When I first heard the term ‘elemental’ I got quite excited because the word sounds so mysterious and mystical. I was surprised to then learn that the things we believed in as children like mermaids and fairies are classed as Elementals.
Plenty of intelligent adults are open to the idea that ghosts exist, but mermaids, fairies and gnomes? Nah! That’s just ridiculous, right? Well I used to think so, until I did a little more research.
Firstly, I’ll talk about the four kinds of Elementals. As you’d expect, they come under the elements of earth, water, air and fire. Gnomes are of the earth, undines are of water (mermaids come under this category) , sylphs are of the air and include fairies, finally salamanders are of fire.
I was surprised to discover that many old houses and castles are rumoured to be haunted by Elementals. I had no idea that they could be classed as haunting a place like a ghost would be.
For me, the scariest example of an elemental being a nuisance is in Leap castle in Scotland. I don’t really understand why this entity is classed as an elemental and I dont know which type of elemental it’d be classed as, however it definitely doesn’t sound like the spirit of a dead person. There’s something certainly otherworldly about it.
The creature has been described by a previous resident of the castle, Mildred Darby as being about the size of a sheep with a human face and black holes for eyes. Others who have encountered this entity have mentioned that before seeing the creature, they’d be hit by the sickening smell of a rotting corpse.
In old folklore, Elementals are said to be without a soul and therefore need to marry a human to gain an eternal soul. The creature haunting Leap castle doesn’t sound like it’s looking to marry anytime soon and it is hard to picture that thing being classified under the same category as fairies and mermaids.
There seems to be two types of Elementals, on the one hand you’ve got fairies, gnomes and mermaids who are charming, mysterious and maybe a little mischievous and then you’ve got the other kind that are gross and creepy.
Before anyone points out that fairies are in fact evil because there are tales of them stealing babies, I am aware of this but you never hear anyone these days tell you their house is haunted by fairies, but evil foul smelling Elementals are still feared to this day.
Right, this is where we get to the main point of this article. If years ago it was a lot more common for folks to believe in fairies and other such entities, then surely that means people must have encountered them. Today most people think of that kind of stuff as children’s fairytales, and we surely wouldn’t relegate them to that if people were seeing winged creatures left, right and centre. You have to question if they did exist but died out or if they never existed and it was a case of some kind of mass hysteria.
What if humans have a kind of need to believe in otherworldly beings. Maybe fairies, ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot etc are one of the same thing; a manifestation of our desire for life to be more magical.
We have an emotional need to bond with people over a common enemy and what if ghosts, goblins, Elementals are that common enemy, one that we made up so that we could hide our fear of the real enemies that exist in reality. It’s more fun to fear a ghost than it is to fear nuclear war after all.