top of page

Invisible Sprites

The horse has ever been an important part of mythology, and the legends and stories of Wales are no different. Indeed, it is possible if not actually likely that there was a strong horse cult in North East Wales, with many place names in Denbighshire and Flintshire suggesting connections to a reverence of the horse.  In Cyffylliog, there is the myth of invisible sprites that would steal the horses from landowners and ride them through the night on wild hunts.  These horses were always returned before dawn, but on fetching them from their stalls in the morning, the grooms would find them lathered, exhausted and filthy.

One such example is of a farmer of Cyffylliog, who on finding a colt he had acquired fit to fall one morning, was told by a farm hand that it had been ridden by the sprites during the night.  On asking how he knew this, the farm hand pointed to the horse’s mane, which had been prettily plaited in a, ‘very artistic manner’.  This apparently was clear evidence of the sprites making off with the horse during the night.

Further Reading

E. Owen, Welsh Folk-Lord: A Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales, Woodhall, Minshull & Co., Oswestry & Wrexham (1896)

bottom of page