MYSTERY WIRE — In modern times, say “fairy” and you might immediately think of Tinker Bell, Disney’s winged pixie, practically an institution of cute.
That’s evidence of the changed image over the past centuries, as told in The Independent’s article: Beyond Disney: Why the bloodcurdling fairies of old were to be seriously feared. It’s no indictment of Disney — just a look at the realities of folk legends during a time we don’t understand in America.
Nearly academic in its approach, a book by editor Simon Young and researcher Ceri Houlbrook titled “Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies, 500AD to the Present” takes us back to the roots of the fairy world. And its not all giggles and pixie dust.
British fairies are not “Disney-style tutu-clad magical creatures but blood-sucking, bed-hopping folk living in a dangerous, Tolkienian parallel world,” the book’s producer’s say.
These folk legends may have shown up in very different forms in other cultures. Are fairies, goblins and leprechauns just another manifestation of otherwordly beings? Some UFO scholars think so.
Fairies, as defined by Young and Houlbrook, are “magical, living, resident humanoids,” dwelling exclusively in Britain and Ireland, and some of the lands where British and Irish migrants have settled, including America.
The various tales of sprites, knockers and spriggans have a common thread: mess with them, and things will turn out badly for you.