: STORIES OF SATAN, GHOSTS, ETC.
If the possibility of Ghost Laying was believed in, so also was the
possibility of raising Evil Spirits. This faith dates from olden times.
Shakespeare, to this, as to most other popular notions, has given a place
in his immortal plays. Speaking rightly in the name of Glendower, a
Welshman, conversant with Ghosts and Goblins, the poet makes him say:--
I can call Spirits from the vasty deep.
Henry the Fourth, Act III., S. 1.
And again in the same person's mouth are placed these words:--
Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command the devil.
The witches in Macbeth have this power ascribed to them:
I'll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that, distilled by magic sleights,
Shall raise such artificial Sprites,
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion.
Macbeth, Act III., S. 5.
This idea has continued right to our own days, and adepts in the black
art have affirmed that they possess this power.
Doctor Bennion, a gentleman well known in his lifetime in and about
Oswestry, was thought to be able to raise Devils. I find in the history
of Ffynnon Elian, p. 12, that the doctor visited John Evans, the last
custodian of the well, and taught him how to accomplish this feat. For
the benefit of those anxious to obtain this power, I will give the
doctor's recipe:--Publish it abroad that you can raise the Devil, and
the country will believe you, and will credit you with many miracles.
All that you have to do afterwards is to be silent, and you will then be
as good a raiser of Devils as I am, and I as good as you.
Evans confesses that he acted according to the astute doctor's advice,
and he adds--The people in a very short time spoke much about me, and
they soon came to intrust everything to me, their conduct frightened me,
for they looked upon me as if I were a god. This man died August 14th,