Halloween Folklore and Traditions of Wales: How to celebrate Nos Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh Halloween

Join cultural adventurer Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales/ Paranormal Wales etc.) on this journey in search of the curious, dark, and at times macabre history and folklore of Nos Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh Halloween.

One of three spirit nights, it was a time for fun and festivities, but also a time of apprehension, and to beware the supernatural creatures abroad.

On this episode we will explore:

  • The Gothic lore involving the wind blowing over the feet of corpses.
  • The significance of seeing well-dressed apparitions appear in the parish church.
  • How to celebrate in the traditional Welsh manner with ghost stories and fairy tales around a giant log fire.
  • The return of the dreaded Hwch Ddu Gwta, the terrifying black sow.
  • How you can predict who will die in the coming 12 months.
  • And how to protect yourself from the witches who takes to the skies on Halloween.

All of these questions and more will be explored in this Halloween episode of the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees podcast.


Halloween in Wales: 5 special episodes

October is the Halloween takeover month on the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales podcast, and this is the fourth of five stand-alone specials.

For a full list of episodes check out the Halloween Specials podcast page.

What is 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 foreboding and apprehension.

For more about Nos Calan Gaeaf, be sure to subscribe to the Ghosts & Folklore podcast which will be focusing on the festival all through October, and check out the book The A-Z of Curious Wales for lots more weird and wonderful facts.

What is the Ghosts & Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees podcast?

Join Mark Rees (author of Ghosts of Wales/ Paranormal Wales etc.) as he explores the weird and wonderful history of Wales.

The world’s first podcast dedicated to Welsh ghost stories, folklore, myths and legends, GHOSTS & FOLKLORE OF WALES combines Mark’s research and insights from his books and articles with long-lost tales from some ancient tomes into a truly unique podcast experience.

New episodes are uploaded every Thursday, and feature everything from real-life encounters with pesky poltergeists to the fantastical beasts from the Mabinogion, 

Be sure to subscribe, and for more details and to get in touch with Mark Rees, please visit:

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