Fairies, Elves, and other Assorted Little People

by Johnny Carlton

copyright Johnny Giesbrecht 2012

Johnny Carlton is a writer of suspense thrillers available as e-books at WWW.AMAZON.COM

Pretty much as far back as history goes, large numbers of people, in a great variety of countries, have believed in fairies, elves, gnomes, trolls, pixies and a few other species of little folk.

What are fairies?  That depends partly on what country these old stories come from, but the straight-out fairies proper are pretty much thought of all over as being of the Tinkerbell variety–about eight inches tall, winged, and cute.  Unfortunately, they have a reputation for playing pranks on people.

The elf, who, it seems, originated in Scandinavia, is a wingless type of fairy and, like the regulars, is also reasonably easy to get along with.  Elves seem to spend most of their time dancing on grass and sitting in trees, and for some strange reason like mournful music.

Trolls live underground.  Unlike fairies and elves, they’re ugly little toots, at least in appearance, being humpbacked, relatively short and wide, and they have big crooked noses.  However, they don’t make a habit of harming anyone.  An interesting little-known fact about them, that you may have missed when you attended that last troll seminar, is that they hate loud noises.

Although most of what we come across about fairies is expected to be received as way-out folklore, there have been alleged sightings.  Probably the most famous and interesting of these involve what are known as the Cottingley photos and took place in rather recent times.

In 1917 two teenaged girls in Yorkshire, England presented the world with photographs of fairies.  Elsie Wright, aged 16, and her cousin Frances Griffiths, 10, said they took these pictures in their garden.  The girls were not professional photographers and were said to not have any knowledge of special effects or photographic trickery.

There were five photos, not all taken nor released in the same year.  These pictures presented fascinating images of foot-high fairies, mostly of the cute kind, frolicking around on bushes while one of the girls looked on, presumably while the other took the shot.

The pictures were studied by experts of the time, and some of these, at least, could see no trickery in them.  The girls gained considerable support from the famous author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who insisted that in his estimation the photos and fairies were entirely genuine.

What a difference a few years can make.  Even laymen today, being much more image savvy due to constant exposure to imagery, can quickly see that the photos are phonies.  The fairies in the foreground just don’t match up with the girls and the bushes.

Elsie and Frances were still getting some publicity as recently as 1982 when they admitted that the first four of the five pictures were fakes.  I have no idea why they didn’t include the fifth one.

You should have no trouble finding the pictures yourself on the internet.

But let’s be honest here.  Just because someone made fake photos of fairies doesn’t mean that real fairies don’t exist.  That would be like saying that just because someone made up a story about having seen a UFO proves that alien spacecraft haven’t ever been in our atmosphere.  They have been.

I know because I’ve seen them myself on two occasions.


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