In English mythology, there are such creatures, a kind of elves and fairies called Pixies. They are of a malevolent nature and can harm people by leading them astray or kidnapping babies. What are these spirits? Where do they come from? What do they look like? Let’s try to answer these and other questions.
Pixies are small creatures, somewhat similar to house spirits. They like to make mischief: sometimes it’s harmless pranks, but sometimes it’s deadly mischief. Their origin is a mystery, but several versions explain where the Pixies came from.
Where do Pixies come from?
- The spirits of dead children who had not had time to be christened. They couldn’t make it to heaven, so they wandered the earth;
- Druid spirits. Pagans were born before there was Christianity in the world, so they could not be sent to heaven or hell;
- spirits of the forest. They have a duty to keep the forest quiet, to keep it safe from outsiders.
What do the Pixies look like?
They are very fond of green. They can be any size, even the tiniest, like a moth, and normal, like an adult. It is easy to recognize because Pixie’s appearance is memorable: red hair, pointy ears, wide face, and upturned nose. Often have squint eyes, squinting eyes, afraid of sunlight. They like to dress in green clothing, most often wearing a jacket of that color.
In Celtic mythology, they are creatures about 2 feet tall, similar to elves, with transparent wings. They wear green coats and triangles of red on their heads. They are lean, lanky, with a small nose and red hair. In their hands, they often hold a glass lantern, which has a candle inside, it is also green. Devon’s pixies are blond, skinny, white-skinned, and like to walk around in the nude. They are also described as strange-looking wrinkled old men.
They live about 300 years, feed on flower dust, fruit, and plants. They live where it’s gloomy enough, i.e., in caves, near swamps. At night they like to go to forest clearings to dance to frogs and birds singing. Often in the daytime, Pixies change into a hedgehog and, in this form, roam among humans.
Pixies are famous for their pranks. Not all of them are harmless. In their behavior, the English evil spirits are somewhat similar to the goblin.
Their favorite pastime is to throw passersby off the path. If you find yourself on Pixie land, you may wander in circles for hours without ever making it out of the woods. If someone gets lost, it is often said: “Pixie’s got him confused.”
For instance, one eyewitness said a Pixie once led her into the woods near Budleigh-Salterton. She could not get out, she circled three times, though she could see everything clearly. When this woman was found, she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see the path.
There is a legend in Irish folklore about the cursed turf or wandering turf. These little men have pieces of special turf that they often toss onto the road. If someone steps on it, everything around them seems unfamiliar, as if they had entered another country. It is difficult for a person to find his way home, even if he is a stone’s throw away. Sometimes peat is used instead of turf. The traveler will wander for hours through the same place until the Pixies decide to break the spell.
This is told not only in the legends, similar cases are described in the scientific works of the seventeenth century, for example, in the book by D. A. McManus, “The Middle Kingdom”. Thus, one parish priest decided to visit a sick man who lived seven miles away, if you go by road. But he wanted to cut the path in half and chose a path that led through a clearing. On it stood an oak tree, a favorite of Pixie’s. Nearby was a hedge and a gate, and he went through it. All was well at first, but as he crossed the clearing and approached the hedge from the other side, both the climb and the path were gone. The priest walked along the hedge, but could not find a single opening. So he circled for hours until the Pixies broke the spell. Then he found his bicycle, and the gate, and the road, and rode to the sick man.
It is possible to escape from Pixie by turning his clothes inside out or showing an iron cross. A rowan cross or a piece of bread also helps, but only if one has not angered the Pixie with his avarice or rudeness.
Sometimes this foul creature kidnaps children and drops off changelings in their place. But their favorite pastime is stealing horses, more often foals, which they begin chasing through the fields at night until they die of fatigue. After that, noticeable circles can be seen in the fields. It is believed that a man who has stepped into this circle will fall into the hands of evil spirits and remain with them until his death. But if he has taken only one step, stepping into the circle with one foot, he has a chance to get out, and he can see Pixie. If it is not just a man, but a criminal, he cannot escape the gallows.
Pixies are not hostile to people, but they can take revenge if they don’t like something. For example, one Pixie saw a drunken husband abusing his wife. He was behaving so ugly that he couldn’t help but intervene. As the drunkard was returning from the inn riding his pony, he saw a beckoning light in the fog and went after it. The pony did not want to follow him as he felt a bog ahead. When the man realized that the pony wouldn’t budge, he got off him and wandered after the light, whereupon he fell into the swamp and drowned. His pony galloped home, and the neighbors saw that he was covered in mud and realized what was wrong.
But sometimes they can be friendly, helping people. Most often, they take care of forgotten graves, put flowers on them, or help around the house. But they quickly get bored with work, and they give up their work. You can give them clothes, which they will be very happy with. New things Pixies pull on immediately, but it is impossible to make them work after that.
The existence of pixies, like other such spirits, is impossible to prove. But they are part of our lives, no matter whether they are real or a figment of the imagination. If legends about these creatures appeared, there had to be some scientific basis, but what exactly, we are unlikely to find out. Nevertheless, these stories are informative and interesting, for every nation has its own Pixie, similar to thousands of other Pixies scattered around the world.