Episode 34: Chat with Lucy Brydon of the ‘One Scot One Not’ Podcast

Lucy and Karen Campbell present Celtic myth, legends and folklore in their informative yet humorous show, which is always uplifting.  They’re on Instagram if you’d like to follow them.

In our chat, Lucy shares a number of her own extraordinary experiences including a visitation from a female being, while in the early stages of pregnancy and a strange case of a call to a fairy ring which was narrowly avoided.  

Beautiful and practical! A journal from Lucy’s collection available on Etsy

Lucy also creates beautiful art, check out her personal Instagram! She has an Etsy shop and teaches online art classes.

Lucy Brydon’s vibrant artwork available on her Etsy shop


If you’d like to hear more of the conversation you can head to Patreon where there is a bonus episode treat just waiting for you! 

As with many of my chats with other researchers, I will release a video version of our interview in the coming months. Enjoy!

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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.

Shownotes

Pregnancy is a liminal state of being, along with other transitional life experiences such as birth, puberty and death. In the Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast Episode 11: Make Haste for Midsummer, our guest was pregnant at the time of the fairy encounter and the time of year – being the summer solstice at the threshold between the light and darkness – is also a liminal space.

Mother Nature by Urban Threads



Here is another example of an extraordinary experience whilst pregnant. Similarly to Lucy, the person was only a few weeks into her pregnancy at the time:

§358) US (Oregon). Female; 2000s; 21-30; ‘It was around 10 or 11 am in the early summer of 2002, and I was in the bathroom, just starting my bath. It was so warm and bright that I had the small window open, and the breeze was coming right in from the backyard. (There was never a screen on that window because it was a little high up, and too small for a person). I shrugged off my robe, and sat down on the tub edge, waiting for the tub to fill. Quite suddenly, a flickering cloud of little lights came right in through the window and, as though attracted to me, flew close, almost touching, around my head and shoulders. I was so shocked that my brain just froze! There was a tickle in my nose, and something in my understanding just clicked. I said out loud, and I mean, LOUD, (though as a twenty-nine-year-old woman such a thing had never occurred to me as being within the realms of possibility or even reality) ‘Hey! Faeries! Go away!’ And I tossed my head and flicked my wrist. The cloud of little lights zoomed off a little bit away from me, then gathered close together, for just a second, and I almost heard a sound, but it wasn’t quite a sound, really, more of an impression that there was communication between them that I could very nearly hear, like a buzz or a high frequency whine or bells shimmering like when they bless the Host in Mass – and then they flew as one, right out the window again! I was so surprised that I jumped up, naked as a jaybird, shut the window, and yelled out to my husband to come to the bathroom. My knees were too wobbly to support me just then. Whew! Never thought I’d get a chance to tell that to someone who didn’t think I was NUTS!!! Hmm… Let’s see. I don’t think there is anything else. This was nearly fifteen years ago. Oh, and I was a few weeks pregnant at the time, just about to find out, in fact. My backyard at the time was overgrown with blackberry thickets, dandelions and bluebells, and our part of Portland is in the Southwest portion, in a place called *, which we are very privileged to still keep very green and lush. There is a lot of ivy, oak and holly here, and the Wildwood and *, one of the largest urban parks in America, are just a few miles away. The Wildwood Trail is beautiful and over thirty miles long, and * covers five thousand one hundred and fifty seven acres.’

Simon Young’s ‘Fairy Census 2014 – 2017’ The Fairy Investigation Society

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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 31: Arrival of the Fairy Host

This episode is a truly spectacular personal experience.  A young child has a visitation from a host of fairies, which begins a whole series of events. Many of us have memories of extraordinary encounters as young children and hearing these particular experiences resonated very deeply with me, as it will for many listeners. 

The repeated visitations and later UFO event suggest the house was on a ‘fairy path’. See notes below.

This forms the first of a two part conversation and a further experience is discussed in the next episode.

We’ll be exploring this theme of childhood experiences further as the year goes on.

A bonus episode available on Patreon features extra material from the conversation and further explores possibilities.

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

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 Paths

It is possible that the house was built on a fairy path – or the fairies’ pass. These are routes of strong energy used by the fairies as they go about their business. There are many different cultural practices which understand and work with lines of energy within buildings and landscapes eg. Chinese geomancy and Feng Shui. The concept of ley lines, as named by early 20th century archaeologist Alfred Watkins are now well known as lines which cross the globe, like rivers of energy intersecting with sacred monuments. 

As Paul Devereux describes in his book, Spirit Roads: An Exploration of Otherworldly Routes, fairies also had their own routes through the landscape which you’d be well advised to steer clear of. Even in the early 20th century in Ireland, people were still very careful about to fairy paths wherever homes or extensions were built. Obstructing these paths could result in bad luck or illness for the family and sometimes even poltergeist energy in the home.

There were various methods of putting this right as advised by local wise women, such as filling up two side doors and opening alternatives or ensuring that windows remained open at night, to permit the onward journey of the fairies. To avoid antagonising fairies in the first place, tradition held that you should place stones or sticks at the four corners of the intended building spot overnight and see if they remained there in the morning. If they had been clouted over by protesting fairies then you’d be wise to pick another spot.

Fairies Visiting at Bedtime

Simon Young’s Fairy Census (2014-2017) is an excellent resource for anybody interested in contemporary fairy encounters.

The following two accounts were mentioned in the podcast episode as bearing similarities to our guest’s experience. Both feature ongoing night visitations. The first involves a conversation with a ‘leader of the group’ and the second describes flying over rooftops, being in control of the flying and the sense of ‘exchange that occurred’.

§167) Scotland (Glasgow). Male; 1950s; 0-10; ‘I was about seven years old (1953). I had been sharing a bedroom with my elder brother, who was about eighteen at the time, but he left to join the army. So, I was left on my own in the room. I went to sleep as normal, but woke after a time to find a group of the little people dancing around on the floor at the head of my bed. I know I had a conversation with what appeared to be the leader of the group, but at this distance of time, I couldn’t say what it was about. This went on for some months on a more or less nightly basis, but gradually the interval between appearances became longer and longer until it stopped altogether.’

Young, S. (2018) ‘The Fairy Investigation Society’s Census (2014-2017)’ available online at: http://www.fairyist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Fairy-Census-2014-2017-1.pdf

§338) US (New York State). Female; 1960s; 0-10; ‘Not sure when it began as a child but I know it ended on my tenth birthday because I recall the disappointment and correlate that year. They came to me in my sleep, very often and the purpose was always the same. To take me to fly above the rooftops and tree tops throughout my neighborhood as a very exciting treat. I thought for years it was just an odd recurring dream but the details of the things I saw from that bird’s eye view would be impossible to have been a dream. In latter years I was able to understand and recall more emotional details. I don’t recall the first or last time they came but I know no actual words were spoken. They were fluid like beings that were dressed in material that barely covered and was white and thin  and always flowing as they too never touched the ground although [they] had legs and feet. I went willingly and trusting as I knew it was under my control where I was to fly and when I was to return. I now feel there was an exchange that occurred. I feel they (as many as five or six) absorbed the excitement from me. Never draining although I slept deeper and always briefly awoke at the point of being back in my bed. They oddly had no identifiable age but male/female was apparent and not concealed.’

Young, S. (2018) ‘The Fairy Investigation Society’s Census (2014-2017)’ available online at: http://www.fairyist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Fairy-Census-2014-2017-1.pdf

In 1951, Dr Purcell, a lecturer from Cambridge, wrote to Marjorie Johnson of the Fairy Investigation Society. He describes seeing trooping fairy soldiers cross his bedcovers some fifty years before, as a five year old child :

In the year 1900-1901, during the /south African War, when I was about five years of age, I lived in Gillingham, Kent. Every night for some months, after my mother had kissed me goodnight and shut my bedroom door, there was a short interval, and then I would begin to hear distant, massed Lilliputian bands playing. The music grew louder and louder as it came nearer and nearer. There was a night light burning on the mantelpiece, and by the light of this I saw column after column of tiny soldiers marching up from the right of my bed over my eiderdown (I remember its pattern and colour clearly) and across to the other side where they disappeared over the bedside. Each soldier was about nine inches high and wore a red coat. There was battalion after battalion of them, and each was headed by a brass band. As these passed, they played minute martial music, far more exciting than any music I had ever heard in the daytime. The march-past lasted for a few minutes, and then I fell asleep. The direction was always from right to left. I never tried to touch the soldiers, but they were completely real. I actually did see them, and I should be prepared to state this on oath, if necessary, in any Court of Law’

Johnson M.T. (2014) ‘Seeing Fairies: From the Lost Archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, Authentic Reports of Fairies in Modern Times‘, Anomalist Books: San Antonio

This last account from 1656 describes a host of fairies arriving into a bedroom late at night. It’s reported in a letter by John Lewis of Cardiganshire, Wales who was an acquaintance of the man experiencing the encounter.

A man and his family being all in bed, about after midnight, awake in bed, he could perceive a light entring a little room, where he lay, and one after another of some a dozen in the shape of men, and two or three women, with small children in their arms, entring in, and they seemed to dance, and the room to be far lighter and wider than formerly: they did seem to eat bread and cheese all about a kind of a tick upon the ground; they offered him meat, and would smile upon him: he could perceive no voice, but he once calling to God to bless him, he could perceive the whisper of a voice in Welch, bidding him hold his peace, being about four hours thus, he did what he could to wake his wife and could not: they went out into another room and after some dancing departed, and then he arose; yet being but a very small room he could not find the door, nor the way into bed, until crying out, his wife and family awaked. Being within about two miles of me, I sent for the man, who is an honest poor husbandman, and of good report: and I made him believe I would put him to his oath for the truth of this relation, who was very ready to take it.

William E.Al Axon, LL.D. (1908) Welsh Folk-Lore of the Seventeenth Century’, Y Cymmrodor, Vol.XXI p. 116 in Bord, J. (1997) Fairies: Real Encounters with Little People, Michael O’Mara Books: London

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Episode 29: A Maelstrom of Fairies

In this episode we hear the second part of an interview with a British woman, who has had many extraordinary experiences in her life.

Having previously described communing with an intelligent blue light in Episode 28, we now hear of a fascinating encounter which took place two years later. This time our guest came face-to-face with what we describe as tall Guardian folk in an ancient wood. A transformative fairy experience took place that very night.

Main Image: ‘Sleeping Beauty’ by Brian Froud

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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.

Tall Hooded Guardians

Tall Dark Hooded Guardian

The tall beings described sound very similar to the ‘Guardian’ type beings in Episode 9: The Tall Folk and the Little People. We don’t know what their function truly is but they seem to guard certain landscapes and ward people away or at the very least come and take a good look at them. A soon-to-be-released episode will also feature these Otherworldly beings.

Have you seen one? Get in touch at scarlettofthefae@gmail.com.

Please do subscribe, rate and share this episode and support the podcast by joining Patreon if you can. 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 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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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 16: The Green Lady and the Nacht Mare

Jo talks to a Dutch folklore storyteller who experienced two contrastingly different encounters during his twenties. The first epitomises the very essence of a beautiful nature spot and the second, the stuff of nightmares. They explore how each event played out and the potential meanings behind them.

A bonus episode available on Patreon features extra material from the conversation and further explores possibilities.


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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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.


Nightmares

We commonly refer to nightmares as terrifying subconscious sleep journeys. But in times past, the nightmare was said to be caused by visitations from Otherworldly beings. These spectres would sneak into bedchambers, lie on a victim’s chest and give them bad dreams, or worse, suffocate them.

Henry Fuseli (1781)

The older Germanic “Nachtmahr” relates to the word “nightmare” in Old English maere, or mara in Anglo Saxon. It is thought that, in English this word, rather than meaning a horse, referred to an incubus or succubus – a mythical demonic creature who would ride the chest of the sleeper, rendering them powerless to their disturbing vivid dreams and imposing a sense of breathlessness.

Here’s a really great article on the subject for further reading.

In Dutch folklore, it’s suggested that Nacht Mare or Nachtmerries were people rather than phantoms, and always women (or werewolves!).

Here’s a helpful chant (translated from Dutch), to ward off nightmares:

Oh, you ugly beast, do not come here this night.
You shall blow all the waters,
You shall blow all the trees,
You shall count all the muscles of barley,
Do not come to torment me this night. ” (Unknown)

Goya Image

The sleep of reason produces monsters

The sketch I referred to in the episode is Francisco Goya’s (1746-1828) The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. It’s number 43 of a series of 80 aquatint etchings entitled, Los Caprichos. Published in 1799, they feature his response to the political, religious and social atrocities of the time.

Interestingly, our guest contacted me afterwards and told me that the one he had in mind was the image featured below. Plate 72: A bat-like creature sucking at the chest of a corpse, from Disasters of War (c.1810-12).

A bat-like creature sucking at the chest of a corpse

Orbs, Vapours and Energy Bodies

From my own experiences and that of others, I believe that orbs and vapours are a dense form of energy or ‘spirit’. Not quite dense enough to become manifest physically, as we are but enough to form and be perceived. Some people are able to see these forms more easily than others. It’s possible to practice by attempting to see the aura (energy body) of another person.

Allow your eyes to become relaxed and out of focus and then just observe their outline. If that person can be seated with a white background (hung up sheet or white wall) then all the better. Watch to see any colours or shapes that manifest around them. What you are perceiving are that person’s energy bodies.

We are all beings of energy and our physical body is simply our densest form – how we usually perceive each other. But the next most dense is our emotional body, followed by the mental body and then the astral, etheric, Buddhic and causal bodies.

One possibility is that the energetic manifestations of spirits, fairies or other Otherworldly beings are also made of energy, as is the entire Universe. From this point of view perhaps they are perceived by us while we are observing from that corresponding level of consciousness or energy body.

We can move through these bubbles of perception in various altered states, caused by meditation, relaxation, the use of psychedelics or even during states of passion.

Martin Brofman’s Map of the Body Mirror Healing System https://www.fondation-brofman.org/?lang=en



Personally, I’ve been working with these ideas since the mid-nineties and in 2005 I trained in The Body Mirror System with Martin Brofman. I offer one-to-one healings in person or remote healing appointments. If you’re interested in learning more about these, please see here.

I will be releasing further episodes featuring orbs. Please subscribe to this blog to receive alerts about forthcoming episodes.


Featured image: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/509751251574108632/
by Mapc7Hunter mapc7hunter.tumblr.com

Episode 15: The Books of Dreams and Visions

This episode includes excerpts from The B.O.D.A.V.’s (The Books of Dreams and Visions). It’s a personal collection of fairy encounters and vivid dreams, experienced by a young man from the age of 11 to his late teens, provoked by night time forest walks with his father.

Having had some awareness and interest in the Otherworlds himself, his father had encouraged him to journal these experiences.  Some of these drawings are pictured below.

It’s rare that a child or young person is encouraged to explore these realities with such depth by a parent and for that reason, I feel the collection is rare and of great importance to helping us understand our nature of being as humans. I believe that these states of deeper perception with nature are innate within us and socialised out of us from a young age.

Our guest, now in his mid-twenties and undertaking a Master’s in biological science, was able to spend lockdown reunited with his father. This provided an opportunity to re-read the journals and attempt to categorise some of the beings and events that took place.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this beautiful share.

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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Recommended further reading:

Martin Brofman’s Anything Can Be Healed is an excellent book for describing how to shift into other realities and see the world from alternative perspectives, notably healing the body, mind and anything that is not working for you, in your life. (Note: I trained with Martin from 2005 until 2014 and his healing system completely changed my life…I will get round to talking about this someday. Let me know if you’d like to hear about it!)

Mike Clelland’s The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee. I would recommend this to anyone interested in reading about people’s extraordinary experiences and how dreams often tie into encounters. I’m reading this at the moment and I find it fascinating. (Note: yes it does involve UFO encounters rather than fairies but there are many similarities and if you haven’t already explored these ideas, then this is an excellent start).

Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality argues that the human psyche extends beyond the confines of the physical human body, and that it may in fact be a part of our reality. It’s a core text for understanding these encounters.

Dr Jack Hunter’s Greening The Paranormal is a collection of essays on humankind’s relationship with earth and what we have come to term as ‘extraordinary experience’. 

Neil Rushton’s blog, Dead But Dreaminghas a world of information about fairies, experiences and folklore. This particular article, Visioning the Fairies: Magical Ointments and Seeing the Unseen provides some excellent references to folklore in this regard, as touched upon in the podcast.

Episode 14: Guardian of the Mountain

In this first episode of series two 🎉 I chat with a guest who encounters an Otherworldly creature that we are quite familiar with in folklore. His response to the experience is admirable and most interesting. It’s a great example of how faith, and spiritual connection (of any kind!) can aid us in our most challenging moments.

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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Black Dog Folklore

Black Dog sightings abound in folklore collections, and sightings continue to be reported, particularly in the UK but all over the world. Many of us are familiar with the image of the Hound of the Baskervilles, but these supernatural beasts appear in a great number of forms and are known by various names in the UK depending on the location: ‘Barguest’, ‘Black Shuck’, ‘Capelthwaite’, ‘Freyburg’, to name but a few.

Folklore author, Mark Norman’s book, Black Dog Folklore is an excellent study of the subject and features a multitude of sightings and traditions in the UK.

Here’s an interesting snippet. A letter from one mid-century Devonshire-based folklorist to another, about a trackway sighting:

“The Black Dog who guards the ancient trackway from West Quantoxhead towards Crowcombe was sighted rushing down the steep sides of the Deer Park one late autumn evening. It was seen by a motor-cyclist who could not make out what animal it was: ‘about the size of a large pig – and what puzzled me was its coat looked like ruffled feathers. It was black and something like a dog, it moved like one but I have never met anything like it before or since.’ This was an unusual extension of the Dog’s known patrol.” (Ruth L. Tongue in personal correspondence to Theo Brown, 19th September 1960) (Norman, 2015, pp. 37).

Simon Young’s ‘Fairy Census’ (2014-2017) also contains a number of references to contemporary black dog sightings. Here’s one from Britain that appears to be connected with a house and another from the US, which preceded the respondent’s own pet dog’s death:

§191) (Wales, Female; 1990s).A friend and I were home one evening relaxing, my dog was out the front garden, it was late autumn, we had candles lit, listening to music, discussing spirituality/religion etc as was our passion at that time. We heard my dog a spaniel scratching the front door to come in, my friend went into the hall leaving the lounge door open to open the front door for the dog. I was sitting in my chair and could clearly see two metres or so out into the hall. I heard a commotion, like an animal’s feet running and looked out into the hall expecting to see Ben my spaniel come running into the room. I saw a man-sized ‘animal like’ creature run past and up the stairs, and heard the heavy sound of it running up on all fours, as it shot up the stairs. It was, I’d say, if standing, five foot five inches maybe more, it was sort of human crossed with an animal, I could see brownish leathery tough skin with coarse black hair sporadically growing out of its body, its head had a large flattened snout, crinkled and wrinkled like someone had forced its nose into its face, and upward protruding teeth. My friend heard it, but curiously did not see it. The dog had not come in and was still out in the garden. Over a period of a few years, I and visitors to the house would see red lights, like eyes, at night up on the landing and stairs and a few occasions hear the running up the stairs, like a very large dog. I am convinced it was a faery, a pooka, or some other thing. The house got renovated in later years and all occurrences stopped.’ ‘A large black dog, crossed with human characteristics and some other beast. Red eyes. Upward big fangs from bottom jaw. Flat large squashed in snout giving the face an ugly quite fierce expression.’ ‘Heard its running up the stairs on many occasions.’ ‘It was an old house, we held seances there, groups of friends into the paranormal would gather here over a few years, it was quite a hotspot of activity until its renovation.’ ‘It seemed like an elemental it seemed connected to the land the area the house. After renovation it stopped, it was definitely connected to the old untouched energy, before modernisation. We tried to use candles and hardly watched TV, preferring soft music at our groups of spiritual exploration there. There were a lot of experiences, by myself and others at that time.’

§273) (US (Illinois). Male; 1990s) ‘I distinctly remember this happening to me during January at 2:06 am when I was fifteen. I was lying in bed with the blinds closed and my bedroom door closed and locked. I had been asleep, but something prompted me to wake up immediately. I looked towards my bedroom door and saw a Black Dog with glowing green eyes and its tongue hanging out running from that side of my bedroom to the other side, near the foot of my bed. As the dog reached the foot of my bed, it disappeared into the shadows and never returned. I stayed awake for a few more minutes to record the time on my alarm clock and think about what happened. Then I went back to sleep. While the Black Dog was running, it made no noise whatsoever, not even the sound of its nails hitting the floor. I think it may have been running on the air rather than the actual floorboards. It didn’t seem to notice me despite my staring directly at it. I’m not sure how I could see its shape or its eyes glow when there were no lights on anywhere. How it got into and left my room is also a mystery. Its body shape was similar to my own dog at the time – labrador retriever with a slightly pointed nose and skinnier legs. To this day I’m not sure if it was a fairy dog or my dog’s doppelganger, since she died a couple months later.’

There are also a number of really great blog posts on the subject here and here

And if you’re into Gothic horror fiction Icy Sedgwick’s book, Black Dog & Other Gothic Tales, comes recommended.

References and recommended further reading/listening:

Howard Hughes’ Unexplained Podcast, Episode 351 Beasts of Britain

McGrath A.M.L. (2017) Beasts of Britain, independently published

Norman, M. (2015) Black Dog Folklore, London: Troy Books

Young, S. (ed) (2018) The Fairy Census 2014-2017. Accessed online at: http://www.fairyist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Fairy-Census-2014-2017-1.pdf on 13/06/2021

Blogs:
https://www.davidcastleton.net/black-dog-legends-england-britain-ghosts-hellhounds/

http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/bdogfl.htm

Bonus Episode 13: Jo’s Fairy Encounter

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I began the Modern Fairy Sightings project in 2016, along with ‘Black Dog’ folklorist, Mark Norman while researching for Simon Young and Ceri Houlbrook’s book, ‘Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies: 500AD to the Present. Since that time, I have spoken to many others who have shared their encounters, for the purpose of research. In 2020, I created The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast and my guests have shared their stories. I feel it’s now time to share my own encounter.

Experiences shared on the Podcast are usually kept anonymous, so this is a very personal and important decision for me.

I hope it goes some way to break the taboo around speaking about extraordinary encounters of this kind and that it helps others who have had similar experiences and perhaps feel alone with it. I feel it’s important that we acknowledge that there are ‘Otherworlds’ that appear to weave with our own in a way that we don’t currently understand. Even if we cannot find answers, we can find meaning by sharing our experiences and exploring these mysterious universal realities, together.

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

Episode 10: Stay or Go?

In this episode we hear from a guest who shares his childhood experience of meeting a fairy. The encounter took place in his bedroom one morning while he was reading alone. He finds it hard to access a clear memory of the entire event but the parts he does remember are of great significance to him. In this case, our guest regrets how the experience was borne out and this has formed the basis of a decision to try and reconnect with the being. We discuss this sense of regret and how the memories began to piece together for him later, to become more meaningful in adulthood.

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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(https://www.patreon.com/themodernfairysightingspodcast)

Fairies in Childhood

Many people report having memories of seeing fairies in childhood. Often they say that they’re not sure whether they imagined it, though some are absolutely certain of what they saw.

Image: Engh Ward(?) The Graphic Story Reader – 1890’s

There are lots of excellent accounts in Marjorie T. Johnson’s, Seeing Fairies, which I find a very useful source of modern sightings. During the 1950s, Marjorie reached out to members of the general public for their accounts of fairy sightings via various publications, including the BBC magazine of the time The Listener. This particular account is so similar to our guest’s experience. It’s from a teacher, Mrs Enid H. Paul.

This is a perfectly accurate account of what happened on the only occasion I ever saw a fairy. I do not often speak of it for fear of ridicule. It was in 1930, when I was nine years old. I had just gone up to bed, but had not yet lain down. I sat with my knees drawn up and my chin resting on them, looking towards my open bedroom door, when a small man appeared in the doorway. He was dressed in dark green, with a brown buckled belt, and short brown boots. His trousers were the breeches type, buttoned down the sides. I was filled with terror and dived under the bedclothes, hardly believing my eyes. After several minutes I plucked up courage and looked out. He then stood at the foot of my bed with arms akimbo leaning on the bedrail. More scared than ever, I plunged under the bedclothes again and stayed there for a long, long time. When I finally looked out he had disappeared, and I never saw him again. I have often wished that ‘d had the courage to speak to him. The incident had, however, no significance for me then, or since, so far as I know. (pp. 169, Marjorie T. Johnson, Seeing Fairies: From the Lost Archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, Authentic Reports of Fairies in Modern Times.)

Here’s a really lovely account from the Fairy Investigation Society’s Fairy Census 2014-2017.

§13) England (Cheshire) 1970s. I was in my bedroom one evening. I noticed a twinkling light in my window. I watched the light fly down towards my neck region. As the light came closer I noticed it had a human face and a dark outfit. It was around two-inches tall. I asked who are you and it replied that it was a fairy. It was flying in a side-to-side motion as it spoke. I heard a noise and put the covers over the fairy and my head. The space I had made was then illuminated. The fairy said that all will be ok and talked to me. But I don’t remember any of the conversation. I pulled back the covers and the fairy kept on talking and flying towards the window. All the time reassuring me everything would be ok. I had to ask what it was because I didn’t know what a fairy was. I then fell asleep.’ (Young, 2018, pp 32)

Fairies in Houses

Image: A Brownie by Arthur Rackham

There are many reports of fairies in houses in both collected folklore and more modern accounts of fairy encounters. They’re often called Brownies, Hobgoblins or even Boggarts if they become malevolent! Here’s an excerpt from Katharine Briggs’ The Fairies in Tradition and Literature about a helpful ‘Silkie’ at Lemington Hall, near Newcastle in the late 19th, early 20th century. The ‘Silkie’, which was described as being a “one of the white ladies…halfway between ghosts and fairies”, later turned into a troublesome ‘boggart’ under new ownership of the house.

A lady who now lives in Oxfordshire was brought up at Lemington Hall, five miles from Newcastle, and as a girl Marjorie Sowerby, as she then was, used often to visit the last remaining Hoyles of Denton, two old ladies who were quite willing to speak to intimate friends about Silkie’s kindness to them. The house was too big for them, and they really did not know how they would manage without her. She used to clean out the hearth and lay fires, and there was something too about bunches of flowers left on the staircase,. In 1902 or so, Marjorie Sowerby left the neighbourhood, and did not make any long stay in it until the Second World War. By that time the old ladies were long dead, and the house was occupied by another old acquaintance of hers. The was not the kind of person to get on with fairies and there was no talk of Silkie’s kindness now; in fact, the new tenant was so much disturbed by banging and noises and poltergeist jokes that he was finally obliged to leave the house. The Brownie had turned into a Boggart, as has often happened before. (Briggs, 2002, pp. 33)

Here’s another great description of a fairy encounter inside a house from the Fairy Investigation Society’s Fairy Census 2014-2017. It happens in a very matter of fact way in modern times, like the encounter in this podcast episode:

§370) US (Tennessee) 2000s. ‘Once when I was about seventeen years old, I was crossing the hall from my bedroom to the bathroom, and just as I was crossing the threshold I saw something out of the corner of my eye down near the floor up against the outer-facing door-frame of the bathroom in the hallway. I immediately stepped backward into the hall to do a double-take. What I had seen appeared to be a very small older man, maybe a foot high. He had nutmeg colored skin, very squat body shape, his clothes were non-descript but in shades of deep browns and mossy greens. He had a hat of some sort on, I believe. But he had his head tilted back as he was peering up at me, just watching. Never said a word or even moved. Just stood there. When I had stepped back into the hall for the double-take, he was gone. This was the impression I had gotten of him in the brief moment it took me to cross the threshold into the bathroom from the hallway and I seemed to only glimpse him just as I was stepping into the bathroom, not while approaching. This happened during the day, mid-day, though I don’t recall exactly what time. The hallway was only lit by the large window in my bedroom behind me as well as, the smaller window in the bathroom in front of me, and whatever natural light was coming in from the dining room French doors at the end of the hall to the right of me. Not terribly dark, but not well-lit. This was the first and only time I’d seen this figure or anything else like it. I did not feel scared, just surprised, curious, and a bit bewildered. I initially did question what I had seen and if it had been real, but it’s now been roughly fifteen years since I saw it and it’s never left my mind and I still remember the incident very clearly, though his image, unfortunately, seems to be fading in my memory. But I believe that what I saw was very real, especially because that memory has never left me. My mother claims she has seen him once, too, in that same house but couldn’t remember how or when. Seems to have been around the same period of time. While our house was in a suburban area, we lived next to a large field that has a lot of trees around it and very nearby to a running creek which empties into a lake. I periodically would also see small balls of glowing golden or white light fly past me in my bedroom out of the corners of my eyes and once heard what sounded like a woman sighing once or twice just outside of my one-story bedroom window. At that time I was in my later teens and very much interested in Faery lore, though I had grown up always having an interest in Fairy Tales and had been reading them since I was a small child. I was also getting my feet wet in my growing interest in Paganism, though I did not, yet, practice. I don’t know if the creature I saw was a gnome or house brownie, or what. But I do believe he was of Faery and that he meant no harm.’ (Young, 2018, pp. 290)

Another account of a troublesome brownie appears in the same edition of Briggs. It comes from an encounter collected by Colin Parsons in his Encounters with the Unknown (1990, pp. 69-71) and takes place some time in the 1980s. A couple had moved into a house whose previous occupants had informed them was also home to a helpful brownies who aided with work in the garden and inside the house. Upon moving in they found:

Dishes would be washed while they were out at work, the washing-machine would be operated and the clothes transferred to the tumble-drier. At first Jenny Bolton was convinced that she must be doing these things herself and forgetting them, and she visited her doctor. He found her perfectly well and prescribed a course of mild tranquillisers. The odd events continued, however, and now began to involve Peter Bolton. He would find the garden shed tidied or his clothes put in the wash or hung up in the wardrobes. (Bord, 1997, pp. 17)

After one incident concerning a misplaced item, Jenny became irritated with her helpers. From this point on, they were on the receiving end of some serious mischief and disturbance. “Soap powder had been tipped all over the vegetables, taps had been turned on and plugs put in, furniture had been knocked over and jam rubbed into her Persian carpet.” The couple felt they had no choice but to move from their home.

References

Bord, J. (1997) Real Encounters with Little People. London: Michael O’Mara Books, pp. 17

Briggs, K.M. (2002) The Fairies in Tradition and Literature, 2nd Ed. London: Routledge, pp. 33

Johnson, Marjorie T. (2014) Young, S. (Eds) Seeing Fairies: From the Lost Archives of the Fairy Investigation Society, Authentic Reports of Fairies in Modern Times. San Antonio: Anomalist Books, pp. 169

Parson, C. (1990) Encounters with the Unknown. London: Robert Hale Ltd.

Young, S. (ed) (2018) The Fairy Census 2014-2017. Accessed online at: http://www.fairyist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Fairy-Census-2014-2017-1.pdf on 14/03/2021