In the December 25, 2005 edition of the Boston Herald, it was written that belief in fairies, elves, leprachauns, etc., collectively known as the "Little People" or "Hidden Folk", still flourishes in Europe, as for example in the case of Icelandic road planners who will always consult an elf expert before building a highway, in order to avoid building through elf territory. Many people in European countries still hold a mixture of fear and respect for the Hidden Folk, and will be especially careful not to arouse their anger , for they know that to do so would be disastrous. Such beliefs even extend to the United States, as reported in the lead article of the May 2006 issue of Fate Magazine, where it was reported that a small town in Minnesota, that was settled primarily by Scandinavian immigrants, told stories of what were called the Huldefolk, and a witness named Richard Connors even reported having an unexpected wrestling match with one of the beings!
As demonstrated in this account, belief in the Little People doesn't neccesarily stop at just the folklore and mythological angle, but instead continues on to reports of actual encounters with the Little People, mainly from the United States and Europe but not just limited to these countries. While such reports may sound absolutely incredible, there is a long history of sightings dating back for centuries, with one of the more recent and well known being from Wisconsin back in 1919. To quote from a post on the UFO Updates mailing list:
"13-year-old Harry Anderson saw twenty bald-headed little mennear Barron, Wisconsin, one summer night in 1919. Harry wasriding in a car with others in the Wisconsin countryside whenthe car ran out of oil. Harry walked to a farm to fetch some,and as he was walking back he saw twenty little men walkingalong towards him in single file. They had bald heads and whiteskins, and wore leather "knee-pants" held up by braces overtheir shoulders. They paid no attention to the terrified boy,who ducked out of sight behind a tree, but muttered tothemselves and sang a little song:"We won't stop fightingTill the end of the warIn Nineteen-Hundredand Ninety-Four".The terrified Anderson, "heart pumping", continued on his wayback to the car once the marching dwarfs had passed by, not oncelooking back behind him."
To give another example, this one took place in 1950 in Oregon:
"Ellen Jonerson, "aUniversity of Oregon graduate and a very intelligent person",saw a dark-skinned, 9- to 12-inch-tall "little man" wearing "alittle romper and a sort of plaid shirt" walking with a"waddling" motion across her breezeway, pass under the runningboard of a car, and disappear."
What are we to make of such reports? They are hardly the only ones of their kind out there, and yet the very idea of such beings existing seems too impossible to take seriously. Are they a hidden race that has somehow managed to more or less conceal its existence from humanity for centuries? Maybe they are nature spirits who have taken form, or perhaps they are a part of the Earth itself, literally formed from the planet's mana, or energy. Whatever the reason for their existence, the reason behind their being seen so scarcely now as opposed to centuries past, when many stories exist of interaction with the Little People, may be able to be attributed to humanity's current general disbelief toward such beings as being improbable and the stuff of stories and myths. While of course as stated above many people in European countries still believe in their existence, the prevailing idea about the Hidden Folk is that they aren't real and belong only in folklore and old stories told to scare children and the gullible. Maybe such entities are only seen in high numbers when people are more open to the idea and believe in them more, and without such belief the little people lose their power and fade into the background. This admittedly sounds like something out of a fantasy novel, and the reports of fairies, elves, etc. may indeed only be the stuff of myth and legend and nothing more, but there is an interesting account from Scotland dating March 1966 that, if true and at the moment I hold it to be an intriguing account and nothing more, may explain why mythological beings such as fairies, satyrs, centaurs, are so prevalent in ancient culture but not as much in the present day. This is from Colin Wilson's book Poltergeist:
"A man talking a walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens suddenly experienced a state of heightened perception. He then became aware of a figure or nature spirit resembling the God "Pan" standing nearby. The being had a pointed chin and ears, shaggy legs with cloven hooves with two little horns on his forehead. He was apparently naked. The witness saluted the being that seemed startled by the intrusion. During a brief conversation the being told the witness that he lived in the garden and that his task was to help the growth of trees. He also stated that they no longer were interested in humans since we no longer believed in them."
Perhaps it is the same for other anomalous entities as well, such as for example the creatures recounted in this posting, also from the UFO Updates mailing list:
Maybe such creatures only appear because there is still a segment of society that believes in the possibility of such beings, and without that segment to keep them alive the creatures would just disappear? I admit that I have my doubts about that theory, but I believe it to be one worth considering. While the existence of the Hidden Folk is far from proven, there is no shame in considering the possibilty and expanding one's world view just a little bit further.