Episode 38: Dr Simon Young discusses fairy sightings research and Marjorie T. Johnson

Dr Simon Young, an academic on the supernatural, fairy sightings and related folklore meets with me to discuss: Marjorie T. Johnson, ‘The Fairy Investigation Society’, fairy sightings research, experiences running through family generations, The Fairy Census and the academic study of fairies. 

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Content warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.

Dr Simon Young

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Simon is a British folklore historian based in Italy. He has written extensively on the nineteenth-century supernatural. His book The Boggart (from Exeter University Press) and The Nail in the Skull and Other Victorian Urban Legends (from Mississippi University Press) are both due out in 2022. A companion volume to accompany The Boggart is available freely here.

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Simon and Ceri Houlbrook’s Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies 500 AD to the Present, was published to great acclaim in 2018. He is the editor of Seeing Fairies: From the Lost Archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, Authentic Reports of Fairies in Modern Times Marjorie T. Johnson’s, post-humously published collection of modern fairy sightings – which is a must-have for those interested in the subject. An article concerning the life of Marjorie Johnson is available here.

Continuing the work of The Fairy Investigation Society, Simon initiated a new Fairy Census in 2014, the results of which (2014 – 2017) are available for free online. The census continues, so please do take part if you have anything to report.

Simon is the editor of Exeter New Approaches to Legends, Folklore and Popular Legends and teaches history at University of Virginia’s Siena Campus (CET).

Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Artwork: Peter Hall Studios

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4 thoughts on “Episode 38: Dr Simon Young discusses fairy sightings research and Marjorie T. Johnson”

  1. Hello, my name is Rebecca Stratton. I live in northern Idaho. I have a photo I want to share with you. I would like to have it analyzed closely but I can’t afford to have that done right now, maybe you can and let me know what is discovered. I can assure you that it is the original photo and I have not altered it.
    In the photo it clearly shows a little creature/man sitting on my shoulder and when I originally took that photo after I snapped it I could see another image of the second being closer to my head standing on my shoulder. I was in such shock when I first took the picture that I looked at it for a long time say about 10 minutes or so staring at it and then I had to put my phone away in my pocket continue with what I was doing. It was about 15 minutes later I went inside to show the picture to my friend. To my dismay when I went to show them the photo I could not see the little creatures that were on my shoulder as easily. They were much more faint in the photograph that my phone showed this time. So I took the photo and I increased the exposure and when I did I could see the little creatures still sitting there on my shoulder but not quite as clearly as I did originally.
    At the time when I took that photo I could see nothing on my shoulder when I turned my head to look, yet in the picture I took I could clearly see them.
    They were very small little mousey looking people. They had clothing on as well as shoes and hats. I could see the little buttons down the front of one’s coat. I know it sounds so silly but I’m being completely honest. I have nothing to hide about this photo and would very much like to have others opinions about what it could be or why I seen this in the photo more clearly right after originally taking it and then it not being so clear when I brought the photo back up on the screen after closing the photo app and reopening it 15 min later.
    I’m not sure how to send you the photo, I guess I will check your website for an email address, although my email is not exactly working right now because it’s so full of junk. I might have to sort that out first before I can send anything that way. Still please would you check the photo out for me when you get it and let me know what you think. I will try to send the original photo along with the zoomed in picture I have with the light exposure turned up a little. Look for an email from rlsforestfox@gmail.com or twilightnightfox@gmail.com.
    Thank you for reading my message. I hope to here back from you.

    1. Thank you I will check my emails. Unfortunately I know nothing at all about photos and it’s not my area. So sorry! I wish I knew someone ti direct you to. I am always asking around

    1. Hello Rich, I really wish I could suggest someone re the fairy photos. I’m afraid I know nothing about photography. I hope to find someone at some point who does and then I can point people towards a specialist. Thank you.

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