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Types of Fairies

The Fae come in many varieties and each has its own quirks. Let’s take a look at the fairies known to ‘haunt’ houses.

Just so you know, each culture will have its own take on fairy lore. In our review, we’ll examine the Celtic fairies. These are mainly from the United Kingdom and Ireland. I may throw in an American, German or Scandinavian fairy from time-to-time.

This list covers the most common fairies and they’re also the most likely to be mistaken for a haunting.

In no particular order, the fairies include:


One of the most helpful fairies, brownies help out with chores and they only expect a little food offering. Whatever you do, don’t leave money. That’s considered poor taste and Brownies will make your house messy!


Pixies can be mischievous and it could lead to killing you. They like to play tricks, especially on travellers. Pixies are known to lead people off their route and into bogs and swamps. It’s not uncommon for someone to get caught in quicksand and die.


You know pretty much everything to know about Leprechauns: pot of gold; wears green; has a pipe. These fairies are solitary and they don’t venture into places with humans.


Dwarves, as we know them, come from German folklore. They were absorbed into English tales during the early-1800s. Dwarves are ugly little buggers and incredibly strong. They can be great friends to humans, but they can be mean and harmful if you offend them. Dwarves are very proud of their craftmanship, like making furniture or iron work. Watch your manners when you meet a dwarf – they take social niceties very seriously.


Scandinavians brought their tales to the English Isles during the Viking conquests. There are 2 kinds of elves, light and dark. There are many descriptions of elves, but they all have magical powers to enchant people and they can move back and forth between their homeland and our world. Elves may be the only fairy to have children with humans.


I haven’t seen a good picture of a kobold, but they live in mines. If there’s danger to the mine workers, they’ll start knocking on the tunnels to let everyone know there’s danger of a cave-in.

Nature Fairies

These little fairies don’t have human forms and appear as flickers of blue, red and green light deep in a forest. They can be very shy and generally tend to animals and plants in the forest. They rarely interfere with humans, but they have helped people lost in the woods by showing them a way to get out of the forest.


I didn’t know this before we started researching this topic, but changelings are most likely to be trolls. Trolls liked how humans coddled their children, so a troll would take a human child and replace it with a baby troll. The kid didn’t turn out to be good looking, but it would be strong and protective of its home and community!


Sluagh (SLOO-ah) are the spirits of the dead, caught in a strange kind of purgatory. They cannot enter Heaven, Hell, Otherworld or any other afterlife realm. They haunt the living to create suffering. These were not nice people in life. They mean to do harm. If your house tends to attract crows and other blackbirds, you could have a Sluagh in your house.

Red Caps

These are murderous goblins. They are ugly as sin with huge teeth and knife-like fingers. They get the name Red Cap because they dip their hats in their victims’ blood.

We also covered a few fairies in an earlier post about banshees, green ladies, and water spirits, so I left them out of this post.



“Fairies: Mysteries, Folklore and Facts,” by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

“The Encyclopedia of Ghosts & Spirits,” by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

“Monsters,” by John Michael Greer

“Is Your House Haunted?,” by Fiona Broome

Last Updated on June 13, 2020 by Jacob Rice


  1. Jacob Rice

    Hi gang. A reader from the UK, Phil, has a great deal of experience with fairies. I’ve edited his comments to fit this space and moved this comment from another post. I thought it fit with ‘Types of Fairies’ better than another post.

    Per Phil:

    “Their reach goes far beyond what is commonly assumed and therefore, I feel it important to state from the outset what I hope to achieve with these postings. The Malevolent Fey will have no truck with human folk period. The Neutrals and Well-disposed should know that RESPECT for them and their kind is my message. They are all God’s creatures – some as old as time itself. They most definitely exist – I have been allowed to see them, and on one occasion, it nearly cost me the sight in one eye …

    Where the Fey are concerned, this saying comes to mind ‘The beginning of all wisdom is to understand that you don’t know…’. So, yes, they have shown me many things and caused me to ponder those things, but will I ever fully understand them? Of course not. All I can say for sure is that I have an ‘instinct’ about them, a ‘connection’ which they have chosen to bestow on me.

    Firstly, I firmly believe that ALL fairies are environmentalists at heart – even the ones that hate humans. I concede that I am probably doing them a great disservice by calling them ‘malevolent’ if they feel that a world without humankind would be a better place (and used to be a better place…). Some of these are undoubtedly evil for the sake of it. The others might offer up the reason I have just given.

    The Neutrals are just that – ambivalent. They are indifferent to mankind. Man creates, and Man destroys. Man is inconsistent and whilst they co-exist with us, they prefer to keep to themselves and whatever goes on in Fairyland.

    The Benevolents – so-called ‘Good Fairies’ – like to interact with humans for the ‘sport’, obviously, but also, perhaps, are more actively engaged in protecting the environment. They most likely look to a time when Nature was green, and know that, sometimes, a certain amount of destruction is required before something good and GREEN comes forth – typically the digging out of gravel which then becomes an amenity for humans and fairies alike. Where I fish in the Fens was under water for centuries, then drained by Cornelius Vermuyden in the 17th Century, and finally dug out in 1948 to support the bank of the neighbouring river. The planting of their special trees and bushes did the rest, making it into a habitat they jealously guard.”

  2. Lauren

    Hello! I love your website. I am trying to get to the “How to Find Fairies”, but everytime i tap the link, it takes me to this page instead, and when I search it up in the search box, it dose not show up. Can you help?

  3. Jacob Rice

    Hi Lauren, I went back and reviewed it to do an update because there were a few new sources I wanted to include. But, they all conflicted with each other. So, instead of putting out (potentially) erroneous info, I took it down. If you do need info on finding fairies ASAP, this is a good video to watch: https://youtu.be/mlv2J32hMX8

  4. Irene M Holtslander

    I believe I saw a red fairy on my way to work. It was dark, near a river and some woods. I hit my brakes because it stopped right in front of my car.

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