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Bonus Episode 26: Jo talks at Glastonbury Faery Fayre 2021

This bonus episode between series is a recording of a talk I gave in October 2021 at the  Glastonbury Faery Fayre. I reveal how I got into fairy research and what The Modern Fairy Sightings Project is all about. The sound quality isn’t perfect but hopefully you’ll find it listenable

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Halfway through we all got the giggling fits…because I meant to say “fairy hunters”, and it came out “hairy funters” 🤣 Personally, I think they sound like a folk duo from the South West of England, so I like to imagine The Hairy Funters, might be playing a cider festival near you soon! 😂

I had a lot of fun and met some really great people at the Fairy Fayre. Many thanks to Karen Kay for inviting me to talk (on the same bill as Brian and Wendy Froud!) and to Claire Casely of Fairy Whispering for coming along at short notice to support me. I also met these lovely fairies (pictured) who came along to my talk and just check out these incredible fairy houses (pictured) made by Peter Thomas of Twigler and the magical faery portrait backdrop conjured up by Daniella Jaine.

It was also a pleasure to meet Chris Bullzini while having a cuppa at the Fayre. Chris recently walked the tightrope at the top of Wells Cathedral for the Festival of the Moon. What an inspiring example of living life according to what you love doing 🤩

Daniella Jaine’s fairy portrait studio

Series 3 launches in January. Join Patreon to take part in our forthcoming Fae ritual tea ceremony workshop designed to invoke connection with Otherwordly beings. 

Please do subscribe, rate and share this podcast. Thank you ❤️

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


Modern Fairy Sightings Green Man Artwork: Peter Hall Studios

Episode 25: Chat with Dr Jack Hunter

Anthropological researcher and lecturer, Jack chats to me about his own fairy experience and his sister’s childhood encounter in the Tanat Valley, Wales. We talk ‘boggle thresholds’, the Occult Revival and anthropological theories around some of the encounters shared on the Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast this series.

Jack lectures at the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and is the author of ten books on the subject of anthropology and the paranormal.

I’ve referred to his books in a number of episodes, notably: Greening the Paranormal – exploring parallels between the paranormal and ecology, Manifesting Spirits – an anthropological exploration of mediumship based on Jack’s research with Bristol Spirit Lodge and, Spirits, Gods and Magic – an introduction to the anthropology of the supernatural.

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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.

Online Lectures

The Fairy Folklore of the Tanat Valley
Jack introduces the fairy folklore of the valley in North Wales where he lives. He discusses the physical locale, the psychical element, the folklore of the area including giants, the Wild Hunt, UFOs and the contemporary scene.

Deep Weird: High Strangeness, Boggle Thresholds and Damned Data in Extraordinary Experience Research
Jack’s Sophia Centre Alumni Association Lecture around ‘deep weird’ which is also the title of his forthcoming book.

Here’s a video of our chat and you can also find the audio version for the Podcast below

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Episode 24: Wretched Rider in the Thorn

🎃 Welcome to a special Halloween episode of, The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast.

This tremendous Otherworldly experience took place in the county of Somerset (UK), in around 2003. The south west of England has a long and rich history of fairy folklore, but this is a particularly unsettling face-to-face encounter with a fascinating creature, astride a ghostly horse. 

The episode kicks off with a UFO experience and goes on to cover occult practices, ghost experiences and some gorily-detailed folklore. This episode isn’t for the feint-hearted – you have been warned! 👻

If like me, you’re right at home with all things wyrd, you’ll enjoy the bonus chat available on Patreon. Our guest shares a spectacularly creepy ouija board experience, some spooky ritual happenings and his friend’s ghost or possibly time slip incident along with folklore from his local area.

Please do subscribe, rate and share this podcast. Thank you ❤️

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Warning: These are not fairytales. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.This episode is particularly unsettling and is unsuitable for children or anyone who might be sensitive to creepy content. Trigger warnings: discussion around occult practices, gory details featuring blood (folklore), ghosts.

Shownotes

Fairy Riders

Danse de Lune

Fairies on horseback feature from time to time in British folklore, particularly in South West, England. In William Crossing’s, Tales of the Dartmoor Pixies (1890) farmer’s horses regularly found to be exhausted come the dawn, were said to have “been ridden hard during the night” by the pixies. Though it was also said such rumours were put about by smugglers who had used the horses to run contraband in from the coast overnight.

The following nineteenth century account mentioned in, The Old Red Sandstone (Miller, 1859) has a similar feel to our guest’s encounter, especially the initial description of the creatures themselves, “….the riders stunted, misgrown, ugly creatures”.

It appears to have taken place at Black Isle, between Ross and Cromarty near Inverness, Scotland. Interestingly, there’s still a place nearby named ‘Fairy Glen’. Thank you to Dr Simon Young for sharing this story in a most timely manner this very week!

On a Sabbath morning, nearly sixty years ago, the inmates of this little hamlet had all gone to church, all except a herd-boy and a little girl, his sister, who were lounging beside one of the cottages; when, just as the shadow of the garden dial had fallen on the line of noon, they saw a long cavalcade ascending out of the ravine through the wooded hollow. It winded among the knolls and bushes, and, turning round the northern gable of the cottage beside which the sole spectators of the scene were stationed, began to ascend the eminence towards the south. The horses were shaggy diminutive things, speckled dun and gray; the riders stunted, misgrown, ugly creatures, attired in antique jerkins of plaid, long gray cloaks, and little red caps, from under which their wild, uncombed locks shot out over their cheeks and foreheads. The boy and his sister stood gazing in utter dismay and astonishment, as rider after rider, each one more uncouth and dwarfish than the one that had preceded it, passed the cottage and disappeared among the brushwood, which at that period covered the hill, until at length the entire rout, except the last rider, who lingered a few yards behind the others, had gone by. “What are ye, little mannie? And where are ye going?” inquired the boy, his curiousity getting the better of his fears and his prudence. “Not of the race of Adam,” said the creature, turning for a moment in his saddle; “the People of Peace shall never more be seen in Scotland.”

Miller, H. (1859) The Old Red Sandstone (Boston: Gould and Lincoln)

Similar sounding fairy beings

The following two modern encounters were collected as part of Dr Simon Young’s Fairy Census and possess similar descriptions to the creature seen by our guest:

Comus Arthur Rackham

§343) US (North Carolina). Female; 2010s; 31-40
‘I was on a rock in the river reading while my husband fished on up river. I was across from a park, people walking with kids and dogs. There were two young boys walking on the trail with their dad. They began moving down towards the water, when it started coming up the river moving through the water towards them. It was pale-skinned water-logged looking with black hair and sharp serrated teeth showing in a smile. It paid me no attention, but was focused on the boys. They were pointing at it with sticks and could absolutely see it. The dad finally ushered them away from the edge of river seemingly unaware of it being feet from his kids. It watched them move up the trail away with a creepy look on its face and then moved on up river out of sight. Did not look friendly to me.’

Young, S. (2018) The Fairy Investigation Society’s Census (2014-2017)
Louis Rhead Illustrations. Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Stories and Tales of Elves, Goblins and Fairies.

§12) England (Cambridgeshire). Male; 21-30; 2010s; ‘It was a very brief encounter late one evening. My partner and I had been watching television, and had since switched the TV off and [we] were talking for some time. At one point I glanced towards the area where the television is only fleetingly as one would do while not paying any particular attention, and caught a glimpse of a small gnome-like man. Immediately I looked again but the entity had gone. From the brief glimpse I had I could see it was almost a cross between the classical description of brownies and a gnome. It can’t have been more than six inches tall judging by the furniture I glimpsed it on. It had a scruffy dark brown or black beard which seemed to be spiky and covered most of its face. No brightly coloured clothes that I remember, they were all brown/dark. It was hard to make out details. I do recall it had a pointed hat or head which was also dark in colour. There were a number of rocks that we had collected on our travels on the furniture it had been sighted on, perhaps it was drawn to them in some way. It left a feeling of being watched, but wasn’t malevolent. It’s just a shame the sighting was so fleeting. It does feel like I’ve glimpsed something that didn’t want to be seen.’

Young, S. (2018) The Fairy Investigation Society’s Census (2014-2017)

Episode Discussion References

Lights in the Sky documentary (2020) Dir. Krista Alexander

Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld (2003) Patrick Harpur

West Country Witches (2010) Michael Howard

Wild Marjoram Tea (2021) Sylvia Littlegood-Briggs

Book of Ceremonial Magic (2007, first published 1911) Arthur Edward Waite

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If you enjoy the show, please consider sharing your favourite episodes with friends. Don't forget to rate and subscribe wherever you listen, and if you can, please support by joining The Curious Crew on Patreon ❤️
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Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Modern Fairy Sightings Green Man Artwork: Peter Hall Studios
Main Image: Edmund Joseph Sullivan (1907) Once more he began his impious praises of Gabriella's beauty (an homage to Albrecht Dürer's, The Knight, Death and the Devil).

Episode 23: Consciousness and Playing with Other Realities

In this episode I share two experiences which instigated an interest in exploring alternate realities. I feel these events may also have opened me to the fairy encounter which happened about a year after experiencing a deep shift in my life.

The episode also includes an interview with Martin Brofman, creator of The Body Mirror System of Healing. It’s one of a series of interviews you’ll find links to below.

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Note: The information I share here and on the episode including ideas, suggestions, techniques, methods, resources, and other materials is educational in nature and is not intended to provide you with any specific health or well-being advice.  For medical advice please consult a licensed health care professional.

Martin Brofman and The Body Mirror System

Martin Brofman (PhD) a former Wall Street computer expert and a student of psychology and comparative religion, was a renowned healer and founder of the Brofman Foundation for the Advancement of Healing. He developed a special healing approach, the Body Mirror System, after he releasing himself of a terminal illness which traditional medicine had considered hopeless – untreatable.

Martin Brofman

During his own healing process, he learned much about the Body Mind Interface, the relationship between the body and the consciousness, and how it works. He then developed a model in order to clarify these ideas for himself, as well as to provide a vehicle for teaching them easily and quickly to others. He helped many people over his more than 30 years in practice. 

Martin was a warm, funny and wise friend and I’m just so grateful to him for opening me and many others to new ways of seeing and experiencing the world. I highly recommend his book, ‘Anything Can Be Healed’.

Here is a free meditation called Love and Energy. It’s the B side of that tape/cd that my friend initially gave me. It’s a lovely one to fall asleep to!

And in the following video, Martin shares his thoughts on the nature of consciousness.

What do YOU think about these ideas? Perhaps it’s the first time you’ve heard of these sort of explorations. Maybe it’s a big jump to even imagine them? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so get in touch.

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Episode 22: The Gentry and a Visitor

In this episode we hear from a woman living in Wales who had a visit from a green man while gardening. Later, after some ‘goings on’ in the house, she had to ask him to leave. She also describes how she watched The Gentry ride by near her home one day. We discuss these and some other extraordinary experiences.

It amazes me how many people have had something strange and inexplicable take place in their life. It seems like the majority of people can report at least one such happening. The world is a mysterious place! Let’s not forget that. There appears to be much more going on here than we generally take for granted.

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.

Join The Curious Crew and receive bonus material when you support The Modern Fairy Sightings Project:

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Shownotes

Fairy Paths and Spirit Roads: An Exploration of Otherworldly Routes by Paul Devereux’ – this is a fabulous book which covers corpse roads, fairy paths and Australian aboriginal ‘Dreamtime’ routes among others. It includes a ‘sampler’ section of the routes themselves for those curious and intrepid explorers who feel drawn to tread these paths.

The Middle Kingdom: The Faerie World of Ireland‘, by Dermot Mac Manus. A friend of Yeates, Mac Manus provides a fascinating insight into the customs and beliefs present in Ireland when it was written in the 1950s. Many of the memories shared stretch back to the 19th century in places and it’s really a great read. There’s a whole chapter on fairy paths.

‘Greening the Paranormal: Exploring the Ecology of Extraordinary Experience’, by Dr Jack Hunter. This great book covers Animism and the idea of ‘personhood’ encompassing natural formations such as rocks and rivers. Essays explore how themes of ecology intersect with the paranormal, from different perspectives.

If you enjoy the show, please consider sharing your favourite episodes with friends. Don't forget to rate and subscribe wherever you listen, and if you can, please support by joining The Curious Crew on Patreon ❤️
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Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Main image: ‘Då och då tog tomten tag i tyglarna’ (Every now and then santa grabbed the reins) by John Bauer.

Episode 21: Awakening to Them

This episode is a deep chat about a number of extraordinary events and contact that my guest has experienced. The subject of a UFO/orb experience is covered early on but we do return to the subject of Fae. There’s so much cross over between fairy experiences and alien encounters and it’s been generating a lot of discussion for some time now. From my discussions with many listeners, topics about aliens and UFOs have also been gaining general interest, alongside fairy encounters.

My guest shares how these encounters have developed for him over time, resulting in an ever-deepening spiritual path. The discussion was recorded back in May 2021.  

There’s a bonus chat on Patreon where we discuss more personal healing experiences and he enlightens me on the idea of Starseeds – people on earth who come from other planets and are here to help the earth and its inhabitants.  

Please do subscribe, rate and share this podcast. Thank you ❤️

Main image: by Dorothy Lathrop (1922) from, Down-Adown-Derry: A Book of Fairy Poems, by Walter De La Mare

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Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Episodes may contain descriptions which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.

Tea Ceremonies

My guest shared some information about tea ceremonies, which feature strongly in his practice.

Chinese tea ceremony (artist unknown)

“Tea has been used for over 10,000 years in China as a plant teacher and medicine by shamans who later travelled to Japan. Tea is very connected to the elementals and nature spirits, as you will experience when you drink the tea. For meditation, I use Oolongs or Pu-erh tea, from China or Taiwan – organic if possible. The Fae tea is called Shuixian tea or sometimes Wuyi Shuixian tea. Shuixian means ‘water fae’ and people who drink it often see Fae. Phoenix Oolong is also a good choice as it connects you to the heavenly creatures (dragons, phoenixes etc). China has a large number of Fae found throughout their folklore, because they were Taoist. The tea does contain a small amount of caffeine but it calms, helps you meditate and opens the upper chakras. It’s all in the brewing: a teaspoon of the Fae oolong tea to one cup of boiled water. Put the leaves in the cup and take out after one or two minutes. Wait until the tea has cooled down a little, then take it to a sacred place (this could be your garden or somewhere safe to meditate in a park). Stay empty and flow with what comes in. You can ask the tea if it has any messages.”

My deep gratitude to our guest for sharing this information. We may provide an episode about tea ceremonies at a later date. Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in!

Shownotes

UFO Documentary: ‘The Phenomenon

Dr Jack Hunter’s Spirits, Gods and Magic: An Introduction to the Anthropology of the Supernatural.

Dr Jack Hunter’s short course, ‘Spirits, Gods and Magic: An Introduction to the Anthropology of the Supernatural‘, Sophia Centre, The University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

If you enjoy the show, please consider sharing your favourite episodes with friends. Don't forget to rate and subscribe wherever you listen, and if you can, please support by joining The Curious Crew on Patreon ❤️
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Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Episode 20: Occurence at the Creek

This episode offers a very gentle conversation with an Australian woman who encountered an orb during a very beautiful and intimate event, whilst in nature. The experience drew her ever closer to nature and into environmentalism. We discuss her relationship with the Fae and how that connection was originally initiated through visiting her grandmother’s magical garden with her siblings, as a child. 

There is an accompanying FREE PATHWORKING MEDITATION on Patreon which is available to anyone. It’s a gentle guide to recentring yourself and it’s particularly aimed that those who need a bit of help during this difficult time to let go of anxieties and focus on what’s meaningful. You can find it by searching for ‘free meditation’ or ‘recentring’ on Patreon.

Main image: Will-o-the-Wisp by Brett Manning Art.

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

Orbs

Many people believe orbs to be physical manifestations of energy. If we work with that idea and see ourselves as energy beings we can understand that it might be the same with Otherworldly beings. Perhaps orbs are the densest manifestation of the being that we’re able to see. Orbs are round and can be different sizes and colours, but they’re usually partially opaque, sometimes with swirling movement inside. People often report seeing orbs with the naked eye but sometimes they can also turn up in photographs.

In this case, our guest saw an orb in nature and felt it was some kind of energy manifestation of a fairy. She observed a sense of fluttering from within the orb, but it was more the feeling of awe that she experienced from the event which led her to feel it was a fairy experience.

Here’s an orb fairy experience which took place in Australia from Simon Young’s excellent ‘Fairy Census’ 2014-2017::

§82) England (London). Female; 1980s* [‘1990s’]; 21-30; in woodland;…The second time I saw the fae I was living in my old house in Melbourne. I lived in a dark alleyway, off the Main Street. I was sitting in my living room one night and I saw a little ball of light whizz past the window. Then there were several other little orbs of glowing light. They were around the size of tennis balls, and on closer inspection you could see the outline of spindly little bodies glowing. This sighting went on for a few hours. Since my fae sightings I have become fascinated by the wee folk. I collect little sculptures of them, books, faerie tarot cards, I paint them and I am fascinated by them. Not obsessed honest. I have also been in some very wild places around the world and I have felt their presence. Feeling these presences have made me want to stay in places where they live. They are always like personifications of the spirit of places.’ ‘(They) were like orbs of light darting around, you could see light bursting from their bodies. The made a kind of whirring fluttering sound as they moved, like a cross between birds flapping their wings and paper fluttering.’ ‘They’re very mischievous little buggers who like to poke fun at humans.’ ‘I have only told a small handful of people about my fae experiences, most folk would think I’m nuts, and I’m definitely quite sane, well educated, thoughtful and quite open minded. I’ve never been on any psyche drugs ever or seen any doctor for mental health conditions. On both nights where I saw the fae they were very real and tangible. I have felt their presence at other times.

Young S. (2018) The Fairy Census 2014-2017,

Here’s another share about a photo of an orb, also from Simon Young’s ‘Fairy Census’ 2014-2017:

§41) England (Devon). Female; 2010s; 61-70;
‘I have a friend who does photography. She took pictures of a flower and water and put them together to look as though the flower was growing out of the water. She emailed me the picture. I didn’t see anything at first, but after I enlarged the picture I saw a pink faerie rise out of the flower, with what looked like several orbs each side of the flower with elves in them. They all rose up together. The faerie was pink. I was surprised, especially as not only did I see her ‘live’ in a picture, but the picture was ‘second hand’ so to speak.’ ‘She had a pink dress on with pink wings.’

Young S. (2018) The Fairy Census 2014-2017,

The Paranormal and Ecology

For more information about extraordinary experiences and environmentalism, I highly recommend reading Dr Jack Hunter‘s book, Greening the Paranormal.

The collection of essays explores the parallels between all aspects of paranormal experience and the study of living systems and offers a fresh perspective on our relationship with our living planet, Earth.

Here’s a great podcast interview with Jack, where he discusses these themes and more.

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If you enjoy the show, please consider sharing your favourite episodes with friends. Don't forget to rate and subscribe wherever you listen, and if you can, please support by joining The Curious Crew on Patreon ❤️
Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Episode 19: The Longing

In this episode, my guest shares an experience which invoked a sense of indescribable longing. There are many stories in folklore of those who visited Fairyland never to return and those that did, often pined for Fairyland ever after (see ‘The Fairy Dwelling on Selena Moor’ on Episode 18 show notes). Some stories speak of a deep sense of yearning that draws folk to the precipice of no-return before something snaps them out of a trance. In many cases they are drawn in by a strange Otherworldly music and it was this form of enchantment that our guest experienced during lockdown last year.

There’s a bonus episode available on Patreon, where our guest shares another couple of strange occurrences and I offer her some advice in relation to her main experience of feeling enchanted.

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

Strange Otherworldly music

In Evans-Wentz’s ethnographic collection of fairy encounters from the early twentieth century, a local man tells of a strange occurrence that took place while he was driving along the Ben Bulbin road. I find it particularly interesting that the informant describes the sound thus, “All sorts of music seemed to be playing...”. This seems similar to the way our Podcast guest likened the experience to being “at a festival and you hear music in the distance…being carried by echoes”. It was impossible for her to be able to recognise the type of music that she heard.

 “…Michael said to his companion in the caret with us, William Barber, “You tell how you heard the music”’ and this followed: – “one dark night, about one o’clock myself and another young man were passing along the road up there round Ben Bulbin, when we heard the finest kind of music. All sorts of music seemed to be playing. We could see nothing at all, though we thought we heard voices like children’s. It was the music of the gentry we heard.”

Under the Shadow of Ben Bulbin and Ben Waskin‘ in, Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (1911) The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, London: H. Frowde, 1911

Yet, in modern times, people are still reporting hearing mysterious music which they cannot place, or which appears related to fairy encounters. Dr Simon Young’s Fairy Census, (2014-2017) provides further examples:

Musical ‘Christmas gnomes’, Alfred Jacobsen (1898)

§73) England (Lancashire). Male; 2000s; 21-30; in woodland; with several other people, some of whom shared my experience* [‘3 of us heard music’]; 9 pm-12 am; ten minutes to an hour; joyful; occasional supernatural experiences; no special state reported; unusually vivid memories of the experience. “Three friends in the woods late one night we all heard this funny music, the other two tried to dismiss it as some people playing fiddles or whatever it was in the woods at night! I am a musician and what I heard was not like any music I’ve come across before. I would say it was similar to traditional Irish music but really different, hard to describe.”

Simon Young, The Fairy Investigation Society, ‘Fairy Census’ 2014-2017:

§117) England (Somerset). Female; 31-40; 2000s; inside a private house; on my own; 12 am-3 am; less than a minute; “I awoke from my sleep hearing music and remember thinking how unusual it was for the neighbours to play music at all let alone this late and loud enough for me to hear through the wall. Just then a ball of light floated in through the bedroom door and hovered right in front of me. I did all the usual eye rubbing in disbelief etc. It was still there so I said ‘who are you?’ The reply was ‘my name is Effeny and I am very yellow.’ This is all I remember of this one particular visitation.”

Dr Simon Young, The Fairy Investigation Society, ‘Fairy Census’ 2014-2017:

Enticed towards the Unknown

The following entry in Simon Young’s ‘Fairy Census’ 2014-2017 describes the sense of being “compelled” to the window and a “feeling of longing” to go outside and join the coloured lights:

§323) US (New Hampshire). Female; 2010s; 41-50; on or near water, in woodland, on a country road; on my own; 3 am-6 am; ten minutes to an hour; “I was staying at my parents’ home on a small island in New Hampshire (USA). I woke up at about 4 AM, and this was not notable because I have very irregular sleep patterns. What was different this time, was an inner ‘pull’ and ‘compulsion’ to raise the shade and look out the bathroom window. I hate having the shades up when it is dark outside – it is a strange picadillo – but I hate feeling like I am exposed to the outside world in a display case, I I looked out into the dark, and across the country road, a fair distance away there were multi colored lights varying in size, and they were dancing. They were making circles in the pitch black night, dancing high over the trees and low and they were beautiful and compelling, and mesmerizing. Still, there was something sinister that gave me pause, and I cannot explain this because there was nothing inherently frightening in their display. I started to feel compelled and drawn outdoors, a feeling of longing came over me and I wanted so badly to be close to the lights, and there was a feeling of almost apathy for my personal safety. The sun came up and the lights slowly dissipated and faded. On a side note, there is a strange belief on my mother’s Irish side of the family, that there is sidhe in our blood. I do not think this has any currency.” 

As mentioned on the episode, there’s a story of collected tales in Lady Wilde and William Robert Wilde’s, Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland, Vol 1 (1887). We’re told that some people had a power of enchantment over others, known as the ‘Evil Eye’. One young man in Limerick around 1790 was said to have had, “this power in a singular and unusual degree“, which would cause him to be, “loved and followed by any girl (he) liked” We are told that, while travelling away from home he stops at a farmhouse and is refused entry by the farmer’s young daughter who is at home alone:

Arthur Rackham

“The young poet fixed his eyes earnestly on her for some time in silence, then slowly turning round left the house, and walked towards a small grove of trees just opposite. There he stood for a few moments resting against a tree, and facing the house as if to take one last vengeful or admiring glance, then went on his way without once turning round.

The young girl had been watching him from the windows, and the moment he moved she passed out of the door like one in a dream, and followed him slowly, step by step, down the avenue. The maids grew alarmed, and called to her father, who ran out and shouted loudly for her to stop, but she never turned or seemed to heed. The young man, however, looked round, and seeing the whole family in pursuit quickened his pace, first glancing fixedly at the girl for a moment. Immediately she sprang towards him, and they were both almost out of sight, when one of the maids epsied a piece of paper tied to a branch of the tree where the poet had rested. From curiousity she took it down, and the moment the knot was untied, the farmer’s daughter suddenly stopped, became quite still, and when her father came up she allowed him to lead her back to the house without resistance. When questioned she said that she felt herself drawn by an invisible force to follow the young stranger wherever he might lead, and that she would have followed him through the world, for her life seemed to be bound up in his; she had no will to resist, and was conscious of nothing else but his presence. Suddenly, however, the spell was broken, and then she heard her father’s voice, and knew how strangely she had acted. At the same time the power of the young man over her vanished, and the impulse to follow him was no longer in her heart.”

Wilde, L. (2013). Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland Volume 1. Memphis: TheClassics
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Episode 18: Chat with Thomas Freese, Researcher of the Strange

Thomas’s childhood book about the unexplained

In this episode I speak to a fellow researcher, Thomas Freese. Thomas is also an author, a storyteller and an artist. To date, he’s written 11 books and 200 articles. Much of his research is focused on people’s extraordinary encounters with ghosts, nature spirits, angels, fairies, and multidimensional beings.

In his storytelling role, Thomas visits schools and finds that children often want to tell him about their own strange experiences.  We discuss this and some of the many Otherworldly encounters that he has collected over the years.  

In a bonus episode for The Curious Crew on Patreon, Thomas describes his own fairy experiences. He also shares some unnerving encounters with paranormal creatures known as ‘black-eyed children’. These beings are known for appearing at people’s homes or vehicles and asking to be let inside.

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

Tree Spirits and Wood Wisdom includes encounters with fairies and nature beings
Ghosts Spirits and Angels: True Tales from Kentucky and Beyond includes the story of the protective spirit dog.

Forbidden Fairy Food

Thomas tells us about a woman’s childhood memory of venturing into fairyland via an enchanted tree door, where she is invited to stay for a meal. Throughout folklore we are warned against eating fairy food…for if you do, you may never return from fairyland. Here’s a great article from Morgan Daimler on the subject.

‘The Fairy Dwelling on Selena Moor’ is a well known folktale, various versions of which were collected by Katharine Briggs and Lady Wilde:

“When Mr. Noy, a local farmer, loses his way and wanders into a fairy realm, he finds that he is very thirsty and asks for a drink. But he is signalled by a young maiden dressed in white whom he recognises as a former sweetheart, thought to have died some three or four years earlier. Though she carries ale, she denies him a drink and warns him against eating a fruit or plucking a flower if he wished ever to reach his home again. “Eating a tempting plum in this enchanted orchard was my undoing,” she warns him. The fruit that enslaved her dissolved into “bitter water” in her mouth. Like all else in fairyland, fairy food is a snare and delusion: “What appear like ruddy apples and other delicious fruit are only sloes, hoggins [haws] and blackberries.” Mr. Noy did escape, but, we are told, like other visitors to Fairyland, he pined and lost his thirst for normal life after his adventure.” – The Fairy Dwelling on Selena Moor

Briggs, K.M. 1977. A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures. Harmondsworth: Penguin. (pp 142-143)

Fairies in houses

In Episode 10: Stay or Go we heard of an encounter which took place in a house – to be specific, a little boy’s bedroom. Some might be surprised to learn that fairies turn up in houses as well as nature locations. The show notes on Episode 10 include further examples of house brownies, including Colin Parson’s example which I referred to on this episode with Thomas Freese.

Here is ‘ The Silkie of Denton Hall’, collected by Katharine Briggs:

“You must beware of offending your brownie or he may turn into a boggart, and then woe betide you! I heard of such a case the other day. It was told me by a friend rather older than myself who passed her girlhood in Northumberland. When she was still a girl-this would be in the nineties of the last century-her mother used to take her to call on some old ladies who lived at Denton Hall near Newcastle. These old ladies would often tell them of the silkie they had in the house. The silkie is the Northumbrian brownie. The old ladies were very fond of their silkie. It is true that she made it rather difficult to keep servants, but if they were in a strait whe would do all sorts of kind things to help them, particularly cleaning grates and laying fires ready to light. They often said that they did not know how they would manage without her. There was something too about flowers, the details of which my informant does not quite remember. She thinks it was that the silkie left little bunches of flowers for them on the staircase. She dressed in grey silk, and they often met her, or were aware of her, on the stairs. My friend left the place and the old ladies died. In the last war, however, she returned to Northumberland and found Denton Hall owned by another family of her acquaintance. They were not, she says, the kind of people to get on with fairies. At any rate they did not see the silkie, but the son of the house was so persecuted by intolerable bangings in his room that they did not stay in the place for long. It is plain that the brownie had become a boggart.”

Briggs, K. (1957). The English Fairies. Folklore, 68(1), 270-287. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1258158

Protective Dog Spirits

In this episode, I mentioned Howard Hughes’ Podcast Unexplained which is excellent. The Beasts of Britain, episode with author Andrew McGrath features multiple sightings of huge supernatural dogs, in the UK and further afield…

…and if you’re interested in protective dog/wolf spirits then check out Episode 14: Guardian of the Mountain of this podcast which is pretty mind blowing!

Stick/Tree Men

In the podcast I mention my own sighting of a stick/tree man. It’s rather similar to the description in Episode 4: Mysterious Illuminations given by a man in the UK. I’ve also spoken with a man in Brazil who saw a tree man – again in the company of another person who saw it too. I think it’s interesting that all the stick man encounters I’ve heard about so far, appear to be multiple-witness sightings.

Have you seen one of these? Get in touch if so. I’d love to hear more about these beings. They seem to be particularly eccentric – even for fairies!

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

Episode 17: Red Winged Warrior

I speak to an Australian lady who recalls her first fairy encounter as a child. She had experienced deep trauma and found herself in some dreadfully sad situations.

Trigger Warning: Some of the content may upset people so please be aware of background themes of drug abuse and child neglect.

As a listener of this Podcast, she very much wanted to share her story. It’s an incredibly powerful and magical experience. We discuss how people feel about sharing these encounters and how important it is for those to be received with respect, sensitivity and an open mind.

A bonus episode available on Patreon features extra material from the conversation and a further encounter.

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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. 

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Thanks 

NB: This episode releases at 8pm (GMT) on Sunday, 25th July

Artwork: Peter Hall Studios

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


Winged Fairies

I start each episode of my show by saying “...these are not winged Tinkerbells” and yet, in some cases people do see small winged fairies. They feature in previous episodes of this podcast: Ep 3, The Honey Bandit and Ep 8, The Good The Bad and The Tickly

There are some excellent examples in Dr Simon Young’s, Fairy Investigation Society Census (2014-2017). Interesting that many of them are seen by young children! It makes me return to the idea that we perceive them in a way that feels right for us. Or is it that we attract the kind of fairy that we, ourselves are open to and we truly are perceiving them as they are. Please get in touch with your thoughts. I will be expanding on these ideas in the coming months and weeks.

§76) England (Lincolnshire). Female; 1960s; 0-10; in a garden; on my own; 3 pm-6 pm* [the author wrote said 3 am-6 am, but this is probably a mistake as the child saw the fairy in ‘full light’]; ‘I was in at the bottom of our garden, it was quiet there, I was half way up an apple tree and a small winged person flew slowly by I can remember being thrilled about it and ran in to tell my parents.’ ‘She was a tiny little delicate little thing with wings.’ ‘I think fairies are People from another dimension a dimension which is near to our world.’ ‘I think I saw a fairy because I was a child and children can see other worldly beings easier than adults.’ ‘I have often seen lights orbs and mists while watching TV or listening to music.’

§121) England (Staffordshire). Female; 2000s; 11-20; on or near water, in woodland; on my own; 12 pm-3 pm; two to ten minutes; friendly, ‘serene’; regular supernatural experiences; no special state reported; loss of sense of time, hair prickling or tingling before or during the experience, a sense that the experience was a display put on specially for you, unusually vivid memories of the experience, a sense that the experience marked a turning point in your life. ‘I was on a swing bridge awaiting a friend’s arrival and I saw something small from the corner of my eye. I looked up and there were a small number of them, all winged. Some sitting on branches some hovering. The wings were like butterfly wings. They watched me as intently as I watched them. We stayed that way for a few minutes. They smiled at me and I felt calm. I looked away and then they were gone.’ ‘Like small beautiful people with butterfly wings’

§46) England (Essex). Female; 1980s; 0-10; in a garden; on my own; 12 pm-3 pm; less than a minute; no fairy mood reported; never or almost never has supernatural experiences; no special state reported; no special phenomena to report connected with the incident. ‘Saw something humanoid, winged, greenish, about four- to six-inches tall, it climbed between the thin branches of a weeping ash tree that stood in the corner of the communal green area where I grew up.’

§62A) England (Kent). Female (third person); still in touch with witness; friend; 2010s; 21- 30; on a country road; with one other person who shared the experience; no time given; one to two minutes; no fairy mood given; no special state reported; no special state reported. ‘Creature flew onto windscreen of car both driver and passenger in front saw it! Both said ‘Omg that was a fu****g fairy!’ Tiny but clear to see humanoid winged creature [as?] it flew off! Told to me by friend’s mom reliable witness both educated and articulate level headed people not prone to exaggerated story telling!!’ ‘Apparently it looked like the classical winged image you see in books.’