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Fairy Folk Mean Business


Paranormal Adept
I know many of you will not believe and will think this a bit of whimsy on All Hallow's Eve. :cool:

Five Reasons Not To Piss Off the Fair Folk by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley Wed Oct 21, 2015
LINK: Five Reasons Not To Piss Off the Fair Folk
TEXT: "I was on the Tube, travelling under London at high speed, when a middle-aged American woman wearing a pink sparkly Tinkerbell t-shirt saw me staring. “You’re never too old to believe in fairies,” she said. I clapped my hand over her mouth and shook my head at her violently, and only the fact that we were protected by concrete and steel do I believe that there wasn’t immediate retribution.

"There’s apparently an entire generation of people who think of the Fair Folk as sweet and friendly and full of whimsy.

"These deluded souls appear to believe that the fair folk are a variant of angel. I know, it’s easy to get confused with all these supernatural creatures with wings who insist on fluttering about on the edges of our existence. But it’s important to understand the difference.

"Top tip: Angels believe in people and may even protect them. Fairies, not so much.

"Obviously someone needs to explain, clearly and concisely, that the Fair Folk are not our friends. The problem is that most of the real information is shared in old verse or embedded in obscure folk songs, all the better to appease the diminutive race that lives on the fringes of our reality. Like so:

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen
We dare not go a-hunting
For fear of little men.

— The Fairies, William Allingham

"This makes it easy for the average bluetooth-wearing hipster to shrug away the warnings and say, “Yes, very quaint, clearly this doesn’t apply to modern life.” This is utterly wrong.

"The Fair Folk are sociopaths. There are stories of the little people all over the world and although the details differ, all of them share common traits: They are ruled by an incomprehensible sense of ethics and an interest in human agony.

"This list here is an attempt to modernise the information that we have, so that in this age of smart phones and constant connections, we do not fall foul of the rage of the fair folk.

"Reason Number One: Unauthorised Human Testing

"Cybernetics, time travel, deep sleep, coma—it’s not clear exactly what sciences the fair folk are investigating, but the regular reports of “lost time” by their human subjects make it clear that something is happening. We have very little information but it is clear that the results of these tests varied.

"Many stories abound of a person waking from a prolonged sleep to take a single step and then crumble in the dust. And there are at least two reported incidents of the subject returning to consciousness (and to their long dead families) a hundred years later, to the general confusion of the populace. You may think this is the stuff of ancient myths and legends, but there’s plenty of evidence that it still happens today.

"There are many locations—including Florida, Costa del Sol, Ibiza and Tiajuana—where previously normal young people converge for spring equinox (also known as “spring break”) to dance and sing (see also: fairy rings). Many of these supplicants then experience lost time, an oft repeated experience described as “only gone out for a few drinks” when the victim then wakes up on a grass verge or park bench, with no recollection as to where the night went.

Reason Number Two: Fair Folk Coming Over Here, Stealing Our Children

"Changelings have been recorded since… well, since recorded time. There’s a few theories as to why the fair folk may want human babies, but none of them are particularly cheering. In Wales, the Tylwyth Teg were known to kidnap human children for sport.

Now we have direct evidence that the swapping of fae and human can happen as late as puberty. Many parents have reported putting their pre-pubescent teenager to bed one evening and woke the next morning to find a vacant-eye’d slack-jawed phone-poking shadow, apparently unable to function without at least one bud attached to ear. The traditional cure is to lock the changeling in a hot oven, although there does not appear to be any guarantee that you will receive your stolen child back.

"Reason Number Three: Wire Sex

"The Fair Folk are well known for tangling hair (or mane, one thing the fair folk are not is speciest) in the night.

“She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone…….
That plaits the manes of horses in the night
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes.”

— Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

"Maybe that doesn’t sound all that bad, but by all accounts, the tangles caused by the Fair Folk are personal. If one has turned his or her attention to your hair, you’ll find a comb will not help, you’ll have to cut the knot out. But it gets worse: modern-day wee ones do not settle for tangling hair but instead amuse themselves with cables, chargers and especially, in my personal experience, headsets. Urban Dictionary defines the conglomerate of many wires tangled together as “wire sex” but rather peculiarly, the site does not list the cause. The maliciously meticulous knotting of cables is clear sign of a visitation by the Fair Folk …and they are not pleased with you.

"Reason Number Four: Fair Folk Don’t Use Sustainable Resources

"You’ve seen the pictures: miniature beings in lovely little red caps prancing through the meadows, an elfin face peering cheekily at you from underneath a toadstool. These are the Powrie and their caps must be kept red: If the hat dries out, it will die. They do not, however, use sustainable dyes nor even cochineal which they could harvest directly from the ants. No, they use blood. Human blood. It’s apparently a matter of principle.

"Now I concede, there’s currently plenty of us to supply enough red blood for a million tiny little caps but (1) the powrie kill one person per hat, rather than banding together for efficiency, and (2) the dye needs to be reapplied regularly to keep the caps bright red. It’s not hard to figure out that over time we will become an endangered resource.

"Reason Number Five: Fair Folk Support Slates

"It’s absolutely true. The Fair Folk have always been found in mines and quarries, ranging from Germany to Spain to Wales. They may not abide iron, but the coblynau and the knockers surely approve of slate and coal and copper, based on the tales told of their support of the miners and help given to find the ore and rock. Indeed, the largest slate quarry in Cornwall is home to dozens of stories about the piskies and the nath. So if you wish to stop slates, you must first control the fair folk and ensure they don’t get a vote.

"I could go on but hopefully that is enough to strike fear in the modern soul. Please spread the word that the Fair Folk are not Tinkerbell and they do not want us to clap our hands and wish upon a star.

"What do they want?

"The truth is, the Fair Folk aren’t that interested in us. But if you gain their attention, and don’t pay your respect, or call them by name, that can change very quickly. And, well, let me be a hundred percent clear: There is no app for that."


Paranormal Adept
In Iceland, ‘respect the elves – or else’: If you want to lay a road, build a house, or construct a dam in Iceland, there’s one influential group you have to clear it with first – elves. by Oliver Wainwright on the power of the ‘hidden people’
LINK: In Iceland, ‘respect the elves – or else’
TEXT: "Huddled together amid the jagged rocks of the Gálgahraun lava field, a group of nervous onlookers wait with bated breath. Suddenly, there’s a loud crack and a tumble of stones as a 50-tonne boulder is wrenched from the ground, then slowly raised into the air and eased down nearby, so delicately you’d think it was a priceless sculpture. “I just hope they’re happy in their new home,” says Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir. “The elves really don’t like being uprooted like this.”

"Road-builders are used to seeing their plans scuppered by the protected habitats of bats and newts, or sites of special scientific interest and outstanding natural beauty. But in Iceland, there is another hindrance: the world of the huldufólk, as they call them, the hidden people.

"The rock, known as Ófeigskirkja, has been at the centre of an eight-year battle to stop a road being built through this 8,000-year-old landscape, a spectacularly barren and evocative terrain a little to the north of Reykjavík, which some believe is a site of supernatural forces. In a country of such desolate stony expanses, haunted by howling winds, bubbling geysers and fiery eruptions, it’s not hard to see why more than half of the population entertains the possibility that a parallel community of elves, dwarves and ghosts might exist – a statistic repeated in tourist brochures since a landmark 1975 survey. But few, like Jónsdóttir, claim to have a direct line to them, allowing her to hear their cries for help. “The elves contacted me in 2012 and pleaded with me to protect their chapel,” says the self-proclaimed seer, who runs The Elf Garden, a fairytale park of lava rocks near Reykjavík. “They told me the Ófeigskirkja had been used as a beacon to guide people through the lava field for centuries, so they asked me to write to the mayor to halt the road.”

"Jónsdóttir teamed up with environmentalist group Friends of the Lava to campaign against the development, organising a protest on behalf of the elves that saw her briefly arrested in 2013. But in the end, she says, her hidden friends settled for a compromise. “They moved their altar and pews out of the rock and have transferred the energy to its new location,” she says calmly, as if describing a neighbour moving house. “The chapel had to be broken in two to be moved, so the elves have a lot of work to do to fix it up inside. But they seem content. It’s always best not to upset them.”

"Those who have done so in the past have paid the price. Speak to Icelandic construction workers and they’ll repeat the history of mishaps that have befallen those who failed to heed elven warnings. These are so numerous that even non-believers would rather play it safe than risk incurring the wrath of the huldufólk.

"In the 1970s, plans to move a rock out of the way of one major road went awry when a bulldozer inadvertently crushed a waterpipe feeding a fish farm. Some 70,000 trout perished overnight and there were so many other freakish accidents in the following days that the project was abandoned. One workman claims to have been stricken with bad luck ever since. “There are many stories of machines breaking down and workers becoming ill when they interfere with elf rocks,” says Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir, a writer and folklorist who teaches at the Iceland Academy of Arts in Reykjavik. “The elves are seen as friendly, beautiful creatures, but you have to respect them, or they will take their revenge.”

"Together with photographer Svala Ragnars, Björgvinsdóttir has been documenting some of the strange physical consequences of elven intervention in the built environment across the country. There are houses that step back respectfully from knobbly stones, driveways narrowed by great boulders past which cars must deferentially squeeze, and roads that split in two to honour sacred outcrops.

"In the town of Hafnarfjörður, just outside Reykjavik, there’s a rock that protrudes so dangerously into the street that passing cars are forced to swerve around it. Look closely and you’ll see a rusty metal peg sticking out of it – a mocking souvenir from the last time someone tried to shift it.

"In Kópavogur, south of the capital, a rock known as Elfhill has caused disruption since the 1930s, when attempts to build a road through it were abandoned after a series of accidents. Plans to level the hill re-emerged in the 1980s, but problems recurred and workers refused to go anywhere near it. Even TV crews said their cameras failed to record anything when pointed at the rock. A road was finally built skirting round the protrusion – drive along it and you’ll notice that the house numbers skip a plot, in deference to the invisible neighbours who ultimately had their way. “Companies planning large scale projects now try to pre-empt problems with the supernatural world,” says Terry Gunnell, professor of folklore at the University of Iceland. “For the huge Kárahnjúkastífla dam project in the east, consultants with clairvoyant skills were hired to check out the landscape first to ensure it was empty of elvish rocks. There’s now money to be made in this sort of consultancy work.”

"There are legal battles to be had, too. A conservation act was introduced in 1990 with a clause protecting sites traditionally deemed to have supernatural significance – on the proviso that they have been associated with such phenomena for at least 100 years. Ragnheiður Traustadóttir, an archaeologist, has voiced doubts about Ófeigskirkja. “A study of sources indicates unambiguously that there were no tales of elves connected to Ófeigskirkja until recently,” she wrote in the 2010 Yearbook of the Icelandic Archaeological Society. “It could not be deemed a site of supernatural significance under the Act until 2109.”

"Gunnell elaborates: “It has caused a lot of arguments, as it’s something that’s very difficult to prove. Iceland is full of álagablettir, or enchanted spots, places you don’t touch – just like the fairy forts and peat bogs in Ireland. They’re protected by stories about the bad things that will happen if you do. This word of mouth, passed down over generations, is usually more effective than an official preservation order.”

"The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration is so used to dealing with enquiries it now has a standard response to journalists: “It cannot be denied that belief in the supernatural is occasionally the reason for local concerns and these opinions are taken into account just as anybody else’s would be.” In the past, it adds, “issues have been settled by delaying construction projects so that the elves can, at a certain point, move on.”

"It should be no surprise that elven belief persists, given its power to stand up to the march of the bulldozer. Iceland’s miracle economic boom and sudden catastrophic collapse has left the countryside scarred by out-of-town sheds and crisscrossed by ribbons of tarmac, still waiting for the planned suburbs to materialise. As gatekeepers of pastoral values with a deep respect for the natural landscape, the hidden people are handy agents in the battle to protect the environment. “The elves stand for living in harmony with nature,” says Kolbrún Oddsdóttir, a landscape architect who worked with a seer to produce a series of tourist maps recording sites associated with elves. “They provide a metaphor for living sustainably with the resources we have. And they’re good for tourism.”

"Jacqueline Simpson, visiting professor at the University of Chichester’s Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, sees elf popularity growing in line with a wave of nostalgia sweeping the country. “They’re a symbol for everything that was simple and straightforward in the good old days,” she says. “They were originally figures of magical wealth and prosperity, when Iceland was terribly poor. For rural farmers, starving in their turf-houses, the elves embodied the dream of a richer, more comfy world, a parallel community enjoying palatial homes and fine food.” But now they serve the opposite role. The huldufólk are forever clothed in 19th-century peasant costume, an image of parsimony in the days before our era of reckless excess.

"In a survey conducted by Gunnell’s team at the University of Iceland in 2007, over 80% of respondents refused to deny the existence of elves (only 8%, however, said they were certain they existed). “It’s about respect for nature, which is something Icelanders know is very much alive,” says Gunnell. “When your house can be destroyed by an earthquake, when you can can be blown over by the wind, when boiling water from your taps tells you there’s lava not far beneath your feet – then you don’t mess with nature.”

"How does he imagine the modern elf? “Our image of the hidden people is stuck in the sepia photographs of folktale collections,” he says. “But I reckon they’re now living between our floors, like in Being John Malkovich, watching their own little satellite televisions.” "


quelling chaos since 2352BC
I was in Iceland recently... almost no-one will admit that they believe in elves, trolls, and ghosts.

But after talking to somebody for a while, he admitted that most people actually do. We added rocks to a series of piles next to the highway, we saw an eleven spiral done in rocks on a black beach outside of Vik, and there were various spots we were told to avoid in the black desert because of ghosts.

I will say that Icelandic folk aren't afraid of much. These are guys that build their houses on glacial flood plains, or at the base of cliffs, right next to house-size boulders that have fallen hundreds of feet down. They'll jump into the freezing waters to save somebody being stupid, and every few years a part of the island just goes away because of volcanic activity, or earthquakes (it's on a major fault line), or glaciers melt, or a storm wipes out a village.

And then they'll just shrug and rebuild a highway, or a bridge, or a whole town. But these guys take their elves and trolls and ghosts somewhat seriously. So we did, too.

But they sure don't want to talk about it, and I wouldn't mock them for it.

Oh, and there are the famous 'trolls' just outside of Vik, which are actually the remains of volcanic tubes after the softer rock has eroded around them. Legend is that they came out of their cave one night to steal a passing ship, and got caught in the sunlight - which turned them to stone.

It's a fascinating place that I highly recommend.


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Hmmm....I wonder if the popular suburban trend of creating fairy gardens (using expensive resin miniature buildings, tiny resin fairy figures and assorted costly accessories) is dangerous? If so, the suburbs are doomed. "If you build it, they will come." Um....will they perchance?

Are such websites portals of doom?

Fairy Gardening - Miniature Gardens - My Fairy Gardens
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quelling chaos since 2352BC
Hmmm....I wonder if the popular suburban trend of creating fairy gardens (using expensive resin miniature buildings, tiny resin fairy figures and assorted costly accessories) is dangerous? If so, the suburbs are doomed. "If you build it, they will come." Um....will they perchance?
What they basically told me over a Viking beer was just don’t screw with them. Don’t touch their stuff, unless you’re fixing it or adding to it, and if you get the sense you shouldn’t be there, then don’t be.

I asked one guide if he’d ever seen anything, and he had seen lights over the black desert quite a bit, and had all kinds of electrical failures in that spot, too. Engines, cell phones, that sort of thing.

Supposedly a group of settlers got lost there and died of dehydration and hunger out there. We went to the spot and nothing happened, but he said he didn’t go there at night any more.