Ivy's Faerie List


Come away, o human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand
For the world's more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

   --W.B. Yeats


Here is my little page about faeries. I have always been fascinated by folklore, and the concept of the little people is one of the most intriguing aspects of the tales of old. The above poem excerpt sums up my thoughts on faeries; I am very drawn to the concept of these humanlike creatures sometimes interacting with humans, while still preserving their own mysterious ways of life. This is just a simple site listing different types of faeries that I have dug up in research, with little tidbits of information on what they are supposed to be like.


Faeries are obviously the mythical beings you hear about, but they are also part of the folklore all over the world. They're the fair folk, the fae, good folk, the fairies. Sometimes when people say "faery" or "faerie," they refer to the otherworldy Realm of Faerie to which people are sometimes thought to be spirited away and hidden for many years, usually children. Sometimes the word "faerie" refers to an actual historical race of people who gradually disappeared, according to legend. Most often the word "faerie" is just an umbrella term for magickal, mythical, or mystical creatures who, depending on who you ask, may or may not exist. And here is a rather large, though far from comprehensive, list of them.


Abatwa: The abatwa are an obscure group of faeries that are indigenous to South Africa only. They are said to be very much like tiny humans, except they are invisible to everyone except for the tribal shamans, babies, and women who are pregnant. They are said to adopt the same rituals and rites and folk customs as the local people and are not well-known outside that particular region.

Angiak: An angiak is a certain type of faerie that used to be human. The legend goes that in times of low resources, Eskimo tribes would set their unwanted babies out into the cold and leave them there to die. They would then become spiritual beings, like ghosts, not quite dead, and haunt their cruel tribe for abandoning them, claiming the area as their own and causing the tribe to have to move to new hunting grounds.

Apsara: Apsaras are a type of faerie that is usually female and found in numbers. They fly together through the sky like a little cloud of miniature birds (so they are sometimes known as sky dancers), and appear to humans in their clouds at special points in their lives, especially weddings, where they bless the new couple by flying over them. They are said to inhabit trees as their homes, most notably fig trees, and sometimes protect virgin areas from probing eyes. Some stories say that apsaras can distract and drain the energy and memory of any intruding human who tries to venture into their protected areas.

Bean Sidhe: The name means "Woman of the Hills," and she is more widely known as the Banshee. Her main pastime is to emit ghastly howling in prophecy of a death in the family. It is said in Irish folklore that if you hear a Bean Sidhe wail, you should try to find her and catch her, at which point she will be forced to tell you who is going to die. Sometimes the Bean Sidhe congregate and howl together, and this could mean the death of someone whose passing will affect many people, such as a famous person. These faeries usually have long hair and wear green dresses with old gray cloaks covering them, and have red, scary eyes.

Bean Nighe: This is basically just another name for the Bean Sidhe, except in Scotland.

Blue Men of the Minch: These are faeries that live near Long Island. Like mermaids, they enjoy calling up thunderstorms to try to sink ships. Some think they are demons or angels who have been cast out of Heaven for misbehaving, and they take out their frustrations on mankind by playing little games. The only way that a human can defeat the Blue Men of the Minch when they are hurling a full-force thunderstorm is to make up an original rhyme, on the spot, about banishing them and returning the weather to normal, and then they will be forced by the rules of their game to leave the humans alone.

Boggart: This is a faerie that is like a brownie, but more mischievous. They herald from Celtic mythology as house-dwelling faeries who have been abused or otherwise mistreated, and they retaliate by playing infuriating tricks on the humans they might have once helped. However, this faerie is not usually more than just a nuisance; it is not a bad spirit or evil demon. Trying to appease it may get it back on your side again.

Brownie: A brownie is a commonly known faerie who secretly lives in someone's house, usually without being discovered, and cleans up after the house's occupants or does unfinished work, much to the occupants' surprise. They are usually encouraged to stay by setting out offerings of food for them, though it varies as to what they are said to like best. (Some say pastries with honey and some say milk.) Sometimes they are a bit mischievous, but the best (and most popularly known) of them prefer to help out to their liking for a time, and once they feel that the family is no longer deserving or that someone else needs them more, they leave. This legend of brownies is the inspiration for the modern troops of young good deed do-ers: Brownie Girl Scouts.

Bwbachod: This spirit is akin to a brownie, except this type for some reason is native only to Wales. They generally prefer the common folk and dislike the clergy, and will behave unto each group accordingly, though they can be swayed by gifts and food. They will hide in a person's house and mysteriously do chores or helpful things, and they get a kick out of the bewilderment their actions cause.

Callicantzaroi: Also called Kallikantzaroi or Callicantzari, these are faeries native to Greece and Italy. They are seasonal faeries, preferring to roam the Earth in wintertime, especially around the Yule and Christmas festivities. They have been said to each possess different animal feet and to ride chickens, and they celebrate Yule in their little groups. However, people are generally afraid of them, calling them monsters. In ancient Greece, a holiday called Sacaea was inherited from the Persians, and this winter holiday had Zeus defeating Kronos and the Titans. During this time, the Callicantzaroi roamed for twelve days destroying property and stealing the souls of newly born children. Parents protected their infants by covering them with garlic sachets, and burning a log that generated smoke the Callicantzaroi hated, as their senses of smell were very acute.

Chin-Chin Kobakama: "Chin-chin kobakama" is the name given to a certain type of Japanese faerie, though it is known to show up in China once in a while as well. These faeries usually manifest as elderly elf-like creatures that function much like brownies in that they live in the home and protect the inhabitants from harm. It is good to have one living in your house because that way no other supernatural creatures can take up residence there. Chin-chin kobakama do not generally clean house like brownies do, however; while brownies get mad if there is not work for them to do, these faeries prefer hosts that keep clean houses, and also require food to be set out for them in order for them to be happy guests.

Corrigan: A corrigan is a type of faerie based on the ancient Druids. They are said to only have a female form and subscribe to the religion of the Druids, and supposedly have wings. They are found in the English county Cornwall and the French region called Brittany, only in the woods near water sources, usually streams. A strange thing about these faeries is that they only play their pranks on mortal Christians, because they dislike the Christian influence in driving the Pagan religions out. They will therefore steal Christian children and leave changelings in their place.

Daoine Sidhé: The "Daoine Sidhé" is a name for a special kind of faerie who, like the Tuatha dé Danann, are actually supposed to be a historical people. Some say the Daoine Sidhé are the Tuatha dé Danann after they were driven underground by the Milesians; that was the time they changed their name, but both names refer to faerie peoples. In one particular legend, they supposedly had a king named Finvarra, and in their underground lair he is still the king, under the hill of Knockma. People's place in society is based on their ability to play chess! The King is the best, and humans cannot beat him or most of the better Daoine Sidhé at this game--if they beat a faerie at chess, they could be given a reward. Which could be good or bad. These faeries were sometimes responsible for posing as regular mortals and then stealing human women to present to their king; he likes women very much and has no queen. Something else they do is play a sport called hurling, but not much is known about how exactly they played. They are known as the children of nature, and if you think you can trace your lineage to one of their ancient families, you can say you have faerie blood.

Deva: A deva is a rather stupid plantlike faerie. They are not quite sentient, but they do have a life force and a will, and often manifest as an amorphous light around healthy plants. It is said that they will sometimes point the way to plants with healing properties by glowing brightly around plants that can save lives and act as remedies, but most are too dull to do anything like that on purpose; they mostly just cling to strong life.

Disir: The disir are faeries that are usually female, and they are best known for haunting old houses like ghosts. (Some say they are actually ghosts and not real faeries, but they are not humanlike ghosts in any case if that is true.) They are always attached to a particular place, usually one or two rooms of a house or an old barn, occasionally a piece of furniture, but it will always be something a person used and loved. They are said to only make themselves known to related family members and are not associated with any kind of damage or unpleasantness.

Domovik: The domovik is a Russian faerie type who are like little old brownies. They are always male and have gray beards. They choose a kind family and set themselves up as servants, but only mysteriously, for they are rarely seen. They will spy on their chosen families and wait for them all to go to bed, then finish any undone work or leave clues of coming danger. Once in a while they will leave silly notes or upset pets. They usually hole up near a stove or heat source and eat leftover food as well.

Dryad: A dryad is another word for tree spirit. They are born, live their lives, and die with one particular tree. Like the trees they live in, they are generally long-lived and strong, but vulnerable because of their inability to retreat or roam. They are shy, but they can be coaxed by humans to talk and to point the way in a forest, sometimes even letting slip secrets of the forest. The only time these peaceful spirits can turn nasty is if their trees or their forests are threatened, in which case a number of plagues can befall the threatening parties.

Each Visgé: "Each visgé" translates from Gaelic to "water horse," and it is a type of animal-shaped faerie that is also known as a pooka or phooka. Though they often manifest as horses riding out of the ocean and running madly about, they can transform into goats or bulls or any other slightly wild animal that can buck and frolic. Trying to get a ride from one of these malevolent faeries is not a good idea; they will ride into the waves and suck you under. But despite their animal wildness, they are also intelligent, and legend has it that on Halloween they can talk. October 31st, or Samhain as it was known (and still is, by many), was considered New Year's Eve in some parts of the world, and asking the each visgé for predictions for the new year was said to be lucky.

Elf: This is a general term for many types of supernatural creatures, but in British-derived folklore they are said to be miniature versions of humans with slightly distorted features. They are said to live in the forests and hillsides and to play tricks on humans. There is also another concept of elf that is based on the ancient Norse myths: The type that is a bit like a streamlined, more delicate and more perfect human. These types are usually human-sized or taller and also use magic. This type of elf is as well known in modern society as it is largely because Tolkien based his elves on this folklore.

Ellyllon: Ellyllon are Welsh faeries who have three passions: Toadstool mushrooms, silk, and human children. They are said to live on tiny islands and in the hilly parts of Wales, and are cattle-herders. But yes, they are tiny like one would think a faerie would be; they also have tiny cows! Unlike a lot of faeries who are said to steal children, ellyllon simply find them fascinating, and though they may steal children just because they like them so much, they don't do it to be mean or to steal their souls.

Fossegrim: Fossegrim are Norwegian faeries whose bodies differ from humans in two ways: One, they are very tiny, and two, they have no feet. They usually live around or behind waterfalls and attract marks on whom to play their pranks by singing very lovely tunes. They are said to play their pranks all in good fun, but go too far with them, not knowing that they are causing great harm. The morals of faeries tend to not match those of mortals.

Glaistig: A glaistig is a type of faerie that lives in Scotland, in the lakes or rivers. These faeries are female and hate men. They are half woman and half goat, and they use their dresses--usually green--to hide their goat legs and try to seduce men--with their beauty and the offer of a dance--in order to destroy them. Once a glaistig has ensnared a man, she drinks his blood. There is a legend that these faeries simply became real by growing out of men's paranoid thoughts. Strangely enough, they have also been known to do good things, such as looking after children like guardian angels, and shepherding from afar.

Gnome: Another general term for short, ugly, ill-tempered faeries. They are not always thought to have magic, though sometimes they are, and they are generally known for living under the earth in little burrows. The male gnomes are often pictured wearing pointed hats and having beards, though the type that looks like this is often a very jovial lawn ornament.

Goblin: A goblin is another well-known type, though there is no strict definition of what a goblin is. Usually this is a scary word because they are said to be unpleasant, but there is reason for that. Goblins have been said to watch over children while living in their basements and drinking their parents' wine, and punishing them brutally if they misbehave--however, goblins' senses of moral behavior are also different from those of humans, so it is tough to know what will upset them. They have been said to give gifts to good children as well, but that myth is less well-known. Some goblins, like brownies, are obsessed with cleaning house in the nighttime, and one good way to rid a house of a goblin is to spread flaxseed all over the floor. (This is difficult to clean up, and if he has to do it every night, the goblin will just leave and find a less demanding house.) They are most known for making unexplained noises in the walls to frighten children and mystify parents.

Gwragedd Annwn: The gwragedd annwn are faeries from Wales, and live in lakes in underground towns. They are generally seen as female and like to marry mortal men. A Welsh legend says that on New Year's morning, a rock near an inhabited lake would temporarily sport a door, which would lead to an island in the middle of the lake if opened. A mortal brave enough to enter would be rewarded by festivities and food and music, and they would be entrusted with the secret of the faerie island.

Gwyllion: Gwyllion are Welsh faeries that dwell in the mountains. They are extremely ill-tempered, but they never inflict harm on travelers; they simply think bad thoughts about them. Their sole purpose in life seems to be to peek out between the rocks and glare at passersby, trying to frighten or annoy them.

Huldafolk: The huldafolk are the shyest of faeries. They try to never be found and hide in the hills of Scandinavia. They are either human-sized and humanlike with magickal powers or else they put on that guise; they may be uninterested in showing their true shape to others. However, they do like to reward humans who are kind to them. There is a legend of a huldafolk maiden who was pregnant and began to go into labor in a field. A human woman came upon her and tried to help her, and once the baby was delivered, the huldafolk girl told her to hold out her apron and receive her reward. She was given a load of wood chips, which she unceremoniously dumped on the ground and stomped off in a huff. When she got back to her farmhouse, she noticed that the chips that still stuck to her clothes had turned to gold! She rushed back to where she'd dumped the wood chips, but they had vanished.

Incubus: A demonic faerie that seduces women in their dreams. Supposedly, this faerie first takes a female form (a succubus) and inspires an erotic dream in a man, at which point it collects his seed and then comes to women to plant it. The babies born of this type of artificial insemination are tainted with the demon's touch.

Kelpie: A kelpie is a well-known water faerie whose intentions are nothing but malicious. It chooses a victim and assumes the form of either a horse or a woman, and attempts to ensnare its prey. They can be recognized by the strange water weeds that hang off of them, or by being slightly damp or green. The kelpie will entice its victim to get on its back (if it is a horse) or to mate with it (if it is a woman), and if the unfortunate human does so, he is dragged underwater and drowned in the kelpie's home. If the human escapes, the kelpie will attempt to hunt him down. But a kelpie cannot cross running water, so crossing a stream or river is the best escape.

Krampus: A male Austrian faerie called Krampus is said to be very ill-tempered. He is a bit like an elf of Christmastime, but unlike the "Santa's elves" type who love children, this one specifically exists to punish children who have been bad, or just ones that he sees fit to punish. Offering it kindness will simply make it leave without harming you; trying to fight it will only bring on misfortune.

Leanhaun sidhé: Leanhaun sidhé is the name given to a certain type of faerie that makes its appearance in Scotland and Ireland. These faeries are usually female and wish to acquire human male mates, which they are able to do easily because of their beauty (caused by a faerie glamour) and their charm. First she will offer herself fully to her victim, and if he is to refuse, she pledges her undying love to him and pesters him for all time, begging for his love. If he is to love her back, she gains power over him and sucks out his energy, and makes him her slave, until he eventually dies. Often Leanhaun sidhé will use magick to beautify ugly young men as well, as a reward for favors, but if the man is to cross her, she will take away the glamour and leave the man ugly. These faeries thrive off of human love and act much like vampires in that they never stop looking for prey.

Leprechaun: The popular myth is that leprechauns are Irish short people with green clothes and a stash of gold. More folklore attached to these faeries includes stories of occupation inside farmhouses or wine cellars. Supposedly humans will be rewarded for tracking a leprechaun down and catching it, and they are generally considered jolly and like to help humans out. They are one of the most frequently sighted by all accounts.

Lutin: Lutin are a type of elf that are very strange indeed. They have mercurial attention spans and there tends to be no rhyme or reason as to when they are going to be nice and when they are going to be naughty. They can be found in Normandy, pranking humans. They have also been known to do chores on unsuspecting mortals' farms and make them boggle over who did them, and to either mess up or nicely braid the hair of horses. These faeries like to befriend human children and use them as accomplices in their pranks, only to use them as prank victims at later dates.

Mazikeen: "Mazikeen" is a term from Judaism describing a certain type of ancient faerie. In the time of Adam and Eve, after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, spirits came and copulated with Adam and Eve separately, spawning strange creatures that were half angel and half human. They were the mazikeen, and though they can do some otherworldly things such as predicting the future, shapeshifting, and flying with their little wings, they also like mortal pastimes such as food and drink, festivities, and actually mating with humans. They are also known in Hebrew literature as shideem or shehireem.

Menehuna: Menehuna are Polynesian jungle faeries that have dwarf proportions. They, like leprechauns, possess treasure, which they guard with their lives. They usually live near waterfalls, and if they meet a gentle wanderer who is lost in the jungle, they will usually point the way out themselves or send signs to the lost traveler to lead him out. Sometimes they will invite the traveler to a cool clearing and feed him goodies before sending him on his way. The best thing about a finding a menahuna is if you capture him, he gives you a wish.

Mermaid: One of the most well-known types of faeries, mermaids are water-dwelling creatures who have the top half of a woman and the bottom half of a fish. They have long hair that they like to comb and they are known for their songs, which have been said to lure sailors to their deaths. Less well-known bits about mermaids include their ability to tell the future and that they have partnerships with seals.

Merrow: The merrow is an Irish version of a mermaid. The men and women merrows are very different: The men are ugly, with piggy eyes and red faces, and messy green hair that matches their teeth. The females are simply beautiful half-women half fish, also with green hair but attractive. They are said to share hair-combing tendencies with their mermaid cousins, but mermaids tend to have fouler tempers, what with luring sailors to their deaths and creating storms and all. Merrows are quite the opposite; they play in the water together, generally live underwater in shipwrecks but never cause them, and have been known to save sailors from drowning and serve as guides for lost voyagers.

Mumiai: The mumiai are kind of like little mischievous faerie justice-deliverers. They monitor people's behavior and punish them for wrongdoings by breaking their dishes and stomping on any plants they have growing in their gardens. They are especially active in the lowest classes and castes, and seek to punish rather than to attempt to right the wrongs. (For instance, if someone stole from another, they'd simply get their houses trashed, but not be taught a lesson about stealing.) The mumiai usually continue their behavior sporadically until they run the offending people out of town, at which point they are satisfied and do not follow.

Naga: An Indian type of faerie that may have sub-species that vary in the number of heads, but the main type is said to have one human head and a snake body. Though they are a bit spooky because of their snake bodies, they are interested in humans and are very much like them in several ways. They are said to each have a jewel they always carry with them, though some say it is actually embedded in their foreheads or necks. Supposedly, they have a connection to the west and the Water element, and pleasing the nagini is said to be a blessing for rain when you want it.

Nuckelavee: This is a type of evil faerie from Scotland, which lives in the salty sea. It looks like a seahorse a bit, except more horse than a seahorse, with a drooping head and no skin, so you can see its insides as it chases you! It will try to run you down and do unspeakable things to you if it catches you, and the only way to escape is to put a barrier of fresh water between you and it, because it cannot stand non-salt water. Just hope you never encounter one.

Nymph: A carefree spirit whose beautiful female body inspires lust in men. They run naked through the forests and woodlands, totally innocent, and are sometimes chased by male pursuers. They can simply vanish or use otherworldly techniques to get away, but that is part of the reason some men try to catch them. There are many ideas on what would happen if you were to catch one.

Painajainen: Painajainen are faeries that manifest in the shape of small white horses. They come from the Alps and have the unpleasant job of carrying nightmares. They enjoy tormenting children with bad dreams and entering their minds during sleep to bring recurring nightmares that scar children for life. They are said to live for around 3,000 years, and therefore are able to continue to afflict whole families for generations with the same cursed dreams.

Phooka: Generally an Irish phantom horse. Its main claim to fame was tricking children into getting on its back and then jumping off of cliffs, sending them to their deaths. It can also ensnare the victim's hands in its mane by magic and then drown him. Sometimes they are content to just play tricks on humans, but usually they are malevolent. They are also known as pookas.

Pillywiggin: These are fanciful faeries that more closely resemble Disney's Tinker Bell than most other faeries. They are beautiful, spritely, tiny people with wings who flit from flower to flower, ride bees, and guard different flowers as their main jobs. Unlike many other faeries, who play pranks on mankind, pillywiggins enjoy the company of mortals and enjoy playing "monkey see, monkey do" with human children.

Pixie: Just a general term for faerie, like sprite and elf. This particular term usually applies to the less mischievous and more helpful and humanlike faeries.

Portune: Portunes are generally benevolent elderly male faeries that like to take up the slack on mortals' farmland, mysteriously finishing tasks that were abandoned in the middle. They take their reward by hunting down frogs on farmers' property and roasting them over open flames like a barbecue! Sometimes, when they are in mischievous moods, they follow lone travelers and lead their horses into ponds.

Rakasha: Rakashas are a kind of really nasty faerie. They are said to actually be demons and have quite a bit of ill will toward men, especially men of the church. They can shape-shift, and though they are usually in a nasty backwards-head-bull shape, they can be animals or even beautiful women, which is how they seduce holy men to take them home for dinner, literally. They are said to be able to bring dead people back to life and to cause nasty sicknesses if touched.

Selkie: A selkie is a water faerie with seal-like skin that allows it to swim and be comfortable in the water, but they generally look human when they are out of the water. The female selkies apparently make good wives because they will do whatever is demanded of them by a man who has found and kept hidden her selkie skin. When children are conceived of this type of union, they sometimes have webbed fingers. (And the reverse has been true too--children born with webbed fingers are called "selkie-born.") However, the female selkies generally do not like to be trapped on land in the marriage of a human, and will attempt to steal their skins back. If they do, they are no longer bound by their husband's wishes, and they can return to the sea.

Sheoque: A sheoque is a type of faerie indigenous to Ireland. It is supposed to be one of the types of faeries that makes a practice of stealing children. These faeries are not malevolent, however, and occasionally take grown-ups into faerieland as well. Most faeries are thought to operate with a different set of social rules and moral codes than humans, and they do not understand why taking a child is wrong or why it would upset a baby's parents to do so, especially if they leave a changeling in its place. Sheoques are thought to like to keep humans as pets, but if they can be sought out and asked to return a missing child, they will do so, no questions asked, for they really mean no harm; they just want to keep humans as pets because they find them amusing.

Spriggan: A spriggan is an ugly kind of faerie that always seems to be in a bad mood. (However, faerie emotions and morality sometimes don't match those of humans, so sometimes it is difficult to know how they feel.) Ordinarily they are tiny faeries that are small enough to hide under flowers and plants, but they can appear to grow very large to scare people. Their favorite thing to do is steal, and though they sometimes steal children and leave changelings, they prefer to steal possessions, especially jewels and prized treasure, and add it to their own, then guard it obsessively. They will destroy the gardens and property of anyone who tries to investigate the whereabouts of stolen belongings, and some say they are actually spirits of long-dead giant folk who used to roam the land before humans.

Sprite: A general term for faeries, like "pixie" and "elf." These are also more like the positive versions of faeries, though it can also refer to those who are ghostly in nature.

Succubus: This is a demonic faerie that comes to men and seduces them. Though this term has been used for fae types that physically have sex with men, this type actually is supposed to only do it through dreams. A succubus will inspire an erotic dream in a man and then collect the seed to plant in a woman, when the succubus takes the form of an incubus.

Sylph: Sylphs are "Air" faeries from Greece and Egypt. One of their odd attributes is that they appear to be transparent and have almost no substance. They ride the wind on tiny wings, and are thought to be guardians of the Air element that can be called upon to aid in the invocation of Air presences for ceremonial magick. Since they are thought to be very helpful in all endeavors, they are likely to respond, more so than the other "Air" faeries.

Tempestary: These faeries are naturally very large, but can assume any form. Their original form was that of "the great meteor gods," a space-race myth from ancient times, but in more modern times these faeries have chosen to mostly look human, when they are not in a guise for mischievous purposes. As their name would suggest, most of their power involves controlling the weather and natural occurrences, and they are thought to sometimes travel on ships and make storms attack the crew. Sometimes they have been said to cause toads or bugs to rain from the sky. A special sub-section of these faeries are from Spain and have the habit of dressing in black and using silverware as weaponry. Other types of tempestaries use traditional human weapons if they wish to attack, but their weapons are always enchanted. They have been known to not only pose as humans, but also as everyday objects and even faces in the clouds.

Tokolosh: Tokolosh is a type of spirit faerie from South Africa. He is supposed to look like a small black monkey with no tail. He likes to toss stones into water to frighten people; they hear a rock splash into the river and they don't see who did it. He also likes to scare people by attacking animals with scary-sounding alarm calls, like birds or rodents, and causing them to emit their scream to frighten people. Tokolosh does not like to harm people; he just gets a kick out of scaring the fertilizer out of them.

Tomte Gubbe: The Tomte Gubbe are sort of a Swedish cousin of the Tuatha dé Danann, because of their similar origin story. Not a true "mythical" race, these people were ancient inhabitants of Sweden who practiced magick and sorcery. Because of their gentle nature, they were no match for the conquering Vikings, and were forced to leave the area. Because no one knows quite where they vanished to, the new community in Sweden began to blame unexpected occurrences on the Tomte Gubbe and credit them with unnatural happenings, attributing strange things to their magick. They were given the status of faerie once they were viewed as different and inhuman enough to be considered a different race.

Troll: A large and unintelligent type of faerie that tends to live underneath the ground or in caves or under bridges. They were the sources of the unidentified noises that came creepily from beneath the ground or inside caves, though some of the sounds and movement attributed to trolls was undoubtedly caused by earthquake tremors or wild animals. Supposedly, trolls would wait in ambush to attack defenseless people and either rob them of their possessions or simply eat them.

Tuatha dé Danann: These were historical people (mythologically, anyway) who invaded Ireland and brought to the land the beliefs in the goddess Danu. They were said to be of divine stock and the true rulers of Ireland, and used magical talismans to fight against the unworthy occupants. They could have been a historical people who were elevated to the status of gods just through their own propaganda. In any case, the Mileseans invaded and drove them out, and supposedly they went to the Otherworld.

Twylth Teg: "Twylth teg" means "fair family," and they are a type of faerie that enjoys stealing children and people with a talent for music. But their dealings with humans are actually very rare; they are a simple people who prize gardening and taking care of nature above all else. They are thought to live in flowers and wear silk. If a particular cooking utensil goes missing, the twylth teg are sometimes responsible, as they very much like our cookware! They are, however, easy to offend with improper behavior, insults, or taking back a possession they have stolen before they are through with it. This can cause them to place curses on a whole family, curses that can be inherited from mother to sons and daughters through generations.

Vala: Vala are faeries found all over eastern Europe. They are more like "storybook" faeries than most of the ones that occasionally commit mischievous acts or harmful pranks. These faeries instead dedicate their efforts to the healing arts, and guarding forests from harm. Their favorite pastimes include playing music and dancing, and having marvelous festivals.

Virika: Virikas are one of the most unpleasant faeries, and though they don't actually cause damage themselves, they are really horrible little critters. They have big pointed teeth that are always showing, and blood drips from them. The rest of their bodies are also red, a reminder of bloody death, and this is appropriate because they like to gather in small groups and chatter at each other . . . outside people's houses who are going to die. It is said that giving the virikas gifts can encourage them to go away, bringing the message to the bringer of the death-marked people that they are not ready to go. The proper way to give gifts to the virikas is with a shrine decorated with food, herbs, flowers, and other yummy-smelling things.

Will-O'-The-Wisp: A will-o'-the-wisp is a faerie that is more often seen as just a pale floating light, something that attracts a traveler's attention and then leads the traveler off the path and into a thick wood or otherwise unfamiliar place, where it is easy to get lost irrevocably. Often they will continue to tease the traveler until they get their intended result. Will-o'-the-wisps are also known as merry moon dancers or ignis fatuus.


Thanks for coming by! Please mail me with any additions you'd like to see here, or if you'd like to comment on this content. (I had a form up for that, but for some reason this page was attracting hundreds of spam e-mails a week.)


Comments from others:

Hiho/Anna: The Tolkien elves are based on Celtic legends. I'm pretty sure the 'perfect humans' elf stories are actually older - they're the kind that feature in all the Celtic fairy tales.

swankivy: Entry on "elf" tweaked to be more specific for accuracy's sake! Thank you!

Bridget: I enjoyed this page. I have pembroke welsh corgis and I'm working on trying to find a "kennel name" which is reflective of their faerie legend. I think I found lots of great options. Thank you again.

nothere: what do you mean the fey play a spoty hurling but not much is known about it?!?! it is a traditional irish sport you amadán!!!>:( you are obviously not irish, and have obviously not studied the irish culture closely. also, in irish culture, the faery king did generally have a gueen, and women were stolen to benefit them as a wet nurse or a maid. get your facts straight before you go writing about it on the internet.

swankivy: Oh, that's cute. Leave a fake e-mail address and a bunch of misspellings and insults after misconstruing my writing. You know what happens when these people don't give me a contact e-mail; that's right, I answer publicly!

My reply:

what do you mean the fey play a spoty hurling but not much is known about it?!?! it is a traditional irish sport you amadán!!!>:(

I thought it was pretty clear that the statement about hurling referred to not knowing how ancient mythical creatures played it. I'm aware that hurling exists in the modern world. That doesn't mean faeries played by the same rules, and the book I had suggested that they didn't and that their game play was more mysterious.

There is such a thing as constructive criticism. If you wanted to offer your opinion on my essay, you should have done so in a mature and clear way. Instead you chose name-calling and combative language. Do you not understand why it's wrong to do that? It is poor behavior and it's uncalled for.

you are obviously not irish, and have obviously not studied the irish culture closely.

Is this supposed to be an insult too? I am definitely guilty of not being Irish. I also never said that I was. Are you suggesting I need to be Irish to be *allowed* to give a short nod to an Irish legend on a page that collects similar legends from around the world? I also write about mythical creatures from South Africa, Scotland, Wales, Greece, Italy, Japan, China, Russia, Norway, Scandinavia, Austria, Israel, Polynesia, India, Egypt, Spain, and Sweden on the same page. I'm afraid I'm guilty of not being from any of these countries and of not studying "their culture" closely either. Are you implying that cursory overviews of mythological creatures are something I don't have the right to write about?

If I ever want to write something about "Irish culture," I'd never do so without studying my subject matter closely. The page you looked at is not a page about "Irish culture." It has one generalized paragraph about one faery type that I paraphrased from a book about fairy tales. I didn't do anything I should be ashamed of. It's pretty low of you to suggest that I have, especially in this incredibly boorish, mannerless way you chose.

also, in irish culture, the faery king did generally have a gueen, and women were stolen to benefit them as a wet nurse or a maid.

Again, I am not writing "about Irish culture" in a general sense. There are always lots of different versions of myths and legends. The summary I read and wrote about mentioned one particular king named Finvarra; according to legend he kidnapped women because he was a womanizer. When I wrote about the king with no queen, I was telling a particular legend, not a "general" one as you suggested above.

get your facts straight before you go writing about it on the internet.

If you read my writing carefully instead of making a bunch of assumptions/applying generalizations and expectations I did not invite, you will see that I did not present any crooked facts. You should get your own facts straight (and put on some manners) before criticizing strangers on the Internet in such a way.

I would have been more than willing to gracefully receive *constructively* offered comments if you thought my writing could use improvement, but all you've done here is have a temper tantrum and speak to me in an incredibly hostile way. I don't understand why a person who is obviously offended to the core at the very idea that I might misrepresent an Irish legend wouldn't be able to give polite, helpful feedback. I'm disappointed, and you should be ashamed of yourself for how you chose to speak to me. Please don't waste either of our time replying to this if you can't be civil.


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