Angelystor (the “Recording Angel”) (4/5)

In the churchyard of St. Digain’s Church in Llangernyw village, Wales, stands possibly the oldest living thing in Britain, the Llangernyw Yew, which is thought to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, dating it back to the Bronze age, before Christianity arrived in Britain.

Attached to the church next to this incredible tree, is the legend of Angelystor, which in welsh means “Recording Angel” which in this case is a spirit that appears inside the medieval church twice a year, firstly on the night of 31st July, and then again on Halloween night, and on these two nights from within the church it will announce in Welsh the names of local parish members who will shortly meet their demise.

According to the story, one Halloween night long ago,  a disbelieving local tailor called Siôn Ap Rhobert scoffed at the legend in his local pub, to which his fellow drinkers challenged him to visit the church to check out if the legend were true. Well, he finished his drink and headed straight to the churchyard. It was then as he arrived on his own at the church that he heard a deep ghoulish voice coming from inside it, and as he got closer to the door and listened, he could hear that the voice was reciting the names of local people soon to die, with the very first name he recognised being his own. He died before the next Halloween.

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