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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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? Have you seen a fairy?
Another intriguing account of potential fairy evidence is the fairy shoe of Beara Peninsula. According to the Celtic Nations Magazine, a tiny shoe was found on a “sheep track” by a farmer who’d decided to take a short cut home that day. I’d like to make note the shoe was found on a path used by sheep and farmers, and whether this sheep track could actually be a ley line or fairy path? Something to consider, for sure.
The tiny shoe was less than 3 inches in length and was found just lying on the ground. It seemed to be made in a style that was at least a century old and didn’t fit any doll. Apparently, a man who ended up with the tiny shoe brought it to the U.S. and had it examined at Harvard University. Scholars there concluded the shoe was made of mouse leather and that it had eyelets for tiny shoelaces to fit through. Even more fascinating, the shoe itself showed significant wear on the heels. As if someone had walked in the shoe daily for some miles. If it was a doll’s shoe or a toy, how would it have shown specific wear and tear in this manner?
With lots of people putting cameras at their front doors and around their property, we are seeing more and more people posting footage of what they believe is fairies. There are hundreds of TikTok viral videos of things people believe were pixies or gnomes, etc. Some seem to be a mistaken identity of dragonflies, luna moths, and such, while others seem ummistakably real. Years ago, I believed I caught a fairy on a video I was making in the backyard. The ironic thing was that I was talking about fairies in the video, when an incredibly fast bright green “bug” flew right by my face. When I went back and slowed down the video, it looked like an insect but was literally a radioactive green color. I don’t know if it was a real fairy or just a bee, but I believe in fairies either way.
I’ve waited my entire life to visit Ireland, and recently I had the absolute pleasure …July 12, 2023