Carol Nicholson, PhD.
Carol Nicholson, PhD.

The Infamous Fairies of Cottingly

In July of 1917, one week before the end of World War I, two young girls were frustrated with the fact their parents and others wouldn’t believe that they had actually seen fairies in a glen by their home. So, they set out to photograph proof. What they came back with was soon believed by many to be the first scientific evidence of the existence of fairies.

Cottingly-Fairy-HoaxThe COTTINGLEY “FAIRY” photographs made a journalistic sensation worldwide when they first appeared in an article in the Strand Magazine, towards the end of 1919. Since that time, they have been regarded as perhaps the most cunning but charming hoax ever presented for proving the existence of fairies. In late 1981 and mid 1982 respectively, Frances Way (Griffiths) and Elsie Hill (Wright), the two girls who took the photographs–now, of course, much older–admitted for the first time, the pictures were faked. Speaking of the first photograph in particular, Frances has told the present author on more than one occasion: “My heart always sinks when I look at it. When I think of how it’s gone all round the world–I don’t see how people could believe they’re real fairies. I could see the backs of them and the hat pins when the photo was being taken.”

The girls had taken colored cut-outs from a fairy-doll book and attached them to stakes (which of course couldn’t be seen in the photos.)

Fairy-PhotoSir Arthur Conan Doyle DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer most noted for penning the famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. Doyle, who was an avid Spiritualist, was convinced the pictures taken by an old Brownie Camera were of real fairies. A close friend of Harry Houdini, Doyle’s insistence that the photos were real caused an irrevocable rift of the friendship.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer most noted for penning the famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. Doyle, who was an avid Spiritualist, was convinced the pictures taken by an old Brownie Camera were of real fairies. A close friend of Harry Houdini, Doyle’s insistence that the photos were real caused an irrevocable rift in the friendship.

Looking at the images today, it is quite apparent the photos are of 2-dimensional figures and although charming, could not possibly be of real fairies, even if fairies existed–which I believe they do.

Click the link below to see images of the fairies which fooled many worldwide.

The Movie is Charming and Worth Watching

PS. A little secret. You can catch a young glimpse of Mel Gibson at the end.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119095/