Disney and other Hollywood sanitizers have convinced everybody that fairies are benevolent wish-granters, or maybe environmental champions. But in actual folklore? Fairies are terrifying. They’re more into baby-stealing and murder than pixie dust. Here are 10 terrifying things fairies could do to you.
Fairies, or the “Good People” from the legends of Ireland, Scotland and England, are usually depicted as capricious at best, and downright wicked at worst.
While probably most cultures have tales of earth spirits with uneasy relationship to humans, the Celtic fairies have done a lot to inform the modern popular interpretation of what a fairy is and looks like. Part of this is due to the collection of fairy lore as a serious anthropological pursuit in the 1880s by noted scholars and poets like W.B. Yeats and the gorgeous and romantic Pre-Raphaelite art movement that illustrated the tales.
Sensibly superstitious people sought to avoid the notice and ire of the fairies. The terms “Good People” or “Fair Folk” were used to placate a temperamental neighbor — and as an accurate description of their general nature. With good reason — get on the bad side of a fairy, and they would mess you up.
Here are some examples of their less friendly behavior:
continued at io9: The Biggest Reasons Why Fairies Are Evil.