KIDSGAZETTE

Are fairies real? Two little girls once made many believe

This photograph, taken by Elsie Wright in 1917, shows Frances Griffiths with the alleged fairies.
This photograph, taken by Elsie Wright in 1917, shows Frances Griffiths with the alleged fairies.
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In 1917, two little girls in England photographed fairies dancing and playing around their garden. Their names were Elsie Wright and her cousin Frances Griffiths.

The girls told Wright’s father that they needed a camera to take pictures of the fairies they had seen playing outside. He gave them the camera (big bulky things back then) thinking they were just playing.

When he developed the pictures, he was surprised to find that there were actually fairies in the garden.

Elsie’s mother, Polly, who believed in the supernatural, took the pictures to a so-called expert who declared the images real. They were published in newspapers all over the world and even the famous mystery writer Sir Conan Doyle believed that the pictures were proof of the existence of fairies.

But, sadly, they weren’t real. In 1981, Elsie confessed to a magazine reporter that she and her cousin had made it all up. They’d drawn the fairies onto paper and cut them out and took pictures with them. According to the Museum of Hoaxes, the girls propped up the fairies with hat pins. In fact, you can see one of the hat pins in a picture, which appears as a little dot. The Museum of Hoaxes explains, “Doyle had seen this dot, but interpreted it as the creature’s belly button, leading him to argue that fairies give birth just like humans!”

You can view the photos of the fairies, which are now known as the Cottingley Fairies on the Museum of Hoaxes website.

So, sadly, proof of fairies has yet to be found. But I wonder if you went outside with a camera, what could you discover?

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