EP71 The First Welsh Jack-o‘-Lantern: A Halloween special exploring the origin of ”Jack y Lantern” in an old folk tale of devils, demons and a lost spirit - Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast


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Halloween wouldn't be Halloween with a grinning jack-o'-lantern, but did you know that it was once far more sinister than a finely carved pumpkin?

Nothing encapsulates Nos Calan Gaeaf - as we call Halloween in Wales - like the flickering face of a finely-carved lantern. But unlike the modern-day pumpkin which can be seen carried by trick or treaters, it was considered to be an all-too-real "dreaded ghost" which led people to their doom in the dark forests at harvest time.

Its origins can be traced back to an old Welsh folk tale in which the Devil is outwitted by a particularly crafty Welshman, but who pays a heavy price for his dealings with Satan.

On this Halloween special, author Mark Rees (Ghosts of Wales) explores the true horror behind the Welsh "Jack y Lantern" on the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales podcast.

What is the Ghosts and Folklore of Wales with Mark Rees podcast?

In early 2020, Mark Rees launched the world’s first podcast dedicated to Welsh ghost stories, folklore, myths and legends.

By combining his unique research and insights from many books and articles with long-lost tales from dusty old tomes, this weird and wonderful podcast takes a fascinating look at the country's countless curious subjects.

New episodes are uploaded every Thursday and feature everything from real-life encounters with pesky poltergeists to fantastical beasts from the Mabinogi and the skulled-headed Christmas favourite herself, the Mari Lwyd.

Be sure to subscribe, and for more details and to get in touch with Mark Rees, please visit:

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