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The idea of them living in small woodland dwellings fills me with childlike wonderment and I cannot walk through the woods without at some point spotting somewhere that I think looks like a reasonable place to assume fairies frequent.

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In The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries, author Pierre Dubois uses this description:They are known as the little people, the beautiful maiden, the godmothers, the blessed, the ageless ones. Ruling over earth, fire and water, they protect forests, animals and children, and in their hands lie the dreamy souls of all creatures. Before the s most fairies depicted in stories were tall and a bit frightening, with a tendency toward evil, and the Arabic genie possesses supernatural powers and can change size or shape, but for the most part, we are happy to accept that fairies are tiny, gentle beings.

Away with the Fairies: A Phryne Fisher Mystery #11

The case got its international acclaim through Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, who was fascinated by the account and published an article in the Strand Magazine in December A juvenile prank had grown into a mass media circus as of course they later admitted that the fairies were nothing more than paper cut outs supported by hatpins. A hoax though it was, it served to highlight our absolute desire to believe in such magic, as even to this day, the suburban area of Cottingley continues to get visitors asking where the Fairy Glen is.

Over the years, as with most mythical creatures, there have continued to be various sightings. When I was a boy of ten we lived in Lanarkshire beside a large park with trees and flowers.

Away With The Fairies

At early dawn one morning I awoke to see on a chair, which always stood beside my bed, two small old women of about 18ins. Each wore tall, conical dark hats and dark, long gowns. They looked at me for about twenty seconds and then smiled to each other before jumping in slow motion to the carpeted floor, where they passed from my line of sight.


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Very gently I eased myself up into a sitting position, so as not to scare them, but they had disappeared. In March , at Ballyvadlea, near Clonmel, County Tipperary, Bridget Cleary died from burning and other ill-treatment inflicted by her husband, father, cousins and several other persons, who believed that she had been spirited away by the fairies; the following account and illustration are from The Beverley Recorder and General Advertiser Beverley, Yorkshire of Saturday 6 th April The extraordinary charge against five men belonging to Ballyvadlea, near Clonmel, having wilfully murdered Bridget Cleary, the wife of one of them, under the supposition that she was a witch , has been further investigated before the Clonmel justices.

Evidence was given to the effect that the woman was placed on the fire and held there by the prisoners. The story of the terrible occurrence is thus summed up by a Clonmel correspondent.

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Bridget Cleary, the victim, was a handsome, well-favoured young woman of medium height, fresh complexion, with very dark wavy hair, beautiful eyes, and pleasing expression. She was 26 years old, and had been married to the prisoner, Michael Cleary, about eight years.

She had no children, and her father, Patrick Boland, lived in the same cottage. Husband, wife, and father-in-law are said to have lived on excellent terms until a short while ago, when Bridget is believed to have had an attack of influenza, causing her to suffer from hallucinations. On the night of the 14 th ult.


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Herbs were administered, a disgusting decoction of indescribable filth was poured over her body and forced into her mouth, four men holding her down on the bed, a red-hot iron being used to make her open her mouth, and her throat severely gripped to make her swallow. She was then dragged into the next room, and held with her naked flesh pressed on to the bars of the hot grate.

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A letter to the Scottish poet William Drummond, dated October , contained the following:. As for the Fairy Queen, of whom you wrote to me, her Apparitions of late have bewitched so many, that I find sundry ready to dance with the fairies.

watch The belief in people being taken away by the fairies was very well-established by the time that the phrase 'away with the fairies' first came to be used - which isn't until the 20th century. This retells a story from Ireland, in which a Michael Coyne attempts to convince onlookers that he hadn't murdered his rival, James Bailey:.