Blog Post

Belief in Fairies on the Rise

Silver winter fairyEven though it may seem hard for most of us to comprehend, there is a large number of people in this world who believe in fairies, tiny fictional creatures said to be the size of a bee who inhabit woodlands and make their presence known by tinkling sounds, rippling water and warm breezes.

The Daily Mail is reporting on the phenomenon which is particularly strong in England where "thousands of ordinary British women" believe in the existence of fairies.

Jeanette Gage, 53, is one example. An office manager for a heating and ventilation business, she is so convinced of the existence of fairies that she removed all the doors on the first-floor of her home so they could move about freely. Although she admits she has never been quick enough to catch a glimpse of the tiny creatures, she feels their presence in the form of goosebumps or a comforting glow that spreads throughout her body, and claims they maker her feel safe and protected.

Her family and friends humor her odd beliefs, but she's not bothered by them. "I know it sounds crazy, but to me, fairies exist," she told the Mail.

Believe it or not, well-known figures also admit to belief in fairies - such as Sarah, Duchess of York, who wrote in a new book being sold to help Children in Need that "I do believe in fairies . . . . I do believe in magic and, when you blow on a dandelion, you will see the flight of the enchanted spreading their wings and disappearing off on their own journeys. Don’t let the day go by without looking for fairies and magic."

Professor Bill Gray, director of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy at the University of Chichester, explained to the Mail that "In the past, fairies — under a variety of names, such as elves, hobgoblins, bogies, imps, sprites, brownies and so on — were believed in by whole sections of society. . . . They weren’t the small, cute creatures they are now assumed to be. Fairies could be powerful, dangerous shapeshifters, with a habit of kidnapping humans to their fairy realms."

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was among the vast numbers of people who were duped by the famous ruse of two teenage cousins named Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright who produced five photos showing them playing with fairies. Sixty years went by before Griffiths had the courage to confess that the photos were fake but by then, they'd done considerable damage and convinced thousands that fairies actually existed.

This phenomenon is not just limited to the UK however. We received a letter in 2011 from a parent whose young son was being bullied in his CATHOLIC kindergarten class for refusing to go along with belief in fairies.

What's so bad about belief in fairies? First of all, they are an invention of neopagans and New Agers which means they are rooted in a non-Christian belief system.

Second, people who believe in them develop a dependence on these fictitious creatures that should be placed in God.

This is the case with Bonny Sullivan, 46, an accounts administrator and mother of three who told the Mail she has believed in fairies since she was a child. They used to join her at night when her parents adopted an 18 month-old boy and she felt rejected, she said, and also supported her after a good friend died in a car crash when she was 14.

"I went to the local park and cried my eyes out, but I could feel fairies on my shoulder, telling me it was going to be OK," she said. "They didn’t speak real words, but I could hear their comforting whispers in my head."

She relies on fairies to this day, even to help her with serious health problems resulting from a lung disease that leaves her struggling to breathe and talk.

"We live next to farmland and I’d force myself to take the dog there every day," she says. "Lying against a gnarled oak tree, I would feel the brush of fingers in my hair, a movement among the nearby daffodils and snowdrops, as if they were trying to lift my spirits, encouraging me to feel positive and not give up. I always felt better after the walk, and believe they helped me recover."

For obvious reasons, she is not telling her doctor about how the fairies are helping her.

Another woman, Angela Garvin, 45, from Essex, England, a paralegal who works in a large law firm in central London, also keeps her belief in fairies to herself.

"I grew up on a farm in County Cavan in Ireland," Angela told the Mail. "I would play in the fields and hear their little bells ringing and voices whispering, and I’d always go to them for advice."

She credits the fairies for helping her to make a career change from a secretary to a paralegal 20 years ago.

"I went to Hainault Forest in London and asked the fairies out loud what I should do," she says.

She felt their presence and heard a rushing sound (you mean like the wind?) which she took as a sign that she should make a change, which she did.

Once, when she lost her way while walking the dog, she called out to the fairies for help.

"I was starting to panic, when I heard a jingling sound and a fluttering in one direction," she said. "I followed these sounds and movements and wound up back on the path."

Angela admits her friends think her belief in fairies is a bit strange and perhaps due to the fact that she has too much time on her hands, but she thinks this is unfair

"I have a full social life and a fulfilling job. I’m a spiritual person, but also a practical person — there’s no reason you can’t be both. Nobody can prove fairies do exist — but no one can prove that they don’t either."

We can't prove the bogeyman doesn't exist either, but does that mean he does?