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16 October 2014

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Family Folklore

By Peter Collins
January 2005, Aberystwyth
A digital story from Capture Wales

Reason to believe

Peter was frightened by his first spiritual encounter and wasn't sure what to believe, then strange family tales provided some of the answers.

"A light from the adjoining room illuminated the bedroom. It was two o'clock in the morning, and as I tried unsuccessfully to sleep. The night's silence was broken by padded footsteps making their way across the carpet. Upon turning to greet my visitor I found that there was no-one there. Worse still, the footsteps continued to the foot of the bed, where an indentation formed on the duvet as if someone had sat down next to me. I was eight years old, and terrified.

Although dismissed as a dream by my English relatives, I mentioned the experience to my Irish and Welsh relatives who explained to me that it was simply a side of nature that only a few people get to experience; yet I remained sceptical.

Years later while talking to my cousin by the garden wall of my Aunt's house, we happened to glance up and see our Granny and Granddad watching us from the window of what used to be their bedroom. They had died two years previously. It was the most peaceful experience of my life. From that point, I was convinced.

My fascination grew, as did my questions. I found that the only place I could find answers was in the stories of my Celtic relatives. I spent many hours beside the fire listening to strange family tales spanning generations. Slowly I embraced a unique outlook on life and I now appreciate that reflections are not always confined to mirrors."

Peter Collins

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm Pete Collins, 20 years old and a student at Aberystwyth University. I'm studying Film and TV and working towards a career in this field. I have a great interest in all forms of filmmaking, but am also interested in the other arts, particularly writing - as all students should! However I do make time for other activities, for example walking and travelling are two of my favourite pastimes.

What's your story about?
It charts how a couple of spooky childhood experiences have had an impact on my current outlook on life and philosophies. These philosophies I wouldn't have had if my Irish and Welsh relatives hadn't explained the situations for me, through their spirituality.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
I wanted to show a side of human experience that is usually overlooked, by explaining circumstances that, although extraordinary, happened in a very real way, and how I adapted my beliefs in the wake of these events, and having these things explained to me at such a young age made my childhood magic.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
Having the chance to tell a weird story in a beautiful way.

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