The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Ghostly tales from Haunted Wales

The Welsh newspaper Western Mail asked Richard Holland, the author of the new book Haunted Wales, to select his favorite stories. Go read all of them, but here's a sample from the article:

The Warrior Knight of the Blood Red Plume This gothic horror first appeared in a very rare little book of Welsh legends published in 1803 - and never appeared again in print until I summarised it in my first book, Supernatural Clwyd, 185 years later. This is one of the reasons it's a favourite of mine - I feel like I discovered it. It's also wonderfully over-the-top. The eponymous knight - so named for his fancy headgear - turns up at Rhuddlan Castle on the North Wales coast, where a marriage is about to be solemnised by Erilda, Princess of North Wales, and a Prince of South Wales - thereby uniting the nation and bringing peace to Wales for the first time. But, alas, the Warrior Knight steals Erilda's heart, causing her to elope, and he also sees to it that her father is killed. Wales is once again plunged into discord and the Warrior Knight reveals himself to be "an agent of the infernal" - a demon. His work done, he reveals that his true form is a huge, scaly monster. No wonder, then, that the castle's walls now echo at night to despairing shrieks and wails and Erilda's heartbroken wraith can occasionally be glimpsed among the ruins.