Fairies have been fascinating people long before Grimm’s Fairy Tales sat on everyone’s bookshelves. Sometimes referred to as the fey, fairies have somewhat uncertain beginnings. It’s believed their rooted in Eastern European folklore but the original source is unknown. There are hundreds of legends associated with them. Modern Victorian fairies are depicted as beautiful (but small) women with flowing wings but earlier fairies often had much darker tendencies.
Early fairies were often associated with the dead and were known for being mischievous. They would play tricks on whoever crossed their path and liked to bite. The early fairies were often wingless, and looked to be the same size as regular humans. There were all sorts of legends on how to keep them away using herbs, or occasionally iron because no one wanted to run into one.
Many cultures had their own legends about where fairies came from. Some claimed they were angels who had been locked out of heaven; others believed them to be demons. There’s also a belief that the fairies were originally a group of humans forced into hiding during a war. With their destruction came the legends we know today.
No matter where the legend started, they are certainly alive today in most modern cultures. People love the idea that something else could be out there, and a small number of people adamantly believe that fairies really do exist. Even if fairies no longer live in our forests and hills, they live on in our stories, our imaginations, and our hearts.