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  • Mother of Mugwort

Folklore Friday: Faerie Folk II

Art by Brian Froud

If you're seeking some sort of intro, please refer back to the first post in this series on faeries!

This week I'm going to talk about a few more of my favorite Scottish faeries: Red Caps, Ghillie Dhu, and Selkies--all beautiful, terrible, wicked, and divine.

Art by Alan Lee

Red Caps

Red Caps are hateful things that live only for blood and carnage. They look emaciated, with leathery brown skin and little to no hair. You'll find them at the ruins of castles where they will attack anyone who tries to invade their domain. The red of their cap is dyed with human blood--so the redder it is when you see them, the fresher their last kill.

Art by Brian Froud

Ghillie Dhu

The Ghillie Dhu are guardian tree spirits disguised as foliage. You're most likely to see them at nighttime in birch trees--which they jealously guard from humans. Their long green arms reach down from the trees to snatch you up and away to Faerieland so be cautious when walking alone at night in the woods.


Now Selkies you may have heard of before. My first time learning about them was through the movie "The Secret of Roan Inish"--an Irish film about these fey. They're found on the shore and disguise themselves as seals. When they choose to, they can shed this seal skin and appear human. When in their human form, they are devastatingly beautiful and hard to resist. While they can be more approachable and reasonable than most faeries, they're also prone to jealousy and are fickle in their nature. Sometimes they take human lovers only to leave them to die of a broken heart.

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