A Man Taken by the Devil, The Devil, Evil Spirits, Satan in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Llanycil Wales
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Category: The Devil, Evil Spirits, Satan
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Title: A Man Taken by the Devil

W. E. was a very bad man; he was a brawler, a fighter, a drunkard.  He is said to have spat in the parson’s face and to have struck him, and beaten the parish clerk who interfered.  It was believed that he had sold himself to work evil and many foul deeds he committed. What was worse, he gloried in them.| People thought that his end would be a shocking one, and they were not disappointed.  One night this reprobate and stubborn character did not return home.  The next day search was made for him and his dead body was found on the brink of the river.  Upon inspecting the ground, it became evident that the deceased had had a desperate struggle with an unknown antagonist, and the battle commenced some distance above the ceunant, or dingle, where the body was discovered.  It was there seen that the man had planted his heels deep into the ground, as if to resist a superior force, intent upon dragging him down to the river.  There were indications that he had lost his footing but a few yards lower down it was observed that his feet had ploughed the ground. Every step taken from this spot was traceable all down the declivity to the bottom of the ravine and every yard gave proof that a desperate and prolonged struggle had taken place along the whole course.  In one place an oak tree intercepted the way and it was seen that a bough had its bark peeled off, and evidently the wretched man had taken hold of this bough and did not let go until the bark came off in his hands, for in death he still clutched the bark.  The last and most severe struggle took place close to the river: here the body was dragged underneath the roots of a tree, through a hole not big enough for a child to creep through, and this ended the fight.| What was most remarkable and ominous in connection with this foul work was the fact that, although footprints were seen in the ground, they were all those of the miserable man, for there were no other marks visible.  From this fact and the previous evil life of this wretched creature, the people in those parts believed that the fearful struggle had taken place between W. E. and the Evil One, and that he had not been murdered by any man, but that he was taken away by the Devil.

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