Encounters with Little People

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Fact or fantasy? Readers' fascinating stories of meetings with the strange wee folk

MANY CULTURES AROUND the world have their legends and folklore about "little people" -- elves, fairies, gnomes, elementals, or simply the "wee folk". In Scandinavia they are the Tomte or Nisse; the Nimerigar, Yunwi Tsundi, and Mannegishi of various Native American tribes; the Menehune of Hawaii; and most famous, perhaps, are the Irish Leprechauns.

Some of these wee folk are friendly, even helpful creatures, but mostly they have a reputation for being mischievous, conniving, and always elusive tricksters -- seeming to live just on the edge of our reality.

Do they really exist? Are they merely the inhabitants of legends, fables, and children's stories... or are they the products of fantasy and wishful thinking, stress-induced hallucinations, or the visions from a shot too much of whiskey? Like all phenomena of this kind, you'd have a hard time convincing the people who claim to have actually encountered these creatures that their experiences were anything but real. Here are some reports from readers:


I live in Australia and wonder if anyone has heard of the woodarjee (spelling? pronounced wood-ah-gee). I learned of them a few years ago when relating a story to a Noongar friend of mine. Noongars are the main aboriginal tribe of Australia's southwest, and in their lore the woodarjee are mischievous, sometimes violent little people.

My encounter happened in Perth in the suburb of Coolongup in the 1980s when I was about 6 years old. My brother, cousins, and I were playing in blackboy bushland (grass tree or Xanthorrhoea) and I was hiding from them. I heard a rustling noise to my right and looked over to see a small aboriginal man about ten feet away from me. He was about 13 inches tall with a bushy beard and wearing nothing but a loincloth. I assume he was hunting as he had a spear notched to his woomera (a spear throwing tool) and I might have disturbed him. He looked at me with angry eyes and threw his spear, which sank into my foot before he, the spear, and the hole in my foot vanished. Only the Noongars believe me. -- Karl


When I was 6 years old, I'd just moved from England to Canada. One night I woke up and saw 6 or 7 little men. They seemed so friendly and asked me about all my toys on the floor and what they did. But what amused them the most was my Softoy bunny rabbit at the end of my bed. When I showed them that it had a zipper and that's where my pajamas were kept, well, they just cracked up. They stayed awhile, but my greatest memory of them is how happy they were. And I will always treasure that. -- tlittlebabs


I do believe in fairies. My daughters and I rented a trailer in El Cajon, California in 2010. One morning we were all eating breakfast in the kitchen, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a fairy floating in the air. It was a female about three feet in height sprinkling gold dust all around her. At the same time, my oldest daughter said, "Mommy , mommy, there is a fairy sprinkling gold dust everywhere over by the window."

My daughters and I also experienced some other unexplained phenomena in that trailer. It was getting a little too scary for us. We only stayed living in that trailer for 10 days and moved out as quickly as we could. I think my daughters and I somehow attract the unexplained, paranormal, whatever you want to call it, because we have encountered several more experiences with the paranormal that were scary. Thankfully, it has been almost a year that we have not encountered anything. We have seen things that no one would believe. Prayer and faith have kept us safe. -- Danica


I grew up in the countryside of southwest France, and today I am 48 years old. As far as I can remember, I always saw these beings. We also heard their music. They are very numerous in the thickets, woods, and forests. Do not try to meet them, for they will come to you. I played with them as a kid. Many are small. They do not live on the same plane of existence, but in worlds in-between. Faërie is a reality for me. Moreover, it changed my life, but I do not care when I go into the forests. -- Wisigothic78


Sometime during the month of August, 2004, I was at a place called Pymatuning Park in Pennsylvania, picnicking with my family. I was ten. I had wandered off alone into the nearby forest and was looking at all the trees. I was walking around when I heard the sound of music. I followed it until I reached a clearing. Like a scene from a movie, sitting on an old stump on the edge of the clearing was a little boy. He looked like he was about seven.

He had medium-length blonde hair and was playing a recorder made of wood. He must have heard me because he looked up at me. He had pointed ears and dark green eyes. He looked at me and smiled.

He asked me if I would play with him. His voice was really strange, almost like a bell. I told him I couldn't, and I had to get back to my family. He looked really sad for a minute, but then started smiling, and told me that it was okay, and he would wait until I could play with him. Then he stood up and walked off into the forest.

I've been back to that area several times. The clearing is still there, but the stump he was sitting on is long gone. The second or third time I went back, I left a slice of apple sitting near where the stump was. When I went back the next day, the apple slice was gone and in its place was a very smooth stone. -- Emrys


My father was and still is an avid hunter. He has heard all kinds of tales through the years of what others have seen while hunting. He said he has never seen anything, but had only one weird experience when he was around 17 years old. He was hunting for elk with his father and brothers in Salmon, Idaho in 1965. They had all split up to chase down an elk herd they spooked by chance, and my dad was sent around the mountain by himself to cut them off.

It was a mildly warm day and he stopped to rest in the shade of some large boulders to strip off some of his gear and have a drink of water. When he sat down to rest, he felt a rock zip right by his head. Thinking it was one of his brothers playing a trick on him, he yelled at them to stop. That's when he noticed tiny footprints in the soft dust under his feet. And again another rock was thrown in his direction, closer this time.

Now my dad had always been told about the little people who lived in the rocks and crevices of mountains and hills, an ancient band of Native Americans who barely escaped from the white man. They made their home in the hills and if bothered would put a curse on you if you failed to heed their warnings.

Feeling a chill creep up his spine, he slowly rose, gathered his things and said in very slow Shoshone, "I am leaving. I'm sorry I disturbed you." As he was walking away downhill he heard small feet slapping the rocks behind him, but being a tad afraid he never looked back. He never told his father or brothers and could hardly tell me for fear of me thinking he was crazy. I believe him. -- Alex N.