Faerie Feathers?

My family have always been Catholic but me and my grandmother have always been attracted or pulled towards nature. She’s really good with plants and even talks to them if that’s a little crazy but it’s worked for her.

arthur rackham woman
by Arthur Rackham.

I’ve always been good with animals, domestic and wild. They seem to know I have a good intent which allows me to help them when I feel need help.

n c wyeth 1928
by N. C. Wyeth.

I first got into reading fairy lore since I joined the missing 411 subreddit and become fascinated by how people could disappear in such weird and reoccurring circumstances. A common explanation offered that these incidents seem to be connected with the Fae.

I kept on exploring and reading about them. I listened to stories on YouTube from Scary Fairy Godmother. Somehow, I got to the point where I wanted to build them a fairy house. I still didn’t know if they were real or not, but was very curious.

So, I started on the project. I used cardboard that was in the recycling bin, painted it, and decorated with leaves, fallen petals and twigs. I was pleased with the result and decided to make a second one, this one being bigger and including a small bed and a bench.

That’s when I started finding feathers.

feather nenuphar book (2)
from Nenuphar Book.

At first it was in my backyard in a path I usually take and I just considered myself lucky and incorporated it to my second fairy house.

It was black, big and sleek.

Then I found another one in my grandma’s house.

This was weird since I found it inside the house.

It was also black but a bit smaller.

I picked it up and once again I put it inside my more elaborate fairy house.

I was so into creating the second fairy house, I didn’t even get hungry. I just wanted to finish it, make it prettier, adding more comforts to it etc.

I’ve also felt I’ve been being tested recently.

A few days ago, a hen and her chicks were in the middle of the road. I was with my mom in the car and she kept honking at them but they wouldn’t move. I got out of car and lead them to safety.

That night, my cat brought in a small bright green iguana to the house. My cat was trying to kill it. I managed to get him out of the house with treats.

Then my dog wanted to also kill it. I placed my dog in my room so it wouldn’t kill the poor iguana. I found two cardboard boxes and gently with a broom nudged the guy to go inside one of the cardboxes. Then I placed the second one on top and proceeded to go downstairs and into my backyard to safely release it.

arthur rackham 12 (2)
by Arthur Rackham.

Then my cat was smelling the box again. After all this work I wasn’t going to release the little guy just so my cat would try to kill it again. I picked up my cat, put him in my room then went down again and finally was able to set the guy free. Little guy didn’t want to leave his box so I gently touched his tail so he could get running and find somewhere safe.

I felt happy and fell asleep early which is rare with my insomnia. I dreamed I was walking again through my backyard. I found white feathers. Then I kept going and found beautiful brow, orange-ish feathers, bright blue feathers, big peacock feathers.

feather whiteI went downstairs and was tending to my dogs when I stumbled upon a fluffy white feather. I noticed it, but left in the ground and kept walking.

Then I found another, fluffy white feather right in my path. I picked it up and have placed it in my second fairy house.

I’m in awe.

There have been too many signs at the same time for them to be just coincidences.

I’d like to point out I usually don’t find many feathers, or hens with chicks standing in the road, or my cat bringing bright green lizards. I usually don’t dream about feathers or much at all really. I feel something is trying to communicate me suddenly.

I keep on finding a lot of feathers. One day I kept finding feathers in triplets. For us Catholics 3 is a holy number since we believe in the Holy Trinity, that God is made up of three distinct beings of the same divine nature. So, to me the three is significant.

I thanked them and some have been added to the houses while others I just hold it and throw them when there’s a breeze to watch them fly away.

My dreams have been vivid and weird.

sergey solomko artist (2)
by Sergey Solomko.

I had a dream which I don’t really recall, but the remarkable thing is I woke up at 5am, on my own. (Just for context I’m a college student. My sleep schedule is very much out of whack. I’m more likely to fall asleep at 5am then to wake up at that time.)

I woke in an almost trance-state.

Switched off the air conditioner and just heard the sounds of nature as everything was waking up.

I live in a rural area so I heard, the crickets, birds and all the roosters.

Then I heard humming in my left ear.

christian schloe white (2)
by Christian Schloe.

Human, or human-sounding, humming a melody I didn’t know.

I’ve tried to remember it, but honestly it just blurs out.

I didn’t feel scared, it was very calming almost like a lullaby.

I didn’t have any feelings of fear or danger.

I felt safe.

Styru, Puerto Rico.

74 – The Pooka Horse & other tales with Special Guest: Steve Lally

steve lally pooka horse
by Steve Lally.

Strap yourself in, we’re in for a grand ride!

I am so happy to welcome Steve Lally, international storyteller and best-selling author, to Encounters with the Good People. Steve joins us today for a session of poems, music and a rollicking classic tale of the dreaded Pooka! You don’t want to miss this one.

You know sometimes someone is just born for one thing?

Growing up in County Kildare, Ireland, it seems Steve was destined from a young age to be a teller of tales.

steve lally3
Steve Lally himself…

Steve’s late Grandmother was a Storyteller, and it was clear to all who knew him that, even from an early age, he would follow in her footsteps, as he gathered up stories like corn and stored them all away.

Well, he’s all grown up now and as takes his stories far and wide.

As you will hear yourself, he is really passionate about breathing life into storytelling and folklore, and sure they have never been important than they are in these now, in these unsettling days.

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***FABULOUS PRIZE GIVEAWAY***

To celebrate Steve’s first visit to Encounters with the Good People, we have a beautiful book to giveaway.

I’m delighted to offer a hardcover copy of the recently published book ‘The Anthology of Irish Folk Tales’ to one lucky listener. This enchanting collection of stories gathers together legends from across Ireland told by a wealth of talented storytellers, including our guest Steve Lally.

From fairies, giants and vampires to changelings and witches, this book celebrates the distinct character of Ireland s different customs, beliefs and dialects, and is a treat for all who enjoy a well-told story.

Entering is ridiculously easy. Simply drop me a message telling me which episode of this Podcast has been your favourite (so far…). You can write to me via email, or on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Take a wee sneak peek at this gorgeous book here on Amazon:

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Special Event:  ‘Tales by the Light of the Tilly Lamp’.

Our special guest, Steve Lally, is hosting a special live storytelling event on Saturday 4th July on his Facebook page.

arthur rackham3 (2)
By Arthur Rackham.

For 90 minutes he will be weaving his way with poems, songs and of course, wonderful tales from 10pm to 1130pm GMT time.

‘Tales by the Light of the Tilly Lamp‘ is a fundraising storytelling session with awesome giveaways of books and pieces of art.

All funds raised will directly support Steve as he undertakes his upcoming Masters Degree in Folklore.

I hope you can join Steve on the 4th July and make a donation to support one of our great, modern storytellers to further develop his glorious craft. All you need to do is drop into Steve’s Facebook page called Irish Gothic: Fairy Stories from the 32 counties of Ireland to join Steve live for a great night on Saturday 4th July.

If you just would like to help support Steve continue in his work and upcoming study, you can!  Simply visit PayPal anytime and send a donation as a ‘Friend’ to:

stevelally6@gmail.com

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Fancy buying me a coffee? tea hands (2)

If you enjoy Encounters with the Good People and would like to give me a hand to continue in this work, please consider buying me a ‘coffee’ (I prefer tea actually…).

Sending out a BIG thank you to Maggie. Your kind donation (cuppa tea) really helps me, it means a lot.

This is a really quick, simple and safe way for you to donate and support my work.

Simply click on the ‘Buy me a coffee’ icon on my website and you will be helping to create and produce ‘Encounters with the Good People’ Podcast and YouTube videos.

All support is greatly appreciated. Cheers, Kitty.

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Fancy more Encounters with the Good People?

Did you know you can experience ‘Encounters with the Good People’ on video?

Dan and I are lovingly producing videos for each of our Podcast episodes. You can find them on our YouTube channel. We upload a new one regularly. If you enjoy our videos, please Like, Subscribe and Share with like-minded folk.

For a daily peek at modern and historical encounters with the Good People, plus loads of great links, conversation starters and otherwise hard-to-find information on the Good People, visit Kitty’s Facebook page.

Or, for a dose of Faerie on the go, drop into Kitty’s ‘Faerie Lucky Dip’ over at Instagram and Twitter. Kitty posts once a day and you never know what you might get. Faerie top tips, fun facts, art, poems, and short tales.

Do you have your own tale of a Faerie sighting or encounter?
Perhaps you have your own story to share?

Kitty would love to hear from you and share your tale on our website.

Our website is bursting with true, and amazing, tales of encounters with the Good People from folk all over the world. You’re sure to find a tale there to get you thinking… Thanks to everyone who has shared their own experiences with us so far.

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Podcast Credits.
Edited by Magic Dan
Special Guest: Steve Lally.
Steve’s Email: stevelallystories@gmail.com
Steve’s Website: www.storyman.info
Steve’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCroLuXSnqFKJog2TEQWAjWw

Theme Music:
‘Irish Coffee’ by Giorgio di Campo.

Additional Music:
‘Rumblin’, ‘Emerald Hills’, and ‘Gaelic’s Call’ by Trey Van Zandt.

Did this Faerie take a wrong turn?

pascal moguerou girl (2)
by Pascal Moguerou

 

I think I had an encounter which happened recently (early March 2020). I have no idea, what it was – fae or not – however, it was very strange, so I’d love to share.

It was a completely normal day, around 3 pm in the afternoon.

I was having a coffee chat with my sister (she’s 31, I’m 29) in our kitchen.

She was holding her 5 months old baby boy, while my 1 1/2 year old baby girl was sleeping in another room.

Suddenly, we heard a strange, short sound.

Later, we tried to describe it.

It was a sound of friction, the sound of heavy furniture moving on a carpet.

We immediately turned our head towards the sound – I turned right, she turned left, at the corridor door. Then we turned at each other:

Did you… see that...?!”

pascal moguerou artist (2)
by Pascal Moguerou

It lasted just for a second, but it was long enough for us to later describe the exact same thing, at the exact same spot:

there was this little, about 50 cm tall, white, human shaped… something or someone, beside the half-opened door.

Our immediate instinct was to look behind the door (there was nothing), and to check on my baby, because she was sleeping in the room next to this door. She was sound asleep.

It felt very strange, eerie. Our hearts beat faster, but we weren’t afraid, just feeling this “what on earth happened?!” vibe.

We later discussed, if her baby boy started crying, we would have freaked out for sure, but his calmness made us feel at ease too.

Still, even without this actual fear, for 3 hours we constantly felt chills, and just thinking about it made our skin crawl. We never experienced anything like this before, and haven’t since.

One of the things that puzzled us the most was the fact that we couldn’t link this experience to anything. teacup girl
We just chatted about everyday mom life stuff. Nothing special, we were relaxed.

March was a crazy month, for sure, but not only for us…
I wonder whether the fellow was a herald of all this “craziness”, but, to be honest, this explanation just doesn’t feel right.

 
It much rather felt like an ‘accidental’ meeting, an unintended lifting of the veil – to both of us. My Sister said:

It felt like, as if someone took a wrong turn.”

Beth, Hungary.

My Boggart Companion

boggart j b monge 2 (2)
by Jean Baptiste Monge

Many times, since I was very young, people would ask me about my ‘strange little pet‘…

Cutting a very long story short, I didn’t have any pets let alone a ‘strange little one‘! Yet people would insist they’d seen one close to me, or within my home.

boggart brian froud (2)
by Brian Froud

They weren’t ever big as such, not like horse size or anything,  but mostly the size of a medium sized dog.

And even though the description was never the same  –  it varied from a big hedgehog running on its back legs  –  to a cat-like-monkey-thing asleep on my stairs.

I’d even seen a sort of monkey thing myself- very briefly – swinging from my kitchen ceiling.

The only things they seemed to have in common, was they all had shaggy brown coats,  and that they very soon disappeared!

I told John* all about that, and he was aware of some of the other (unconnected?)  things that quite often happened to me, and he said, quite matter-of-factly,

It seems to me like you’ve got a Boggart caught up in your aura!”

Well, I certainly didn’t expect anything like that!  But what John didn’t know was that for the first 10 years of  my life, we’d lived in a big clough** in Manchester  –  Boggart Hole Clough.

boggart brian froud 3 (2)
by Brian Froud

I’d spent many hours in that clough, among the trees etc, hiding away from my family!

And in fact that clough always felt more like home to me  –  I felt like I was among friends whilst in there…

Adrienne, United Kingdom.

* John Hall. You can read John’s own incredible Faerie encounters, and amazing accompanying photos, on the Isle of Man on my website here: Part Three and here: Part Two and here: Part One

** Clough = a steep valley or ravine.

 

Faerie chased into river by dog

ireland co clare3.
County Clare, Ireland.

I’m from Australia as well. Irish descent on both sides. I guess when you’re brought up like I was, with a wickedly wonderful story-telling Granny and a fiercely patriotic Mother who’d never allow an Irish joke to be told in the house, it’s no wonder I too found myself in the presence of a real, honest to goodness ‘little person’ one day long ago.

This experience changed me.

It was liberating and exciting because I’d always believed they existed but also believe they only existed in Europe, Ireland etc.

ella-gomez-ErpJlwH_Y5k-unsplash

I live on the New South Wales (NSW) central coast. It was boxing day, I think about 1999 or 2000.

I had separated from my husband and my best friend was in the same process so she and I decided to have boxing day together with our kids (my 3 & her 4), picnicking on the bank of Wyong Creek.

ida rentoul outhwaite fairy riverbank
Faerie by the riverbank. By Ida Rentoul Outhwaite. 1915.

We were joined by a couple of extra friends and kids. We took a big lunch and canoes. Before lunch we went together in a few canoes for a paddle along the creek, under a bridge, past some old houses.

On our return we were making our way back to where we’d set up, and a couple of the bigger kids were paddling beside us in the shallows.

fairystudiokallies (2)
by fairystudiokallies

I heard the frantic barking of a small dog coming close to us along the bank.

I turned to see what was going on.

I saw a tiny figure, about 30cm tall no more, running for all it was worth.

It was like a tiny man with his head back.

Arms drawn up.

Racing right down a half submerged fallen tree in the water.

Striding down, joining hands in front of itself…

it dived into the water and disappeared with the dog (an Australian silkie terrier whose name was Friday, I never forgot it) right behind and it’s owner in hot pursuit.

terrier stamp
Australian Postage Stamp, 2013.

The owner, a young girl, apologised profusely for the ruckus, scooped the dog up and left.

I turned to my friend in the other canoe.

All of us apart from the littlest kids were there, gaping mouths, wide eyed and just kept saying “you saw that, right?”

“Did you see what I saw?”

It was unmistakable and unforgettable.

Funnily enough, I often took my kids for long drives down to Wiseman’s Ferry for fun and would point out a strip along the way that I’d tell them “that’s where the Faeries live”..

Gabrielle. NSW, Australia.

 

A Life with Faeries

Do you think some people are more in-tune with the Good People than others?

Are these people skilled at keeping their minds and senses alert to the Faerie around them? Or do the Good People simply like or trust them more than other people?

Bob from the U.S. has seen and sensed the Good People many times throughout his life. So in-tune is he with Faerie, that he has kept a journal of each sighting. Here, Bob shares a few more of his personal experiences with us. 

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It is my belief that the Good People are entities of the spirit world who sometimes manifest into, and interact with, our physical world.

franz sedlacek 1933 ghosts on a tree
by Franz Sedlacek

Many of my own encounters were with the Tommyknockers underground, but there have been other encounters taking at least the appearance of many different physical forms.

In the very haunted small mountain town in which I was living in Colorado, I once saw a dark shape scurry under a friend’s automobile when we entered his garage. He saw nothing.

black cat shadow (2)

At another time, in the same location, from the corner of my eye, I saw a dark something, about the size of a cat, peering at from around the side of the garbage can (or dust bin, as it is called elsewhere).

When I looked directly at it, it ducked back out of sight. I walked over and looked around it. Nothing there, nor any tracks on the fresh snow.

It could have been a ghost cat, or perhaps one of the Good People.

A few years later, I lived in the Mayfair neighborhood of Denver while recovering from cancer and its surgeries and treatments. There was a nice park a few blocks away from where I lived, and I walked my dog to the park at least twice a day.

olesya-grichina-8rrW22vsWqk-unsplash

One feature of the park was a strip dedicated to native plants along one edge of the park. One afternoon, I suddenly spied a small dark shape dodge behind a utility box along that stretch. A check around that spot found nothing.

cedric laquieze insect (2)
Art by Cedric Laquize

A couple months later, my dog and I were taking a walk during the morning “tween” time, or morning twilight.

A small brown figure, about three inches tall, launched itself from the ground in a flurry of wings.

The rational part of my mind identified it as a large insect, perhaps a praying mantis.

But then it occurred to me that it was late January, there was a cold north wind blowing, the temperature was well below freezing, and the light of the rising sun had not yet reached the park.

There was no way this was an insect, nor a bird, nor a leaf or a piece of trash blowing on the wind.

It was in sight for about three feet, then disappeared, even though it should have been in plain view.

There were other encounters in the park.

Just past some sandbar willows in the native plants section, something small and brown, walking upright, started crossing the path ahead of us. It also appeared to be about three inches tall, and vanished while it still should have been in sight.

brian froud twinkle
by Brian Froud

Less than a week later, in the grass park of the park, my left foot struck something soft and yielding, nearly tripping me.

There was nothing to be seen, not even a tuff of turf, and it could not be felt again.

A few days later, again in the native plants section, there were a couple glimpses of something about twice as tall as the earlier brown beings, but of a sparkly, twinkly silver appearance.

There was also a possible appearance in my apartment one evening.

I was reading, and saw something white flutter down from the top of a bookshelf to the floor, but nothing could be found.

Also in that apartment were encounters with what I dubbed “fuzzballs”.

Also seen elsewhere, these were indistinct black shapes about the size of golfballs which would scurry for about a foot or do, then vanish, even on an open floor.

Eventually, Colorado was left behind, and I moved back to my boyhood state of Ohio. Our dawn walks continued, often in a park along the river, where many animals could be found, but other things as well, including sighting a small white being that was twirling around on the ice of the frozen river one winter morning.

frozen-2898564

A very interesting encounter occurred almost exactly one year after the encounter with the being that I mistook for a mantis.

jean baptiste monge boy (2)
by Jean Baptiste Monge

On a dawn walk, this time in a residential neighborhood which has lots of trees and flowers, I briefly spied a small brown fairy flying along.

In that instant, I knew that my daughter, who was living in Switzerland at the time, had given birth to her first child. My son-in-law telephoned a few hours later with the news.

More recently, last Autumn, I was crossing a bridge over a major highway.

The highway was well lit, as was the street I was following, but the bridge itself was not lighted.

It was well before dawn, and the temperature was cold. A light suddenly appeared in the air over the bridge, at about fifty feet above me I reckoned.

It was moving across the wind, meandering a bit. It was of an off-white color about the size of a large butterfly. It was in sight for about thirty feet, then vanished.

 Bob, U.S.

The Gift of Freedom

Part of the lore about the Good People is that they can use glamour to make things, including themselves, appear to be something different.

karina-vorozheeva-rW-I87aPY5Y-unsplash

A Fairy might take on the appearance of a mouse or of a butterfly, for example, or might make a pile of acorns look like a trove of gold coins, or to make physical object invisible.

When I was still in Denver, I had a number of occurrences with butterflies which seemed very strange. I do believe that in some cases the butterflies may have actually been Fairies using glamour, or at the very least actual butterflies were being controlled by the Good People or other entities of the spirit world.

man in park

It started innocently enough. I was still recovering from cancer and was frequently at the veteran’s hospital in Denver. Whenever possible, I would walk to and from my appointments, and I would vary my routes.

One day I passed an absolutely delightful garden with many different kinds of flowers. Recalling what I had been taught about nature spirits, I mentally greeted each clump of flowers as I walked by.

garden

Near the end of the garden, one particular cluster of flowers caught my attention. I greeted it and praised it, and immediately there was a very strong and wonderful aroma, which vanished after a few seconds.

About two months later, I was passing the garden again, and this time I caught a glimpse of a Fairy’s wings flickering behind a clump of flowers.

butterflies

A month after that, I passed by that garden again, and mentally projected a greeting to whomever might be listening.

Immediately, a half dozen butterflies, later identified as American Painted Ladies, sprang up from the garden, and circled around me several times, not more than a foot away.

Then they landed back on the flowers again.

For the rest of that summer and fall, there were similar encounters with butterflies almost constantly.

If I stepped outside my home, I would often be greeted by one or more.

butterfly2If none were there, I would mentally project, “Where’s my little friends?” and one or more would appear.

One day, one of them went on our walk with my dog and me.

It would fly ahead, land and wait for us, then once more fly ahead when we caught up, over and over.

Part of this relationship may have stemmed from an incident.

Walking back from the neighborhood market on a sunny day, I saw an injured American Painted Lady fluttering about on the asphalt of the market’s parking lot.

park in shadeIt was missing one of its four wings, an injury from which it could not recover.

The asphalt was very hot that sunny day, and it came to me that if I were injured and dying, I would prefer not to be doing it on hot asphalt.

I very gently picked it up and carried it to a nearby shady, grassy area where it could die more comfortable.

As I released it there, I hit with a very strong reaction of approval, along the lines of, “As you have done it unto least of these my brethren.. ”

Some time later, my dog and I were once again walking to the park, and we encountered a woman and her young daughter, who we had met on other walks.

They carried a net, and the girl, who was about four or five years of age, was carrying a small cage box.

Wanna see my butterfly?” she asked, excitedly.

My heart sank a bit.

Somehow, I knew what she had in her cage.

butterfly

I did not remonstrate, as she was so innocently proud of her capture, and I do recognize that not everyone shares my beliefs, so I simply asked what sort of butterfly she had.

They didn’t know, so she opened the box enough for me to see that yes, indeed, it was an American Painted Lady.

butterfly american painted lady2

I told her what she had, but then was prompted to add something.

Did you know that sometimes when people think they see a butterfly, it really isn’t?” I asked.

Yes, sometimes it is a moth,” she replied.

True,” I acknowledged, “but some people believe that sometimes when you see a butterfly, it is actually a Fairy“.

Having given her some food for thought, my dog and I continued to the park. It came to me very strongly that perhaps I should have added that if she made a wish on her butterfly and set it free, the Fairies might grant the wish.

And as we continued on our walk, we had many of my little friends fluttering about us, with one almost landing on my dogs nose.

renee-carter-46BO-t_9ZP8-unsplash

The next day, we encountered the little girl again. And I asked how her butterfly was doing. Her reply warmed my heart.

“Oh,” she said, “we turned it loose.”

Coincidence? I don’t believe so.

Bob – U.S.

butterfly american painted lady3

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.

arthur rackham music

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.

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An Encounter with a Leshy?

breakfast

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).

leshy

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.

 

 

Something in the Woods

I believe I’ve had several encounters with the Good People, since I was a small girl.  Too much has happened around me that I can’t really explain for it to be coincidental.

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Most of these have been happy, for the most part, though cautionary.  Even in the event it scared me, I didn’t feel particularly threatened.  I hear a bell quite often, just a soft tinkling sound that my dog seems to key in on, which is usually followed by finding something that I’ve been missing.

I’m careful not to say thank you when this happens, but it’s a strange, comfortable sort of thing.  I don’t really have words to describe it.  I live in a semi rural area, wooded on all sides of the houses.  We have about half an acre of woods on the property, but we also have neighbors across the main road and on either side of my home.

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I like to go out for hours and sit on a swing in my yard, enjoying nature, and occasionally listening to music, sometimes singing, or reading, and the swing faces the woods, so you see darting shadows and animals which occasionally regard you with almost knowing eyes.

Recently, however, I’ve been experiencing things of a nature that has me on edge.

It started about a week before Samhain.  I was spending the weekend alone for the most part, my family was out of town, but I had to work and was unable to take the days off.

My cousin came up and we had a good time, with some comfort food and music, and playing games and just generally talking until early in the morning.

About 1:00 in the morning, my dog decided she had to go out, so I let her out, standing out on my front porch.

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There was a chill in the air, as is typical for a fall in the Mountain State, but there were alot of nightly noises.

My dog stayed close to the house, in the light, straying only to the edge of it and staying there.

I noticed a light then, drifting too high to be someone carrying a flashlight or a phone, which came around the trees from my neighbors home, across the road, around another neighbor’s car and then drifting to the woodline down the road where it disappeared.

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I’ve seen things out of the corner of my eye before, and it startled me to be sure, but I let it go and didn’t think much of it.

I mentioned it to my cousin, as strange as she could see me staring at it from inside the house but hadn’t seen it herself.

This MAY have been my mistake, but I cannot say for certain.

We continued our night as though nothing had happened, and she left about 2:30 in the morning.  I walked her to her car.  It was still a very clear night and fairly noisy.  She drove off, and I went back inside.

My dog was agitated and antsy, so I decided to settle in for a bit to see if this would let her in turn, calm down.   It did not.  So I took it to mean she needed to go outside.

It was now 3:00 in the morning and I stepped out onto the porch I’d just been on not half an hour prior.  It was dead silent and there was a thick fog that had rolled in out of nowhere.  My dog had her hackles raised and darted into the dark out of sight in the fog, definitely not in her nature.

I didn’t want to wake up my neighbors, but I was instantly on edge, peering through the fog trying to discern where she’d gone, hissing her name.  She came back several minutes later, coming just into the light from the porch, stopped and turned her head to look behind her, and wagged her tail, then came trotting back to me.

I was straining my ears, as she was obviously reacting to someone, and hesitantly called out “Brent, is that you?” hoping my neighbor was outside for some unknown reason at three in the morning and I just couldn’t see him.  What met my ears, however, was a scream.

I jumped, but then let out a sigh.

It was bone-chilling and sounded very much like a woman’s scream.  My brain automatically began rationing, as I calmed my hammering heart, that it was a fox.

And then I heard distant laughter.  Males, though I couldn’t make out the conversation.  Again, while it alarmed me, I figured one of the neighbourhood houses were having some sort of party and people were goofing around on a porch and was about to laugh, when I heard a horse.

Now, I should mention, that while I live in a rural area, no one for several miles has horses.  I was quick to head into the house, and was unable to sleep for several hours.  In fact, it was dawn before I was able to settle enough to sleep.

It was several days later and the family was back from their trip.  I was up before any of them, and took the dog outside as part of the morning routine. That thick fog and deep silence was back, and I felt uneasy, but let it go.

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She went out and came back to the porch, calm as calm could be.  And we were about to go back in when there was a low whistling from the dark around the side of my house, in the yard next to the wood.  My dog instantaneously perked her ears up and trotted to the stairs leading to that part of the yard with her tail wagging.

I couldn’t see anyone but I could sense that someone was there, and it unnerved me.  So I called to the dog and we headed back into the house, where I shut and locked the door up tight.

My parents got up and got ready for work, we made breakfast and I didn’t mention this to them, as they tend to make light of things and make me feel like I’ve gone crazy because “these things don’t exist.”

I was in for the shock of a lifetime though.

Because I heard my father swear, which he never does, when he opened up the door to use the remote start on his car and ensured it turned on so the heat would get started, as it was a very chilly morning.

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My mother and I both looked and there, sitting on the porch was my dog, who wagged her tail at us, and then bolted off of the porch into the fog.

Dad started out the door after her, and mom was on his heels, but they both stopped when I, panicked now, shouted for them NOT to go outside.

We’d all seen her, collar and all on my porch, but in the midst of the arguing, I pointed out that our dog was asleep on the floor in the living room, and I didn’t know what was outside but I was very much afraid.

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I have a set of old iron keys that I use for a decoration, which I retrieved from the wall with a look that did not barter room for discussion and I walked my parents to their car.

Nothing has happened since, and the feeling of foreboding is gone now, but I have been carrying these large heavy iron keys to and from my car when I leave the house after dark.

I’m taking every available precaution, paying close attention to my surroundings.  My feelings of peace are restored when i’m outside in the daytime, but I can remember every detail about that encounter and it’s stuck with me and I’m finding myself gazing into the dark expanse between my car and the wood line almost every night as I head out for work.

Jennifer – West Virginia, U.S.

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