The Diary of Thomas Jenkins

The Diary begins with a ghost story…

In a remote part of West Wales, in 1826, a thirteen-year-old boy wrote —

Brynymaen, Cardiganshire: I was induced to commence this diary of the principal events of my life owing to an unaccountable circumstance which happened to me and which I shall relate simply as it happened. I am not prone to superstition although living in, I should think, the most superstitious part of the country. I was always taught by my parents to disbelieve all the stories of ghosts and goblins that are so prevalent a source of terror in many a secluded locality to this day.

It was one fine moonlight night in the month of September this year. Having been rambling about the neighbourhood I returned home at 12 o'clock. All had retired to bed. Having lit a candle and placed it in an iron candlestick I went into my room and fastened the door, then placed the candlestick, together with an apple (which I intended eating on going to bed) on a bench which was occasionally used for holding cheese. Sitting on the side of the bed to take off my shoes I could see the light of the candle flashing on the wall. I looked around and to my great surprise there was the candle and candlestick vibrating back and fore with the apple under one edge of it. It then struck me that there must be someone in the room, which I then searched very carefully but unsuccessfully. Feeling my feet cold and having stockings on I went into bed but could not sleep for some time racking my brain as to how the apple could have got under the candlestick. I again felt my feet so warm that I took my stockings off and laid them on the bed. Getting up next morning and making the most diligent search possible the stockings were nowhere to be found, and they were never discovered afterwards.