The B.P.O.S.’s documentation of the desecration of the disused Congregationalist chapel at Maes-y-Dref, Deiniolen, in 1984, does not strictly constitute a paranormal investigation. However it is worthy of mention for the records.
Several members of the society were at this time regularly visiting some associates of ours who had recently moved from Highgate to remote and rural Deiniolen, North Wales.
Whilst on one such visit in 1984 I learned that there had recently been rumours of a lot of so-called ‘black magical’ activity in the area. The couple who were our hosts described an incidence of such desecration which had taken place less than a hundred yards away from their cottage. The discovery had been made by two local clergymen, who had observed some evidence of interference within the chapel through a broken window, and this had become the talk of the village. It was local knowledge that magical ceremonies had recently been conducted in abandoned Congregationalist chapels in the vicinity, and now it seemed that the Maes-y-Dref chapel (which dated back to 1879) now seemed to be the latest target, despite being only minutes away from the centre of the village.
The chronology of events later became somewhat scrambled by the local press, but having been made aware of and seen for ourselves through the window some odd markings on the floor of the chapel, B.P.O.S. members managed to negotiate access via a previous caretaker who maintained a duty of care towards the still consecrated site. Our host R. (who was born in the area and well respected amongst locals) subsequently arranged a visit to the chapel late one afternoon in order to ask my opinion as to the markings’ meaning and/or origin. What we found was disturbing.
The whole place was very eerie and quiet, seemingly locked into an impenetrable atmosphere all of its own. I am a psychic investigator with 40 plus years experience, but I can honestly say that it was creepy. Dust lay heavily upon the pews, any communion plate had long gone and the whole altar appeared to have been removed. Books of common prayer however had been left behind, many of which had had their pages torn out and scattered senselessly around the nave.
As we approached the equivalent of what in a traditional English church building would have been the chancel, we observed, clearly visible on the floor, a double ringed circle which had been created using some white substance (not paint but possibly some kind of flour and water mixture). Around the periphery were various sigils including pentagrams and lunar symbols as well as alchemical symbols for Saturn and Mars. Four small black candles had been placed at cross-quarters within the outer circle, and another still stood at its centre, along with two metal bowls in which herbs and incense had been burnt. Scattered nearby were white chicken feathers which seemed to have fallen in a chaotic fashion. They did not appear to us have been ripped from a cushion as the Rev. Trefor Lewis later stated, however there was no blood to seen whatsoever. There were also no markings on the pews, although it is just possible that those reported in the local press had been made after after our inspection.
The remains suggested the possibility of a ritual intended to invoke Baal, and yet there were potential contradictions inherent in the placement of symbols – a makeshift wooden cross for example had been placed at the east of the circle, and was NOT, as the newspapers reported inverted. This was possibly placed there in fear and disgust by a local person who had entered the chapel before us, but who, knowing the ready condemnation of a small community, had not revealed what they had discovered. It was positioned very specifically, however, and its placement makes this explanation unlikely – surely an angry local would have scrubbed out the markings with his boot, kicked over the candles and placed the cross in the circle itself? Neither was the pentagram near it inverted, at least not from the perspective of anyone operating from within the circle. The whole scene was confusing, and I was left unconvinced that it was the remains of a professionally conducted black magical rite – although whoever was responsible for it had certainly had a good go. It looked more like an experiment of some kind, and despite the eerie atmosphere in the chapel I was left unconvinced that what we were dealing with here was anywhere near the scale of malignant magical work which had taken place at Highgate Cemetery some thirteen years previously, or indeed at Tottenham and Abney Park Cemeteries, or at Dowd and Clophill churches over the last two decades. It rather seemed in fact that such nationally covered incidents could have acted as inspiration. This was of little comfort however to the small and closeknit community of Deiniolen, who were as disturbed by the idea that members of their own village could have been responsible as they were at the thought of being targeted by people who were dedicated enough to travel many miles silently on foot to their little hamlet, to carry out such acts by night.
We never did discover who had made the markings or why, nor how many times the chapel had been used in this way before the desecration was discovered . This abandoned place of Christian worship stood derelict for another twenty three years, but to our knowledge no further rites took place there. Whoever was responsible presumably moved onto less high profile sites after their activities were exposed in the press. What is certainly true is that any potential revival was terminated forever by the demolition of the chapel in 2007, to make way for a less gothic – and less fear-inspiring – humble bungalow.
© David Farrant 2014