During the past couple of years, there has been a burgeoning number of online sources discussing the faeries in all their guises. This perhaps represents a renewed interest in these supernatural entities that have been part of our culture for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. There appears to be an extended realisation that they have something important to add to our understanding of reality; whether it be through the lens of folklore or through a modernistic, esoteric view. There are many approaches to the subject matter. These range from the purely folkloric remit of discussing faeries as a fossilised remnant of our culture through to encompassing them into a phenomenology as extreme as alien abduction scenarios. Deadbutdreaming has always attempted to provide a holistic overview of what the faeries might be, but I am always reliant on, and grateful for, the excellent research and interpretations of others – folklorists, historians, archaeologists, Forteans, esoteric writers, artists, and just thoughtful commentators – who are attempting to make sense of what is a very strange but pervasive phenomenon, which remains below the mainstream radar.
This post is an attempt to list and describe briefly some of the sites that I have found insightful and useful. They cover a wide range of research and come at the phenomenon from many different angles. I hope this will be a beneficial tool for readers looking to scope out the faeries and their place in the present cultural zeitgeist. Inevitably, I’ll miss some sites and so would very much appreciate pointers towards any not listed below, so that I can update the post.
Love it or loathe it, some of the best up to date information about research and writing into the faerie phenomenon can be found on Facebook within groups and community pages. Deadbutdreaming has a companion community page called The Faerie Code, where I link to recent articles and historic and new faerie artwork. The following groups and community pages all contain regularly updated posts and are invaluable for anyone wanting to know more about the faeries in all their forms.
Circle Stories A special mention for this excellent community page, which is administered by David Halpin, where he frequently posts articles about his research into the folklore and mythology of Ireland. It is well-sourced and often exhumes folklore from the archives that has not seen the light of day for a long time. But the posts are more than a simple recounting of historic folklore – David always applies a keen interpretative (and esoteric) eye on what the folklore might mean and what we can learn from it. There is much coverage of Irish megalithic sites (hence the page name) and their relationship to folklore, and the faeries find their way into many of the posts.
The following pages are those I have found most useful, in terms of regular updates, interesting links, personal testimonies and artwork, which shed some light on the faerie Otherworld:
Fairy Witchcraft (community)
Fairy Witchcraft (group)
Faerie Websites/Blog Sites
There are not that many websites devoted exclusively to the faeries. Articles and research tend to find their way onto the liminal and folklore sites listed in the following sections. However, there are some, which are excellent. First among equals is The Fairy Investigation Society, which also has an exemplary, regularly updated Facebook page (listed above). The website has a wealth of resources for anyone wanting to dig deep into faerie-lore, including the results of the 2017 census, which includes over 500 anecdotal faerie encounter reports from around the world. A new survey is currently being conducted and there is a form on the website for anyone wishing to give testimony to their own faerie experience. The Fairy Investigation Society has an interesting history, being first founded in 1927 before folding before the second world war, refounded in 1950 and then falling into abeyance again in 1992. The current incarnation began in 2013 and the society continues to be an important hub for understanding what the faeries might represent in our culture.
One of my favourite sites is British Fairies, the blog site of researcher John Kruse. As the name suggests, this concentrates on the faerie folklore of the British Isles, and John has, over the past three years, compiled a large archive of studies into the faeries covering a wide subject-matter. The posts are always well-referenced and researched, and will encourage the reader to delve deeper into the folklore. Likewise, Laura Coulson’s The Faery Folklorist site contains a wealth of data, ranging from folktales to personal experiences to book reviews. Laura has travelled the British Isles to gain insights into regional aspects of faerie folklore and has been posting since 2009. Coming from a more esoteric outlook is Morgan Daimler’s site Living Liminally. Morgan has published several incisive books on the faeries and while her blog site is not exclusively about the faeries, they feature heavily on the site, and Morgan’s research into faerie folklore, its modern interpretation and how our culture might incorporate the faeries is always illuminating.
Faerie of Ireland – Encounters with the Good People is a relatively new site, which has already accumulated lots of articles and links, and there is also a series of podcasts, mostly covering Irish faerie-lore. And from across the Atlantic comes the slightly leftfield blog site of George Harvey that has many takes on the faeries. As the constitution states: “It is our firm belief that a human society can only be healthy if the Wee Folk who live with it are comfortable and happy.” This is The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to the Wee Folk. There have been no recent posts but the archive from 2012-14 is recommended reading. The Fairy Podcast has been set up recently by Dan Baines (see below under Liminal Sites, for his blog) and produces monthly features on faerie folklore and modern lore.
Coming from a distinctly spiritual perspective are three first-rate sites: Sisters of the Fey (which covers a wide subject-matter but contains much faerie-lore) and Celtic Faerie Teachings. Both approach faerie phenomenology from an esoteric perspective and attempt to place the faeries within the context of magic(k)al modern practices. And the faeries as nature spirits are discussed in depth at RealityWalker, an incisive esoteric website, which also covers a mass of anomalous and paranormal phenomena.
Seven Miles of Steel Thistles is a particularly well-written site by the author Katherine Langrish, which looks primarily at faerie-tales and what they might be attempting to tell us. But the faeries in all their folkloric forms appear in many of the articles, including some of Katherine’s excellent fiction writing.
And The Big Study is currently accumulating a range of historic and modern faerie experiences from around the world, including the ongoing Summa Faeryologica, which is attempting to categorise faerie-types and apply some interpretations. It’s a difficult site to navigate, but there is a wealth of information here.
Much modern thinking on faerie phenomenology appears on what can be deemed liminal websites; that is sites that consider a wide variety of Fortean, esoteric, paranormal and occult subjects. But the faeries make regular appearances on these pages, confirming their position as intrinsic supernatural icons in our underground sub-culture.
Two sites that are especially good are The Anomalist and The Daily Grail. Both have large databases of articles and also produce excellent daily digests, giving a breakdown of links to the latest thinking on subjects from UFOs to quantum physics to NDEs… and to faeries. The Anomalist (through its adjunct Anomalist Books) has also published Seeing Fairies by Marjorie Johnson and Joshua Cutchin’s Thieves in the Night – the faerie phenomenon is well-recognised here.
The faeries are also represented on the following liminal sites, which cover a broad range of subject-matter but consistently refer back to faerie phenomenology in both folkloric and esoteric forms:
Ancient Origins This is a large site, which covers a vast topic range, from pure archaeology to more esoteric thinking. It has a good search engine, where you will be able to find a large number of articles related to the faeries.
Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog Dr Beachcombing’s site contains a wealth of Fortean articles, always resonating with a sly sense of humour. There is much Leftfield perspective on the faeries in this blog.
Dan Baines A blog site with many takes on the faeries from an exceptionally talented author.
Håkan Blomqvist´s blog This site is primarily about the UFO phenomenon, but also contains much other Borderline research, which contains the faeries at regular intervals.
Haunted Ohio Books The website of Chris Woodyard is a Fortean cornucopia. There are many incisive articles discussing the faeries in all their forms.
Metaphysical Source Jonny Enoch’s site, which encompasses the faerie otherworld in many articles. It also has a forum section for discussion on any metaphysical subject.
Mysterious Universe On the woo-woo side of things, but there is still some good writing on the faeries, with many articles to make you think outside of the reality box.
Patheos A magazine site that moves from politics to esotericism in the blink of an eye. But there are a lot of articles about folkloric and modern faeries, which can be found via the search engine.
The Centre for Fortean Zoology An exemplary blog site by Ronan Coghlan (founding editor Michael Newton), where the primary focus is on cryptozoology, but where faerie-type entities make regular appearances. Ronan has produced a large archive of articles since 2013.
Weird Tales Radio Show This is a wonderful podcast series produced by Charles Christian. It covers a range of Forteana and has now accumulated a well-populated archive of hour-long shows. The faeries wriggle into much of the content and my own interview with Charles is episode #15 from April 2018.
The following sites include articles and podcasts that come at the faerie phenomenon from a folkloric perspective. This ranges from academic articles to content for general interest. In order to understand what the faeries may represent to us in the modern world, it is essential to understand their roots in folklore. This will, ideally, require reading lots of books, but I’ve found these sites contain the best online content.
Academia.edu This site requires a subscription, but once you have that you will discover over a hundred academic articles (published and unpublished) about folkloric and literary faeries from diverse frames of reference. The search engine is effective.
Ali Isaac Storyteller Ali Isaac’s site has a deservedly high reputation and encompasses a wide spectrum of Irish folklore that frequently engages with faerie folklore.
Emerald Isle This site has an extensive range of articles investigating Irish folklore and mythology, geo-located with a very useful map. There is an especially good section on Folk Tales and Faerie Tales.
Folklore Thursday has accumulated a large database of articles that investigate folklore from around the world. As per the name, every Thursday is #FolkloreThursday on Twitter, when enthusiasts can post articles, images, testimonies etc. relating to the theme of the week. The faeries are regular subject-matter.
Icy Sedgwick This is a folklore blog with many posts about faerie-lore. Icy also writes supernatural fiction – she’s a very accomplished writer.
New England Folklore Peter Muise’s blog site, which has been examining the folklore of the region for over a decade, and has accumulated much faerie folklore.
The Folklore Podcast is produced by the folklorist Mark Norman and includes regular audio shows discussing folkloric subjects. It is now in its fourth season and episodes are browsable… plenty of faeries within these podcasts.
The Folklore Society is the main hub for the academic study of the subject and produces the venerable Folklore journal. If you subscribe you’ll have access to a searchable database of the journal’s articles from over a hundred years, many of which investigate faerie traditions.
Writing in Margins could perhaps have been placed in the ‘Faerie Websites’ section above, but its content frequently stretches into a wider folkloric remit. There are many articles on the faeries, including a dictionary of faerie types. There are special sections on ‘The Thumbling Project’ and ‘The Snow White Project.
There are also a couple of free sites, which are invaluable for finding primary source material. Sacred Texts has a large collection of faerie folklore, ranging from folktales to more anecdotal stories collected by 19th- and 20th-century folklorists and contained in classic volumes; for instance, WY Evans-Wentz’s The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries and JF Campbell’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands. And Dúchas is University College Dublin’s digitised Irish national folklore collection, which has an excellent search engine to aid research into a mine of faerie folklore from Ireland.
I haven’t included any YouTube channels as they tend to be quite disparate, but a simple search will bring up many videos, from animated films to documentaries and video-blogs. Here’s a taster from Thomas Sheridan’s always insightful channel Beyond Room 313.