The Weird Sisters was the name of a formation of standing stones in a circle located near Carmarthenshire, Wales (The Dark Secret of Weatherend).


According to legend, holes were drilled in the stones and then packets of beeswax mixed with "human blood, fingernail pairings, snippets of hair, and little pieces of bone" were inserted in the holes to create a magical barrier. Following a series of rituals, peculiar signs began to appear in the sky: "Hail, severe winds, blizzards, colored lightning and mysterious underground rumblings" - until the Carmarthenshire townsfolk tipped over the stones and burned the human remains.

The Dark Secret of Weatherend

Weird Sisters

Standing stones

Upon showing an old engraving of the stones to his sister, Myra, and their friend, Anthony, Emerson Eells hypothesizes that what happened in Wales is the same thing causing the bizarre weather patterns in Hoosac and elsewhere across Minnesota (The Dark Secret of Weatherend, 79-80). It seems plausible since Anthony recalls seeing strange statues at the Weatherend estate and there had been a recent rash of stolen relics from area churches.


The name Weird Sisters is an allusion to the three witches found in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" (they of the oft-quoted line, "Double double, toil and trouble"). Also known as the Three Witches, their origin lies in Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of England, Scotland and Ireland. Other possible sources, aside from Shakespeare's imagination itself, include British folklore, such contemporary treatises on witchcraft as King James VI of Scotland's Daemonologie, the Norns of Norse mythology, and ancient classical myths of the Fates: the Greek Moirai and the Roman Parcae[1].

Two of better-known sets of rings in Carmarthenshire are Meini Gwyr ("the Crooked Stones") and Pen y Raglan Gwynt ("the End of the Wind-break"). Bellairs probably came across such stone circles during his overseas visits: if not any of the tiny rings of stone in the Carmarthenshire area, then surely the tourist-friendly Stonehenge or Britain's largest stone circle at Avebury. Stone circles of South Wales are smaller when compared with their British counterparts but, none the less, are of the same tradition:

About a dozen circles are known in South Wales, normally formed of small stones, rarely more than 3 feet tall, and usually with some of the stones now missing. Sometimes they are enclosed within a low earth bank, as at Ysbyty Cynfyn and Meini-gwyr. In two cases (Trecastle Mountain and Nant Tarw, Traianglas, both in Brecknockshire) a pair of circles stand side by side, while at Cerrig-Duon, also in Traianglas, there is a standing stone and a short avenue formed of two parallel lines of stones as well.
These circles often lie on the barren moors and hills where many of the Bronze Age barrows are also to be found. We must remember that in the Bronze Age the climate was warmer and drier than it had been in Neolithic period or was to be in the Iron Age, which meant that the moors and hills were less forbidding than they are today[2].
The rituals involving the stones may well be based on local folklore from various parts of the British Isles. "Holes in standing stones are fairly common. Whether they were drilled or have just formed over time is debatable but it's certainly true to say that where holes do occur they are often used as receptacles for offerings. On visits to a range of circles I have often found offerings of fresh woodland flowers or grain left by practicing pagans to this day. Since no written records exist, it's impossible to confirm whether or not stones were used with the aim of controlling the weather.[3]"

External links


  1. Wikipedia: Three Witches
  2. "Stone Circles".  Regional Archaeologies: South Wales (C. Houlder and W. H. Manning) (1966).
  3. Correspondence with Phil Dunn.