EP19 The Jack-O’-Lantern of Wales: A Halloween special exploring the most horrible history of a “dreaded ghost” which haunted the dark Welsh forests on Nos Calan Gaeaf
Oct 8th, 2020
The Welsh jack-o’-lantern is far more terrifying than some carved pumpkin.
While the image of a grinning orange vegetable might be a modern-day staple of Halloween, in Wales it was traditionally carved from a swede and was known as Jack y Lantern.
This "dreaded ghost" was thought to be a diabolical form of corpse candle that would lure lonely travellers away to a fate worse than death in the dark forests at night, and it could even be working in conjunction with the hobgoblins, fairies, or even the Devil himself.
In this eerie episode of the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales podcast, MARK REES (author of Ghosts of Wales/ Paranormal Wales etc.) recalls a long-lost real-life encounter from the archives in which a "respectable" man encounters a Jack y Lantern one dark lonely night.
In this case he lives to tell the tale, but then he returns to that haunted spot a second time to confirm that his eyes were not deceiving him, and that's when things get even spookier...
Halloween in Wales
October is the Halloween takeover month on the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales podcast, and this is the second of five stand-alone specials.
For a full list of episodes check out the Halloween Specials podcast page.
Nos Calan Gaeaf
In Celtic times, each day began at sunset. October 31 - Nos Calan Gaeaf in Welsh, the night before Calan Gaeaf - marked the beginning of winter, and while it was a time for celebration, it was also a time of great apprehension.