Y Tylwyth Teg – The Fair Folk

By STEVE PARSONS Ghost Hunter

This story was well known around the Gwaun Valley in the 19th century and tells of the marriage of Einon to a fairy bride.

Einon was a shepherd who lost his way on the steep slopes of Mynydd Preseli. After many hours wandering he met an old man who offered to show Einon the path off the mountain. After a brief walk, the two men came to a tall standing stone, which the old man tapped upon.  Slowly, the mighty stone began to tilt until beneath it a narrow doorway appeared.

The two men entered and were warmly greeted by a group of fairies. They entertained their human guests with a seemingly endless feast of delicious food, exquisite wine and harmonious music. After the men had eaten their fill, three beautiful girls, with fair hair and blue eyes, joined them.

Eventually, the old man stood and made his farewell, thanking his generous fairy hosts. Einon however, remained in the fairy realm for a year and a day and gradually fell in love with one of the fairy maidens.

But eventually, he grew homesick and decided to leave. The fairy maiden begged him to stay but Einon was determined; however, he promised her that he would return upon the new moon.

The following day he departed, laden with a gift of fairy treasure. When he returned to his village, there was great rejoicing and amazement on his return; many had thought him either murdered or lost forever. Einon did not forget his promise to return, and when the new moon appeared in the sky, he returned to the fairy realm and in time took the fairy maiden as his bride.

Eventually, Einon and his new wife, Olwen, returned to the world of the humans and had a son whom they called Taliesin. They were wealthy and, as in all good fairy stories, the three of them lived happily ever after.

Today, there are still many people throughout the county, who believe that the fairies still inhabit Pembrokeshire. Many stories and tales exist of the ‘Teg’ and those who encounter them.

Who knows? Perhaps if you stand on a particular patch of ground in St Davids churchyard looking out to sea, or wander alone in the hills, you might also encounter these magical and mysterious folk that we share the county with.

Pembrokeshire also has another regular and magical visitor who is worth mentioning. Like the ‘Teg’, he is kindly and bestows gifts. His visits are an annual event and celebrated throughout the county and indeed further afield. Every December, close to Midwinter, he sets out to visit every home and child in the county. Many tales are told and many children grow excited as the time for his annual visit draws near. Homes are decorated and rich feasts are prepared. Although many children may struggle to remain awake in order to catch a glimpse of him, like the fairies, he uses a special sleep-inducing dust that ensures his nocturnal visit goes unseen.

In the morning, following his visit, lucky children might find that he has left them a gift or two. Known by several different names around the world, here in Pembrokeshire he is commonly referred to as Father Christmas or Santa Claus.

As that magical night draws near and people throughout Pembrokeshire prepare for his annual visit, may I repeat here the ancient greeting used at this time of year:

“Have A Very Merry Christmas!”

Steve Parsons is an investigator of ghosts, hauntings and related phenomena whose background, peer recognition, experience and knowledge separate him from a domain full of pseudo-scientific amateur ghost hunters. He has hunted for ghosts since childhood and has been a full-time investigator for more than 25 years. Peers and leading academic parapsychologists currently acknowledge him to be one of the best paranormal investigators in the UK.

In 2012, the Wall Street Journal called Steve Parsons “The Gold Standard of Ghost Hunting”.

To contact Steve Parsons, email

steve@theghosthunter.co.uk or call +44 (0)74 6869 0065.

Kitty Parsons

Kitty Parsons

Kitty is an incomer, with five summers under her belt and the knowledge that even the wettest and greyest of winters have not diminished her love of Pembrokeshire. She knows she will never live long enough to be considered a local but hopes to leave some small mark through writing about this beautiful county and its people.

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