One of the most common players on the stage of folklore is a creature that’s been obsessed over for centuries. And it’s fair to say that, however frightening the stories might be, Europe has been pretty taken by them.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
life is full of unpredictable moments. Unexpected happenstance, unplanned detours, have
he accidents, but while some people love to be surprised, what most of us really want is some consistency.
Which is why a glance through a few decades of popular entertainments always seems to turn up the same fixtures, the superhero, the action star, the daring spy from car, chases and westerns to the big heist and the wrong come. The things we watch in red are really good at delivering comfort food. I firmly believe it's possible to sort through all that Hollywood has given us and match it to a small group of popular categories in character types. It's not lazy and it's not a trope. It's all
by giving people what they want, what they love- and the same is true with folklore. Over the centuries, key figures in stories have been passed around with such regularity than most people just sort of take them for granted. We ve always been there and probably always will so. Why give them much thought
a great way to see this inaction is to dive into the roots of most animated Disney films at their side.
there is an older story, one that might
I have seen the light of day for a while, but is instantly popular all over again, because some stories never go out of style, which is fine,
but if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that whimsical story
There are often just a costume wrapped around a darker core and when it
I'm still one corner of folk lore in particular that core might be more than just a little frightening. It could very well be true. I am Erin Maggie and this is lore.
It doesn't take much to conjure up in.
Some of them all I have to do is say the word in your head will
swimming with pictures that represent everything you think you know about them, and that word is fairies thanks
Disney. We probably imagine tiny old women with wings zipping around through the air, on a trail of star dust with a magic wand in their hand, but Tinker Bell, but
fairy godmother and the sugar plums, ferry or I'll just weak interpretations of an actual thing. Like a two year olds, drawing of a house, there is a darkness beneath that simple caricature, because fairies traditionally
speaking are monsters, no, not in the same way the werewolf and when to go, might be, but definitely in all the ways that count. So, let's explore them. Jelly,
Over the centuries, they ve gone by a bunch of different names, depending on where the stories are told to the eye
They are the she others call them the good folk or the hidden people. They are the We folk, the others and one of my personal favorite, the good gentlemen of the hill
and yes in a lot of the stories about them, they are small. But of course just how small varies from culture, the culture according to it,
century. English writer, your vase of Tilbury fairies, were tiny people no bigger than a human thumb. Their faces were covered in wrinkles in
always be seen dressed in clothing. Made from scraps of cloth in some stories varies were said to be tall in beautiful, though others describe them. As bent and gruesome early Europeans believe that they were the spirits of the dead or later Christians prefer to think of them. Ass, fallen angels or demons, and where did they live? Well? That's pro
Lay the biggest question people wrestled with centuries ago, most commonly they were associated with the forest, but also with mysterious hills and ring shape. Mounds varies were said to live in a sort of alternate dimension, but could pass into hours.
Never they wanted and it seems they wanted to a lot worse.
their motivation is never crystal clear in the tales about them. It's easy to walk away from those stories with an impression of creatures, entirely absent of morality, while
not necessarily malicious. They certainly never have trouble behaving either. If I can put them into the language of dungeons and dragons, ferries are chaotic, neutral. Thankfully there were some things people could do to protect themselves. Iron was a common, repellent, often shaped into an area.
its or a knife for protection. There are also things in nature that could be harvested and used plants like Saint Johns, wart or branches from a Rowan tree. Why would people need protecting, though? Well the fairies seem to love mischief. Sometimes it was harmless fun like tat
in women's hair into not or luring travellers off the safe path. But the biggest risk was the changeling. The idea that fairies might come and take a loved one and replace them with a poor copy of the original, and it was an idea that lead to some horrific human tragedy.
in eighteen sixty five. For example, the authorities in New York City were alerted to an Irishwoman who had killed her own child. It turns
She had believed her child to be a change lean and force them to stand on hot coals as a test.
in eighteen, oh nine, a woman
Annie Mcintyre showed up at the pension office in County Donegal and asked for money when they asked her how old she was. She told them that she actually didn't know she claimed that she had been kidnapped by fairies as a young girl only to be rescued by her older brother, a few months later, and many of her memories from before them
I've never return, and the list goes on and on. History is filled with stories about fairies who they are where they live, what they want, especially in the victorian era. Maybe it's no coincidence that the word glamour one we think of today, as relating to beauty and attraction, really has its roots in the idea of magic, because its fair to say that people have been taken with them or a very long time, but, as you might imagine, that hasn't always been a good thing,
It was an act of desperation. Thomas Keaton was
sick and his wife needed some sort of hope to cling onto then for her than hope came in the form of folklore.
Events lived in Caricom, sure, a small town in County Tipperary toward the southern end of Ireland and in eighteen, forty three, a newspaper covered the story of Poor Thomas he'd been paralysed, although the article doesn't say how, but over time back
This can lead to other problems soon enough. He was unable to eat or drink and began waste
in a way to what the newspaper referred to as a skeleton and it's easy to sympathize with Thomas's, unnamed wife, thankfully
she had family and neighbours around her for support and comforts. So when his death was reported, every one came together, but Missis Gibson had specific instructions about the funeral. She claimed that a fair
came to her and told her that the body wasting away all those years was nothing more than a changeling, and there was a way to get her real husband back I'll. She had to do was.
Should the coffin was buried after the graveside service and then go home sure enough, according to the account, MRS, given only permitted a couple of shovels full of dirt to be tossed into the grave, then she asked everyone to leave and the grave was left open and expose throughout,
night once home, she found her real husband waiting for her a dream. Come true for sure. Out of curiosity, she and Thomas both went to the cemetery the next day to inspect the coffin when they open the lid. They found the change lean in its true form inside the shroud she had wrapped around Thomas's body. The night before was nothing more than a simple wooden broom centuries before
another person became just as obsessed Robert Kirk was born in Scotland. The son of a local minister in the town of average, while and Roberts life, followed the path he might expect from the son of a preacher. He attended Saint Andrews, earned degree
theology and graduated in sixteen. Sixty one robber lived during a time,
when the division between the catholic and protestant branches of Christianity was Jenny,
It means a lot of fear and in fighting and a new extremist group referred to by some as the Puritans was also adding to that tension. It was a time when folks were very careful about what they discussed in public, with fears of which trials hanging over them. Constantly Robert was, as far as most people were concerned, the perfect minister. He was well trained politically correct and deeply involved in scholarly stuff, like the translation of the Bible into Gaelic, but he also had a secret.
Robert Kirk, you see, believed in fairies. Well, it was a secret to most people. Certainly, there was a lot of risk involved in making his thoughts. Public Puritans viewed fairies as nothing more than demons, and any involvement with them was tantamount to witchcraft punishable by
Ah, but in his own church and around his house, Robert was clear about his personal beliefs. Over the course of his career,
Robert Open, his door to anyone and everyone who had stories of ferries to share with him and he wrote it all down. His goal was to document the folklore surrounding those little creatures as precisely and completely as possible and along the way to hopefully understand them. A little better varies weren't just stories to Robert Kirk. They were real and he believed that one way to access them was through the various caverns and hills just outside of town.
In fact, neighbours reported that he could frequently be seen walking too near by doing hill, where he would often lay down and press his ear to the grass listening. He told them were the fairies.
In sixteen ninety two at the relatively young age of forty, eight Robert was found dead lane
another hill near his house that he believed to be the home of ferries wearing nothing more than his night shirt. His wife Margaret was pregnant at the time and when it finally came time to give birth some of his family. Also, believers in ferry lore claim that Robert Spirit would reappear to watch his.
I'll, be christened. According to the family Legend one of Roberts cousins actually brought an iron knife to the christening. He was convinced that striking Robert Spirit, with the blade, would sever whenever bonds the fairies had on him and release him to Heaven. Whether or not it worked is something will never know,
The title of the pamphlet was guaranteed to catch the curious
readers? I strange and wonderful news from the county of Wick low in Ireland or a full and true,
relation of what happened to doktor more honestly, who could pass up a tease like that right. Pamphlets were all the rage and the sixteen hundreds think of them, as the pod casts the era short and sweet, easy to make and distribute but utterly captivating if produced well and the pamphlet about that
more certainly met those requirements. It was essentially a story about travel, but not the sort that you might think also its best enjoyed with the right context. So perhaps we should back up and start at the beginning in the year. Sixteen, seventy eight.
According to the pamphlet. The adventure began that autumn doktor. More was a schoolmaster who worked in London but had recently acquired some property and a house on the EAST coast of Ireland in County Whitlow, where he had been born.
So he boarded a ship with a pair of friends and went to visit and inspect his new purchase, these friends richer.
any act and lawful and more no relation by the way, recalled how the journey from ports to the house took a number,
days so along the way, doktor more shared stories from his youth in Ireland and that included tales of the fairy folk. Apparently, he had been taken by the fairies a number of times as a boy and although he was never harmed, his mother eventually hired a fairy woman. A person well versed in ferry lore to use magic to anchor him to this world more securely of horse. His friends, Richard and Laughlin thought that the stories were pure fantasy and more than a little ridiculous in true english fashion, they told their irish friends that beliefs like that were a bit provincial
in other words unsophisticated and barbaric, but doktor more ignored them on the night before they reached his new property. Doktor more and his friends stopped in a small town and state at the Inn at nights, like all the others. The three,
and fell into an argument about the truth, a fairy stories and that's when something unusual happened right in the middle of their discussion. Doktor more began to rise off the ground, as if an invisible hand were lifting,
up into the air. He cried out, as it happened telling his friends that it was happening again. The fairies had come for him. His friends both recalled trying to grab his legs to.
Oh him back down but having to let go when they found themselves joining him in the air a moment later he floated out the window in a panic. Both men ran downstairs and told the innkeeper
What had happened there? Unbelievable news was greeted with a simple nod of understanding, so without as much as an argument, the man sent word for a local fairy woman, again, not a fairy,
a woman who understood their magic and when she arrived, she got to work. One thing that was important. She told both of them
Was that doctor more mustn't, eat or drink while he was with the fairies, or else he would never come home, and then she closed her eyes and told them. She would look for him
a moment later. She seemed to wake backup and had news to report. She
see him at a place nearby called Dane Fort, not too far away in a gathering of
Ray Folk, all singing and dancing like a celebration, and there is food and drink at one point. She even closed her eyes again and swatted at the air in front of the men as if knocking something invisible out of a person's hands. Richard and Laughlin could only stare and
under the fairy woman finished by reciting, a spell to free, doktor, more and bring him home, and then she took payment for her services and left
the next morning, around six a m there friend reappeared. He was very tired and in need of nourishment
but he had another unbelievable story to share with his skeptical friends. According to him,
MR floating out the window of the Inn to score fairies on horseback, wrote him out into the
doktor more himself had been seated on a magnificent white horse and together they all guided him out of town to a place near by
in fort, but while the gathering of fairy folk around him with joyful, he had never been able to eat or drink. It seems that every time he lifted his bread or wine glass to his lips, he was prevented from enjoying it by what his friends asked him some invisible hand, he told them and slapped the food away
Very folklore is a well travelled country over this
centuries people have tried to explore it. More than a few detailed accounts have been
wished by those claiming to have experienced at first hand and references to.
Have been appearing in popular fiction for well. It seems like forever remember Robert Kirk arson.
the tenth century minister obsessed with very folklore, if you recall he spent most of his career gap,
green stories of the WEEE folk writing them down in a book he plan to publish, but of course his early death put a stop to that. Well in eighteen,
fifteen another scottish lover of fairy lore managed to track down and finish it for him. In fact, the book called Secret Commonwealth is now considered by folk lore lists to be one of the most important works on ferries ever written, and the man who finished Robert Kirk's manuscript poet play
right and novelist, Sir Walter Scott and our irish friend doktor more well. He seemed to be
sort of man who stood by his beliefs and wanted to help others around him see the same truth like and understand their reluctance to believe his fairy abduction story, but I also think it clear that by the time he showed back up the next morning, they ve been given quite a lot to think about so doktor more decided to give the one last piece Dane Fort these supposed sight of his fairy celebration was just outside of town. So after eating breakfast
keen and changing clothes. He led his friends out into the country side, perhaps as a way of beginning their last day of travel and on the way he took them to deign fort. It honestly wasn't much to look at three concentric rings of ditches, surrounded a small hill upon which sat the ruins of a round tower. But of course the tower was in why he brought them there. Instead emotion toward the flat lawn inside it inside the inner ring and as Richard and lawful and examined it, they became speechless. The grass is, he had been trampled as if hundreds of feet had walked across it just the night before.
Stories about ferries are often filled with danger and risk. They are portrayed as creatures of bad behaviour and that's left us with countless stories of loss in pain and tragic
use, but there are also stories that show them in a more helpful light. It doesn't make him any less disturbing, but
so does it make it any less entertaining and I've set aside a perfect example that I know you're going to enjoy stick around through this brief sponsor break to hear all about it.
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Anne was the perfect nanny and truth be told. It was a job she needed born in sixteen twenty six. Her father was a poor laborer with a bunch of mouths to feed, so as soon as
was old enough. She left home to work as a servant in a string of homes that income for the most part was sent home to help the entire,
Emily, but despite the long hours and difficult work, it seems that she really did excel at it. In sixteen forty five at the age of nineteen, she took a job with the pit family in the parish of Sin tat in court
while John and Jane Pitt owned a large farm that kept them busy and had two children, Mary and Moses, who needed looking after so an moved in to help out with all the necessary chores later in life. Moses would tell people that Anne was energetic.
in curious. She was wonderful with children and had a level of courage that he greatly admired according to him one of her favorite Hobbes. After all, the work was done, of course, was the high out into the nearby forest and look for ferries. Now it probably needs to be said that belief in fairies was pretty universal at the time, but the way it was expressed in pubs
can a very classicist distribution. Those of a lower station in life were a lot more vocal in their belief, while the middle and upper classes tend to stay quiet about it all. But in sixteen forty five lower class and forced her middle class employers to come face to face with fairies. It was late that summer when she was out in the pits garden when she claimed that six small figures dress
green climbed over the tall hedges and approached her. So startling was their appearance that an fell into a seizure, which was how the pits found her moments later convulsing on the ground.
after being taken inside and continue to have seizures, often on throughout the rest of that day, but whenever
regain control. She would tell the pits that she could see little people climbing in through the window. She asked if any one else had seen them as well, but of course everyone shook their heads. It took a number of weeks for an to recover
enough to be trusted with work, the seizures continued off and on, but an threw herself into her work and attended church as frequently as possible, which is why Jane Pitt felt right to leave an home with the children one autumn afternoon, while she headed into town to run an errand on the way back. Mrs Pitt fell and injured her leg after finding someone to give her a ride back to the house
She arrived a fine and doing well. The young woman saw the injury that Missus Pett had sustained, though, and offered to help. It seems that she passed her hand over the wound and in front of everyone's eyes. The injury was healed. It was the fairies and told them they had given her special powers that she could use to heal others which,
worse sounded like dangerous nonsense to the rest of the household. As you might imagine, rumour of her claim started to spread outward from the farm and soon enough people started coming to see an for help. It was a reputation, the gutter in trouble with the local church authorities,
as I said earlier, claiming to have interacted with the fairies was a great way to have yourself accused of witchcraft, so Anne was arrested and move to a nearby jail cell things only get weirder after that
You see the authorities thought they might be able to get her to drop her fantasy and tell them the truth if they just withheld food from her, but even after weeks in prison with no food, she never showed signs of starvation her secret and claimed that the fairies were bringing her pieces of bread to live off of later in life. The pits Son Moses spoke about that bread. He said she lived off it at their house too, and once she even let him have a taste of it, he claimed it was the best bread he had ever eaten and would never forget it where she got it from, though, would remain a mystery.
Unless, of course, you believed that it was from the fairies. The authorities eventually lost interest in an and she went on to marry a local farm hand. The rest of her life would be much less remarkable as that early fairy episode and she passed away many years later, sometime around sixteen ninety eight she never denied. What happened then never stopped healing those who came to her for help, but she also never asked for payments.
And refuse to do anything that might have increased her fame unusual behaviour. I'd like to point out if she really was faking it all. We can do now
over three centuries later is listened to her story, form our own opinions and stay open to unexplainable experiences, as Fox Moulder often said, the truth is out there. I just wonder: if will like it when it finally appears.
This episode of law was written and produced by me, Erin Monkey with research by alley, steed and music by Chad. Lawson Lore is much more than just a podcast there's a book series available in bookstores in online and two seasons of the television show on Amazon Prime video check them both out.
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Transcript generated on 2022-05-12.