Fairy tales take a darker turn when the fairies curse those humans who dare to intrude upon their circle. They believed that when a man who had committed a crime passes through a fairy ring, he is doomed to hang within the year.
Fairy Circles Tales and Legends of Giants, Dwarfs, Fairies, Water-Sprites and Hobgoblins
Other folk tales warn of more general punishments such as disease, bad luck, or an early death. In Welsh tradition, the fairies do not personally curse the curious human, or even harm him. Rather, the punishment is a direct consequence of crossing the boundary from the human world into the land controlled by fairy rules. Time moves differently in the fairy world so that during only a few minutes spent dancing in the fairy realm, months can pass in the human world. Nearly a year had passed when a farmer who was an authority on fairy lore suggested that on the anniversary of the night when Rhys disappeared Llewellyn might be taken, with witnesses, to the spot.
This was agreed to, and the company…were led by Llewellyn to the place where he had lost Rhys. He seemed quite dazed.
They took him back by force, and could hardly get him to believe that a whole year had passed while he was dancing. Poor Rhys pined and drooped after this.
He soon took to his bed and faded away. In all these tales, a ring of toadstools marks off a space distinct from the human world.
Fairy Ring Glossary. Fairy Ring A.
Fairy Ring Additional Information. Fairy Ring Link To Us! Centuries ago, the sudden appearance of a circular pattern of mushrooms in people's soil had them believing that evil forces were in the making. Fairy rings were thought to be formed by a variety of dark forces such as shooting stars, lightning strikes as well as being created by witches.
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These beliefs were still in existence well into the 19th century. The English believed that fairy rings were where fairies came to dance and celebrate, the mushrooms of the rings were used as stools for the fairies to recuperate during the evenings festivities. One European legend tells of the origin of these rings as being burned into the soil by a sleeping dragon's tail. As with many legends a great many of these tales share a common theme of bad luck or misfortune befalling any poor unfortunate soul who was unlucky enough to stumble into one of these rings.
Misfortune could come in the form of disease, bad luck, or even being captured and becoming a slave to the fairies within their underground realm.
Related Tales from the Fairy Circle
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