Aberystwyth: Not just the haunt of students

Photograph by Tomos Nolan, edited by Poppy Tester

Photograph by Tomos Nolan, edited by Poppy Tester

AS HALLOWEEN is upon us, it seems fitting to take a look at some of Aberystwyth’s most popular ghost stories. Over the years there have been numerous sightings of ghostly apparitions all over the town from all kinds of people. As Aberystwyth is almost 800 years old it’s no wonder that one is able to look back at our town’s rich history and discover a treasure trove of ghosts and ghouls.

Many of Aberystwyth’s most prominent features, such as Constitution Hill, are often associated with supernatural activity. There have been numerous sightings of a woman dressed in Victorian-style clothing wandering around aimlessly at the top of Constitution Hill. When approached the woman usually disappears from view, often over the edge of the cliff. There have also been reported sightings of the mysterious woman in the same Victorian clothing floating in the direction of Clarach and Clarach Bay where she often disappears into the woods. One can’t help but wonder what drastic event haunts this woman or what might link her to Constitution Hill.

I also want to take a look at The Boar’s Head on Queen’s Road, an ex-pub that has now been converted into student accommodation. For a long time the pub was left abandoned and derelict. It is also allegedly haunted by the ghost of a previous landlord who hanged himself from the beams in the attic after the tragic loss of his fiancé. In the past there have been many reports of heavy footsteps and the jangling of keys coming from the attic despite it being empty. It is supposed that if you follow the noises you will come across the ghost of the grieving landlord getting ready to hang himself.

One of the most popular and well-known ghost stories in Aberystwyth is the tale of the mermaid spotted on the beach by a group of friends. This story goes all the way back to 1826 when the group of twelve climbed up Constitution Hill to take in the views. When looking down at the beach it is reported that they saw a beautiful, pale woman washing herself in the sea. However, where there should have been legs she had a great long black tail like a fish. By the time the group had made it down to the shore the woman was gone. To this day no one knows who or what the young friends saw.

And finally we come to the ghost of a mysterious woman that allegedly haunts student accommodation (such as Pumlumon and Caerleon) on the seafront. There have been numerous sightings of a ghostly apparition floating between rooms during the night. One student claims to have witnessed the woman floating above her bed, however she disappeared before the student was able to react. In the 1970s another student reported a ghost in his bedroom that simply stared at him whilst raising a sinister hand to point. The young man was so shocked that he was unable to move and still recalls this particular incident with horror.

Aberystwyth’s diverse culture is certainly detailed and unique. When delving into our town’s history one is sure to discover a world of interesting and mysterious goings-on. This Halloween I urge you to explore the town’s obscure history. Who knows what you might find!