When clouds were clad in mourning, ducks quacked like mad or the pretty scarlet pimpernel shut its petals tight, Caerphilly folk would bar their doors and made themselves scarce. When raindrops fell their blood turned to water because Gwrach-y-Rhibyn, the monstrous Moat Witch, would be the terror of the town.
The Gwrach, which is Welsh for witch, was an old bag of bones with a figure like a famine. She was as dark as a devils soul with her long inky hair and black eyes that shipwrecked in their sockets.
She skulked in the castle shadows where Nant-y-Gledyr, the Shingly Brook, flows into the moat, and during every downpour when skies started to slobber, the hag would flap her bat-like wings and wail horrible enough to give everyone the habdabs. The hyena-hearted Gwrach would hover around the hoary mansions beating her wings against casement and porch, shrieking the names of those about to die.
One oldtimer came face to face with the oat-Witch not too many years ago: She is as true as the Bible, he told his friends. Honest to goodness, cross my heart and hope to
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