Irish Fairy Superstitions

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This page of Irish fairy superstitions is the place to find out why you don't mess with the "Good People". You should always speak kindly of Irish fairies or you will come to regret it. You have to be careful because fairies are everywhere but they are part of the "unseen" world.

Other names for the fairies are "Them", "The Other Crowd" and of course "The Wee Folk". You should never call them Fairies, at least don't say it out loud, they hate that name. If you are the adventurous type you can call them fairies out loud, but I wouldn't if I were you. I think I'm taking a huge chance just writing the word, but somebody has to do it. I'd like to think I'm doing them a service and they will look kindly upon me. One can't be too sure, they are very easily offended.

The Irish Fairy Places

Fairies live all over Ireland. The places they live are called forts, raths, or mounds. A fairy king rules each of these places. At times it is said you can hear sounds of music and merriment coming from the fairy places. It’s believed that Turlough O’Carolan a famous Harper in the 18th century fell asleep on a fairy mound and received the gift of fairy music. This is what gives Celtic music it’s unique sound even today.

Irish fairy superstitions say it is best never to disturb these places. Once, back in the 19th century three young lads began digging up a fairy mound looking for the treasure buried there. They found nothing. It came as no surprise to the townspeople when all three came down with tuberculosis. You just can’t mess with an Irish fairy or you’ll pay the price.

A favorite gathering place for Irish fairies is under a Hawthorne tree. These are usually encircled by a fairy ring of flowers. Certain Hawthorne’s are considered sacred in Ireland. As recently as 1999 in Latoon, County Clare a multimillion-pound highway was diverted so it wouldn’t uproot a lone Hawthorne tree. It was believed if the tree was disturbed everyone that drove on the new road would have bad luck.

Fairy paths are the routes fairies use to get from here to there and are all over Ireland. Never build a house on a fairy path. The best way to avoid this is to set four posts at the corner of the site overnight. If they are still standing in the morning then it is safe to build there. If any have fallen or are moved try another spot. You don’t want your house on a fairy path. You would never have any peace.

One Irish fairy superstition tells of a whole family becoming sick for no apparent reason. It was soon determined that a fairy path had been built through the house. The cure for this was to board up the door and build a new one on another side of the house. This way when the fairies walked up to the boarded up door they had no choice but to go around. The sickness soon left the family.

Miseries Caused by the Fairies.

It’s as I said before don’t offend the fairies or they will take out their revenge. First I will tell you of a close call, and then I will tell you of some problems caused by them.

This old Irish fairy superstition is the story of a Donegal fairy that fell down a cottage chimney and into a kettle of boiling water. He quickly jumped out but his cry of pain drew in many other fairies from around the area. They were ready with swift revenge toward the woman of the house thinking she burned their kin on purpose. But the burned fairy spoke up and said “No, no it was me own fault”. With that they all left doing no harm.

If you offend a fairy they may hit you with a Fairy dart. This will cause severe pain and swelling in the hands or feet or both. There was an old cure for this. It was an ointment made from unsalted butter and a special herb rubbed on the affected area. Naturally the fairy dart had to be extracted for the cure to be permanent.

They may otherwise cause you to have a Fairy stroke. This was a seizure that came on to people not known to ever have them before. Sinus infections and tuberculosis were also caused by the fairy stroke.

Once a family all became sick because a fairy was refused admittance into their house. The oldest son was blinded for at time but did regain his sight. But there was something different with his eyes after that. They had the look of some distant terror. The rest of the family brought bad luck wherever they went. The neighbors became afraid of them and thought they should be put to death. There was no need for this because all in the family pined away and died within the year.

Irish Fairy Superstitions of the Dead and Missing.

Irish fairies

A pair of shovels crossed at the mouth of a grave is believed to keep out malevolent fairies. This Irish fairy superstition is still practiced today in some parts of Ireland.

An Irish fairy sometimes takes people that seem to die or disappear to live in a fairy palace. If they are found by a friend or family member it is then possible for them to return to their earthly life even if found years later. When asked, they say they would gladly go back to the fairy palace.

It’s believed woman that appear to have died in childbirth are taken to live with the fairies. The same is true of stillborn babies.

Irish Fairy Queens sometimes fall in love with young athletic men and they later die for no apparent reason.

Young girls who are wanted for brides to Fairy Kings seem to pine away and die.

In the western islands of Connemara it is believed the dead can be heard laughing with the fairies and spinning flax at night. One girl swore she heard her dead mother's voice singing from inside a fairy mound. The laughing and singing lasts for a year and a day then stops.

Fairy Queen Medb of the Sidhe
Fairy Queen Medb of the Sidhe

Any of the above Irish fairy superstitions could happen to you if you’re not careful. So please I say again do not offend the fairies. It’s for your own good after all.

All right then. This page has gone on long enough. It's time to end this now before the fairies discover that I'm the one writing this page. I'm ending here for my own good after all.

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