Seriously spooky places to check out in Rhondda Cynon Taf this Hallowe'en
The Grey Lady of Taff’s Well
This eerie lady is said to haunt Taff’s Well Thermal Spring and has also appeared in the surrounding area. She is said to have been in the well and approached a man who was collecting water. She asked him to grip her hands. As he did, he felt a searing stabbing pain to his side as she shouted ghoulishly that he had not held her hands tight enough and now she would remain a ghost, haunting Taff’s Well for the next Century. She has not been seen since – or has she?
Taff’s Well is Wales’ only thermal spring and is in the south of Rhondda Cynon Taf, close to its boundary with Cardiff. It’s the perfect place from which to visit the fairytale Castell Coch (which is surrounded by a huge spooky forest) or the beautiful Garth Mountain walk.
King Arthur’s sleeping knights at Craig Y Dinas
Craig y Dinas is a huge, magnificent rockface located in the very top corner of Rhondda Cynon Taf, in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons.
It’s said to contain a secret chamber filled with priceless gemstones and precious metals. The treasure is guarded by a sleeping army of King Arthur’s knights. A bell close to the entrance awakens the Knights if you enter – leading to disastrous consequences.
Craig Y Dinas is a popular spot from which to adventure on stunning mountain walks in the shadows of the Brecon Beacons. It’s also within a few miles of Penderyn Whisky Distillery, where you can go on a behind the scenes tour and learn how this worldwide award-winning spirit is made – and yes there are tastings too.
The Lady of the Lake, Ferndale
There are numerous versions of this chilling tale, but all have the same ending – the spirit of the Lady of the Lake continues to haunt Darran Park, with reports of shrieking, splashing and even sightings of the maiden herself.
Some say the lady was Nelferch, who lived in the lake with her family and cattle. A local farmer whose horse was drinking from the cool waters of the lake saw her and fell instantly in love, winning her over with his famous Valleys singing. They married but she retreated to the dark depths of the lake when they argued, never to return. The farmer was left mad with grief at her disappearance.
Others were told she was murdered by her fiancé, who wanted to marry someone else, and hidden in the lake.
Ferndale is a true valleys community – surrounded by workingmen’s clubs, choirs and, of course, mountains. It’s the perfect place to explore Llanwonno forestry, with its reservoir, waterfall and scenery. Plus the Brynfynnon Inn offers lovely food and stunning views.
Miskin Manor Hotel and Health Club
There are rumoured to be ghosts in many of the rooms at this ancient manor house, which dates back to the 10th Century. It is regularly listed as one of the most haunted places in Wales.
A former lord of the manor has been seen many times in the Oak room, while a young girl can be seen playing in some of the bedrooms.
The most well-known is the lady who makes an appearance in the bar most mornings between midnight and 1am, sweeping through the room as if she is on her way somewhere. Ghost hunters visited the hotel to see if they could meet her, but she did not make an appearance. As they left, commenting it was strange no ghosts could be seen, one of the huge, ancient portraits that hang on the corridor walls was picked up and thrown. Perhaps a ghostly reminder that just because something cannot be seen, does not mean it isn’t there.
Not only is it a gorgeous hotel and health club where you can stay and relax, Miskin Manor is the perfect place to base yourself for an authentic Welsh experience at the award-winning A Welsh Coal Mining Experience just a few miles up the road.
Who would have thought somewhere as beautiful as Llantrisant could hide so many horrors? The castle is said to be haunted by the ghosts of soldiers who were slaughtered there while the ghost of the former workhouse warden floats through town his keys jangling.
Head up to the stunning Billy Wynt of an evening and watch out for the ghost of a murdered boy while over on the common, spirits and ghouls roam unchecked.
Don’t be put off by the legends, Llantrisant is full of treats, including lots of walks in the beautiful open landscape that surrounds it and the Guildhall, which brings the history of the town to life, with exhibitions, displays, games and events. Plus there are loads of places to eat and shop.
Just outside Llantristant is the Royal Mint Experience, offering you the chance to go behind the scenes of this 1,000-year-old institution and learn about coins and more.
The White Lady of the Rhigos
Multiple drivers have recalled spine-tingling stories of the female hitchhiker they invited into their cars as they drove over the dark, misty summit of the Rhigos Mountain.
The woman appears from the swirls of mist and fog on the road beside them, thumbing down a lift. Kind souls who have stopped to help her watch her get in their car and then, as they drive, disappear completely.
From scares to thrills, Rhigos mountain is also home to the brand new Zip World Tower experience. Soar from the summit of the mountain on the world’s fastest zip line or ride the Tower Coaster – you won’t find another like it in Europe.
While no ghosts have been spotted at this peaceful nature spot (yet), it’s still home to things that go bump (or squeak) in the night. It’s home to a Pipistrelle Bat roost[BC4] while horseshoe bats can also be seen flying around the surrounding area (including the stunning Clydach Mountain which looms behind Glyncornel) in the dark hours.
The best part about visiting Glyncornel – no tricks – is the treat of being surrounded by some of the most beautiful open spaces. Visit the stunning Clydach Vale Countryside Park, which has two lakes, nature and a café overlooking the water. Use local walking routes to explore up and over the mountains, including Clydach mountain, from which you can look down on Glyncornel lake!