Unsurprisingly for an area so rich in myths and legends, Gower has a wealth of ghost stories and ghoulish goings on…
The ruins of Pennard Castle, which was built around the 13th century, are home to numerous tall stories. The castle itself is said to have been built overnight by a sorcerer as a safe haven from the invading Normans. Others believe that anybody who dares to spend a night in the ruins will encounter a winged witch who’ll cast a spell on them! Another tale associated with the castle tells of a party that was held there to celebrate the impending marriage of Prince Rhys ap Iestyn. The prince, as many grooms do on their stag night, got a little too drunk and started to insult the local faerie people (Tylwyth Teg) outside the castle. The faeries were angered by the insults and conjured up a huge sandstorm that engulfed the castle, causing the Price and his entourage to flee.
Pennard Castle isn’t the only castle with supernatural goings on. Oystermouth Castle is also supposedly haunted by a woman dressed in white, who is seen crying and distressed. When she notices people she turns and shows her bare back, which is covered in gruesome bloody wounds caused by whipping. The woman in white is thought to be a medieval prisoner who died from being flogged in the castle dungeons, where a whipping post still stands.
Two more ghosts are believed to frequent Rhossili beach – one is Reverend John Ponsonby who used to care for the parishes of Rhossili and Llangennith. He travelled between the villages across on the beach on horseback and some believe he can still be seen riding the route today. The second ghost is that of Squire Mansell, apparently searching for gold he believed to be buried in the sands.
More ghosts in Rhossili… this time at the Rectory, which is believed to be haunted by an Edwardian couple, a vicar and his wife, who some claim to have seen and heard walking down the stairs. The building is believed to be built on top of a graveyard and on stormy nights a frightening spectre is said to emerge from the foaming waves to stare at the outside of the building, as if angered that it has been built there.
A mischievous ghost is said to dwell in the boathouse at Laugharne, where it plays with the light switches, knocks books off shelves and moves furniture. Local people believe that it is the ghost of Dylan Thomas’ mother – a celebrity of the supernatural world! – who moves the books around to make room for her son’s own and switches the lights on so that she can read them.
Lastly, be thankful that you may never hear the blood curdling screams that are said to have come from Brandy Cove! The screams, believed to be those of a young woman, apparently ceased in 1962 after the remains of a wrecked ship, the Maisie Stuart, were discovered there in a disused lead mine and reburied in Bishopton Churchyard.