Faerie Music in a Cedar Grove.

cedar trees

I was with a friend. We were high atop Mount Fernan of the Rockies, way beyond cell-service range, in a grove of ancient cedar trees.

We were sitting beneath a massive cedar tree, besides a stream, and we asked the Faeries to join us. We sat for quite awhile, talking and laughing, when suddenly we heard this lovely ethereal music, very jovial and celebratory!

It seemed as close as the other side of the stream, but I did not see any entities. It was just the loveliest, most wonderful music.

– Rachael.

ida rentoul outhwaite music
By Ida Rentoul Outhwaite.

 

 

2 Faerie Encounters from Latvia

Hearing mournful Faerie music.

My own experience is not too long or complicated, it is about music, coming from nowhere.

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Several times as a child and once, very briefly, as an adult I have heard someone playing a sad tune on some kind of woodwind instrument in places, where you wouldn’t expect to find musicians at all (in the woods), or at least not playing such tunes (at the zoo full of kids).

The tune was, as I said, quite sad, tearful even and I heard it while looking at the scenes, one could describe as desolate: an abandoned construction project at the zoo, poorly cut clearing with stumps and branches all over the place. That was in my childhood. jean baptiste monge4 (3)

Recently, after all these years, I heard the music again.

Very briefly – just ten seconds at best – but it brought back the memories at once.

I am sure it was same low woodwind (a clarinet, perhaps) and on the sad, misty, rainy November afternoon.

And again, it was in the countryside – hardly any street musicians there.

What’s funny about it all – mysterious music is not a major part of either Russian, or Latvian folklore, on the other hand, both traditions say that supernatural entities have lives of their own, with their weddings and funerals, which implies music.

Perhaps, a fairy musician was expressing his sorrow at the sight of abandoned or poorly done work (Russian fairies rejoice at human diligence and are angered by neglect).

Also, I learned that the place, where I heard the music last time as an adult was a battlefield in both great wars (and not too small at that – a metal detectorist friend of mine says the ground there sings from all the metal – bullets, spent casings, shell fragments)… Appropriate place to play a sad tune.

*

An Encounter with a Leshy?

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One summer morning, when I was in my early teens, my father sat at the breakfast table.

He said that, just that morning ,he met a man dressed as if he just got out of bed – slightly disheveled, wearing a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, who came out of the woods asking, where he was.

The man seemed distressed, but quite sober, so my dad told him and the man was shocked when he learned that he is a full train stop away from his home.

Then the man told what had happened: as he was having his morning smoke, he decided to pop into the woods just across the lane from his house, which is not that uncommon.forest mushroom

Picking wild mushrooms is a popular activity and many people do just that – briefly search the edge of the woods before breakfast in hopes of finding half a dozen – enough to make a small bowl of sauce for dinner (those, who want to get more mushrooms go into the woods better equipped, covering as much of the body as the weather allows for fear of ticks and disease they can carry).

He found nothing and walked back. And walked… and then the woods became unfamiliar, and then he went out of the woods, where he saw unfamiliar houses and met my dad.

The man asked, where the train station was and went away, cursing and mumbling about not having any money and having to explain it all to his wife. There could, of course, be any number of rational explanations, perhaps the man was not as sober after all and just lost his way and the track of time, but someone familiar with Russian fairy lore can also suspect the work a Leshy – woodland spirit and lord of the woods (“a” is intentional – every forest has one, big forests have multiple, new forest will eventually have a new keeper move in).

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Leshy is a largely benevolent entity, know to help people (it is said that if an ill baby suddenly falls silent, Leshy is sitting beside the bad comforting the baby and praying for recovery), but as with most fairy creatures, is easily offended, or can just be in a bad mood.

Then, he can play mean pranks on humans, his favorite is confusing a person, making him or her loose a sense of direction and go the wrong way even in familiar places (lose one’s way among three pine trees, as the saying goes), but he can also lure a person deep into the woods by calling in a familiar voices, or transporting a person to a different place altogether, which seemed to have happened here.

What offends a Leshy? forest rubbish

First of all, disrespect for the woods – shouting on top of your lungs, unless in distress, breaking branches as you go, littering (and our unfortunate man smoked, as you remember, perhaps threw a cigarette butt away) and so on.

Treading on Leshy’s favorite track through the forest is even more offensive to him, but this usually invites a more immediate and violent reaction, up to and including sudden gusts of wind lifting a person from the ground.

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Maybe, the man offended lord of the woods somehow, or may be it was just one of those days, when Leshy felt like pranking an unfortunate soul.

Or maybe, there is a mundane explanation, who knows…

– Edgar, Latvia.

 

 

Encounters with Tommyknockers

knocker mine

I worked for several years as a guide on an historic silver mine tour during it’s annual 100+ day season. Actually, I worked one off season as a miner in a gold mine, and the following summer was a tour guide there. I also spent several months working on a mine closing project. This was all in Colorado in the 1990s.

I am a clairvoyant and have had many experiences with ghosts, the little people (or the Good People, as you prefer), and a few entities I don’t know how to label. So, here goes about the Tommyknockers.

Tommyknockers are entities who live underground, who can and do interact with humans who are underground. Sometimes they are seen. Belief in them is widespread, and they are known by many names, in many places.

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Calling them Knockers or Tommyknockers comes from the miners in Cornwall, and is the name generally used by hardrock miners in North America, because of the many Cornish miners who worked here in the 1800s.

I’ve been told that in Wales, from where some of my mother’s ancestors came, they were called the Koblinau.

One day at the gold mine, I was telling a tour group about the Tommyknockers, and a lady who was from Czechoslovakia (before it became the Czech Republic), spoke up and said that they had such beings in her old country. She called them the Permonik. (There should be an inverted v symbol over the E but I don’t have that font.)

A week or so later, at the silver mine, there was a lady from the Czech Republic on the tour. When I got to the part about the Tommyknockers, I stopped and asked her if she knew about the Permonik. The question surprised her, but she admitted that she did. I asked her to please tell the group about them. She did, and what she said was almost word for word what I normally told groups about them.

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Like most of the little people, the Tommyknockers can be anything from friendly and helpful, to malicious and vindictive. According to the lore, they might knock on the rock or timbers to warn a miner of danger (and, seriously, rock and timber noise can be a sign of danger), or they might blow out his candle, back in the days when they worked by candlelight.

There are stories of them leading lost miners to safety after they lost their lights, and even of them leading the miners to richer ore. On the other hand, they might also put out a miner’s light maliciously, dump his lunch, hide his tools or drop them down a winze, trip him, and so on.

Because of this, many miners had a habit of leaving a bit of food or tobacco for them, and some mines even had carved images of Tommyknockers at the portals, for the miners to touch for luck going in, or in thanks when coming out safely.

Such heathen practices were undoubtedly preached against on Sunday morning, but then again, the preacher wasn’t the one going underground into the Tommyknocker’s territory the other six days of the week!

When I first started working at the silver mine tour, I wasn’t sure about the Tommyknockers, and didn’t bother bringing them up. Then one day (before I worked at the gold mine) I was visiting the gold mine, and the owner offered me a chance to go down into the older parts of the mine, far below the level where visitors normally were allowed.

With a borrowed helmet and lamp, I descended an old wooden ladder down the winze into the old workings, various levels a hundred feet apart dating back to the 1800s. I was alone, and the only light was the one on my helmet.

It was strange, so quiet and hushed. But I wasn’t alone. I could feel someone with me, showing me around. It wasn’t scary at all. It was a warm feeling. I explored the lower reaches of the mine, then eventually climbed back up to the main level and daylight.

After that, I started noticing things like movement in the corners, and sounds, when underground. I read whatever I could find about the Tommyknockers, and I started telling visitors about them. Perhaps because I was friendly and respectful, I had few problems with them (although that was not the case with some others of the little people, but that’s another story).

Granted, most of the visitors didn’t consider the Tommyknockers as much more than an amusing piece of mining folklore, but with most groups there was usually someone, often a child, who was quite interested.

One one tour, there was a Lakota from Canada who was quiet during the tour, but who got quite interested when I started talking about the Tommyknockers. He listened intently then nudged the person with him. “He’s talking about the Little People!” he exclaimed. I spoke with him for a while after the tour, and he shared some beliefs which were very similar.

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Unfortunately, there were also those, usually adolescent males, who would interrupt me to scoff at such things.

I was willing to overlook such rudeness, but the Tommyknockers weren’t.

Mocking the Tommyknockers when one is underground is very foolish.

When it happened on my tour, someone would get hurt. It was never the rude scoffer, but rather the adult who was with them.

It would be minor things, like bumping one’s head, or tripping and falling, it scraping one’s hand on the rock, but it happened every time.

I have no idea why the escorting adult was targeted rather than the young scoffer, but that is what happened. I decided to take action. One day I went back into the mine by myself, and respectfully told the Tommyknockers that the scoffers were young, stupid and ignorant, but hurting people was not acceptable. I knew I couldn’t force the Tommyknockers to behave, but I pointed out that I was their friend, and asked was I not always respectful?

I told them that I could stop telling people about them, however, and that is what I was going to do, if the retaliation didn’t end. Apparently, they enjoyed being talked about, and so there was no more retaliations, at least not on my tours.

Actually it seemed that at least some of the Tommyknockers enjoyed interacting with the tours. Quite often, when the tales were being told, when the knocking on rocks was mentioned, there would be a knocking on the rocks with uncannily perfect timing, from the closed part of the mine.

One day when I was taking a tour off, another guide came up to me after his tour and told me that I had caused quite a sensation during his tour. I asked him what he was talking about. He replied, “All those Tommyknocker noises.” I assured him that I hadn’t set foot in the mine during that tour, and all the other guides had been busy with their own groups.

One day, I had a new employee going on my tour with me to see how it was done.

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When I mentioned knocking on the rocks, there was very definite knocking on the rocks, which got at least some reaction from the visitors.

Afterword, the new employee asked, “Where’s the button?”.

Puzzled, I asked, “What button?”.

The button you push to make the Tommyknocker noises,” she replied.

No, my dear, there was no such button.

*

Part of the folklore about which I was skeptical were the reports about Tommyknockers celebrating Christmas. Although I was aware that the Little People reportedly like celebrations, I considered that celebrating Yule was much more likely for the Tommyknockers, than Christmas would be.

But be that as it may, I walked up through the snow to the mine one cold December night, and let myself in. I didn’t turn on the electric mains, but used a personal light to go several hundred feet into the mine. I sat down on a bench in the well- timbered area we called the lunchroom, lit a candle, and switched off my light and waited.

After a bit, I asked if the Tommyknockers were there. Immediately, right in front of me, there was the sharp sound of two rocks knocking together, even though no loose moving rocks were to be seen.

I asked if that was the Tommyknockers, and once again, there was an immediate clashing together of two unseen rocks. Well, that was good enough for Galena Bob!

I had hoped to sing for them (Welsh ancestry on my mother’s side, you recall), as I had been told the Good People enjoy music, but I had a sore throat, and had to whistle instead.

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I whistled every holiday tune I knew.

After a time, even that began irritating my throat, and I knew that I was going to have to stop soon.

I wished them a happy holiday, turned on my light, and blew out the candle.

As I walked along the adit, heading back to the portal, I resumed whistling.

And someone began whistling along with me…

One more piece of information. Although this extreme behavior is outside my own experience, MaryJoy Martin in her book ‘Twilight Dwellers of Colorado’, reports that the Martin R. Mine at Cripple Creek, Colorado, had Tommyknockers who were extremely vicious.

They would, she reports, deliberately lead miners into danger. They would break timbers and cut cables, and caused premature blasts.

Galena Bob. U.S.

The Fairy Whistle

I have never heard a tale quite like this one. Could it be the Leanan Sidhe at work?

*

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We were only teenagers then. Had been on the drink after a game like. My three cousins and me, walking home at a stumble.

The oldest, I won’t tell his name, was barely walking at all. Me and my other cousins took turns half carrying him across the fields and anyway we all fell into this ditch. It was shallow enough, and we all just lay there, under a tall tree, looking up at the stars for I can’t say how long.

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The night was silent, and so were we, which I suppose was the first sign of something unusual. Then we hear this music. It was simple, a whistle I think it was. Quiet, but close. I said to my cousin who was less inebriated than the other two “Do you hear that?”. He says “I do”. There was no one around for miles. My cousins’ house the only one nearby.

We listened for a time. All four of us. It was the most beautiful tune, played over and again. Almost had me in a daze. Then I shot up and realized we were laying our backs against the side of a fairy ring. I knew it well in daylight and wouldn’t go near it then. So, I upped and got them moving again.

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Well we got home no trouble and next day recalled the whistle we heard. We all four of us remembered it the same but swore not to mention it to our Mam’s for fear they’d tear strips off us for being foolish enough to sit on a fairy fort. But that tune, it was lighter and sweeter than anything I’d heard before or since.

Now you’ll be expecting me to tell you some terrible bad luck befell the four of us soon after. Well it didn’t. We were fine. In fact, I suppose you could say we were better than fine. For a time.

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Each of us grew and spread our wings. My cousins each excelled in their field of interest. It’s not for me to tell their names but one was a successful multimedia artist in the city, another was a regarded musician who had traveled the world and the last was a history teacher who published several books.

I say was because all 3 are passed now. Suddenly and every one before their 30th birthday. They each lived a short, bright life and I too have enjoyed a surprising measure of success in my own field.

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In the end, we only saw each other at funerals. We’d look at each other with these eyes you know. Now there’s only me left.

Well anyway, the thing is, I turn 30 myself next year and find myself wondering about that fairy fort, and the whistle we heard that night. And I wonder what awaits me.

Michael – Ireland.

I received a follow-up email from Michael and he asked me to add a curious detail which he forgot to include in his own account. Michael says that since that night, when he and his cousins lay back on the wall of the fairy fort, none of the 4 men ever experienced a sleeping dream. Ever again. Make of that what you will. If you have a theory on this, or how it relates to his extraordinary tale, I would love to hear it.

I wish Michael all the very best and thank him again for sharing.

Cheers, Kitty.

Encounter with Scottish Forest Faerie

I hope you enjoy this incredibly vivid account of an encounter in a dark, wet Scottish forest. In all honesty, I’m not sure I would have remained as composed as Kelly. I find it particularly interesting that the Faerie seemed to ‘test’ Kelly, and appreciate her feisty nature. – Kitty.

*

I was living in my car at this time, my partner lived in his. We both had one dog each with us, but we were freezing cold and struggling to cope with the elements.

We were temporarily homeless and had nowhere else to go. On this particular night we were on the beach at Oban.

oban-town-in-scotland
Oban, Scotland.

The wind was strong and it was below freezing. My partner suggested we go to the forest. It was a place he often camped in, and he had left a small tent in a secret location there, it was his emergency home.

I agreed to spend the night in the tent, because I needed to lay down flat, and my car was too small to sleep in and relax.scot forest logs

The forest itself was on an incline. The ground was very muddy and slippery. We only had the moonlight to help us navigate our way up through the trees. I had to climb over fallen trees and crawl under the low laying ones. I was not in a good mood.

We found the tent and it was in a state of disrepair. The front zip had broken and the inner bedroom compartment zip only went down half way. So this made the tent colder than usual.

I complained constantly about our plight, while the wind whistled round the tent and the cold froze my fingers and toes.

maple puddle

I bought a mat and a sleeping bag to lay on, but as soon as I got in the sleeping bag, that is when the rain started. It poured down and soon the tent floor was soaking, which in turn saturated my sleeping bag. By now, I was a snivelling wreck.

I just sat crying and feeling sorry for myself suddenly, two men started talking to each other at the back of the tent. I could hear them as clear as anything. They sounded like they were having a normal day to day chat but I could not make out any of their words, even though I felt it was familiar, like English.

The chat seem to last some time, possibly about half an hour. During this time I tried to think of any possible reason why, or how, anyone had found this actual spot, that was well hidden from the public, and why they should be stood chatting in a storm.

The chat ended. After a few moments I heard the sound of heavy foot prints walk around the tent, crunching sticks under foot. My heart was pounding in fear, because we were so vulnerable.

Suddenly something hit the tent, it hit it so hard the canvas came inwards towards me. This happened 3 times. It was as if someone was using a heavy stick to strike the tent. My heart was beating so fast, I could barely speak. The dogs started barking and jumping around. Then silence.

I was now so distressed I was on my knees rocking backwards and forwards. I hadn’t slept for nights, and I was exhausted. I closed my eyes and tried to lull myself to sleep.

tent in rain

That is when I heard the music. It was coming from further up the forest. There was no housing up there, or anywhere a band could play. Yet, it sounded like a band was starting. I heard a rich, male voice start to sing out in to the wind. I could not make out the words, but he sounded like a young man.

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The violins sounded out, yet they were not violins. The instruments where familiar, yet nothing I had heard of in my day to day life.

The music got louder and louder and it was like a party was starting. I heard lots of voices start to join in. It gave me comfort, but it intrigued me so much, because I wanted to know how and why anyone would want to party in a storm, in the middle of winter, in a cold, muddy forest. It made no sense.

I still had my eyes closed, but now I “saw” all these faces coming towards me, mocking me, teasing me, trying to scare me. Some were hideous and frightening, some human like and handsome. The one I recall the most was the young man. I somehow linked his face to the voice that was singing. He had a mop of dark curly hair and beautiful green eyes, he looked Irish to me, he was the one with the cheeky smile.

I was so infuriated by my plight that I had no time for fear now. So the scary faces that growled at me, I swore at, and told them to back off. Their expressions changed. Some looked bemused, one looked shocked. Then suddenly, it was if they thought “who the hell is this woman?”, and they softened up towards me. I honestly felt like they came to ward me off, and some came to welcome me, but in the end, it was like a general acceptance. I really believed at this point that I was in THEIR forest, and that they had decided I could stay.

I spoke in my mind to the faces and their expressions is where I got their answers. I asked them if I should leave my partner, because I blamed him for out plight, and one laughed, the other looked confused, and the other face rolled its eyes! In other words, “it was none of their business!”

So they disappeared. That is when the wind picked up, and started to whistle through the trees. I could not believe what I was hearing, it was like the trees where singing! It was so beautiful, it hypnotised me. I felt like I should leave the tent and follow the sound, and go and join the fairies, but at this point, my partner told me to stay inside. It was like I was been lulled out of the tent.

I stayed put and then suddenly the wind died down, then the rain stopped.

That is when the ball of light came bouncing in to the tent. It was like a purple, lit up bouncy ball. It came in and knocked things over. There was no explanation for what it was. The dogs went insane and started barking at it at running towards it. I was sat opened mouthed in absolute wonder.

It bounced out of the tent and disappeared.

That is when I fell asleep.

The next morning I asked my partner if he saw or heard anything, to which he replied, “Congratulations Fallbrook, you met the fairies”.

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We got a job soon after and moved into a park. During the coming winter when the season ended, they came back to see me twice. Both times they struck the caravan three times! I knew it was them. I called out “hello”.

I believe the fairies are like people. You get the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think they saw my distress, and some wanted to help me, while others wanted to scare me out of their forest, but they came around because I am strong spirited. I see them as my friends.

I try to protect the forest, because I believe it is their home. I also think that when I go to other places on the west coast of Scotland, they recognise me.

They are hidden, but real. I love them. I hope to meet them again and talk to them. I just hope that my circumstances are nicer than the last time.

I did meet them again, but that is another story.

I swear my story is true. I really did see them, and hear them. My dogs saw them. They see us, but it is hard for us to see them. I believe that you need the second sight to see them.

Kelly Fallbrook – Scotland.

Faerie Muse?

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I don’t know if this is really Faerie related or not but I’ll tell you anyway.

You know they say that some people have been ‘touched’ by the Wee Folk? Well I’ve often wondered if I saw it in action.

I’ve been to loads of concerts and seen Christy Moore many times, solo, with Sinnot, Lunny and Planxty too, and every performance was memorable but there was this one time something happened I’ll never forget.

It was a normal rowdy crowd, a few hundred, half-torn and well up for the night. Moore walks out on stage, unassuming as always, with his guitar in hand, and I swear, the air was sucked out of the whole room.

The crowd to a one, gasped, as though God or William Wallace or a wailing Banshee herself had walked on stage.

And so they were, mesmerized and silent for a good 7 seconds and he looked more than a wee surprised himself. Of course, he kicked in some banter and the crowd breathed again, all at once. Yelling and clapping began and the night took off, but what had happened was, well the best word I can use is ‘unnatural’.

No offence to Christy but he’s an ordinary looking fella, so it wasn’t his looks took our collective breath away. I’ve often wondered what the hell happened that night.

So, if you believe the Wee Folk occasionally act as muse and single out a Human for special attention, maybe take a closer look at Christy Moore.

Grant – Glasgow

A Faerie Father

I have an Aunty who believes her daughter, my cousin, was fathered by a Faerie.

The story goes, when she was 16 Aunty disappeared for a week and when she got back home, she was pregnant.

Mam says my grandparents were livid and told everyone outside the family that she went over to England with a pal on a shopping trip and was ‘taken advantage of’, by an English scoundrel, but Aunty tells a different story.

She says she remembers it well. It was broad daylight on the day of the Summer solstice and she was walking home from the bus-stop with two bags of groceries, when she heard some music coming from a nearby ringed fort.

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She says she was smart enough not to go near the music but remembers stopping on the road just to listen.

Next thing she knows, she’s walking in the front door a week later and sick as a parrot.

The whole pregnancy was woeful and she was sent to hospital a handful of times in a dire state. Anyway, my cousin was born early but perfect, and so she has always been.

If it were me I’d probably be pissed with everyone thinking me Da was a Faerie, but it doesn’t bother my cousin at all. She just laughs.

Name withheld at request – County Roscommon