Elves of Ireland? and other questions

Faeries podcast - freeWho are the elves of Ireland?  In this 14-minute podcast, Fiona talks about this question and several others.

What surnames see the Banshee?

Anyone can see a Banshee, but you’re not likely to.  They rarely appear to humans.  However, since Banshees are real, it’s possible for anyone to see them.

For more information about the faerie-related families protected by Banshees, see Fiona’s article, The Banshee.

The Banshee is real; stories connect Banshees with specific Irish families.

You can see (or, more often, hear) a Banshee whether you’re related to an Irish family or not.

Do people actually see faeries?

Fiona says that this question is like asking if people actually see elephants.  In both cases, the answer is yes… if you’re in a place where they are, and you know what you’re looking for.

Is this website a hoax/fake?

No. Many of Fiona’s faerie articles have been online for over ten years.  (They were originally at HollowHill.com, which later became Fiona’s ghost-related site, and at Suite101.com, where Fiona worked as a journalist for three years.)

Fiona isn’t sure why anyone would think an academic site like this — especially one that’s been online for so many years — would be a hoax.

She also explains that the majority of faerie (or fairy) related websites are happy fantasy sites, and delightful to visit.  She doesn’t like the words “hoax” or “fake” used with any serious, fae-related website.  (Also, it’s not wise to insult friends of the faeries.)

Can you describe the different kinds of dragons?

Fiona talks about dragons in several articles at this website, and gives a general outline of the kinds of dragons, as well.

In future articles and podcasts, she’ll explain more about them.

Who are the elves of Ireland?

“Elves” is not a word that originated in Ireland.  Some Irish people have adopted the word, elf. It appears in various histories and mythologies, notably English history where the word initially meant all faeries.

Soon, the word “elf” was used to describe specific, small creatures that have supernatural powers and may be shape shifters.  The term may sometimes be used in place of boggart or gnome.

Elf men are usually described as kings and they’re elderly, or have small, wrinkled faces.  Elf women are usually described as young and beautiful maidens wearing grey dresses and white veils.

Some cultures’ stories — including Algonquin (Native American) and Teutonic mythology — describe “elves of light.”  Their counterparts would be “elves of darkness,” similar to the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of the Scottish faeries.

The word “elf” has many spellings, from Aelf to Ylf, and is primarily featured in British, Teutonic, Icelandic and Scandinavian lore.

Elves in Ireland — or at least the use of the word, “elf” — probably arrived in Ireland from one or more of those countries.

Click here to listen to this podcast online (MP3)
(or, you can download it at iTunes)


Briggs, Katharine: An Encyclopedia of Fairies

Rose, Carol: Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins – An Encyclopedia

Smith, Peter A.: W. B. Yeats and the Tribes of Danu

The Moods of Man
written & orchestrated by James Underberg

2 thoughts on “Elves of Ireland? and other questions”

  1. I am sure you will be interested in knowing that we have incountered small creatures we call fairys. They are by a water fall here in America and we found them by accident. The female and males both have auburn hair. They seem to be the ones in control along with an older person that was sitting in a place of control overseeing everything.
    We were able to get some pictures. When we snapped the camera shutter and took the picture they started scrambeling, we did capture some of their activites. We believe the reason so many were in one area is it must have been a trainging or religious holiday for them. Don’t know, and have never been back there again. If you want to chat about our encounter contact us at longtom7@yahoo.com

  2. In Denmark, possibly also in the other Scandinavian countries, we have something called an ‘alf’. If you go back in time, the word alf, has probably been used to describe all kinds of faeries, in Denmark at least. Alf comes from Norse mythology, where one of the ”worlds” was called Alfheim, this was where the ‘light elves’ lived. Therefor i can guess that elf, comes from the word alf. In Denmark we don’t really use the word alf about elves anymore, as elves are called ‘elvere’ in Denmark. (i know it’s different in Sweden). But this wasn’t really what i was going to write.. You mentioned that the elves, the female elves had tails, and that is something i have also noticed in some danish folklores. But actually i have only seen this very few times. the female elves may be called elverpiger or Ellepiger in danish (piger meaning girls). and there is a thing about these elves that’s really creepy. you see, the part ‘elle’ in the name can also be a tree, and these ellepiger were hollow in the back, like a tree. they were really dangerous. but i read that you could protect yourself from them, by telling them to turn around, and then the would turn into a tree (I’ve only seen this in one maybe two stories about elves). Ellepigerne was dangerous because they would make men fall in love with them, and then make them week and tired, and in the end they would probably take the men with them, to where they lived, and the men would never return again. When ellepigerne would get older, and start to have children, they would place the children in the hole they had in their back, and by somehow putting there breasts over their shoulders, they could feed the children. When ellepigerne then got a lot older, they would no longer be ellepiger, they would be called ‘slattenpatter’ instead (slattenpat meaning something like ‘ saggyboobs’) These women was described as very unattractive old women with really (what can i say?) ”long” breasts. The funny thing about these creatures, is that they aren’t hollow in the back, likke ellepigerne are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *