Gwrach y Rhibyn

"Witch of Rhibyn." A Welsh spirit that gives warning of approaching death. The specter is a hideous being with disheveled hair, long black teeth, long, lank, withered arms, leather wings, and a cadaverous appearance. In the stillness of night it comes and flaps its wings against the window, uttering at the same time a blood-curdling howl, and calling by name on the person who is to die, in a lengthened dying tone. A Welsh saying is Y mae mor salw Gwrach y Rhibyn ("She is as ugly as the Gwrach y Rhibyn"). She appears also as a river-spirit, in Glamorganshire. See also bean sídhe, ban-sìthe.



  • Sikes, W. (1880). British Goblins: Welsh folk-lore, fairy mythology, legends and traditions. London: Sampson Low, pp. 216-219.