperation the doctor had tried to escape the room via a chimney where he became fatally trapped. It is said that Robert Wynn, Lady Wynn and the unfortunate doctor still walk the corridors to this day.
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What jolly jolly fun! I get the spiritual side of Hallowe’en, the Celtic side of it with the quartering of the year and the near-point between this world and the next and being with those who have gone before; and the Christian All Hallows’ Eve for the saints, martyrs and faithfully departed. However its also nice to have a bit of local history and a good scary story or two.
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1767.9 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
Thanks as ever for all the support!
A good creepy earworm for today, not all out frightening, just subtly creepy 🙂