There are all kinds of stories and tales about Fairies and fairy kin. I've collected some of them here. Get comfortable, there is a lot to read but its interesting.

Disclaimer: a good majority of the information bellow I did not write up myself, but I found it online or in books. I have tried to cite my sources whenever possible.

Faery Theories
The following theories have been advanced by folklorists to explain the coming of Faeries.
Hades Theory: Faeries are the souls of the unforgiven dead, waiting to be reunited with there bodies at Judgment day
Mythological Theory: Faeries are the diminished figures of the old pagan celtic divinities
Pigmy theory: Faeries derive from a folk memory of a prehistoric Mongolian race, which inhabited Britain and parts of Europe but died out after its members where driven out by the celts
Druid theory: Faeries derive from a folk memory of the Druids and there magical practices
Naturalistic Theory: Faeries are a continuation of a prehistoric beliefs in nature spirits
Psychological theory: Faeries are the manifestation of a worldwide doctrine of souls, and part of the universal animistic spirit
Actual theory: Faeries are a real race of supernatural beings
From The Faeryland Companion by Beatrice Phillpotts

There are more types of fairies then just the beautiful winged beings that I am most fond of. here's a list of some of the different kinds.

Types of Fairies
by JC Pinkerton
There are so many different types of fairies that one could never be sure which type they had seen or heard. Although some people claim they know exactly which type they have seen. Since ancient times they have been described as being seen and heard in many different forms. All of the fairies below are said to be afraid of a clergyman and will not enter a house while one is inside.
The Banshee-Fairy Woman
She can forewarn certain ancient Irish families of impending death. She can appear in four different forms:
A young attractive woman.
A noble matron.
An old hag.
A washerwoman.

Her cry can be heard at night near the home of someone who is about to die. Her wails have been described as piercing to low and pleasant. She may also appear in other forms such as a crow, weasel and other animals associated with sorcery.

The Changelings
It's been told that many fairy children are born defective so their parents will swap them with a human baby. A fairy child that has been swapped by their parents is called a changeling. This little fairy has the power to cause evil in the human household and is not a happy camper. It often screeches and yells throughout the day and night. The home will have only bad luck with this fairy child around. Often the child will grow up with a crooked back or hand but will be gifted with talent to play a musical instrument such as the fiddle or Irish pipes.
The Dullaghan
This fairy rides a black steed while he carries his head in his arms. Remember the story of the "Headless Horseman?" Perhaps he was a dullaghan! He likes to show up around midnight during Irish festivals and is said to be seen often in County Down, Ireland. It is said the creature's head glows with luminescence of decaying matter and serves the rider as a lantern to guide the dullaghan's way. A ghastly grin runs from one side of the face to the other. Sometimes he is seen driving a black coach drawn by six black horses.
The Grogochs
These are dirty little half-human, half-fairy creatures. They appear as an elderly man who wears no clothes but is covered with dirt, twigs, etc. It's been said they like to occupy the Isle of Man. This creature can make himself invisible but will reveal himself to someone he likes. He enjoys roaming about the kitchen and causing disturbances.
The Leprechaun
These elderly gentlemen are often found in a state of intoxication from drinking their "home-brew." But be that as it may, they are talented shoemakers and can hammer away drunk or sober. The leprechaun carries a "magical coin" in his purse and each time he pays it out it always returns back to him, showing up in his purse again and again. He has been described as Ireland's national fairy and only a leprechaun knows where the pot of gold is. But he's not telling!
The Merrows
The Irish female merrow is a beautiful marine fairy who has thin webbing between her fingers and prefers human male mates. Some people say they bring messages of death. They can travel through the sea wrapped in a cloak and can even take on the appearance of a seal. Sometimes they find old shipwrecks and carry away lots of treasure making them wealthy creatures. Some have married human fishermen and had children, only to return back to the sea. The male merrows sometimes appear as little hornless cows. Sometimes they appear as a fairy with green teeth and green hair. Is it any wonder the female merrow doesn't find them attractive?
The Pooka
This is the most fearful fairy in all of Ireland. It comes out at dark, causing injury and mischief. It can take on many different forms but usually appears as a dark horse with infernal yellow eyes and a trailing mane. It scatters livestock, knocks down fences and tramples crops. Sometimes it demands a portion of the crop and farmers have to leave an offering behind. You'll know when one is around because the cows won't milk, the chickens won't lay and all of your animals will think they're in a Stephen King novel.
The Sheoques
These little fairies live in thorn bushes and can lead you astray with their fairy music. If you see any of these little critters, better cover your ears and hope for the best.
Who Could Forget About These Sweet Fairies?
Fairy Godmother

A popular fairy in animated films and picture books, the fairy godmother shows up unannounced when the heroine is in a state of desperation and has nowhere else to turn. The fairy godmother usually keeps watch over a female character and is always a plump and sweet grandmotherly type. If you write about her be sure to give her a long flowing gown with lots of lace, a hooded cape, and tall sorcerer's hat. And don't forget the magic wand. She'd be lost without it.

The Tooth Fairy
This little creature is quiet and stealthy, she'll always appear in the middle of the night but you won't know it because she won't make a sound. If you've put your tooth under your pillow like you should, she'll collect it and leave you some money. The good fairy always pays for the teeth she collects.
Fairy Princess
The fairy princess is about the size of a butterfly and comes from a line of royalty. Kindness is her best friend and she goes about looking for other fairies who might be in distress, perhaps trapped by a mean dog or locked up by some mean human. The fairy princess trust only little human girls for they are known to keep the fairies secrets.


 Other bits of lore about Fairies

(these bits here gathered from various sights online and in some cases given to me by Shadowdragyn of the ladies of the myst)
Faery Rings

Faeries often dance in circles in the grass which are called Faery rings. The wild enchantment of the Faery music can lead passersby inexorably towards the ring which, like a Faery kiss or Faery food and drink, can lead to captivity forever in the world of Faery. If a human steps into the ring he is compelled to join the faeries in their wild prancing. The dance might seem to last only minutes, or an hour or two, or even a whole night but in fact the normal duration would be seven years by our time and sometimes longer. The captive can be rescued by a friend who, with others holding his coat-tails, follows the Faery music, reaches into the ring (keeping one foot firmly outside) and pulls the dancer out.


Where is Faeryland? One day its just over the horizon and the next day its under your feet. There has been times in history that Faeryland, had an actual geographical area.  However, the actual location tended to shift so unwanted mortals do not happen to visit when they where not wanted. There are two Faeryland most used throughout history they are The Isle of Man and Avalon.
Most traditional homes for faeries are forts, barrows and ancient earthworks, these earthworks are know as faery hills.  Keep in mind that it is not recommended that any faery hill, or other habitat be trespassed on.  However, observing faery activity from a distance is allowed.
Fairies may live alone or in large groups.  Large groups of fairies live in  fairyland. They have a fairy society that has its own government and territory.  A king and queen rule Faeryland, with the queen having the most power.  Life in the Faeryland closely resembles life in the human world.  Fairies work, marry and have children. Time passes extremely slow in fairyland and there is no old age or death (it is unknown if  the part on death is true since there have been faery funeral sightings)
Finvara is the King of the Daoine Sidhe and his Queen is Oonagh. People also think of Oberon and Titana, but those are simply characters in a play.  Mab is also often referred to as the Queen of Faerie, but I can find no reference to where that title comes from. The Daoine Sidhe (theena shee) are supposedly the remnants of the Tuatha De Danann (tootha de dannan) people of Ireland.  That is the most accepted explanation.  It is NOT the real case, but would
 work as fact for most people.

Fairies and people
Humans have been (since the beginning of Christianity in Ireland) afraid of the Faeries.  They leave offerings of milk, broken bread, cheese, nuts, sweets, etc. in hopes of gaining the Fae's good graces.  They also had a variety of methods to protect themselves against Faeries, most of which are the same  as for Vampires - anything having to do with Christianity is supposed to keep them away.  Also salt, iron,  bells, daisy chains, flax, St. John's Wort, horseshoes, shoes placed by the bed with toes pointing away, a sock under the bed, turning clothing inside out, sprigs of Rowan
They did use eggshells in one test for Faerie Changelings.  The human goes through the motions of boiling water in empty halves of eggshells, which is supposed to cause the changeling baby to stand and say that he has never before seen such a thing in all his days.  They also used a test of putting the suspected changeling on a red-hot shovel, at which point the changeling would fly up the chimney, and  the real baby found outside the door.
Faeries also are offended if humans give offers of thanks for help or tell any other mortal about the help, they always return more than they borrow - but NEVER should a human return more than borrowed to the Faeries.  It is also said that humans should never eat Faerie food, and that most things the Faeries give is really just leaves and twigs disguised by "Glamour". 

More Bits of Faery Lore
Faeries are curious about humans and are ready to love them but they can be tricksters as they are also afraid and distrustful of us and angry for the way we treat the Earth they take care of. To placate them, we must align ourselves with the ways of Nature and love everything that lives in our gardens both beautiful and not so beautiful. We must try to see the essence of the spirit in the flowers.
There is always a main angel of the garden. The fae that tend to all living things in your garden are under her direction. Speak to her and invoke her presence each time you are in your garden. This blesses your garden and yourself.
Nurture feelings of wonder, reverence and love for every detail of your garden. Once you truly feel the magic of opening your heart to the faeries, they will make themselves known to you. Sometimes they will speak to you, giving wise counsel and revealing secrets of the life of your garden.

Faeries in the garden are often disguised as dragonflies or wrens.
All cats have faery sight by nature. If you see your cat alert to something in the garden you cannot see, it is most likely a faery.
As a habit, faeries usually travel in small bands. They change residence four times a year and this occurs on four pagan fire festivals: Imbolc, Beltane, Lugnassad and Samhain.
Faeries may be dwelling nearby if you spot mushrooms growing in a circle. This is evidence of boundary markers of faery rings which are frenzied circle dances of intoxicated faeries.
The best time to see faeries is at dusk on Midsummer eve(the Midsummer Solstice/on or around June 21st). A wash of marigold applied to the eyelids will help gain faery sight. Don't do more than look or you may be lured and sucked into the seductiveness of the Otherworld!

Weeds are considered wild herbs. Don't clear them away when they are in bloom as the fae that live in them will be extremely upset! Marigolds will discourage sprouting of weed growth and foxglove keeps weeds and disease at bay.

Attracting Faeries
Set out birdhouses, birdbaths (float flower blossoms), bird feeders and bat houses.
Grow plants and flowers that are attractive to bees and butterflies. The fae are attracted to where they are.
Create a small fountain, waterfall or fishpond (fishponds attract all sorts of wildlife)to attract faeries and water sprites. Anything that reflects light or is colorful and moving will attract the gnomes and elves.
Leave an area of your garden a bit wild and uncultivated. Dedicating it to the faeries will make them feel very welcome.
Don't remove mushrooms or fungus from your garden as the faeries regard these as delicacies.

Faery’s are very attracted to gardens where they feel they are welcome and gardening is done in sympathy with nature and the plants that are their love and charges.
Always leave at least a small wild area that is not cultivated (though it can be cut carefully several times a year - like a wild meadow) or disturbed
grow plants and design the garden to attract wildlife
choose natural wild flowers, herbs and non-sterile hybrids. The faery’s are not sure of the energy of the modern hybrid flowers,
It was an old tradition to build a small faery house out of natural materials and to grow within it mushrooms and wild plants that they like.
Sit in the garden and listen for their singing. Hang up wind chimes and listen to the wind through the trees and recognise the faery voices within it.
Clean water is very attractive to all faery's, not just the water faery's. A bowl of crystal clear water placed in a room sweetens the atmosphere and forms a link to the spiritual planes. 

Faery’s love beautiful, pure objects and may even be said to have rather flashy (but not really gaudy) tastes in jewellery. They love gold and silver and precious gems and can be very attracted to good-quality crystals (that have not been extracted by unkind means). 
Faery’s themselves will be seen dressed in green finery, such as foliage and pretty flowers round their waists, heads or necks (and I am told to say: look very pretty too!). 
Brownie’s have always traditionally liked small offerings of milk, honey, cakes or ale to be left out for them and in turn will help around the house.
To attract faery energy to the home have some pictures or figures of them around, particularly if there is an area of the home set-up as a quiet place, where you can meditate and ask for their help. A few acorns gathered in a lane, a flower found lying on a verge (don't pick them from living plants), a few autumn leaves will always be recognised and appreciated. Each morning thank them for their help and ask that that help continues.

Faeries are attracted to anything that glitters.  Get a small basket and place in it offerings to the faeries such as candles, ground ginger, clover (only the three leaf), thyme, barley, foxglove, primrose, roses, and moss.  Tie the basket with bright colored ribbons for an added affect.  Be sure to replace the items often, as the faeries use that which is inside and leave the outer shell of the objects.
Oak Hawthorne, and Ash Trees are among the best natural places to find faeries.  Outside of your faery garden look in these natural settings.
Provide for faeries places in which to build their residence, shelter from the weather, and happiness. 

Cowslip- This is the best for attracting faeries into your yard. Loved and guarded by faeries. This flower has power to find hidden faerie gold.
Willow: Faerie Lore has it that at dusk. Willow trees will magically uproot, and stalk and speak to wayward travelers.
Roses: The scent of Rose is a powerful attraction for the Faeire folk. Sprinkling an area with rose water, or even your clothing, for that matter, will certainly draw the Faeire near. 
Metals such as copper, and silver are sacred to the Faeire. Mesmerized by the glitter, Faeire will gather to these metals. 
Wood also holds an attraction power over the Faeire.  
Faeiries inhabit Mother Earth, especially trees. Faeire naturally flock towards the woods.
Plant a wide assortment of colorful and sweet scented flowers in your garden. Soon you will catch a glimpse of the Faeiries, just when you least expect it, and usually between blinks of the eye. Any flowering plant that attracts butterflies will certainly attract faeries. For faeries are forever pursing butterflies.

A Spell to Call a Faery

Chant this while in the woods, a forest, or other secluded place:

Faery Folk, Faery Folk, Faeries & the Fee
Give me the sight so that I may see
I come with a light heart feeling happy & gay
 Show yourself to me on this day
In England, a hob is a type of house faery who protects the kitchen. Leave a little offering of sweet milk and bread on your stove for the hobs to encourage their presence.

In Ireland, the Tuatha de Danann are active just before Samhain and will bless your home for a small portion of your harvest. Buy any crops left unharvested after sundown on October 31st is taken by the Phookas, baneful faeries who render the crop unfit to eat. Spelled Pwca in Wales, these baneful faeries will remain active until spring!
In Cornwall it is a folk custom to scold a child who has spilled
milk, for this is seen as a gift to the Faeries and scolding would make it seem as if it were given grudgingly. This is probably the origin of the popular doggerel, "Don't cry over spilled milk".
There are many well known ways to see Faery Folk. One is simply to gaze through the opening of a holey stone or self-bored stone. These are usually found near running water or by the sea.
They are often seen within a natural ring of mushrooms at sunset or full moonlight.
When seeking nature spirits never wear iron or whistle in the woods.
Once you have a faerie in your home, never leave it monetary gifts. A thimble of milk and a little bread with honey will do just fine.

Apple trees - It is believed that fairies inhabit them and could enchant mortals who lingered beneath them and carry them off to Fairyland.
Lily of the Valley - The tiny flowers and sweet smell are perfect size for the wee ones.
Rosemary - It is called the elf plant, and fairlore states they are
enchanted by the scent.
Thyme - This is their favorite! You may get a glimpse of your fairies playing delightfully amongst it.
Ferns - Grow them near the thyme beds with plenty of soft moss around and the fairies will make their beds in it!
Oak tree - It is believed that holes near the bottom of old trees are the doorway to Fairy Land!
Forget-Me-Nots - Hold the blue flowers and wish....if you are pure and true...the keys of fairy land will come to you.

In traditional English folklore, the land of Faerie was a place out of space and out of time.  If a person visited this realm, a stay of a few days might be the same as a hundred years in "real time."
Install a small fountain or waterfall or put in a fishpond. You might want to include statues of faeries. Anything that reflects light or is colourful and moving particularly attracts the gnomes and elves. Both faeries and water sprites like the splashy sound and sight of a fountain.
Faeries of the garden variety have a fondness for thyme, clover {three leaves only, as the four leafed variety will repel the little creatures}, primrose, and of course hawthorn which is sacred to the Faeries.  
Foxglove, also called Faerie petticoats, Faerie thimbles, and foxglove will provide the wee folk with many garment options and should be grown in every garden desirous of Faeries.  
Faeries also dress in moss, fox skins, and spider webs.

If a young maid will look for the first harebells of spring, which are called "fairy thimbles" and are witch's flowers, and then count them up three times as the sun is rising or the dew is falling, she can summon the fairies. She, on leaving, must address them thus:

                'Fairies I have sought your bower;
                I now retire, and bless your power.'

She must curtsey three times to the fairies, and the magic of the glade will go with her. 

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