Different Names for Fairies in the British Isles
When we state our conviction that the Fairy-Faith is common to all classes of Celts, we do not state that it is common to all Celts. The materialization of the age has affected the Fairy-Faith as it has affected all religious beliefs the world over. This has been pointed out by Dr. Hyde, by Dr. Carmichael, and by Mr. Jenner in their respective introductions for Ireland, Scotland, and Cornwall. Nevertheless, the Fairy-Faith as the folk-religion of the Celtic peoples is still able to count its adherents by hundreds of thousands. Even in many cases where Christian theology has been partially or wholly discarded by educated Celts, in the country or in the city, as being to them in too many details out of harmony with accepted scientific truths, the belief in fairies has been jealously retained, and will, so it would seem, be retained in the future.
We are now prepared to hear about the Daoine Maithe, the ‘Good People’, as the Irish call their Sidhe race; about the ‘People of Peace’, the ‘Still-Folk’ or the ‘Silent Moving Folk’, as the Scotch call their Sìth who live in green knolls and in the mountain fastnesses of the Highlands; about various Manx fairies; about the Tylwyth Teg, the ‘Fair-Family’ or ‘Fair-Folk’, as the Welsh people call their fairies; about Cornish Pixies; and about Fées (fairies), Corrigans, and the Phantoms of the Dead in Brittany. And along with these, for they are very much akin, let us hear about ghosts—sometimes about ghosts who discover hidden treasure, as in our story of the Golden Image—about goblins, about various sorts of death-warnings generally coming from apparitions of the dead, or from banshees, about death-candles and phantom-funerals, about leprechauns, about hosts of the air, and all kinds of elementals and spirits—in short, about all the orders of beings who mingle together in that invisible realm called Fairyland.