Are Fairies Real? Origins and Evidence that Fairies Exist
Many people want to know: are fairies real? Fairies have been a central figure of legends for hundreds of years. Today we know fairies mostly by what we see on the TV or in books, but once our ancestors believed fairies were considered part of daily life. Think about it like this – legends might seem elaborate and fantastical, but they stem from some truth. Whether the truth has been diluted or transformed over the years, there is some truth to the belief in fairies. Let’s explore potential evidence of fairy existence together.
What Are Fairies? Fallen Gods?
Perhaps the answer to our questions about fairies lie in their origins. In Ireland, some say the fairies are fallen gods known as the Tuatha de Danann. The name translates to “people of Danu, the Mother Goddess”. These Ancient gods and goddesses were said to live underground in a separate realm. This belief corresponds with the idea that fairies enter and exit our world through hills called fairy mounds. The Church demonized the old gods and goddesses by turning them into less-powerful spirits. The common-folk’s fairy traditions were outlawed by the Church. Are fairies real? I say they are as real as the gods.
Are They Nature Spirits or Lost Souls?
Another possibility is that fairies are simply nature spirits. The French folklorist Claude Lecouteux theorizes that fairies are guardians of natural places like rivers, trees, mountains, hills, and more. They are the spirits of place that sometimes manifest in physical form like pixies, dragons, mermaids, gnomes, dwarves, and elves. If you believe everything in nature has consciousness, then this theory aligns quite well.
A Medieval oral tradition maintains that fairies are the souls of lost pagans who died before the word of Christ could reach them. To expand or change this idea slightly, others said fairies are the souls of unbaptized children trapped between this world and the next. Not bad enough to go to Hell, yet not good enough to go to Heaven. Caught in some kind of purgatory.
So now that we’ve examined the fairies’ origins, are fairies real in your eyes?
Ancestral Beliefs in Fairies
If you weren’t convinced about the existence of fairies by simply explaining their origins, we will discuss our ancestors’ beliefs in fairies further. In Ireland, belief in fairies was so widespread, that as recent as the early nineteen-hundreds, a man killed his wife because he thought she was stolen and then replaced by a fairy. This is part of the “changeling” legend.
The Irish people placed pails of cream, milk, or butter on their steps to appease the fay on certain nights of the year. Farmers left the first or last-harvested crop in the fields for the fairies to avert their tricks or hexes. Some of these traditions survive today.
In Scotland, the belief in a house-fairy known as the brownie is still prominent. Brownies were small, stout creatures lived in the home and helped with chores while everyone was asleep. They were helpful, benevolent fairies with a close connection to the rooster. Some say brownies could shapeshift into the form of the rooster. He would crow at dawn to announce his work was done. OR the rooster crowed to alert the brownie it was time for him to go to sleep and the people of the house to wake up. Other fairy creatures in Scotland and England include selkies, spriggans, pixies, Jenny Greenteeth, kelpies, dryads, and more.
If you look closely at the mythology and folklore of cultures all around the world, you will find dozens of stories. From Asia to Europe, Africa to the Americas, the belief in fairies was present for centuries. How can every culture have a belief in fairies, even when these people had no contact with one another? Is there truth in the legends that can answer the question “are fairies real”?
Physical Evidence of Fairies
To truly answer the question “are fairies real”, we need physical evidence. This is how science proves theories. Recently, the Smithsonian Magazine released an article about a small, human-like skeleton discovered in Chile. People said it was an alien’s skeleton, others said it was a hoax. The scientists who examined DNA of the tiny skeleton decided it was a human child with genetic disorders and deformities. But no one proposed the theory of the tiny humanoid creature being a fairy. If we ever needed physical proof of fairies’ existence, the proof is in this skeleton. The skeleton is too small to be human, even with extreme genetic disorders and deformities (in my opinion).
The Broighter Gold Boat was an archaeological discovery made in Ireland in the eighteen-hundreds. This tiny gold boat measures to approximately seven by four inches. The detail of the boat is incredible, down to its miniature oars. Yes, this could have been a votive offering to the Celtic gods in ancient times, as theorized by scholars. I believe it’s a vessel that carried fairies over water. The size is perfect and fits perfectly into our tales of the fay. What do you think? Are fairies real? Have you seen a fairy?