Are There Mean Fairies?

Goblins in Artwork by Brian Froud
Goblins in Artwork by Brian Froud

Mean Fairies Exist

Beautiful, blue flickering lights dance across the fairy bridge at dusk. A group of pixies bounce off the cottony tops of lilies in a field of crisp white and greens. What a magical picture...but fairies aren't always beautiful and sweet, sometimes certain fairies can be mean. Perhaps they are not evil, no...evil would be a harsh word. But perhaps these fairies are merely protective, or perhaps they've been embittered by the world.

Or perhaps their little fairy heads aren't screwed on just right, but no matter the actual cause for their mischievous ways...one thing has been shown throughout the centuries. Sometimes fairies are mean. So to answer the question, are fairies mean? That is a resounding yes, but not all fairies are mean. On to fairyland to find out which fairies could very well be malicious, ready to spoil your milk or play other horrifying dirty tricks on you. Some mean fairies have even been said to have led humans off a rocky cliff and to their ultimate demise...

Are all Faeries "Light Beings"?

This is a common misconception of fairies among the New Age community. I am not sure where the idea came from, but it is incorrect to believe that all fairies in the fairy realms are all about love and light. They are a spiritual being, yes, but they can also be resistant to the light. This means that they can become selfish and resistant of good, thereby turning them to be more of a mischievous type of being.

Throughout history, the faeries have been proven to be quite mischievous, sometimes down-right malevolent and violent. Specifically when they turn to the malevolent side is usually when they are provoked or when they feel their space or territory has been invaded by human beings with ill thoughts or ill will towards them or nature. You wouldn't like it if someone came into your home and knocked down your furniture without caring, would you? Well, it's the same for the fairies when humans come into their forest and knock down their trees and plants without showing a care in the world about it.

Just keep these things in mind when working with the fairy realm. They are all beings of the light, just as we all are, but they are not always working in the light...hopefully this makes sense.

From the Film "The Labyrinth"
From the Film "The Labyrinth"
Brian Froud's artwork used in The Labyrinth
Brian Froud's artwork used in The Labyrinth

Are fairies mean? About Goblins & Hobgoblins

Are there mean fairies or are they just misunderstood, one might wonder. Especially as a fairy-lover, you might find yourself not wanting to believe that fairies could be mean...but folklore has shown us that indeed fairies can be mean. One of those typical mean fairies are known as goblins. Yes, goblins could be considered mean fairies. Goblins are usually depicted in folklore as short, distorted or somewhat mutant little men or dwarves. These creatures have also been called hobgoblins in England and Gobelins in Germany. They are similar to Boggarts.

English legend tell of the mean fairies known as hobgoblins who would take up residence in a home and would play cruel tricks on the home's human inhabitants by pinching them or messing up a freshly-cleaned house. Sometimes they are pictured as evil looking elves or even dark blobs of energy. However they manifest, one thing is for sure...these mean fairies have been known to be mischievous and downright malicious in temperament. According to modern day fairy tales and literature, goblins are baby-thieves as shown in the popular 80s film The Labyrinth. This ties into the old Changeling beliefs...click here to read more about The Changeling legends.

A Large Ogre
A Large Ogre | Source
A Small Troll
A Small Troll | Source

Are Fairies Mean: About Ogres & Trolls

Are there mean fairies? Ogres are said to have been one type of mean fairies. They are believed to be related to giants but are almost always told in stories to be either stupid or downright evil. One particular ogre of legend in Slavic lore is Baba, and he literally is a mean fairy who was said to feast on human flesh and had a magical power to turn creatures into stone. A real ogre hasn't been spotted for many years and so it is possible that the ogres could have died out or totally slunk back into the faerie-land realm. What do ogres look like? Ogres were said to be of the same size of humans but look extremely deformed. They were almost always unfriendly or downright mean (or had a monstrous appetite like our friend Baba). And in some cultures ogres were shown as being larger than humans...almost of a giant-stature...but indeed these were mean fairies.

What about trolls? Are they considered mean fairies? Why, yes they are. Dating back centuries the tales of trolls in Germanic and Nordic mythology show us that trolls have an animosity towards humans. Maybe they are fearful of us, or perhaps they are angry at us for taking over their territory here on the earthly plane...no one is quite certain. But trolls are said to be very ugly mean fairies, many times smaller than humans but larger than other fairies and are said to be covered in hair. Many trolls were said to guard bridges or paths, as illustrated in the fairy tale The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Are these fairies mean? Yes, they enjoy throwing rocks at other creatures (especially humans) and tend to have a rotten appetite for live goat and mutton.

Artwork of Kelpie Mischief
Artwork of Kelpie Mischief | Source

Are There Mean Fairies: The Kelpie

The Kelpie is a mean fairy of Scottish legend. Why were these fairies considered mean? They would cannibalistic and would eat others of their kind and whatever large game they might come across. They were said to reside in the waters of lochs in Scotland and favored humans and deer as their dinner. These mean fairies are excellent shapeshifters and usually appear as a beautiful black or pure white horse, and they offer rides to unsuspecting humans only to carry them into the depths of the lochs...and finally tearing them to shreds as their meal. These mean fairies were also believed to be able to shapeshift into good-looking young men and women in order to seduce and lure humans to their doom.

There are also legends of a similar mean fairy in Ireland known as the Uisges or Fuath. When seen in their native form, they are quite ugly and mean-looking. These mean fairies are round, dumb, and have pointed ears. Some legends say they are actually water spirits with webbed feet and the mane and tail of a horse. The one thing that will give these shapeshifting mean fairies away to you should you be approached by a kelpie in its horse-form is that the mane and tail will always be dripping with water. Never hop onto a kelpie's back lest you be dragged into the depths and eaten!

Are there mean fairies: The Unseelie Court

The Unseelie Court was the evil counterpart to the Seelie Court, which was a group of fairies that were believed to ride on the winds. The Seelie Court was known to be happy, silly, and friendly...while the Unseelie Court was exactly the opposite. These mean fairies would ride on the winds but would be known to induce storms...or perhaps just bring storms with them. They were mean, unfriendly, and "unblessed" as their name suggests.

Many times the Unseelie Court would go to battle with the Seelie Court for reign over the air and sky...the mean fairies of the Unseelie Court have been said to capture humans while on their way home at night. They lift them up into the air and either kill them by beating them, or these mean fairies force their victims to commit acts of insanity and evil. Again, perhaps these mean fairies aren't exactly evil...but perhaps they are.

What do you think? Are there mean fairies or are they simply all misunderstood and their stories misconstrued throughout the centuries?

Pictures of Mean Fairies & Mischievous Fairies

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Donas de Fuera were beautiful but dangerousMischievous Samhain GoblinsA Mischievous ElfAn orcBaby ChaneglingsA Goblin's ChangelingThe Bad Faerie Queen by Brian FroudThe Leanan-sidhe was a blood-drinking fairy in Ireland (Art by Lady Morgana & Corpse Candle)
Donas de Fuera were beautiful but dangerous
Donas de Fuera were beautiful but dangerous
Mischievous Samhain Goblins
Mischievous Samhain Goblins
A Mischievous Elf
A Mischievous Elf
An orc
An orc | Source
Baby Chaneglings
Baby Chaneglings
A Goblin's Changeling
A Goblin's Changeling
The Bad Faerie Queen by Brian Froud
The Bad Faerie Queen by Brian Froud | Source
The Leanan-sidhe was a blood-drinking fairy in Ireland (Art by Lady Morgana & Corpse Candle)
The Leanan-sidhe was a blood-drinking fairy in Ireland (Art by Lady Morgana & Corpse Candle)

Being Pixie-Led

There is a phrase that dates back centuries in Scotland and other Western European countries that is known as "being pixie-led". What does this phrase mean exactly? It basically meant that someone was lured away from the beaten path and lost due to being led by fairies. The fairies were thought to sometimes lead men so far from their original path that they would end up lost for hours...or even days. Even sometimes still the fairies would lead men to the side of a cliff...as if trying to lead them to their doom. Would you consider a fairy that led you to the side of a rocky cliff a mean fairy?

The only remedy to avoid being pixie-led is to stay close to home or civilization during the eight holy days (the sabbats) or if you must go out at night during these days you should turn your coat inside out. There were mean fairies in centuries past, and perhaps there are still mean fairies out there today. Don't trust any fairy you meet...you don't trust every person you meet on the street so why trust every fairy you meet in the forest?

Written and copyrighted © by Kitty the Dreamer (May Canfield), July 25th, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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© 2012 Author Nicole Canfield

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Comments 21 comments

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

No worries! I miss you and Nasake...but I'll check out the WitchesMix too.


Hawthorn profile image

Hawthorn 4 years ago from Albion

Sorry i haven't been about for so long! Whatever I have had time to write has ended up being published on our WitchesMIX account hah hah


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Hey, Hawthorn! Nice to see you again. Thanks for your comment, it is so true. Many people see fairies as one way, cute with sparkly wings...but that's not the only kind of fairy and yes they can be vengeful if they are provoked! Thanks.


Hawthorn profile image

Hawthorn 4 years ago from Albion

Its fantastic to find a hub about the Fae that isn't all shiny rainbows and love. Irish Gaelic mythology teaches us that the Sidhe shouls be treated with respect as they have been known to smite... Fantastic hub! =D


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Jolina - Yes, the Irish believed the same thing...if you turned your coat inside out that you would be safe from being "pixie-led"! Too cool how two different cultures could have the same beliefs. :) Thanks again!


jolinabetts profile image

jolinabetts 4 years ago from The Philippine Islands

@Pennyofheaven: Hey Thanks! I can't match Kitty's writing, She's superb! all i can do is share what i know :) Thanks!

@kitty: Hey kitty! This is what you should do just in case you come visit the Philippines and hike in the mountains and you get pixie-led, all you have to do is remove your shirt and wear it again with the tag outside and you will find the trail again. I know it's silly! but sheesh! a lot of old folk do that in the mountains.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Awesome! Maori, I'll have to look into that a bit. Sounds fascinating. Thanks for stopping by!


pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

Yes Kittythedreamer I am from NZ. My ancients are Maori. There were mean and sweet fairies and I love the fairy stories too! Yes I loved Jolinas account too. I am glad I found your hub station!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

pennyofheaven - Is that from New Zealand? So intriguing! I've heard similar tales of mean fairies in The Philippines (as told by Jolina in the comments above) and even more from other countries. I love stories of fairies, be the fairies mean or sweet...there are just too many tales of them to deny the fact that there has to be some truth to it.


pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

Fascinating hub that I enjoyed. We have legends about fairies. They are called Patupaiarehe who dwell in the mountains and forest. They are rarely seen by humans and usually only come out when it's misty. They reputedly can put a spell on humans and whisk them away. They are also believed to have mated with them. A lot of the characteristics you describe are similar to the sightings our ancients have claimed to have witnessed.

Diva's are also said to be grown up fairies that tend to the vegetation, trees and plants etc. They do not trust humans because of how they abuse nature.

Wow you bought to mind so much I had forgotten. Thanks


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Jolina - These stories just keep getting more and more intriguing from The Philippines! The diwatas sound like very territorial spirits indeed. And as for the leading hikers astray...that sounds just like what the Scottish called being "pixie-led"!


jolinabetts profile image

jolinabetts 4 years ago from The Philippine Islands

Hi KittyDreamer, thank you for replying ,you've been very gracious.

In the Philippines, the nature spirit who does all the mischief in the house,who plays in the corners of the house and who are the imaginary friends of small children are believed to be the white dwarfs. The white dwarfs usually cast a spell on a child if this child happens to step on them accidentally. They either give the child a boil or boils on the skin or a huge infection on the foot. The cure for this is to offer food on a small plate and a glass of water on the corner, this is said to soften the dwarf's heart.

I believe on what you wrote also about the fairies that they do mischief at home. There are trees that we're not allowed to cut down because of the living entities. Especially the "diwatas", which we call fairies or nature nymphs. They are a vengeful lot if you cut their home, they will throw stones at you out of nowhere, steal your small belongings.

The 'diwatas' are also found in the mountain ranges wherein they protect their kingdom. They don't like hunters or tourists visiting their land, what they do is they make sure that these people will not find the trail and get lost and die of starvation.

There had been numerous reports regarding lost hitchhikers in Mount Makiling, a mountain where the famous diwata named Maria lives with her fairy consort. She enchants hikers with her beauty and make them lose their way by going circles in the same spot over and over again.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Jolina - I believe that spirits (specifically fairies in this case) are easy to be caught on film because the camera doesn't try to disprove anything...it simply takes pictures of what is there...it doesn't try to analyze things, if that makes any sense. As far as fairies being mistaken for other things like ghosts or demons, etc. I believe it happens far more often than what people realize. Many times in history an angered or mischievous fairy would play tricks on someone's home and the people then knew that it was a fairy but today when this happens we tend to call it a "poltergeist". While it could very well be an angered ghost, I wonder how many times it might actually be a nature spirit or fairy that is simply upset by the humans that have taken residence in their natural homes?


jolinabetts profile image

jolinabetts 4 years ago from The Philippine Islands

Hi Kitty! Oh you know what, that was the first time i've seen that 5th photograph and i'm glad i found it in one of your hubs. I have to read more on your hubs though, i'm wondering how was she able to capture the photograph, they are very transparent and delicate looking.

Oh some are even mistaken as ghosts? how did they made a conclusion like that?

I hope you won't mind me asking so many questions, you really opened a whole new perspective for me. It's a good thing.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Yes, I believe that the fifth picture taken by the girls was an authentic one. I believe that many fairy pictures taken are authentic...and some are even mistaken for ghosts. Thanks!


jolinabetts profile image

jolinabetts 4 years ago from The Philippine Islands

Hi Kitty! I like the pictures too that you posted on this hub and the video regarding the real fairy picture, just curious, Do you believe that this picture is an authentic one?

Your Friend,

Jolina


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Mr. Happy - according to my research a kobold is a type of sprite stemming from Germanic descent...so absolutely a kobold could be considered a fairy! Sprites are indeed a type of fairy. :) Most people don't realize how many types of fairies there actually are...and they don't realize that creatures other than the tiny winged kind could also be considered a fairy. Thanks for reading!

jolina - WOW! Oh my gosh! Thanks for sharing this awesome information on the mean fairies in the Philippines. I have heard of mean fairies and dwarves in the islands but never in such awesome detail. I might have to add your statement to the hub itself!

Roger - Haha. Hilarious.

flashmakeit - Glad you're enjoying them. :)


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

I am learning more about fairies from reading your hubs. Thanks for writing this interesting hub.


Roger Crigger profile image

Roger Crigger 4 years ago from Northern Idaho

....only the ones that wear boots and you gotta believe me - Ozzy Osbourn


jolinabetts profile image

jolinabetts 4 years ago from The Philippine Islands

Hi Kitty! Thanks for writing this hub, very insightful and interesting. There are mean fairies in Philippine folklore too, the ones that would lure children to their kingdom and never return and also they try their best to confuse hikers in the mountains by calling their names or taunting them in the dark with their giggles and chuckles.

On the other hand, we also believe in black elves and white elves , ergo: good versus evil. The black elves according to legend, lure children and force the children to eat black porridge that will hypnotize them to follow their every whim, especially enter their kingdom as well.

I haven't discussed anything like this before for a long time! Great Hub! Vote for awesome and interesting


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hmm, I never thought an Ogre or a Goblin would be classified as a fairy. I was certainly under the impression that fairies are cute, kind and joyful.

So would kobolds be categorized as fairies too?

Interesting read. Thank You for the write.

Cheers!

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