The wood so softly singing
In a language strange to hear
And the song it sings will find you
As the twilight draws you near



The figure variously known as Kyhirraeth, Cyhoeraeth or Cyhyraeth is a banshee-like figure in the Welsh tradition. Here are two accounts of this spirit from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries:

That is a doleful disagreeable sound heard before the deaths of many, and most apt to be heard before foul weather: the voice resembles the groaning of sick persons who are to die; heard at first at a distance, then comes nearer, and at last near at hand; so that it is a three-fold warning of death – the king of terrors. It begins strong and louder than a sick man can make, the second cry is lower, but not less doleful, rather more so; the third yet lower and soft, like the groaning of a sick man, almost spent and dying; so that the person well remembering the voice, and coming to the sick man’s bed who is to die, shall hear his groans exactly alike, which is amazing evidence of the spirit’s foreknowledge. Sometimes when it cries very loud it bears a resemblance of one crying who is troubled with a stitch. If it meets any hindrance in the way it seems to groan louder.
told by Joshua Coslet to Edmund Jones (1702-1793)

There was a peculiar species of ghosts, denominated as Cyhoeraeth, and deemed the most horrible of supernatural beings. The following is a description of it. A being with dishevelled hair, long, black teeth, long lank withered arms; its shriek is described as having such an effect as literally to freeze the blood in the veins of those who heard it, and was never uttered except when the ghost came to a cross road, or went by some water, which (if female) she splashed with her hands making at the same time the most doleful sounds, and exclaiming ‘O! O! fy ngwr, fy ngwr’ (my husband, my husband) or (if male) ‘fy ngwraig, fy ngwraig’ (my wife, my wife) or ‘fy mhlentyn, fy mhlentyn, fy mhlentyn bach’ (my child, my child, my little child’.
Cambrian Superstitions W, Chetwynd-Hayes (1831)

1 comment:

Magaly Guerrero said...

Hmmm, how interesting. I'm always looking for mythological creatures or beings of old legends to add to my finction writing. I know that some people dislike this practice, but I love a bit of reality in my fiction and the "real" mythological charaters are so overspent! I think I have some researching to do...

P.S. This being sounds much like the Latin "Llorona".