Mystery of The Golden Spectre of Goblin Hill

One of the most famous ghost stories from wales is that of the Golden Spectre of Golden Hill. Its fame due largely to the fact that the ghost is authenticated not just by witness testimony but also by a real, solid artefact which survives today, and which just happens to be one of the prized possesions of the British Museum. Goblin Hill, or to give it its correct Welsh name Bryn yr Ellyllon, rises to the east of Mold in an area of the town called Pentre.

On the left side of the hill, as one leaves Mold, a stone plaque has been fixed to a wall, commemorating an important archaeological discovery. Near the plaque there was once a prominent mound called the Tomen. Prior to the opening of the ancient grave, the area around the Tomen was haunted by a ghost called the Brenin yr Allt, or King of the Hillside. He was described as taking the appearance of a man of huge stature - a man who was seen to be 'glittering and shining in gold'. 

The origins and possible meaning behind the Ghost remained a mystery until October 11, 1833, Mr. John Langford, who rented the field, ordered that the mound to be levelled and the stones composing it be taken to fill in a hole by the side of the road. in the base of the mound the labourers came across a cist, or slab-lined grave, and in this grave they uncovered the largest piece of prehistoric goldwork ever found in Europe. The so-called 'Mold Cape' is an exquisitely ornamented sheet of gold which ould have fitted round the shoulders of the Bronze Age chieftain or priest whose crumbling bones were interred here. Initially its value wasn't recognised, and it was thrown to one side. When someone noticed it was made of gold, however, something of a free-for-all took place and chunks of it were ripped off, and taken away as souvenirs, the result being that it survives today in a sadly mutilated form.

John Langford was well aware of the stories of the Golden Spectre and made a point of visiting an old lady named Nancy, who claimed to have seen it fouteen years previously while fetching home her cows one moonlit night. Nancy was delighted to learn that the 'ghost was raised' and her story substantiated.


Haunted Wales: A Guide to Welsh Ghostlore written by Richard Holland

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