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For bohemians everywhere

Ivora Rees

A Ghost Story

Ihad always loved walking on the beaches of the Gower Coast during my Welsh childhood.
This particular summer I travelled with my family and a friend for a Welsh rural holiday with excursions to the coast. We were staying with my mother. We decided to visit the beach of Rhosilli which is very beautiful with a very sandy beach.
It was early evening when we arrived there and the beach appeared to be deserted. We climbed down the cliff path, which was quite steep. Walking along the beach we saw a group of people, sitting around a fire. As we drew nearer a rather buxom woman beckoned us towards them. She was dressed in very colourful clothes, a striped skirt in brown beige and orange, and a large sunhat on her head. She spoke slowly and clearly. Her melifluous speaking voice was so beautiful. With her there sat a young man, very thin and pale looking, not a very agreeable face. He was dressed all in black, tight black trousers. Next to him, a very serious thin lady in very dark colours. The thin lady had a dark green cradle, next to her. It reminded us of a 19th Century cradle. The baby made no sound at all.
The large middle-aged lady had a fork through a potato toasting it. She offered us one. All this seemed very real to our eyes, although perhaps a trifle strange. The fire was warm as we warmed our hands. The lady who spoke said how she loved coming to this beach. We sat in complete harmony for a little while and then decided it was time to go. We thanked them and bade farewell.
We travelled up the cliff path on our way, talking amongst ourselves. Eventually we stopped to look back to see if they were still there. It was rather a shock to find they had disappeared. No sign of the fire at all or of the strange group. There was only the path we were walking on and the sea, which was out a long way. One of our group wished to go back down again. I’m so glad we didn’t.
It was a very strange encounter, since these people appeared to be rather solid, although strange in their behaviour.
Sometime after this event, I received a newspaper cutting from a Welsh friend of mine living in North Gower. The cutting was from The Evening Post, the Swansea newspaper. The article was about a shipwreck that had occured on that beach, during the 19th Century. The ship was called The Helvetia. Having told my friend of the encounter, she thought it would interest me.
On reflection, all four of us experienced this strange phenomenon, so it couldn’t be a figment of our imagination. Maybe there was some residual energy there which created this weird occurence at the time we happened to be there. It certainly created an exciting day for us all in Wales.

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