Nature of the Fairies

According to innumerable legends, the fairies could be kind, mischievous, malevolent, or – perhaps most surprisingly - bloodthirsty. Irish fairy legends tell of their interaction with people. In some instances, people were drawn to their dwellings by the sound of beautiful music, where they entered a parallel world and, thinking they had spent a matter of minutes with the fairies, emerged to find that days, weeks, or even years had passed. Sometimes, the fairies were said to have bestowed gifts on people. Other times, for seemingly little more than their own amusement, they were blamed for deliberately leading people astray – people who knew the landscape well but get lost and find themselves walking around the same field all night long.

At their most dangerous, the fairies were said to abduct people, especially children, and especially boys (academic research released over the past decade may explain the reason behind this: even in countries with low infant mortality rates, infant mortality is significantly higher among baby boys).

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