Fairies have been used to death in all kinds of fantasy stories. While usually appearing in things more intended for a younger audience, fairies have also been used in darker, more mature fantasy stories. This is much more in line with their original origins however, as they weren’t supposed to be lovey-dovey sprites of magic and joy.
Let’s take a look at some things you probably didn’t know about fairies yet.
Despite not locking children up in television sets from the 80’s, there’s a striking resemblance between what we consider to be a poltergeist and what is considered an angry fairy. So whenever you step into a haunted house, just remember that you might be in the presence of a fairy. Yay!
Especially in Ireland, a lot of the landscape has been heavily influenced by fairies and their presence. We’re talking fairy hills, fairy forts, fairy trees, … All of it was considered taboo, and you couldn’t build a road or give away a house next to one. People always claimed bad things happened to those that cut down fairy trees or disrespected the fairies.
Up until the 19th century, people were convinced that their infant was swapped by the fairies and not their actual child. And as you did back in those days, this meant that these infants would be subjected to extreme amounts of torture and cruelties to force the fairies into swapping their child back. Such light-hearted folklore!
Back in the 1930’s, something odd happened near the fairy hill of Knockfierna. As a boy claimed to have seen a fairy, he was sent back to interrogate the fairy. The next day, two of them appeared a walking distance away in bright daylight. They were identified as leprechauns and since rumor has it that if you keep one in a box for a year, you’ll find treasure, you can imagine how crazy everyone got.
The fairies were originally descended from Fallen Angels. This origin clearly states that fairies are beings of tremendous power that aren’t inherently good or evil. It was thought that if fairies would ever choose to do so, they would be perfectly capable of destroying the world at a whim.
Yeah, fairy sightings seem like something that never happened, right? Especially in the early 20th century, fairy sightings went through the roof. One history lecturer claimed that when he was a child, a column of tiny soldiers marched across his bed every night – with music and all. Just imagine that!
Not all changelings were children, and Bridget’s husband suddenly found himself convinced that this wife had been swapped because the person inside his house was two inches taller than Bridget herself. After this wonderful empirical evidence, he decided to torture her, eventually burning her alive. After her death, he went to get his real wife back from the fairies but apparently he burnt his real wife and fairies don’t exist.