The Cottingley Fairy Incident

The Cottingley Fairy Incident

I can remember coming across the photographs from the Cottingley fairy incident in a school library publication when I was about 10 – at the time, they completely blew me away!

In this article we will be taking a look at the story behind the famous paranormal images Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright gave to the world…only to take them back again in the 80’s…


Frances and Elsie

Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright were relatives that ended up living in the same house in mid 1917. The two young ladies got on like a house on fire, and spent every waking hour together.

Most days they could be found messing about at the stream that ran through the bottom of the Cottingley property.

When the adults would ask what they were doing down there – they would simply reply that they were playing with the fairies!

Frances and Elsie

Before long the two girls got sick of the adults laughing at their fairy claims, and borrowed a family camera to take down to the stream to prove their existence.

The girls returned about an hour later and handed the camera to Elsie’s father, Arthur, who set off to his amateur darkroom to develop the photographic plate.

At first Arthur was shocked by what he saw – images of the girls playing around the stream with fairies dancing by them…but then he passed it off as a clever teenage joke!

Several months later the girls returned to Arthur with a picture of Elsie holding out a hand to a gnome…

Enough was enough – he banned the girls from using his camera again!


Are These REAL Fairies?

A few years later, Elsie’s mother was attending a lecture on fairies at the Bradford Theosophical Society. Because of the lecture subject – she decided to take the fairy photos along.

Things seemed to snowball a little bit from here – the public got hold of these images pretty quickly!

Are These REAL Fairies?

Most people decided that these images were clever forgeries, so Edward Gardner, head of the national Theosophical Society, stepped in to find out if they were indeed tampered with.

The experts he contacted concluded the images were real and genuine, with no apparent tampering.


1920

In 1920, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) and Edward Gardner decided to ask the two young ladies if they could maybe capture some more images of these wonderful creatures.

They handed the girls a brand new camera, and Gardner waited for them as they went down to the stream – apparently the fairies would not appear if Frances and Elsie brought visitors with them!

They returned about an hour later with several new shots of the fairies. Gardner contacted Doyle immediately and Doyle was over the moon – a famous spiritualist, Doyle had been waiting for years to get his hands on some sort of confirmation of the paranormal.

The 4th Fairy Photo

The photo’s appeared in the December 1920 issue of The Strand Magazine, to mixed reactions, and Doyle started receiving reports from all over the world…involving incidents with fairies.

With these reports, he eventually created a book in 1922 titled The coming of the Fairies – resulting in many questioning his credibility and integrity.


The Fake Fairies

The girls managed to keep the act up until old age – in 1983 the two cousins admitted to faking the photographs.

The fairies were actually cut out female figures from a book titled Princess Mary’s Gift Book. They then suspended these figures on hatpins for the photos.

Once the photos had been taken, the two girls threw the paper fairy constructions into the stream, so all the evidence was washed away!

Frances passed away in 1986, followed by Elsie in 1988.

It’s worth noting that both girls were still convinced that ‘real’ fairies lived at the end of their garden…even though the photographs they produced were fake…

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Cottingley fairy incident, please leave them in the comment section below.

Ghost Sightings by Famous People

Ghost Sightings by Famous People

In this article we will be covering a handful of ghost sightings by famous people – prominent individuals who have either claimed or been said to have had paranormal encounters…


The Joan Rivers Ghost Experience

When Joan Rivers bought a Upper East Side penthouse condo in 1988, she was looking for a bit of peace and quiet away from the cameras outside…not the ghostly niece of financier and banker J.P. Morgan.

As soon as she started adapting and renovating the property she noticed things going wrong with the heating and electrical appliances. She also had problems with her pet terrier not wanting to enter the home.

The Joan Rivers Ghost Experience

The building’s elevator operator finally informed Rivers that “Mrs. Spencer is back” – this prompted the comedian to hire the services of a New Orleans voodoo priestess.

But this cleansing did not work – the ghost remained.

Rivers eventually decided to befriend the spirit by hanging a portrait of her in the building lobby and leaving floral gifts around the property.

Apparently – it worked!


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Experiences

After Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became famous with his Sherlock Holmes series, he took on a rather obsessed interest in the paranormal.

He openly believed in ghosts, life after death and fairies – writing about each subject on numerous occasions. He even attended his fair share of seances.

In his 1930 book, The Edge of the Unknown, he covered handful of paranormal experiences that he had gone through over the years…

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Experiences

The most famous of these paranormal encounters involved Doyle waking up in the middle of the night, with the clear consciousness that there was someone in the room. But this someone…was definitely NOT from our world.

He couldn’t move a muscle in his body as he listened to footsteps tapping their way across his bedroom. He then felt the presence lean over his rigid body and whisper:

“Doyle, I come to tell you that I am sorry.”

With that, the paranormal visitor seemed to vanish, and Doyle could once again move his body.


A Sting Ghost Story

Musician Sting claims to have met a ghost when he owned a 16th century English manor house – he even went through the whole experience in a 2009 interview with BBC Radio 2.

A Sting Ghost Story

He woke at 3 a.m. to find his wife standing in the dark corner of the bedroom with one of the kids in her hands. He reached over for the bedside light and realized that his wife, Trudie, was still in bed with him.

She even woke up and witnessed the female figure herself.

When Sting finally drummed up the courage to get out of bed and approach the ghostly figure…it simply vanished into thin air!


Dan Aykroyd – The Ghostbuster

The famous Ghostbuster gave an interview to Esquire in 2013 where he came clean about his own personal paranormal experiences.

He claimed that he once lived in a Hollywood property that was also home to Cass Elliot – the musician from American folk rock group The Mamas & the Papas.

Dan Aykroyd - The Ghostbuster

He also claimed that this property was haunted by the spirit of a man who had been buried under a hillside next to the house.

A handful of has staff at the time also backed up his claims – they had witnessed common poltergeist activity and direct contact in terms of tactile touching, by an unseen hand

If you have any thoughts or opinions on these ghost sightings by famous people – please leave them in the comment section below.