15 Stories About Faeries That Prove They're More Creepy Than Cute

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Vote up the least adorable, most disturbing stories about the fay.

When you think "fairies," what comes to mind? You probably picture an adorable and sparkly creature akin to Disney's Tinker Bell, a lovely - and above all, friendly - presence. You may even want to make contact with them. Unfortunately, glittering humanoids with butterfly wings are the stuff of children's stories. Retrace faerie folklore, and you'll discover their secret scary origins.

Cultures all over the world put their own disturbing spin on the fay. In Wales, faerie folk take away babies and leave their own twisted offspring in their place. Scottish Kelpies, meanwhile, are known for their taste for human flesh. As for Icelandic Huldufolk and Filipino Berberoka, you'll have to keep reading to discover just what makes them so chilling.

Just because they're mythological doesn't mean that faeries are any less frightening. Here are a few of their darkest attributes - just remember to shut your windows tight before going to sleep tonight.

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    1,319 VOTES

    They Claw You To Pieces

    They Claw You To Pieces
    Photo: Alice B. Preston / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Typically illustrated as haggard and old, Red Caps are said to be armed with razor sharp teeth and claws, which they use to eat humans and faeries alike.

    Their name hints at their vicious nature - Red Caps mop up their target's blood with their cap after they commit a slaying.

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    1,354 VOTES

    Their Screams Mean Doom

    Their Screams Mean Doom
    Photo: W.H. Brooke / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Banshee , also known as "woman faery," originated in Ireland and is said to be most active at night before a passing. In some folklore, she even comes to the door of those who are expected to pass. She looks like a full-sized human female, and though her appearance varies by region, her hair is always stringy and she always wears a white gown or shroud. She frequently appears covered in moss as well.

    The Banshee is recognized by her loud, mourning wails, which are said to be a harbinger of someone's demise.

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    1,237 VOTES

    They're Babies Back From The Grave

    Utburds are faeries that are believed to be the revived spirits of babies who passed during harsh winters. They tend to haunt anyone who hangs around the sites of their demise - misery is their mission.

    Utburds are even known to transform into large and terrifying owls that prey on night travelers.

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    1,233 VOTES

    They Slay Children

    They Slay Children
    Photo: Henry Justice Ford / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Bean-Fionn faeries are also known as "drowning faeries." They're said to pull children to their underwater doom. If you're searching for a Bean-Fionn fairy, you're advised to look around dark waters where drownings have occurred.

    These creatures were likely devised by parents looking to keep their kids from playing in the water, but that doesn't make them any less creepy.

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    909 VOTES

    They Get Excited By Death

    Virikas gather outside the homes of dying people while happily chattering to each other. These 18-inch-tall harbingers of doom are instantly recognizable, thanks to their vivid red color and bloodstained teeth.

    According to folklore, they can be appeased - but it isn't easy. Virikas require a shrine filled with daily burned offerings of flowers and spices to leave you alone.

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    767 VOTES

    They Have Evil Souls

    They Have Evil Souls
    Photo: Johann Wilhelm Cordes / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    According to Irish folklore, the Sluagh are faeries thought to be the souls of evil people. These faeries travel in a swarm at night, often appearing like black birds. Their preferred prey are dying people who have yet to be given their last rites. Some stories, however, say that you can call them by feeling deep sadness - or simply by saying their name.

    Once the Sluagh have you in their sights, the only way to be rid of them is to offer another person in your place. But they're easy to spot - in their humanoid form, the Sluagh look like malnourished people with leathery wings.