Have you ever heard strange noises in the middle of the night? Maybe it was just the windows rattling in the wind, or perhaps it was something more…

With its enigmatic castles and rolling hills, Flintshire is known for its cultural heritage and outstanding natural beauty. Yet beneath the surface of this historically rich county, there lies another strange and enigmatic realm. Join me on a journey into the unknown, to explore the ghosts, strange sightings, and otherworldly mysteries that have been reported here, in the ancient county of Flintshire.

Deborah’s Well

Deborah’s Well can be found by the side of the Cadole to Gwernaffield road, a simple structure of local stone at the woodland’s edge. Deborah’s story, if true, is a strange and tragic one. According to his account of the 1980s, local historian, the late Councillor Arthur Smith, writes that during the 6th century, there was an outbreak of cholera in the area. A local girl, by the name of Deborah, was recognised as a white witch, or healing woman, who used plants and herbs gathered from the wild to cure the sick. With no mainstream medicines available at the time, the services of these women were widely called upon. But when things went wrong, as inevitably they sometimes did, these healing women fell under deep suspicion.

At the start of the outbreak, perhaps aware that infected water was the cause of the disease, Deborah is said to have led the villagers up the hill and away from the well, thereby protecting them from infection. A hospital was established here, and villagers were kept safe for a while, but eventually the disease reached them, and  people began to die. The blame for this fell upon Deborah, who was now branded as a black witch. The building was set alight, with the inhabitants – including Deborah – still inside. Nobody survived the ravaging flames.

However, there are some problematic details contained in this story. Cholera was only recognised as an identifiable disease in Britain in the year 1831, and though it is not impossible that cholera was present before this date, it does throw into question such an early association. Perhaps the story relates to the 16th century rather than the 6th, when a real fear of witches and witchcraft pervaded the country. Like most stories of this type, the tale most likely has its roots in a centuries-old oral tradition, which has changed and been elaborated on over the years. However, the name of Deborah is well established in the area: the woodland where the memorial stands bears her name, as does a field across the road, and a nearby lead shaft. Has this story evolved from a tragedy years ago, the truth of which has been lost to time? OS maps from the 18th century have no mention of a well in the area, though there is an indication of one in nearby Cornel, where Deborah is believed to have been born…is this just coincidence? Food for thought, certainly.

A further strange tale relating to the site dates from the early 1970s, involving a married couple driving home late one night from Loggerheads. Needing to ‘pay a visit’, the man pulled over near Deborah’s Well, and went off into the woods to answer the call of nature. As she waited for him in the car, his wife was horrified by the sudden appearance of a woman with blazing hair emerging from the woodland. Terrified, she ran to find her husband. On returning to the car, the couple found no trace of the burning woman. So shaken were they by this incident that they reported it to the authorities, and the next day police called at the area to investigate. They found no trace of anything, save the woman’s handbag, dropped in her panic.

Golden Ghost of Goblin Hill

In 1833, an extraordinary cape of gold was found by workmen working in a field known as Cae Ellyllon (Field of the Goblins), on the outskirts of Mold, either when filling in a gravel pit, or when quarrying for stone – the details are uncertain. Dating from the Bronze Age, it was fashioned from a single ingot of gold about the size of a golf ball and placed on the body of someone who had been interred in a stone-lined grave within the burial mound known as Tomen yr Ellyllon (Tumulus of the Goblins). It is considered to be the finest example of prehistoric gold work in Europe and can be seen on display in the British Museum. There is also a copy in Mold Museum.

Before the discovery of the cape however, locals had for many years spoken of a spirit called Brenin yr Allt – King of the Hill – which was said to haunt the area. Legend tells that in 1810 a woman was leading her drunken husband home from a pub in the town, their route taking them through Cae Ellyllon, where the cape was later uncovered, when they encountered an apparition, “clothed in gold which shone like the sun”, towering over the tomen, before disappearing into it. The encounter scared the woman out of her wits, and her husband into sobriety!

A detailed report dating from 1830 recounts that one summer evening, a ‘respectable woman’ was riding home when she noticed that some of the trees on the opposite side of the road were lit with a strange, glimmering light, before she was confronted by “an apparition of unusual size, and clothed with a suit of golden armour”, which then disappeared into the tomen.  Stunned and shaken, the woman immediately turned back for Mold to relate her encounter to the Vicar of Mold, Reverend Charles Butler Clough (later Archdeacon of St. Asaph), who duly recorded what she told him, and had three other ‘respectable people’ witness the account. He later confirmed that the story of the golden ghost was well-known locally before the discovery of the cape in 1833, though we should note that its dimensions mean that it could only have been worn by a small woman or a teenager, rather than a warrior of “unusual size”. So, whether we have tangible evidence of a golden ghost, or evidence of collective memory stretching back millennia and preserved as a ghost story, this tale is truly remarkable.

Plas Teg

An impressive and brooding Grade 1 listed Jacobean mansion located between Mold and Wrexham on the A541, Plas Teg was built in 1610 by Sir John Trevor. It is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Wales, with no fewer than 15 unquiet spirits said to wander the house and grounds.

One of these is said to be Sir John’s own daughter, Dorothy, who fell in love with Iorwerth, a local farmer’s son. Her father strongly disapproved of the match however and forbade the couple from meeting. Heartbroken, Dorothy planned to elope with her love, and buried her jewellery near a well in the grounds of the mansion. On the night of the planned elopement, Dorothy went to retrieve her jewellery but tragically slipped and fell down the well, to her death. Her body was not discovered for two months, and her jewellery was never found. Over the centuries, there have been numerous reports of  a woman in white wandering on the A541 – could this be poor Dorothy, looking for her beloved Iorwerth? Frightened of being accused of Dorothy’s murder, poor Iorwerth hanged himself, and his ghost is also said to haunt Plas Teg.

Yet more tragedy was to befall the Trevor family in the mid-18th century. The fifth Sir John Trevor discovered that his wife was having an affair, and in a fit of jealous rage, he is alleged to have killed her. Later, reputedly riddled by all-consuming guilt, a drunk Sir John drove his carriage at reckless speed towards a tree in the grounds of Plas Teg, severely injuring himself, and subsequently dying a slow and lingering death.

The house has attracted many supernatural investigators over the years, including the team from the television show, Most Haunted UK, many of whom claim to have seen shadowy figures, sensed ghostly presences, and heard loud wailing noises.

Darkness is its own kingdom

While some may dismiss these stories and  incidents as mere coincidence or imagination, others believe that they are indisputable evidence of supernatural activity. Whether you are a believer or not, there is no denying that strange things happen in this part of Wales when darkness falls…

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  1. Hi Sonia! That’s all very interesting. I have actually seen a ghost in my house here. It was a large man dressed in a pale suit. He marched through my living room, looking very real, then vanished!
    Strangely, the room he walked through is a new addition to the house. Much love, Mary xx

    1. Wow, Mary! We’ve lived in a couple of houses where we experienced strange happenings a few years ago – I’m in ‘camp believer’, without a doubt! Sending love back to you XXX

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