How Many ‘Ghosts’ are Faeries?

Ghost… or faerie?

In my recent podcast, Faeries, Angels, Ghosts and Aliens, I explained some of the similarities — and differences — among these different entities.

In my opinion, some “ghost” reports are actually faeries.

Here’s an example:

Seeking Spirits is a recent book by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, from TAPS and the “Ghost Hunters” TV series.  At the beginning of that book, Grant talks about a small, dark entity that he and a friend encountered in childhood.

When I read the description, I knew right away that he was describing what we’d usually call a faerie… not a ghost.  But, whatever it was, it sparked his interest in ghosts.

Ghosts generally aren’t small and dark.  Several faeries could be described that way.  In an upcoming podcast, I’ll talk about one that fits his description, perfectly.  (I think I encountered one at The Spalding Inn, the hotel that Jason & Grant own.)

Here are some other ways to tell ghosts and faeries apart:

1. Faeries like things tidy.  If your room or home is messy, faeries will hide things.

When someone tells me about their ghost being a prankster, and hiding things that later turn up in unlikely places… I usually suspect that it’s a faerie, not a ghost.

Ghosts usually like the house to be left as it was when they lived there.  Other than that, they don’t seem to care if someone it excessively neat or incredibly slovenly.

2. Some faeries tease or torment some pets. Some faeries are notorious for hopping on the back of the family dog, and riding it around the house like a horse, all night.

I have no idea why faeries think that’s funny, or even okay.  And, it’s not all faeries or all family pets.

However, when a family pet — especially a dog or cat — encounters a ghost, the animal usually backs away, hides, or otherwise avoids any contact with the ghost.  There are no stories about ghosts steadily tormenting family pets.

If it’s a regular event and the pet is exhausted every morning… that’s more likely a faerie problem, not a haunting.

3. Faeries may have wings.  Ghosts never do. (This isn’t the time for me to discuss “dark angels” or vampires or anything else in that realm. )

However, if someone thinks that his or her “ghost” is a visiting angel — but doesn’t have the benevolent qualities of an angel — I usually guess that the entity is actually a faerie.

4. Ghosts walk through walls.  Faeries rarely do. I’m not sure if faeries are more limited by the physical laws of our world, but there aren’t many stories (if any) of a faerie walking through a wall.  Plenty of ghost stories include that feature.

Are “ghost hunters” sometimes encountering faeries?

When you’re watching paranormal-themed TV shows, pay close attention to the descriptions of the entities.

Though the homeowners and the investigators may call some entities “ghosts” or even “demons,” I think they’re often describing faeries.

And, when someone tells me they see “orbs” in real life — not just in photos and video images — I wonder if they’re actually talking about faeries.

I’m not sure how many people (or TV shows) confuse ghosts and faeries, but I am certain that some of them do.

So, if you watch those shows, pay attention to how the entity is described.

They might be talking about a faerie, not a ghost.

How to Make Faerie Doors (and Windows)

The following are my notes from my first “gnome door,” created around 1996. 

I’m looking for my photos, but — meanwhile — I’ve included some pictures by an artist who’s made similar doors in the past. Hers didn’t include staircases, but she did make some “faerie windows.”

The “door” that I made is actually a door and a staircase. Here’s exactly what I did…

Faerie door by Aisling
Faerie door, courtesy of Aisling D’Art.

I went to a dollhouse store and bought the parts: A nice little door that swings in its frame, and it has an brass doorknob with key, that I purchased separately.

I also bought a staircase (with banister), and a piece of wood to use as a landing, so the stairs don’t butt right up against the door.

I painted the door a nice cobalt blue, and most of the woodwork for the stairs is white, as is the door frame. The tops (tread areas) of the stairs and the handrail itself are all Hookers Green (a nice forest green).

The most difficult part was putting it all together. Nails don’t work well on these little parts, and the wood they use is really hard.

So, I used wood glue (white glue doesn’t do it, even “tacky” glue). Then, I held the pieces where I wanted them, until the glue set. (This involved sitting in front of the television set, holding pieces together, for nearly an hour.)

Next, I reinforced the glued-together areas with hot glue, in places where it won’t show.

After that, I used a carpenter’s level (a little plastic one I bought for about a dollar at a Home Depot) to get it straight, and propped the whole thing against an outside wall, inside my living room, right where I wanted it.

I marked beneath it with pencil, where it touched the wall, and put two finish nails there, for the landing (and door) part to rest on.

(We’re in an apartment, so this is a temporary arrangement. When I have a house, I’ll probably do something more permanent.)

I also bought a cute little mailbox at the dollhouse store, and that’s resting on one of the stairs right now.

Also, I found some tiny little nails (and had to use my smallest jeweler’s pliers to hold one while I nailed it into the door); that will hold the little Christmas/Yule wreath I bought for the door, too.

Next to this whole display, I have a nice big grey rock that I picked up when I was last at my favorite beach in Maine.

At the back of it, I hot glued a few twigs that are the right size to look like trees. And I have some miniature gold & silver stars that I bought at the fabric shop, to hang on the “tree” branches at Yule.

Faerie windows, in progress
Faerie windows, before assembly. (Photo courtesy Aisling D’Art.)

Finally, I picked up a miniature rose bush (in bloom!) at the grocery store for about $4. I’ll re-pot it in something more proportionately correct. But, for now, it’s next to the staircase and it’s pretty.

After that, I rested the two keys to the door on the top step (the doorknob & lock are just “pretend,” but the keys came with it anyway), in case my little visitors decide they’d like keys available.

faerie window
Another faerie window (Photo courtesy Aisling D’Art)

The whole project took about three days of my spare time, far more than I expected. But I just love the effect!

The results were immediate. We’ve seen and heard fae folk in the apartment, ever since the door was rested against the wall.

For more ideas, see my article, Faerie furniture.

(Note: The faerie photos on this page are from my cousin, Aisling D’Art. She isn’t making these right now, but — until I find my own faerie furniture photos — agreed to let me use some of hers as illustrations.)

Faerie Doors, Stairways, and Furniture

faerie doorThis faerie door is the second one I made, around 1997.

The first one was simpler in terms of buying parts, painting them, and assembling them. It was too formal for my home, so I replaced it.

The first one is in a Florida apartment right now, where the faeries visit my daughter and her Disney World roommates.

This second door was made with basic dollhouse parts: a hinged door and frame, a sparkly doorknob set, and the sides of stairs.

To the door, frame, and stair framework, I added twigs, acorns, and dried flowers. The twigs were collected outside my front door. Most of the acorns came from Salem, Massachusetts, where they seemed to be all over the ground, everywhere I walked.

The dried flowers came from a local crafts shop, and from the crafts section of a fabric store. It’s a matter of personal taste, but I use natural flowers, not the dyed ones.

The moss will fade to a more brownish-green, after you open the package. The flowers generally retain their brilliance.I do nothing to the twigs, acorns, or flowers to preserve them. So far, there hasn’t been any problem.

However, if you live in an area where bugs or small animals are a problem, you might want to spray each item with a protective coat of a matte acrylic finish. This spray is available in the hardware section of WalMart, or in any crafts supply store.

In front of the faerie door, I have a small ceramic mouse that I bought in Ayr, Scotland.

The Door

faerie door - close-upThe door and stairway sides were painted green before I started hot-gluing twigs and flowers to them.

Some of the green shows through, and it looks entirely natural. I recommend a green that is slightly bluer than the color of your moss, if you use moss.

As I worked, I kept opening the door, to make certain that no twigs or flowers blocked the easy movement of the door. After all, we want the faeries to be able to use it.

To attach the landing and stairs, I followed the same process I used for my first “gnome door.” (See link, below.)

The doorknob hardware is golden, with a sparkly crystal for the knob itself. The contrast with the natural materials is fabulous.

After I made the door, I added a little table and chair to the setting. (You can see them in the photo at the top of this article. They’re at the lower right side of the photo, but not completely in the picture.)

The table and chair were constructed with twigs, to dollhouse scale. I hot-glued them together, added dried flowers and moss, and then set acorn caps as dishes.

For more how-to instructions, see: How to Make Faerie Doors