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Yeun Ellez or the Gates of Hell
One often asks oneself whether it's a good idea to go walking near Brennilis in the Monts d'Arrées (mountains). This is where "Yeun Ellez" lies. This vast space is renowned in Breton legends and is said to be "The Gates to Hell". Ellez has the unhappy reputation of being the river of the damned.
The countryside has changed since the nuclear station was built in 1937. It is now adorned with the Nestavem water reservoir dam. Long ago, only the desert like moors gave this excessively humid basin all its wild dimension. The name given to it, "The Youdig" (small bowl of boiled cereals) gives us a very good idea of how
dangerous this place is.
According to the legend told by Anatole le Braz, this is where one came to cast out evil spirits who haunted the living into hell. A priest was called to perform an exorcism in the home. He would turn the spirit into a black dog. The animal would then be lead to the rector of Commana or Brasparts taking care to stop at every Presbytery on the way.
The priest would then dress in his surplice. He would take his stole and accompany the person and the dog to the centre of "Yeun Ellez" when night was falling. The journey was solemn and the atmosphere very strained. It was nothing to look forward to, since the dog or spirit would fight harder with each step taken. It was important to look where one was going too, since every pothole was full of the dangers of a fall provoked by the forces of evil. The rector would finish his task by placing his stole around the dog's neck and hurling it into the marshes of the Gates of Hell. Only then would peace return.
Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman
'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.