Spirits, Sprites, Demons and More – The Unseelies – ‘Dark’ Fairies
In mythology and folklore, fairies are classified in a variety of ways. Two of the most prominent categories, derived from Scottish folklore, are the division into the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court.
The Unseelie Court consists of the darkly-inclined fairies. Unlike the Seelie Court, no offense is necessary to bring down their assaults. As a group (or "host"), they appear at night and assault travelers, often carrying them through the air, beating them, and forcing them to commit such acts as shooting elfshot at cattle.
Like the beings of the Seelie Court who are not always benevolent, neither are the fairies of the Unseelie Court always malevolent.
Most Unseelies can become fond of a particular human if they are viewed as respectful, and would chose to make them something of a pet. Some of the most common characters in the Unseelie Court are Bogies, Bogles, Boggars, Abbylubbers and Buttery spirits.
The division into "seelie" and "unseelie" spirits was roughly equivalent to the division of Elves in Norse mythology, into "light" and "dark" distinctions.
William Butler Yeats, in ‘Irish Fairy and Folk Tales’, further divided them into the Trooping Fairies and the Solitary Fairies. These categories are generally applied to any fairy-type creature, from elves, pixies and brownies to ogres and giants.
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