Marjorie T. Johnson a longtime member of the Fairy Investigation Society, collected tales from far and wide of humans encountering the Good Folk. Never call them fairies, because then they will act like fairies. Her opus illustrates her passion for the Good Folk, complimented by her joyful prose outlining these unique encounters.
Since this is a treasury of eyewitness accounts, one can apply Fort’s dictum “One measures a circle beginning anywhere” by flipping to a page at random to be enchanted by a tale or two. Iconoclastically, I’ve been plowing through from page one, making note of my favorite accounts.
One early tale stands out, relating to end-of-life experiences. A woman reflects upon her youth when her father moved the family to England, and her mother didn’t take the move very well. See for yourself.
“It was difficult to settle down in England. My mother missed the warmth of the Irish people, the rough country scenes, and the soft Irish rain. She became ill, and one day just before my seventh birthday, Sarah (the young woman’s governess) took us all into the room to say goodbye. Although it was a winter evening, the room was strangely light. A soft radiance flooded my mother’s face and enveloped the tiny face , which was all we could see, of the baby lying in the crook of her arm. We (the six children) waited in silence beside Sarah. My mother beckoned, and Sarah went forward and lifted the baby from her arms. She murmured, ‘Goodbye,’ then held out her hands to my father, who clasped them in his own until my mother’s smile faded and she was at rest. At that moment, fifty or more fairy people, holding a shimmering blue cover, came instantly forward and drew the wonderful gauze over the bed and the still figure. The light faded and the room felt cold. Then from the corner came the clear notes of my mother’s harp.”
A remarkable account of ‘dying light’, best described in Greg Taylor’s fantastic Stop Worrying! There Probably Is An Afterlife, where loved ones remark upon a bright light surrounding the dying person. One notable example being George Harrison, with his wife describing how George “lit the room” in his final moments.1
What’s left vague is if the woman’s mother saw the fairies before they manifested before the gathered family. Most near-death accounts talk about seeing angels, loved ones who have crossed over, among other entities, but this is the first I’ve read where people, beside the dying, saw fairies.
But is it so strange? Fairies were once considered by pagans to be the souls of the departed. For example, the sídhe‘s association with burial mounds. One of the most famous fae being the banshee, or bean sídhe, heralding imminent death with trademark keening. Less familiar, but creepier, are the sluagh sídhe depicted as the restless dead.
While the book clearly states, “THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN’S BOOK”, it’s certain to inspire that part of you that still feels like a little kid. Grab your copy today!
Have you seen any fairies? We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page, at Twitter, or in the comments below!
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