”Beware the Bwgan Fawr.” the old Vicar sighed. “Every chapel has to have its ‘Ysbryd capel’…”
“Its chapel ghost?” the younger clergyman replied. His pronunciation was still more ‘gog’, more Northern, than the man he was replacing felt comfortable with. Too… foreign. If such a phrase could be used for a fellow Welshman.
A shame, his body was found the morning after his first Midnight Mass. Just outside the chapel door, lying as if it had carried a great weight across the threshold, and then collapsed with the release of his burden. A heart attack, they said. Strange in someone so young.
The old vicar sensed a change though, as he entered for unexpected Christmas Day services. A younger, darker presence focussed upon the doorway’s arch. He had a feeling he knew who it was. Every chapel has to have its ghost.
“Pob lwc.” the elder of Saint Joseph’s had wished me, after his strange warning. I presumed he meant for my first Mass to be held, as traditional, at Midnight on Christmas Eve. It went well, the service, with a fuller than expected attendance, to see the ‘new man’, I presumed.
Later, sat still in just the candle light, I sighed, thinking I’d found a final home. It was then that the Bwgan Fawr sighed too. A man of middling years, he seemed, from one of the middling centuries, but as translucent as chip paper fat.
He pointed at the great Southern entrance way. “I’m trapped. I cannot cross alone. Would you? Could your flesh carry me across the boundary?”
I held out my hand, but we swapped places as he insistently led the way to the portal. I was light headed, beside myself, when he crossed. Then as my clasped fingers were about to feel the cold air, they were stopped, as if by a deep oaken door. The spirit’s grip broken, I saw the weight of his vessel slump before me. I rushed, but was held from reaching it. Reaching me. Every chapel must have its spirit, the old man had said.