What Are Elementals?

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.

Spell Dolls and Poppets

Most people have heard of voodoo dolls. In films and TV shows, they’re usually used by the evil character to control someone or inflict pain on someone. In reality, that is not the purpose of a Voodoo doll. They’re often used for healing and are used in a kind of magic called ‘sympathetic magic’

Sympathetic magic works by giving an object an identity (a doll is usually used) the identity of the doll could be yourself or someone you know. When you do something to the doll, it affects the person it represents. For example if I were to make a doll to represent a friend, I may use a picture of the friend, some of their hair or an item which belongs to them and put it in the doll. I may then do something as simple as putting the doll high up on a shelf to raise the mood of the friend who might be going through a tough time.

Spell Dolls have been used for centuries all over the world. The Voodoo doll may be the most famous but since I am not a practitioner of Voodoo, the spell Dolls I make are called poppets. A poppet is the English equivalent of a Voodoo doll.

I like to use different herbs to make a poppet represent something that I’d like to bring into my life. For example if I’ve been feeling a bit unlucky I’ll make a good luck poppet. The poppet will represent me and since the poppet is lucky, I too shall be lucky.

Good luck poppet, prosperity poppet and love poppet

Another purpose for a poppet or spell doll is that of a decoy. This method involves putting lots of personal items in a poppet (preferably hair, finger nails, blood etc) you then burry the poppet outside so that anyone who is trying to put a spell on you will fail because the evil magic will attack the poppet and not you. This is often used when someone feels that they are under attack by a witch or if someone believes they are cursed.

I have an interesting story to go with poppets being used as decoys. My friend told me that someone she knew was a witch and that she believed this witch had been targeting her with black magic. I didn’t know what to think about the situation but some of the things she said made me think she could be right. I suggested she make a decoy poppet and so she did. We then buried it in her front garden.

Around seven days later my friend said that she had begun to feel much happier and her health was improving. Because I’m skeptical by nature (I wish I wasn’t) I thought that maybe it was psychosomatic and that it was a kind of placebo effect. After a hot cup of tea and a nice chat, I got up to leave and as I walked out the front door I noticed something which still baffles me. There in the hedge next to where the poppet was buried was a circle of dead leaves.

My friend and I studied the hedge for ages, trying to work out how it’d happened. There didn’t seem to be a logical explanation. It didn’t look like it’d been burned and even if it had, why would someone do that? Why would only a circle of the hedge have died? We thought that maybe someone sprayed weed killer on it, but why would they? It also had a strange aroma, like the smell of decaying fungi.

We came to the conclusion that the decoy had prevented the evil magic from reaching her and that it had somehow concentrated at that one spot in the hedge.

I do enjoy making poppets for several different reasons and I currently have some poppets in my shop. The poppets I have available are happy little gingerbread characters. There’s a Love Poppet, Good Luck Poppet and a Prosperity Poppet. I would be very happy to make poppets for various other reasons like decoys or spell dolls to improve moods etc but for now my shop only has the three varieties mentioned.

If you found this article interesting and would like to purchase your own poppet, then please check out my shop and adopt a poppet.

Mythical Creatures Of Lincolnshire

As some of you may know, I was born in Lincolnshire and still live here. It’s a large county in the east of England and is known for its farmland and beautiful countryside.

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of videos about cryptids on YouTube and a lot of the videos are about weird creatures in America. It’s sad that we British don’t seem to care as much about our own cryptids which are part of our folklore and mythology. Lincolnshire happens to have some interesting mythical Creatures. Here is a list of just 5 of them.

The Lindsey Leopard

The Lindsey Leopard is known as an ‘alien big cat’ which has been seen roaming up and down Britain, including Lincolnshire.

On August 14, 1998, two large paw prints in cut grass were reported near Gainsborough on a farm, which were identifiable as puma or lynx prints by an RSPCA inspector. There were numerous sightings soon after this, and later in October, three mutilated sheep were found with no other attributed cause other than a wild animal

Market Rasen, Stapleford Woods near Newark and South Rauceby are just some of the places it has been spotted, with the most recent sighting being in 2002, when a man named Chris Till spotted a large cat in Laughton Forest.

Black Shuck

There have been many sightings of the Black Shuck in East Anglia, although it has also been sighted haunting Cawthorpe and Haugham in Lincolnshire.

Despite the accounts of its appearance varying, it has mainly been described as a ghostly black dog as big as a calf with saucer eyes.

Its appearance was considered to be a sign of death, the name ‘Shuck’ derives from the Old English word ‘succa’ meaning ‘demon’, and it is just one of many phantom dogs spotted around the UK.

Werewolf

This Lincolnshire legend dates back to 1926. A young man living near Dogdyke discovered some ancient remains which looked like a human skeleton with a wolf’s head. After examining them on his kitchen table, he concluded that it must have been a coincidence they were found together.

Unable to sleep that night, he was disturbed by a tapping noise on the window, only to discover that there was a werewolf looking back at him, which began to smash through the glass.

He barricaded himself in his kitchen until the werewolf left at the crack of dawn. He immediately buried the skeleton he previously found, and was never disturbed again.

Shag Foal

This creature comes in the form of a shaggy haired donkey with fiery eyes.

It is known as a mischievous creature rather than diabolical, and appears to unknowing travellers on the road around Boston and Barton.

A book titled Country Folklore written in 1908 by Gutch and Peacock indicated the existence of the Shag Foal lurking around the railway in Kirton, Lindsey.

British Bigfoot

Back in 2014, co-founder of the British Bigfoot Research organisation Adam Bird claimed he had captured a photograph of a Bigfoot in Friskney, near Boston.

He said the photograph showed a ‘shadowy figure’ dark among the greenery, stood within the trees staring at him and his group. He also found a very large footprint, which could belong to the British Bigfoot.