Contacting Fairies

Fairies are little beings that live on the Astral Plane.  They can come over, between planes, but it is much easier to contact them through the Astral Plane.


Meditation is one way to contact the fairies.  To do this, you should go to a place where you can relax with out any disturbance.  Take the phone off the hook and, if necessary, lock the door. 

Get into a comfortable position, preferably sitting, because, when you lay down, you may fall asleep.

Close your eyes and breath in and out slowly.  Imagine your body relaxing, starting at your toes and going to your head.  Spend extra time on your back, arms, and neck, as they build up a lot of tension. You could picture yourself walking down stairs, each step relaxing you.

Once you're relaxed, picture yourself in a meadow or garden.  Forests and rivers are also fine.  Ask for the fairies to show themselves and tell them that you mean no harm and only want to learn and talk.  This may take time.  Once the fairies trust you, they'll come out.

Always be careful when contacting fairies and carry a charm of protection with you.   You don't want to bump into a violent fairy when you have nothing to protect you.   Not all fairies are the cute little pixies we picture flitting around.

While meditating, picture the garden or valley as best you can.  See and smell everything around you.  Walk around and try to find the fairy trail, the dark green line running through the grass.  Once you find this, follow it, in any direction.   Along the way, look about you.  Think that you would like to contact the kind fairies and tell them that you are not meaning any harm and are only here for some contact.

Once you find a place which you think is fine, sit down on a rock or stump, and talk to the fairies.  Show them that you have only good intentions and ask only for the good fairies.  They should come, if they believe you.



The Fairy Call

A Spell for Summoning the Fairies

Sit where the cat sits. Cross your toes.
Close your eyes. And smell a rose.
Then say under your breath:
"I believe in fairies, sure as death."
Gadflykins! Gladtrypins!
Gutterpuss and Cass!
Come to me fairily
Each lad and lass!

From "Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book"






Fairy Offerings

If you want to attract fairies to your home you should leave some food offerings.  This will give the fairies something they want and it leads them to trust you.  Try leaving small cakes, candies, ginger, barely, icing candies (like for birthday cakes), etc.  They also love gardens, so you leave some of these offerings there, in a bowl or basket.  Planting roses, bluebells, thyme, etc. will also help attract them to you. 

Don't look for the offering to disappear because the fairies don't physically eat them.  Fairies are capable of taking the energy from the offerings, rather than taking the offering itself.  In a few days, the cake may still be there, but it may look a bit plastic or unreal.  Of course, if an animal comes along and eats the offering, this is a good sign.  Don't send it away.  It may be the fairy in animal form coming for its present.





Fairy Altars

Fairy Garden- You can plant a garden for the fairies.   This is a wonderful idea.  You can think about planting bluebells and roses in the garden, since fairies love them.  Also, fairies and animals alike love water.   You can create a wonderful pool in the middle of your garden.  Just dig a small hole and line it.  Place rocks around the edge.  You can replenish the water each time you water your garden.   Fairies also like the wild.  Let a small portion of your garden overgrow an get tangled, without weeding it.  This will be the place for those wild Faeries.

Fairy Altar- You can set aside a table top, corner, dresser top, etc. for a fairies Altar.  On this altar you can place your offerings in a basket.  Also, you could have flowers and statues.  Dirt and water are also good.  Make it pretty, but home-like as well.  A rose oil burner can be great too.

Fairy Bubbles- Buy one of those cheap bubble bottles (for kids) and sit in your garden.  Ask the fairies to join you and just blow bubbles.   Watch the bubbles and relax.  Don't just blow them all out for the heck of it.   Smile and have fun doing it.  Don't be nervous because 1) there is no reason to be and 2) the fairies may sense it.




Fairy Magick

Fairies can be very helpful in magick, as they have a lot of power and they are certainly not ignorant when it comes to using it.  Fairies know a great deal of magick and glamour themselves, so, if you can get them to trust you, they can be a great help.

Fairies, with the except of a small few, hate love spells and will not be able to help you with them.  Love isn't a big thing on the Astral Plane, so they really don't understand it and can't work for it.  Selfish spells, for only self improvement, are not good spells to ask for help with either.  Fairies will gladly help, when asked correctly and well thanked by offerings, with spells that benefit others and nature.

When asking a fairy to help you, make sure you are safely inside a sacred circle of power or at least have a protection charm and spell working for you.  Never let a fairy inside your circle of energy, as there is no telling how dangerous they could be.   If a bad fairy comes through to you, send it on its way and ask for another.

Fairies are not content to simply stand on the outside of your circle and watch.   Get them involved.  Singing, chanting, and music are great for involving the fairies, along with enhancing your spells.  Get them interested.  If you're singing and dancing, they'll want to come to you.

Thank the fairies when you're done, but give them an offering too.  They prefer food and trinkets to a simple little "thanks".



Fairy Myths

If you walk nine times around a fairy rath at the full of the moon you will find the entrance to the Sifra; but if you enter beware of eating fairy food or drinking fairy wine. If you need a neat tool for your desktop to help you tell when it is a full moon click here to download.

On Fridays the fairies have special power over all things and chiefly on that day they select and carry off young mortal girls as brides for the fairy chiefs.

Fairies are passionately fond of music; it is therefore dangerous for a young girl to sing all alone by the lake, for the spirits will draw her down to them to sing to them in the fairy palace under the waves, and her people will see her no more.

In Connaught, the people have many strange superstitions of great antiquity. If a child spills its tin of milk on the ground, the mother says: "That is to the fairies, leave it to them and welcome" and the child is never scolded, lest that might bring ill luck. For the fairies hate everything that is mean being of themselves of a bright, free, joyous nature; except, indeed the Banshee, who is the spirit of sorrow and doom.

The fairies like people who are kind and considerate, and who leave food on the dresser and fire in the grate at night for when they hold their councils; yet not too much fire, for they dislike smoke, and the good woman of the house must never throw out water after dark, without saying: "Take care of the water", for the fairies are very nice in their ways, and resent any such chance as might spoil their pretty gay caps and feathers. They greatly desire human aid and are very clever and acute in obtaining it.

The fairy doctors are generally females. Old women, especially are considered to have peculiar mystic and supernatural power. They cure chiefly by charms and incantations, transmitted by tradition through many generations; and by herbs, of which they have a surprising knowledge.

From Irish Cures, Mystic Charms & Superstitions
Lady Wilde

Place a small bit of iron near or around your bed to protect from faery intrusions.

Faeries love to look at their reflections in pools of water but hate mirrors, hanging up mirrors near the entrance to your home will ward of fae folk.

One of the best things to see a faerie with is a small stone or shell that has a hole worn through it from water rushing over it. Peek through and you shall see the entrance to Faerie Land.

Tie up a bundle of twigs from the oak, ash and thorn, this will generally protect against faeries.

The sound of bells is thought to frighten faeries away also.

Fairies love milk but if you lace the milk with mothan (also called pearl-wort) it will render the fairy powerless against humans.

Tossing a hot coal into the butterchurn will keep fae folk from stealing the butter.

Beltane and Mid Summer are two occasions when one is more apt to see fae folk.

Faerie music is very beautiful, even the popular song Londonderry Air was thought to be a gift from the fairies.

Fairies are attracted to pretty rocks and stones. Most notably, staurolite (also known as faery cross), fluorite, peridot, jade, and their favorite, the emerald.

From A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk
Edain McCoy


Fairy Gardens

Fairy's Favorite Plants:

Rose- Fairies love roses for their smell and beauty.  If you would like to make fairies welcome, plant roses in your garden and burn rose oil. 

Bluebell- Bluebells are loved by the fairies as well.  Fairies often use the flowers to adorn their horses.  Don't pick bluebells or step on them.  A field of bluebells may have much Faery enchantment.  If you hear the ringing of the bluebell, you or someone close to you will soon die.

Willow- The Willow is a tree with a distinct personality.  It can be heard weeping at night, but, more commonly, it uproots and follows lone travelers at night.

Elder- The Elder is a sacred tree to the fairies, along with the Ash, Holly, and Oak.   Don't put your baby in a elder wood cradle because bad Faeries may pinch it, although most fairies love children.

Alder- Some say that this tree protects against water spirits.

Oak- Look for Oak groves, as fairies tend to love Oak.  Oakmen come from felled Oak stumps.

Ash- This is a lovely tree that is often used for wands.  It has healing qualities.

Thyme- If you use Thyme in a potion you may be able to break the fairies glamour, which they use to make things invisible and appear as something else (for example, gold is really grass in the Faery world).

Cowslips- This is used by the Faeries to find gold.  It is protected.

Birch- This tree has a hand (in legend) that touches people.  If your head is touched you'll become insane and if your chest is touched you'll die.  For some reason, fairies like this  :)

Toadstools- People of old used mushrooms as drugs, like LSDs, to get visions and trips.   These are often poisonous.  Don't eat!!

Faery Ring Mushrooms- Fairies dance all night long and, in the morning, rings of mushrooms may be seen.  They are the boundaries of the dancing circle.  Be careful not to step inside the circle, as you may enter the Fairy Realm and you'll be stuck there. 

Apple- This is used to ensure good harvests.


Fairy Food

You should leave food out for the fairies as offerings and gifts.   In some countries, the local fairies will become angry if food is not left and they will curse the home. 

If milk is spilled, you should not worry about it.  Just think that it is an offering for the fairies.  This connects with the saying "Don't cry over spilled milk".  Leave food out for the fairies.

Any food that is left out overnight is often thought to be Faerie food and can not be eaten again, as you would be taking it from the fairies!


Fairy Rings

A fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf circle or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings may grow over ten meters in diameter and become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground. They are found mainly in forested areas, but also appear in grasslands or rangelands. Fairy rings are not only detectable by sporocarps in rings or arcs, but also by a necrotic zone (death grass) or a ring of dark green grass. If these manifestations are visible a fairy fungus mycelium is likely present in the ring or arc underneath.

Fairy rings are rings of mushrooms surrounding the area where the fairies dance at night.  If you are near a ring when the fairies are dancing, you'll be drawn to it.   If you enter, you will dance with the fairies, unable to stop.  It may feel like only minutes, but it is, in reality, years, around 7.  The only way to get out is if someone comes after you and pulls you out, while keeping their foot outside of the circle.


Fairy Behavior

Fairies tend to travel in bands, rather than alone.  These are called Trouping Fairies and they are the most common.  You also have the occasional Solitary faire.  They travel alone and tend to be mean spirited, but not all are like that.   Fairies can be seen traveling in large bands, playing music and riding their horses.  These are called Raids.  These usually occur during the holidays and Sabbats.  All holidays, Pagan, Christian, etc. are great times to contact the fairies, as they are active then.




My Earth Elemental Pixie My Fire Elemental Pixie

My Water Elemental Pixie My Wind Elemental Pixie
Adopt Yours Here!




Faerie kin can be divided into numerous classes, or races. Fairie is a collective term for many different beings, usually possessing magical powers. Many fairies have a human form, but some have animal or human/animal shapes. Who they are and how many there is, is something that varies among the facts I've found. So I give you all the classes I've found, and you can decide for yourself who you think are fay and who're not.

Four major classes can be found:

  • Fays.
    The fay is mainly used to signify enchanters and enchantresses with supernatural powers.  Some fay are mortal, others are supernatural beings or are part human and part supernatural. Two well-known fays are the Lady of the Lake and Morgan le Fay.
  • Certain monsters and demons having a connection with fairies and/or having some of the characteristics of fairies.
  • Nature fairies.
    The nature fairies are mermaids, water-spirits, tree-spirits and such.
  • Fairie people.
    This may be considered "true" fairies. Two main groups: The communal fairies, who belong to a group, tribe, and/or nation and live together, or the individual or solitary fairies, who are usually associated with a place, occupation, or household.
    For the most part communal fairies live in a Fairie land and may have a loosely organized social structure, or a distinct structure with a king and/or queen.
    The solitary fairies are of two general types. Some have a connection with humans, others avoid them. The hobgoblins are friendly spirits who live in houses and do domestic chores, such as helping bread to rise and caring for unattended babies. The brownie is another type of solitary Fairie. The banshee is a solitary Fairie who wails to foretell the death of a family member. The leprechaun is a solitary Fairie who shuns human contact.

Those four groups consist of different creatures, and here are some of them:

  • Gnomes are earthly creatures, guardians of sacred places or things. Their weakness is sparkly things like precious stones. They make beautiful things out of stones and gems.
  • Sprites are playful nature spirits that live in ponds, trees or other cool places. They often play with nymphs and butterflies and were charged with changing the color of the leaves in autumn. They are muses to artists and poets and can bond to humans or elves, in which case they stay for the rest of their lives.
  • Elves are carefree nature spirits who dance and play stringed instruments. They live underground in in springs...sometime seven in air...They aren’t bad, but sometimes their pranks have been fatal to humans, but never intentionally. Elves apparently came in several distinct varieties. Though they were a rather mournful lot, one breed of elves was an invisible kitchen helper for good servants, the other the bringer of illness and misery.  They can be of both sexes, or sexless. They can have wings, often do, and are no more than 30 cm high. Originally a part of Scandinavian mythology. The good elves lived in the air and the trees, and the evil ones underground.
  • Dwarfs are often thought of as strictly male, but some taletellers tell of female dwarfs...but who can tell?? Their beard is as thick as a male’s!! (ok.. some say they don’t have beards! Not even the males!!) They live for mining gold and silver and live in groups. They are masters at metalworking.
  • Jinn (Arabian). Spirits with shape shifting ability. They're   normally transparent, composed of flame or vapor. Some are good, while others are evil. If they take human shape, they are generally handsome if  good, and horribly hideous if evil. They may also be of an enormous size and can make themselves invisible This means they cam disappear into earth, air, or through  solid objects. They usually live in deserted buildings, water cisterns and wells, rivers, crossroads and markets. Ghoul, that haunt burial grounds and feeds upon dead human bodies is thought to be an inferior order of the jinn.
  • Mermaids are water-dwelling females with long-hair. Woman to the waist and a fish tail below. some say  legs or two tails) She is musical. Often sings or plays the  harp. They normally inhabits the sea, but may also be found in lakes, rivers, wells and other watery places.  They have been known to warn of storms or other future events, and if  one is seized, she can be forced to doso, or to perform other tasks. Mermaids may sometimes adopt  land-dwelling children, making them their protector. Mermaids may also marry a land-dweller, or  draw men to under the sea with them, either allowing them to live-in bliss or to be drowned, depending on her whim. Nixes are similar to mermaids, but are able to assume totally human form, but they always retain some mark of being non-human.
  • Goblins are pranksters, and are known to rearrange items in the house or tangle horses’ manes. On one page I found the beautiful analysis "As we near the 21st century, it seems obligatory to seethe goblins as representing the conflicts we all have within ourselves- most as ugly and mischievous as the goblins were known to be."
  • Pixies are neat creatures.. They aern't evil, but perform quite unkind tricks, like  leading  travelers astray or to steal naughty children. They like to  pinch maids who don't keep the house clean. They  were often thought to be the souls of babies who had died before baptism.
  • Leprechauns. Shoemakers for the noble faeries of Ireland. They were cranky, solitary, and strangely enough, often seen by humans. A caught leprechaun tricks his captor into releasing him by telling him he can show him the way to the shoemaker's great golden treasure, which the sad captor will never see, since the leprechaun will disappear before you know it...
  • Trolls. Nowadays, we often think of trolls as big, clumsy creatures who go around hitting people on the head with a hammer or something, but in the Middle Ages they were thought to have magical powers as fortune-telling.
  • Asrai are small, delicate water faeries. Fishermen might catch Asrai with his catch. When exposed to air they melt, leaving nothing more than  water behind.
  • Brownies  come out at night to finish work that's been left unfinished. They are devoted to their  household and expect nothing but a bowl of cream and a cake for their concern. Any offer of reward or clothing will drive the brownie away. Boggarts are "evil" brownies, they've often   have been wronged by humans. They like tricking humans and often cause a great deal of trouble.
  • Changelings are fairies taking the  place of a human child who has been stolen by other faeries. (in some stories like Scandinavian ones, changelings are Troll children)  Parents may recover their own child if they can trick the changeling into revealing it's age.
  • Selkies are faeries who put on seal skins and appear to be seals as they travel in the water. On land they shed their seal skins and have human form. A selkie maiden can be won as brides by  stealing  their seal skin as it lay on the beach, so they couldn't return home.

Fairies can also be divided into the Seelie court and the Unseelie court.
The unseelie Court comprise the Sluagh, or the Host. They are the unsanctified dead who fly above the earth, stealing mortals and take great pleasure in harming humans.
The Seelie court, or the blessed court, is friendly towards humans.
The Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court are often at war, and humans may get caught in the middle of such battles.


Fairy Types


Some of the Personae of Fairyland

© Katharine Mary Briggs 1959

This list from 

Anatomy of Puck

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z 

Afanc - (Welsh Rhy, Celtic Folklore.) A Welsh water demon who haunted a pool in the river Conway, and dragged down all living things into its depth. He was at length captured through the treachery of a girl whom he loved, and dragged ashore by oxen. The Deluge in Welsh folk-lore is connected with a monstrous crocodile called Afanc i Llyn    (back to top)

Banshee - The banshee is known both in Ireland and Scotland. In Scotland she is sometimes called the Little Washer at the Ford, or the Little Washer of Sorrow. She can be heard wailing by the riverside as she washes the clothes of the man destined for death. If a mortal can seize and hold her, she must tell the name of the doomed man, and also grant three wishes. She is no beauty, for she has only one nostril, a large, starting out front tooth and web feet. The Irish banshee only wails for the members of the death of someone very great or holy. The banshee has long, streaming hair and a grey cloak over a green dress. Her eyes are fiery red from continually weeping. In the Highlands of Scotland the word Banshi means only a fairy Woman and is chiefly used for the fairies who marry mortals.  (back to top)

Baobhan Sith - (Highland. D. Mackenzie, Scottish Folk Lore and Folk Life.) Malignant, blood-sucking spirits, who sometimes appeared as hoodie crows or ravens, but generally as beautiful girls, with long. trailing, green dresses hiding their deer's hooves.  (back to top)

Barguest - (Yorkshire. Henderson.) A creature of something the same kind as the bogy beast. It sometimes appears in a human form, but generally as an animal. In the fishing villages, a barguest funeral is the presage of death. the barguest in whatever form has eyes like burning coals; it has generally claws, horns and a tail, and is girdled with a clanking chain.  (back to top)

Billy Blind  - (F. Child, English and Scottish Ballads (New York, 1957), Vol. l.) A friendly domestic spirit of the Border Country, chiefly mentioned in ballads. He wears a bandage over his eyes. Auld Hoodie and Robin Hood are perhaps only different names for the same spirit. Billy Blind's chief function seems to be to give good advice. It was he who advised and helped Burd Isobel in the Ballad of Young Bekie, and it was the Billy Blind whose advice cured the young wife bewitched by her mother-in-law.  (back to top)

Black Annis - (Leicestershire. C. J. Billson, Country Folk Lore, Leicestershire.) A malignant hag with a blue face and only one eye, very like the Cailleach Bheur in character. Her cave was in the Dane Hills, but has been filled up. She devoured lambs and young children.  (back to top)

Black Dogs - The black dog is large - about the size of a young calf - black and shaggy, with fiery eyes. It does no harm if left alone; but anyone who speaks to it or touches it is struck senseless and dies soon thereafter. There are stories of the black dog from all over the country. One haunted the guard-room of Peel castle in Man. There are stories about it in Buckinghamshire. Hertford, Cambridge, Suffolk, Lancashire, Dorset, and Devon. There is a very good and full account of black dogs in English Fairy and Folk Tales. In the seventeenth century a pamphlet of Luke Hulton's described and attempted to explain the Black Dog of Newgate.  (back to top)

Blue Men of the Minch - (Highland. D. Mackenzie, Scottish Folk Lore and Folk Life.) These men belong to the Minch, and particularly haunt the strait between Long Island and the Shiant Islands. They are a malignant kind of mermen, but they are blue all over. They come swimming out to seize and wreck ships that enter the strait; but a ready tongue, and particularly a facility in rhyming, will baffle them. They have no power over the captain who can answer them quickly and keep the last word. Beyond their activities as wreckers they conjure up storms by their restlessness. The weather is only fine when they are asleep. The islanders think they are fallen angels like the fairies and the Merry Dancers, as the Aurora Borealis is called there.  (back to top)

Bodach - (Highland. J. G. Campbell, Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.) The Scottish form of a Bugbear or Bug-a-boo. He comes down the chimney to fetch naughty children.  (back to top)

Boggart - A North Country Spirit. (Henderson, Folklore of the Northern Counties.) He is like a mischievous type of brownie. He is exactly the same as the poltergeist in his activities and habits.  (back to top)

Bogle - The Scottish version of the Yorkshire boggart, though perhaps less exclusively domestic in his habits.  (back to top)

Bogy beast - A general name boggarts, brashes, grants, and mischievous spirits. Widely distributed.  (back to top)

Brash - See Skriker  (back to top)

Brollochan - (J. F. Campbell, Popular Tales of the Western Highlands.) Brollochan is Gaelic for a shapeless thing. and it probably something like Reginald Scot's Boneless. There is a story of one, the child of a Fuath, told by Campbell. It is something the same plot as Ainsel(back to top)

Brownie - The best known of the industrious domestic hobgoblins. The brownie's land is over all the North of England and up into the highlands of Scotland. The brownie is small, ragged and shaggy. Some say he has a nose so small as to be hardly more than two nostrils. He is willing to do all odd jobs about a house, but sometimes he untidies what he has been left to tidy. There are several stories of brownies riding to fetch the nurse for their mistress. The brownie can accept no payment, and the surest way to drive him away is to leave him a suit of clothes. Bread and milk and other dainties can be left unobtrusively, but even they must not be openly offered. The Cornish Browney is of the same nature. His special office is to get the bees to settle. When the bees swarm the housewife beats a tin, and calls out: 'Browney! Browney!' until the brownie comes invisibly to take charge.  (back to top)

Brown Men of the Muirs - (Border Country. Henderson, Folklore of the Northern Counties.) A sprite of the moors, who guards the wild life, but is malignant and dangerous to man.  (back to top)

Buccas or Knockers - (Cornish. Hunt, Popular Romances of the West of England.) These are the spirits of the mines, something like the German Kobolds. They are said to be the spirits of the Jews who once worked the tin mines, and who are not allowed to rest because of their wicked practices. They are, however, friendly to the miners, and knock to warn them of disaster, and also show what seams are likely to be profitable.  (back to top)

Bug-a-boo, Bugbear, Boggle-bo - There is a great variety of names for this bogle, which is generally used to frighten children into good behaviour.  (back to top)

Bwbachod - The Welsh Brownie People. (W. Sikes, British Goblins (London 1880).) They are friendly and industrious, but they dislike dissenters and teetotalers. Sikes gives an amusing story of a bwbach and his quarrel with a Methodist minister.  (back to top)

Cailleach Bheur - (The Blue Hag.) (Highland. D. Mackenzie, Scottish Folk Lore and Folk Life.) A giant hag who seems to typify winter, for she goes about smiting the earth with her staff so that it grows hard. When spring comes and she is conquered, she flings her staff in disgust into a whin bush or under a holly tree, where grass never grows. She is the patroness of deer and wild boars. Many hills are associated with her, particularly Ben Nevis and Schiehallion. Her general appearance is terrible and hideous, but in some stories she changes at times into a beautiful maiden. There is a version of the Wife of Bath's Tale told of her, and she is also the villainess of a story rather like Nix Nought Nothing. At times she turns into a sea serpent. Particulars are given of her Mackenzie's Scottish Folk Lore and Folk Life and she is mentioned in Campbell's Tales of the Western Highlands.  (back to top)

Cauld Lad of Hilton - A brownie haunting Hilton Castle who is definitely described as a ghost, and yet was laid, as brownies are always laid, by the present of a cloak and hood.  (back to top)

Ca Sith - (The Fairy Dog.) (Highland.) This is a great dog, as large as a bullock with a dark green coat. He is very like the English Black Dog.  (back to top)

Cluricane - (Crofton Croker, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland.) Another name for the leprechaun.  (back to top)

Daoine Sidhe - (Irish.) These are the Heroic Fairies of Ireland, very like the Highland Sleeth Ma. May Eve - Beltane - and November Eve - Samhain - are their great festivals. On Beltane they revel, and - the door being open from fairyland to the mortal world that night - they often steal away beautiful mortals as their brides. On Samhain they dance with the ghosts. They live under the fairy hills, offerings of milk are set out for them, and in all ways they partake of the fairy nature. Some say that they are the fallen angels who were too good for hell and some say that they are the remnants of the heroic Daanan race.  (back to top)

Devil's Dandy Dogs - (Cornish, Hunt, Popular Romances of the West of England.) A pack of black hounds, fire-breathing and with fiery eyes, which the devil leads over lonely moors on tempestuous nights. They will tear any living man to pieces but they can be held off by the power of prayer.  (back to top)

Dobie - (Border Country. Henderson, Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) A rather clownish and foolish brownie. The dobie is sometimes invoked as the guardian of hidden treasure; but those who can get him prefer the cannier brownie as less likely to be outwitted. Ghosts are called dobies in Yorkshire.  (back to top)

Dracae - Water spirits. (English. Gervase of Tilbury.) It was their custom to entice women to the water by appearing as wooden dishes floating down the stream. When a woman took hold of one it would resume its proper shape and drag her down into the water to nurse its children. Gervase of Tilbury tells a story of the Dracae and a magic ointment which is very like the Somerset story of the Fairy Midwife.  (back to top)

Elves - The Anglo-Saxon word for spirits of any kind, which later became specialized creatures very like the Scandinavian light elves. Sir Walter Scott, in his Demonology and Witchcraft, describes elves as 'Sprites of a coarser sort, more laborious vocation and more malignant temper and in all respects less propitious to humanity than the Fairies'. This, however, applies only to Scottish elves, and the little Scandinavians light elves who looked after flowers, and whose chief faults were mischief and volatility, fit the general conception better. In Orkney and Shetland flint arrow-heads are called elf shot, and are said to be fired by the trows, so that trow and elf seem synonymous terms with them.  (back to top)

Fetch - A common term for a double or wraith. When seen by daylight it portends no harm, but at night is is a certain death portent.  (back to top)

Fuath - (Highland. J. G. Campbell, etc.) The general name for a Nature spirit, often a water fairy and malignant. Urisks were sometimes called Fuaths. The Brollachan was the child of a Fuath.  (back to top)

Gabriel Ratchets - (Northern Counties. E. M. Wright, Rustic Speech and Folk-Lore.) The Gabriel Ratchets are like the Wisht Hounds except that they hunt high in the air. and can be heard yelping overhead on stormy nights. To hear them is a presage of death. Some say that they are the souls of unchristened children, who can find no rest.  (back to top)

Ganconer or Gacanagh - (The Love-Talker.) (Irish. E. M. Wright, Rustic Speech and Folklore.) The Love-Talker strolls along lonely valleys with a pipe in his mouth, and makes love to young girls, who afterwards pine and die for him. In a story quoted in Irish Fairy and Folk Tales the Ganconers appear in mumbers, live in a city under a lough, hurl and play together, and steal human cattle, leaving only a stock behind, just like ordinary trooping fairies.  (back to top)

Glaistig - (Highland. D. Mackenzie, Scottish Folk-Lore and Folk Life.) The Glaistig is a female fairy, generally half-woman, half-goat, but sometimes described as a little, stout woman, clothed ion green. She is a spirit of mixed characteristics, and seems, indeed, to be all fairies in little. She is supposed to be fond of children and the guardian of domestic animals. Milk is poured out to her, and she does something of a brownie's work about the house. She is specially kind, too, to old people and the feeble-minded. On the other hand she has darker qualities; there are stories of her misleading and slaying travellers. If the traveller named the weapon he had against her she could make it powerless; but if he only described it he could overcome her. The Glaistig seems partly a water spirit. She might often be seen sitting by a stream, where she would beg to be carried across. She could be caught and set to work something like a kelpie.  (back to top)

Grant - (English.) A demon, mentioned by Giraldus Cambrensis, very like the Picktree Brag. He is a yearling colt in shape, but goes on his hind legs and has fiery eyes. He is a town spirit, and runs down the middle of the street at midday or just after sundown, so that all the dogs run out barking. His appearance is a warning of danger. Some people connect him with Grendel, whom Beowulf killed; but Grendel was a sea monster.  (back to top)

Gwragedd Annwm - (Welsh. Sikes, British Goblins.) Lake maidens, not unlike Malory's Lady of the Lake. They are beautiful, and not so dangerous as the mermaids and nixies. They often wedded mortals.  (back to top)

Habitrot - (Scottish Border. Henderson, Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) The Spinning-Wheel Fairy. A shirt made by a Habitrot was considered effacious against illness. Habitrot, though very ugly, was friendly to mankind.  (back to top)

Hedley Kow - (Northumbrian. Henderson. Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) A kind of bogy beast that haunted the village of of Hedley. Its great amusement was to transform itself into one shape after another so as to bewilder whoever picked it up; but, like most spirits of its kind, it was fond of turning itself into a horse. Once it assumed the likeness of a pair of young girls, and led two young men into a bog. It is rare for a spirit to be able to make a double appearance.  (back to top)

Hob or Hobthruth - (Yorkshire and Durham. Henderson. Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) A brownie with most of the usual brownie characteristics, but a specialist in whooping cough. Children with whooping cough used to be brought to Hobhole in Brunswick Bay to be cured by Hob. The parents would call; 'Hobhole Hob! Hobhole Hob! My bairn's got kincough. Tak't off! Tak't off!' Like other brownies he is driven away by a present of clothes.  (back to top)

Jenny Greenteeth - (Lancashire. Henderson. Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) A malignant water fairy. She drags people down into the water and drowns them. Her presence is indicated by a green scum on the water.  (back to top)

Kelpie - (Scottish.) A malignant water spirit, which is generally seen in the form of a young horse, but sometimes appears like a handsome young man. A kelpie's great object is to induce mortals to mount on its back and plunge with them into deep water, where it devours them. A man who can throw a bridle over the kelpie's head, however, has it in his power, and can force it to work for him.  (back to top)

Mara - An old English name for a demon, which survives with us in Night-mare and Mare's Nest. In Anglo-Saxon the echo was called the Wood-Mare. In Wales at Twelfth Night the boys used to carry round a horse's skull decked with ribbons, which they called Mari Lwyd.  (back to top)

Maug Moulach or Hairy Meg - (Highland. Grant Stewart, Highland Superstitions and Amusements.) A spirit something between  a brownie and a banshee. She haunts the Tullochgorm and gives warning of the approaching death of any of the Grants. She also does brownie work. Maug Vulucht, a spirit very like her, once haunted a Highland household with a companion Brownie Clod.  (back to top)

Mermaid - The mermaid is a much more sinister character than the mild roane, though harmless mermaids have been known. Her appearance and habits are well known to everyone from Scotland to Cornwall. It was considered a certain type of omen of shipwreck for a ship to sight a mermaid. The mermaids sometimes penetrated into rivers  and sea lochs as the story of the Mermaid of Knockdolian shows. In Suffolk, indeed, they are said to haunt ponds as well as rivers. Like many other fairies the mermaids have a great desire for human children. In the folk-lore of a good many countries the mermaids and other water fairies are supposed to be very anxious to gain a human soul. Their lives are long, but when they die they perish utterly.  (back to top)

Merrows - (Crofton Croker, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland.) The merrows are the Irish mer-people. Like the roane they live on dry land and under the sea, and need an enchantment to make them able to pass through the water. The merrows' charm lies in their red caps. The merrows' women are very beautiful, but the men have long red noses, green teeth and hair and short finny arms.  (back to top)

Muryans - (Hunt, Popular Romances of the West of England.) The muryans are the dwindling fairies of Cornwall. Long ago they were of more than human size, but for some crime they committed they were condemned to dwindle year by year, til they turned into ants and so perished.  (back to top)

Nuckelavee - (Scottish. Scottish Fairy Tales and Folk Tales.) A horrible monster who came out of the sea, half-man and half-horse, with a breath like pestilence and no skin on its body. The only security from it was that it could not face running water.  (back to top)

Old Lady of the Elder Tree - (Lincolnshire. County Folk-Lore, Lincolnshire.) A tree spirit rather like Hans Anderson's Elder Flower Mother(back to top)

Padfoot - (Yorkshire. Henderson. Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) A demon dog that haunts lonely lanes near Leeds.  (back to top)

Peg o'Nell - (Mrs. Gutch, County Folk-Lore, North Riding of Yorkshire.) The Spirit of the Ribble. She is said to be the ghost of a servant girl from Waddow Hall who was drowned in the river. She is supposed to demand a life every seven years.  (back to top)

Peg Powler - (County Folk-Lore, North Riding of Yorkshire.) The Spirit of the Tees. She has long green hair, and is insatiable for human life. The frothy foam on the high reaches of the Tees is called Peg Powler's suds.  (back to top)

People of Peace - (Tales of the Western Highlands.) This is the Highland name for the fairies, corresponding to the Lowland "Good Neighbours". They are much like them in character. Campbell's story of the Woman of Peace and the Kettle is characteristic.   (back to top)

Picktree Brag - (Henderson, Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) This is a Durham version of the bogy beast. It appears in various forms, sometimes as a horse, sometimes as a calf or dick ass, sometimes as a naked man without a head. It plays all the usual tricks of the bogy beast.  (back to top)

Pixies or Pisgies - (Devonshire and Cornwall.) These are small trooping fairies of which many stories are told by Hunt and Mrs. Bray. There are occasional stories of the brownie type told of them. The white moths that come out in twilight are called pisgies in parts of Cornwall, and are regarded by some as fairies and by others departed souls. In parts, too, they say that pixies are the spirits of unbaptized children.   (back to top)

Pooka or Phooka - (Irish.) The Irish Puck is in many ways like the Dunnie or Brag. He is in appearance like a wild, shaggy colt, hung with chains. He generally haunts wild places, but in one story, though still keeping his animal form, he works like a brownie, and is stopped in his career of usefulness in the same way by the present of a coat. In this story, like the Cauld Lad, he is said to be the ghost of a servant.  (back to top)

Portunes - (English.) These are a strange kind of fairy reported by Gervase of Tilbury and not surviving in any modern folklore. They came in troops into farmhouses at night, and, after working, rested themselves at the fire and cooked frogs for their supper. They were very tiny, with wrinkled faces and patched coats. It was their nature to do good, not harm. Their only mischievous trick was that of misleading horsemen.  (back to top)

Pwca - (Welsh. Sikes. British Goblins.) The Welsh Puck is much the same character as in England and Ireland. He likes his nightly bowl of milk, but does not seem to work for it as the bwbachod do. He is specially fond of misleading night wanderers.  (back to top)

Rawhead and Bloody Bones - (Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Lincolnshire. County Folk-Lore.) A malignant pond spirit who dragged children down into ponds and old marl pits. Sometimes called Tommy Rawhead.  (back to top)

Redcap - (Border Country. Henderson, Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) A malignant spirit who haunts old peel towers and places where deeds of violence have been done. He is like a squat old man. with grim, long nailed hands and a red cap, dyed in blood. It is dangerous to try and sleep in any ruined castle that he haunts, for if he can he will re-dip his cap in human blood. He can driven off by words of Scripture or the sight of a cross-handled sword. In other places he is less sinister. There is, for instance, a redcap who haunts Grandtully Castle in Pertshire, who is rather lucky than unlucky.  (back to top)

Roane - (The Highland mermen. Grant Stewart, Highland Superstitions and Amusements.) These mermen are distinguished from others by travelling through the sea in the form of seals. In the depths of the sea caves they come to air again, and there, and on land, they cast off the seal skins which are necessary to carry them through water. The roane are peculiarly mild un-revengeful fairies of deep domestic affections, as the stories of Fisherman and the Merman and the Seal Catcher's Adventure show. The Shetlanders call the roane sea trows, but their character is substantially the same.  (back to top)

Seely Court - (Lowland Scots.) Seely means blessed, and this name stands for the comparatively virtuous heroic fairies. The malignant fairies and demons were sometimes called the Unseely Court.  (back to top)

Silky - (Northern Counties. Henderson, Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.) A name for a white lady. The Silky of Black Heddon in Norhtumberland had one close resemblance to a brownie. If she found things below stairs untidy at night she would tidy them, but if they had been tidied she flung them about. She was dressed in dazzling silks, and went about near the house, swinging herself in her Silky's Chair - the crossed branches of an old tree which overhangs a waterfall - riding sometimes behind horsemen or stopping them by standing in front of their horses. But on the whole she belonged more to the class of ghosts than of brownies, for she was laid by the discovery of treasure, which must have been troubling her.  (back to top)

Skriker - (Yorkshire and Lancashire. Hartland, English Fairy and Folk Tales.) A death portent. Sometimes it is called a brash, from the padding on its feet. It sometimes wanders invisibly in the woods, giving fearful shrieks, and at others it takes the form of like Padfoot, a large dog with huge feet and saucer eyes.  (back to top)

Spriggans - (Cornish. Hunt, Popular Romances of the West of England.) Some say the Spriggans are the ghosts of the giants. They haunt old cromlechs and standing stones and guard their buried treasure. They are grotesque in shape, with the power of swelling from small intro monstrous size. For all commotion and disturbances in the air, mysterious destruction of buildings or cattle, loss of children or substitution of changelings, the spriggans may be blamed.  (back to top)

Tom Tit Tot - (Suffolk.) The English Rumplestiskin. He is described as a black thing with a long tail, and sometimes as animpet. Tom-Tit, or Tut or a Tut-gut is a Lincolnshire name for a hobgoblin.  (back to top)

Trwtyn-Tratyn - The Welsh Tom Tit Tot. (Clodd, Tom Tit Tot.)  (back to top)

Tylwyth Teg, or Fair Family - (Welsh.) It is difficult to get a clear picture of the Tylwyth Teg. The name is very much used and for differing types of fairies. They are sometimes described as of mortal or more than mortal size, dressed chiefly in white. They live on an invisible island; they ride about and reward cleanliness with gifts of money; they dance in fairy rings, and mortals joining them are made invisible and carried off forever, unless they are rescued before cockcrow. Others wear rayed clothes of green and yellow, are small and thieving, particularly of milk and children. Unlike many fairies the Tylwyth Teg are golden haired and will only show themselves to fair-haired people. The usual brownie story is also told about them. They are very friendly with goats whose beards they comb on Thursdays.  (back to top)

Urisk - (Highland. Grahame, Picturesque Descriptions of Perthshire, G. Henderson, The Norse Influence in Celtic Scotland, etc.) A kind of rough brownie, half-human and half-goat, very lucky to have about the house, who herded cattle and worked on farms. He haunted lonely waterfalls, but would often crave human company, and follow terrified travellers at night, with out, however, doing them any harm. The Urisks lived solitary in recesses of the hills, but they would meet at stated times for solemn assemblies; a corrie near Loch Katrine was their favorite meeting place.  (back to top)

Werewolves - The earlier attitude to the werewolf is more tolerant than that towards the loup-garou in seventeenth century France. Giraldus Cambrensis has a story of a priest called to shrive a dying woman in wolf form. It was thought in Ireland to be a curse that might fall on any man for a certain number of years. In the medieval romance of William and the Werewolf the wolf is a good character, and the victim of enchantment.  (back to top)

Whuppity Stoorie - (Scottish. Chambers, Popular Rhymes of Scotland.) The name is apparently taken from the circular scud of dust upon which fairies are supposed to ride. It was the name of a Scottish Tom Tit Tot fairy, and also of the fairy on one version of the Habitrot story.  (back to top)

Will o' the Wisp - This is the commonest of the many popular names for the ignis fatuus. It is sometimes described as the soul of a wicked man, but more generally as a kind of pixy.  (back to top)









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