Editor’s Note: White lights are often associated with fairies. This instance is interesting though in that the light seems to be of a ghost, a murdered man.
In the year 1767, Walter Watkins of the Neuaadd in the parish of Llanddetty (a man of considerable substance in the world, a man of virtue, sense and learning) gave me the following notable relation of an apparition, as follows. Some years past, being out at night towards Taf Fechan chapel, within sight and not far from his house, he could see a whitish kind of light near the said chapel. It increased till it was as big as a church tower, and decreased again till it became as small as a star. Then, it would increase to the former largeness (doing so several times), so that he wondered at it (and no wonder he did) but he felt no fear. He went to the house to fetch his mother and father to see it, and they all saw it in the same manner – to their great wonder (for, indeed, it was a supernatural wonderful apparition to human eyes). Sometimes after a neighbour was ploughing a field near the chapel. The plough stopped against a large flat stone, which the ploughers rose up. And, behold, there was a stone chest. In it was the jawbone of a man (a large one, for it encompassed the chin of the plougher, and it had the cleverest set of teeth that any man could have) and an earthen jug which was empty (supposed to hold the murdered man’s blood, put into the earth to hide the murder). Who it was could not now be known, but shall be known in eternity. However, upon this discovery it was remembered by some that a man named Philip Watkins (living at the said Neuadd) was suddenly lost and never heard of. His wife married another man, taking it for granted that he was dead indeed, (or pretending to think it was so). Some time after this woman asking a wandering sort of man, who used to be between the two houses, what news from Neuath? he jocosely said, Philip Watkins was come home, and was well. This affected her so much that she fell sick and died. It was in vain for the man to say afterwards that it was not true, and that he only jested. If she was sorry for having married again, it shewed a tender conscience; otherwise it looked like extreme guilt: there is a mystery in it which must be left undecided this side of eternity, which all things which have been done on earth shall be known; according to our Saviour’s saying, Luke 12/2. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known; in the day when the secrets of men shall be revealed. After this the light was no more seen near the Chapel, though often seen before. The Spirits of men appear like light, because they are knowing beings, properly resembled by light. Jones*, Breconshire