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Are Fairies Real?


Offbeat  (tags: bizarre, children, culture, fairies, fun, magic, off-beat, pictures )

Kit
- 625 days ago - livescience.com
Fairies are tiny, often beautiful human-like creatures (sometimes with wings) that appear in legends and folklore around the world. Fairies likely began as versions of pagan nature gods and goddesses, and thus they are often associated with the -->



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Kit B. (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 11:59 am
(Photo Credit: Cottingley.net)

Fairies are tiny, often beautiful human-like creatures (sometimes with wings) that appear in legends and folklore around the world. Fairies likely began as versions of pagan nature gods and goddesses, and thus they are often associated with the outdoors (especially forests), as well as magic and journeys.

Depending on the region, fairies are said to live in woodland communities, underground kingdoms, or inhabit lakes, hills, or stone or grass circles often along with centaurs, elves, ogres, gnomes and other such animals. Fairies come in many races and tribes, and are also said to vary in size and shape; though most are small, some change size and become man-size or larger if they choose.

In centuries past, people were much less sophisticated about what was real and what wasn't; much of the world was still unexplored and shrouded in mystery. Traveling shows brought amazing creatures from around the world to people who had never seen such wonders. Animals such as giraffes, bears and tigers, for example, appeared as attractions in carnivals and circuses during the 1800s. For many having seen these animals for the first time, dragons, mermaids and fairies did not seem far-fetched.

Not so nice

In the modern era, fairies have been mostly relegated to children's magical fiction, hence the phrase "fairy tales." In centuries past, however, many adults also believed in the existence of fairies. Early fairies were not cute pixies; they were lustful, nasty and cruel creatures as likely to kill you as lead you out of the forest. They were often benevolent, but could also be capricious and vindictive. Travelers on long journeys (or even those beyond their home villages) would bring offerings to leave for the fairies, typically bannock (bread) cakes, tobacco or fruits. In return, the fairy folk might provide good weather or safe passage from wild beasts and highwaymen.

On the other hand, those who failed to do so risked ruin; if you got on the bad side of a fairy, doom was sure to befall you sooner or later. Whether in the form of a terrible storm, an accident, or the death of a child, the fairies would have their revenge. Even mentioning fairies was enough to incur their wrath; for that reason they were often referred to obliquely as "the gentle people" or "the good folk."

Fairies were also associated with changeling beliefs, and were sometimes said to secretly swap sickly fairy babies for healthy human ones. In fact, belief in fairies was at the root of a famous murder in Ireland. In 1895, a woman named Bridget Clearly was killed by her husband, who claimed that she was not really his wife but instead a changeling brought to him by fairies.

Fairy pictures

Fairy affairs reappeared two decades later when two teenage cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, played with fairies in the English countryside near Cottingley. Interacting with imaginary fairy friends would probably be considered normal behavior for 10- and 16-year-old girls, but the pair insisted that the fairies were real. They even provided proof in the form of five photographs showing little fairy folk playing with the girls.

While some dismissed the photos as obvious fakes, many others were not so sure. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, believed that the fairies were real, and wrote a book titled "The Coming of the Fairies," in which he discussed the fairies and his conviction that their existence had been proven beyond any doubt. Many were taken in, and the reality of fairies was the subject of debate among some adults for decades. Finally, in 1983, Frances Griffiths, then 75 years old, confessed that the "fairies" were cut-out drawings from a book,

Though belief in fairies exists to the present day in some places especially in Ireland, Iceland, Norway, and Scotland modern fairies have been sanitized for today's children and (luckily) lost their murderous ways.
********Find links within body of article at Visit Site***

By: Benjamin Radford | Live Science |
 

Betsy Bee (1048)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 1:10 pm
Of course, fairies, the fay, the fiona are real. They are nature's guardians and if we are wise, we will let them be our guardians. For soothe, while I drove a car (I use only public transit now that all parts of my lifestyle are as green as I can make them), every time the fairies stole my car keys in the past, it was always for my benefit.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (273)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 1:19 pm
My great nieces love them
 

Mm M. (449)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 1:28 pm
Wow...Thank you sweetie! T
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 1:31 pm
Thanks Kit. The fairies, gnomes, and other little people of legends and folklore are actually the Nature Spirits and Elementals that many of us Nature children work with in many ways. I have a Nature Spirit sanctuary roped off on our property where no humans can go. At night, even in winter, I can sit on the deck and often see their lights/energy in their sanctuary.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:04 pm
Interesting. Thanks Kit.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:04 pm
Thank you Kit for providing us with the researched history related to beliefs in fairies, including the one attempt at scientific verification that proved to be fraudulent. One theme seems to run through this history: that it is easier to find evidence people found credible to affirm the existence of fairies than is possible to find to disprove.
Some of what the article spoke of in centuries past reminded me of how much fun I had being Tinkerbell one Halloween, including her touch of mischief--literally only jingling my bells instead of speaking all through a party and having fun since so many never discovered it was me and asked me later why I wasn't there.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (453)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:15 pm
I will just put this out there...I have known fairies are real for decades. I will not respond to a challenge. It's what I know to be true.
 

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:17 pm

Because of my fondness for Sherlock Holmes when I in 4th grade I was aware of these pictures a long time ago. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was convinced the pictures were completely untouched or altered in any way.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:23 pm
And he was right about the picture itself, Kit--he never considered it could be a pix of a pix...Watson was often fooled by what he didn't think of--like the mystery of the dog in the night who didn't bark...
 

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:37 pm

Now that was funny - though it just might be an "inside" laugh.
 

Janice P. (5)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:18 pm
I like to think they're real. I occasionally see something out of the corner of my eye when I'm in my garden that I like to think are lovely little creatures guarding my garden. :)
 

Joanne Dixon (38)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:25 pm
Fairies became considered to be tiny sometime between the late 1500's and today. There may be a grain of truth there, since many scholars believe that The Folk were the indigenous people supplanted by invaders who may well have been taller on average, but not totally different in scale. Shakespeare not only had Anne Ford in the Merry Wives of Windsor dress as a fairy, but also expect to be mistaken for one. And Titania, while under the spell of the potion, certainly intended to have a physical romance with Bottom.

Also, y'all are right, Conan Doyle in his personal life was gullible in the extreme.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:48 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Joanne because you have done so within the last week.
 

Val R. (239)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:52 pm
Of course they are real! So are angels.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:05 pm
Interesting article. Thanks.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:54 pm
TU Kit. I saw a program about this many years ago....on an Arthur C Clarke program I think. Having been a professional photographer in the past it was fairly evident that the picture was doctored. However if asked to clap if I believe in fairies....I will clap. Long live Tinkerbell et al.
 

Pat B. (354)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 5:02 pm
As a child I believed in fairies...I wish I could see more of them, now that I'm older. Thank you, Kit for this great story. ;-)
 

Yvonne White (231)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 5:12 pm
Great comments!:) Mythology explains the unexplained, I do think people "remembered" their beginnings & "foreign" influences & odd interactions..from "the Hobbit" (Fairy? or Elf?) to dragons, etc. when Greeks saw elephant skulls they invented Cyclops to explain them..it's all in how you look at it!:)
 

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:49 pm

Thanks Yvonne and everyone that offered their thoughts. It is true that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a sucker for many of the con-men of his day.
 

Roxy H. (340)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 1:34 am
I adore Fairies, If you have not known me long you can see them in my comments, If you have known me for years like many have, you should be well aware, I am absolutely crazy for fairies. So I waited all day to look at this article. So when we could finally get in a room, and I could get fuzzy slippers on and rest. This was the article I was most looking forward to enjoying with relaxing with my old rat terrier. And, Mack is the one who gets my warmth now that the other Canines are gone. Down to one now. So must enjoy the last days with this old dog while he is around and fairies are special. They are most certainly real. Kit, I have no less then hmmmm 10,000 images of them in this computer and I have 3 computers and let's not even start counting what I have in my old computer tablets. Omg, they are the life line of Pagan religion I do think. Mother Earth I think is a Fairy, maybe Not but i would like to think so... Goddess..? well , ok... I might be stretching it...but I do believe in them..so yup yup... they are for sure real :) hugs and ty for a nice evening
 

Tanya W. (46)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 4:28 am
If you believe then anything is possible, thanks Kit.
 

John Gregoire (255)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 5:40 am
I dated one! She was so elusive.
 

Daniel Partlow (189)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 6:27 am
I like to think of them as spirits. But I wish we could actually see them and converse with them! Thanks.
 

Darla Taylor (110)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 12:31 pm
Noted. Of course, they're real. Thanks so much, Kit.
 

BarbCat SunshineLady (1645)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 3:26 pm
My older sister Joan has always loved Fairies. I believe she actually saw them. She taught me a song about Fairies and although you can't hear me singing it, here are the words, title, and tune written by my sister.

When The Fairies Sing

White coral bells among a slender stalk
Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk!

Oh don't you wish that you could hear them ring?
That will happen only when the fairies sing!
 

John Gregoire (255)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 5:47 am
Thanks for the comment Kit! Can't seem to communicate any other way than through these comments. Lovely creatures these elusive fairies!
 

Gvapo T. (22)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 7:40 am
Fairies?
it would be interesting to see one ;)
thanks for the article
 

Jessica B. (0)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 3:43 pm
i have been increasingly fascinated with them lately and my friend across the country just told me yesterday that she has been seeing them! it was a sure validation to let me know that they really do exist!!
 
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