Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)
Sarah: Ow! It bit me!
Hoggle: What’d you expect fairies to do?
Sarah: I thought they did nice things, like… like granting wishes.
Hoggle: Shows what *you* know, don’t it?
From the wonderful movie “Labyrinth”. If you read The Magical Buffet and have not ever seen this film, rent it, right now…after reading this article.
It’s true. Fairies are traditionally considered beautiful, playful, little friends, but as most folklore shows, fairies have a habit of being beautiful, spiteful, malevolent creatures. The tales of the Fair Lady embody this tradition quite nicely.
The Fair Lady, also called Szepasszony, is a creature prevalent in Hungarian folklore. She generally takes the form of an attractive woman, sometimes nude, often with long hair and a white dress. In the tradition of Sirens, Fair Ladies lure victims with their song. If a mortal man hears these songs, he may undertake dangerous actions that he would not have done otherwise. It is said that Fair Ladies dance in storms, kidnap children, and have been known to dance men to their deaths.
The Fair Lady is often spotted under the eaves of a house. This is a dangerous location of the home in many myths. She generally has a common household object enchanted. The phrase “step into the platter of the Fair Lady” is used to describe the phenomenon of having the Fair Lady’s spell fall onto you from this item. Beware; sometimes water dripping from the eaves of a home can create a puddle that is considered a platter for the Fair Lady. Stepping into the puddle will put you under her spell. Some people take this a step further and take care to avoid circles in the grass where the grass is shorter within the circle than the surrounding area. They believe the Fair Lady dancing causes the circle. In addition, unlike a demon, which is generally most potent at night, the Fair Lady is at her most powerful peak at noontime. People are warned to avoid sitting beneath eaves at noon.
Tradition indicates that wearing mistletoe around your neck can act as a repellent to the Fair Lady. It’s also said that prayer, crossing oneself, the sound of church bells, and carrying the Bible do the trick. This feels like the invention of conversion to Christianity to me, but hey, faith can’t hurt!