Episode 32: Guardians of the Stones

My conversation continues with our guest from the last episode, Arrival of the Fairy Host who experienced trooping fairies in her bedroom as a child. Now, as an adult she visits an ancient ring of standing stones and along with her party, encounters the guardians of that place.

The episode involves experiencing a Beltane fire, warping of time and tall Otherworldly beings who made themselves known.

On a bonus episode available for members of The Curious Crew on Patreon, our guest describes a traumatic situation that forced Otherworldly beings from their location and eventually also resulted in her family relocating.

Main image: Thomas Cohoon: Callanish Stones under the stars, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

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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

The conversation mentions the tall Guardians who have also been mentioned in these two episodes. If you have had experience of these beings I would love to hear from you.

In The Tall Folk and The Little People, a previous guest describes his fascinating series of encounters at a dolmen atop a mountain in Ireland, late at night.

A Maelstrom of Fairies also features these tall Guardians and you’ll find more information on the shownotes there.

Please do subscribe, rate and share this episode and support the podcast by joining Patreon if you can. Thank you ❤️

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Modern Fairy Sightings Green Man Artwork: Peter Hall Studios

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.

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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 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 ❤️

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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 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.

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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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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.  

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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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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.

Support The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast

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

Episode 12: Experiencing Fairies: Interview with Dr Neil Rushton

In the last episode of series one, I chat with Dr Neil Rushton, author of two fairy-related novels and fairy experience investigator.

We discuss my various musings during this series and Neil shares his own fairy experiences. He also offers his perspective on why and how people see fairies and how this differs to the reductionist, materialist worldview on the matter. Neil’s blog site, deadbutdreaming.wordpress.com is an excellent resource. His articles cover fairy associated folklore as well as deeper digs into the connection between encounters and altered states.

His two novels, Dead But Dreaming and Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun, feature fairy encounters and explore the role of altered states in perceiving fairies.

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 Reading

Neil’s blog, deadbutdreaming.wordpress.com explores fairy beings, folklore and altered states.

Anthony Peake’s The Hidden Universe, explores much of what we talked about during our conversation and has a very easy-reading explanation of how quantum physics may help explain non-human intelligent entity contact

For more information on Charles Bonnet Syndrome see also Peake above.

Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality and Graham Hancock Supernatural are also absolute essential reading for discussions around fairies, aliens and altered states.

Dr Simon Young’s Fairy Census 2014-2017 is a wonderful resource of around 500 detailed contemporary fairy encounters. They were collected from around the world via online survey. Simon runs the Fairy Investigation Society.

Rudolf Steiner’s Nature Spirits – for the best assessment of the early 20th-century Theosophist ideas on nature spirits.

Dr Jack Hunter’s Greening The Paranormal examines how connecting with the supernatural may re-connect us with nature.

David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicate Order, incorporates much thinking on quantum physics (Bohm was a quantum physicist) within a philosophical framework. 

Aldous Huxley’s classic, The Doors of Perception which examines altered states.

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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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

Episode 9: The Tall Folk and The Little People

This episode features the sort of experience that we might visualise from 19th century collections of Irish folklore. The encounter took place in Ireland, but was experienced just a few years ago, by a young Australian man as he toured around in his camper van. It’s a pretty epic story and he feels very lucky to have experienced this first hand. A whole host of apparitions popped up and each brought their own vibe to the events which unfolded.

Some listeners may find parts of the content in this episode frightening.

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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Fairies dancing in circles

Fairy folklore is full of little folk dancing in circles. In most cases, humans are tempted to enter the circle or even to dance and are sometimes lost forever. In other cases, the abductee can re-appear hours or even years later, though they’d swear they’d only been away for a few minutes. They may be bestowed with unusual powers or destined to sicken and die early.

There’s a brilliant article on the subject of, ‘The Fairie Dance’ by Dr Neil Rushton at Dead But Dreaming.

And here’s an excerpt from Dr Simon Young’s Fairy Census 2014-2017 which describes a similar encounter in Ireland:

§151A) Ireland (Co. Limerick). Female, 1940s; 11-20
‘When my mother was a young girl, her father sent her to fetch a bucket of water many fields away from where they lived. On the way back with the water, she stopped at the top of a low lying hill to rest. Looking back down over the fields, she saw a large group of ‘people’ all dancing around in a circle in one of the many local ‘faery forts’. (faery circles) She described their collective dress as comprising of similar colours: red, green and blue. The people were also wearing hats or caps. My mother knew that the area in which she lived at the time of the sighting was sparsely populated, with only a few neighbours close by and those who lived there were not rich or rich enough to have that many people partaking in that type of merriment. Even if they were, it was very early in the day to be doing so and the faery fort was several fields away from the nearest road. It dawned on her that these people were no ordinary people and could sense that she was not supposed to be looking at this ‘dance’. She took off running, back to her father’s house, spilling most of the water on the way and in doing so, upon her return, got a ‘good telling off’! She relayed this story to me many years ago only after listening to a local radio station documentary on Irish folklore and legends. A caller phoned in and told a story, which was very similar to hers: a group of people, dancing around in a circle in a faery fort, wearing similarly coloured clothes. This caller’s story would have taken place in the same decade that my mother had hers. My mother kept this story to herself for many decades! I suppose from a combination of ridicule, growing up in Catholic Ireland and the fact that one was to be careful when speaking about ‘the Little People’! The particular faery fort in question still exists and is located behind ***, ***, Limerick. Though now, it is completely overgrown with trees and undergrowth. It is now mainly used by some of the local people who throw their grass cuttings in over the ditch.’

Orbs

Orb image: Joanne Ehling Harper, Pinterest

There are differing ideas about what orbs are exactly but from my own experience, I believe they are condensed manifestations of energy, be it spirit, thoughts, fae or otherwise. They appear as translucent globes or circles of light. They can be different colours but they’re often white and some people report that they’ve changed in size as they’ve been viewing them.

Here is another great excerpt from The Fairy Census 2014-2017, which describes an encounter with orbs:

§242) US (Carolina). Female; 1990s; 11-20; in woodland.
‘My friend invited me to go out into the woods to look for fairy rings. We took wine from her parents’ pantry as a friendship offering. We left at sunset, having been given permission to go camping. We walked a little way out into the woods, maybe fifty yards, stopping in a clearing among cedar trees. We each took a small sip of wine, toasting the good health of any spirits who happened to be about, left some in a sea shell which we had brought for that purpose, and poured the rest out on the ground. We then lit a small fire from deadwood since it was getting cold. When we got tired, we poured water on the embers and stirred them to make sure it was all out. We then wrapped ourselves in blankets and lay down to wait. What felt like hours past, and then, when the night was very dark, and my friend was talking about the dark spirits I had seen previously in another forest, there was suddenly a wild presence, a sense of something entirely outside the normal, safe, civilized world. And where we had left the wine we saw small, colorful lights hovering in a circle about a foot or two above the ground. They went round for a while as we stared in mute amazement (I don’t think either of us expected anything to actually show up) and then just as abruptly they vanished. We decided it might not be best to spend the whole night there and rushed back to her house, or at least tried to rush since the path which had been clear on the way seemed to lead us in circles and we were forced to cut through deep underbrush before reaching her back door all out of breath. My friend’s mother was at the back door and said she had been calling for us for the last hour, thinking it was too cold to stay out, but we never heard her.’