The folkloristic or mythological elements combine Celtic, Germanic and Greco-Roman elements.  Additionally, not all folktales that feature fairies are generally categorized as fairy tales. A recorded Christian belief of the 17th century cast all fairies as demons. Folklorists and mythologists have variously depicted fairies as: the unworthy dead, the children of Eve, a kind of demon, a species independent of humans, an older race of humans, and fallen angels. The Victorian painter Richard Dadd created paintings of fairy-folk with a sinister and malign tone. They are associated with several Otherworld realms including Mag Mell (the Pleasant Plain), Emain Ablach (the place of apples)), and Tir na nÓg (the Land of Youth).  One tale recounted a man caught by the fairies, who found that whenever he looked steadily at a fairy, it appeared as a dead neighbor of his.
A fairy (also fay, fae, fey, fair folk, or faerie) is a type of mythical being or legendary creature found in the folklore of multiple European cultures (including Celtic, Slavic, German, English, and French folklore), a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural.  Less harmful pranks ascribed to fairies include: tangling the hair of sleepers into fairy-locks (aka elf-locks), stealing small items, and leading a traveler astray. Faery, fair folk, little folk, and The Fae are a secluded race that live in dimensions separated from humanity. In folklore, flint arrowheads from the Stone Age were attributed to the fairies as "elfshot", while their green clothing and underground homes spoke to a need for camouflage and covert shelter from hostile humans, their magic a necessary skill for combating those with superior weaponry. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed, but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on.  The need to not offend them could lead to problems: one farmer found that fairies threshed his corn, but the threshing continued after all his corn was gone, and he concluded that they were stealing from his neighbors, leaving him the choice between offending them, dangerous in itself, and profiting by the theft. , King James, in his dissertation Daemonologie, stated the term "faries" referred to illusory spirits (demonic entities) that prophesied to, consorted with, and transported the individuals they served; in medieval times, a witch or sorcerer who had a pact with a familiar spirit might receive these services. , In the 1485 book Le Morte d'Arthur, Morgan le Fay, whose connection to the realm of Faerie is implied in her name, is a woman whose magic powers stem from study. This belief became more popular with the rise of  In Rudyard Kipling's 1906 book of short stories and poems, Puck of Pook's Hill, Puck holds to scorn the moralizing fairies of other Victorian works. , Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers.
15th-century poet and monk John Lydgate wrote that King Arthur was crowned in "the land of the fairy" and taken in his death by four fairy queens, to Avalon, where he lies under a "fairy hill" until he is needed again.
Briggs (1976) "Traffic with fairies" and "Trooping fairies" pp.  Oisín is harmed not by his stay in Faerie but by his return; when he dismounts, the three centuries that have passed catch up with him, reducing him to an aged man.
"Sir Degare" narrates the tale of a woman overcome by her fairy lover, who in later versions of the story is unmasked as a mortal. "'Did you ever see a fairy's funeral, madam?' faeries are simply tree spirits—the grand personification of nature itself! "Herla cyning"), originally a guise of Woden but later Christianised as a king in a tale by Walter Map, was said, by Map, to have visited a dwarf's underground mansion and returned three centuries later; although only some of his men crumbled to dust on dismounting, Herla and his men who did not dismount were trapped on horseback, this being one account of the origin of the Wild Hunt of European folklore. "Fairies in medieval romances". A wonderful way to begin connecting with the Fae is through Faerie offerings. Many tales from Northern Europe tell of a mortal woman summoned to attend a fairy birth — sometimes attending a mortal, kidnapped woman's childbed. Our callous treatment of nature infuriates them. Some later sects of Christianity Fairie was used adjectivally, meaning "enchanted" (as in fairie knight, fairie queene), but also became a generic term for various "enchanted" creatures during the Late Middle English period. Elves are mentioned but don't seem to play a role in any of the mythos. p. 47. In "The Legend of Knockshigowna", in order to frighten a farmer who pastured his herd on fairy ground, a fairy queen took on the appearance of a great horse, with the wings of an eagle, and a tail like a dragon, hissing loud and spitting fire.  Some smaller fairies could expand their figures to imitate humans. A fairy (also fay, fae, fair folk) is a type of mythical being or legendary creature found in the folklore of multiple European cultures (including Celtic, Slavic, German, English, and French folklore), a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural. The Fae prefer to communicate with their minds instead of the spoken word.
In the 1691 The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies, Reverend Robert Kirk, minister of the Parish of Aberfoyle, Stirling, Scotland, wrote: These Siths or Fairies they call Sleagh Maith or the Good People...are said to be of middle nature between Man and Angel, as were Daemons thought to be of old; of intelligent fluidous Spirits, and light changeable bodies (lyke those called Astral) somewhat of the nature of a condensed cloud, and best seen in twilight. believed faeries to be a kind of demoted angel—a not quite demon and not quite
While some earlier sects of Fairy; A portrait of a fairy, by Sophie Gengembre Anderson (1869). But who are the faeries really?  Diane Purkiss observed an equating of fairies with the untimely dead who left "unfinished lives". Home-owners have knocked corners from houses because the corner blocked the fairy path, and cottages have been built with the front and back doors in line, so that the owners could, in need, leave them both open and let the fairies troop through all night.
 J. R. R. Tolkien described these tales as taking place in the land of Faerie.  In many works of fiction, fairies are freely mixed with the nymphs and satyrs of classical tradition, while in others (e.g., Lamia), they were seen as displacing the Classical beings. And some modern pagan myths even suggest that faeries are simply the pagan Gods of old—forced to flee and live The Celtic Revival cast fairies as part of Ireland's cultural heritage. Fairy has at times been used as an adjective, with a meaning equivalent to "enchanted" or "magical".
Diminutive fairies of various kinds have been reported through centuries, ranging from quite tiny to the size of a human. In Roman mythology, we often see More dangerous behaviors were also attributed to fairies; any form of sudden death might have stemmed from a fairy kidnapping, the evident corpse a magical replica of wood.  Others wrote that some angels, not being godly enough, yet not evil enough for hell, were thrown out of heaven.
Throughout Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Fairies were also sometimes thought to haunt specific locations, and to lead travelers astray using will-o'-the-wisps.
, A theory that fairies, et al., were intelligent species, distinct from humans and angels.
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