This is a true story— well, three of them— of urban fairy trickery. If you’ve seen my TikTok (@doom_fairy), you might remember me telling the story of the Fae-Bans. I thought it was a one-time occurrence. I was wrong. It has happened three times over the year. And one of those times was in another part of the world.
OG Fae-Bans, Event #1
Last July, I was going to a nearby trail with my partner, Shane. He was driving. We were stopped at a light, a few cars back from the front of the line and next to the turn-in for a parking lot. The day was lovely, and I had my window down. We were both staring out of my window, at the empty sidewalk, when a pair of orange-tinted mirrored Ray-Ban sunglasses materialized about three feet off the ground and bounced on the sidewalk. There was nobody there. I was staring right at the spot where they weren’t, and then suddenly they were.
Now, there’s about six feet between the stopped cars and the sidewalk, so if they’d been thrown from the car, we’d have seen that. But the space around where the sunglasses appeared was an open space with no people, bushes, cars, or anything but a sidewalk and an empty parking lot behind.
I watched them fall to the ground and just went, “Huh,” fully intending to ignore the event, but Shane says, “Did you just see that?!”
“Wait, you saw it too?!”
Shane, “They appeared OUT OF NOWHERE!”
Me, “Whatever you do, don’t touch them. It’s a trap.”
Shane, “Tricky. They’re using Fae-Bans now.”
We drove on to our destination. When we came home, the Ray-Bans were gone. Somebody had taken the bait.
Fae Trap, Event #2
The second time was months away and in Portree, Scotland. I was in Skye to bring my sister’s remains to her final resting place. We always wanted to travel to Scotland together. It was her favorite place, and I can see why.
We were there before the tourist season, or so we thought. It turns out that tourist season is all year in Skye now, but we hit a lull, so it was busy but not overwhelming, and we actually got to know some of the local shop owners. We were walking through the narrow Portree streets, me holding one of the best coffees I’ve ever had. Shane and I stopped to lean against a building and just watch people. Across the street, about fifteen feet away (the road is wide enough for one car) there was the wall of another shop with a little window. We were looking at the decorations on the inside. The passers-by cleared and that side of the street was empty for a minute when a single black glove appeared in front of the window and dropped to the ground. The window was closed, there wasn’t a window above for it to have dropped out, and there were no people. Just like the Ray-Bans, we were staring at a space where there was nothing, and then there was something.
And just like before, “DID YOU SEE THAT?!”
Me, “I didn’t think it would happen twice! Where did that come from? Don’t touch it.”
Shane, “It’s the Fae-Bans again!”
Scotland is inherently magical and has a long, rich history of fairy lore. The Isle of Skye is rugged and gorgeous and there’s no way you could be there and not understand why this place inspires people. Several places are named for Themselves, like the Fairy Pools and the Fairy Glen. But most humans expect that the fae are only to be found in nature. As I’ve discussed in this post, they can be found everywhere. There are city and town-dwelling fairies. Some like to visit busy human places for their own reasons, which may be good or bad for the humans involved. Festivals are a likely place. Crowded tourist locations and places where people are unfamiliar with their surroundings and distracted are magnets for trickery or just people-watching. Edinburgh felt like it had more Others than humans. I’m not surprised that Portree would have “something” going on, but it was still surprising to watch another object materialize out of thin air. I’m glad I had someone else with me for both of these events, or I might have just dismissed them but been left with a nagging feeling.
Fae Football, Event #3
The third event happened at the exact same location as the first. About a month after returning from Scotland, I was running an errand alone. I drove down the road where the Fae-Bans appeared, and I pay attention now every time I come to this spot. I was about fifty feet away from where the sunglasses appeared on a bright, sunny day with no traffic. A soccer ball (football, for my European friends) appeared in the same spot as the sunglasses, a few feet off the ground, and bounced out into the road. I stopped the car to let whatever might be chasing it pass, whether I could see anything or not. And then I drove on.
I know there are stories in Ireland of the Good Folk sometimes needing humans to play hurling— an ancient Irish game using sticks and a ball. I wonder if the local Others are using soccer balls to recruit people for a similar reason. Maybe the sunglasses and gloves are like the Bean Sídhe’s comb.
A Warning, or a Dare
So, for the people who are convinced that the Good Folk only show themselves as light beings, are only found in nature, and are repulsed by cities and humans’ goings-on, I’d like to remind you that some cultures have been living side-by-side with the Otherfolk for as far back as anyone can remember. Check out this post on urban encounters. There have been interactions on both sides for forever, and it still happens. But go ahead. Pick up that random pair of expensive sunglasses. You might be fine.
But if you go back to this post, you’ll see that I came across a perfectly placed, perfectly sized, and much-needed pair of wellies in the middle of a foggy, boggy trail, and I wore them to get to the top of Mt. Errigal in Ireland and now I work for Themselves. There is no going back. And I am fortunate that my experiences are mostly positive, but I have learned a lot and my warnings come from my experiences and others’, and Others’.