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Fairy Tale Phantoms
Do fairies, gnomes and goblins really exist? Suspend your disbelief for a moment, and consider these real-life encounters with creatures from the land of make-believe.
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Page 2: The Faceless Phantom
Page 3: The Whispering Goblin

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"There are many legends here in Wales concerning the 'fair' folk. When the Celts first reached Britain they displaced a strange folk know as the Beaker people who were forced to live on the margins, in the forest deeps, the mountains and the marshes. They would steal cattle and, on occasion, children; they were secretive, furtive and could disappear in the wink of an eye. Some believe that these people were the origin of tales of the fairies. We call fairies y tylwyth teg, which means the beautiful family (or tribe). They were often mischievous and malevolent, luring people to their dooms in the forest deeps and the cold mountains. Legend has it that the fairy kingdom lay off the coast of Pembrokeshire, and as late as 1977 people reported seeing a strange craft approach Stacks Rock in St. Brides Bay. A huge door opened in the rock and the craft entered, the door closing behind it."
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Most of us have grown up with the timeless fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. They are wonderful stories populated by fairies, gnomes, trolls, goblins and other strange creatures that inhabit dark woods, foggy swamps, mystic meadows and mysterious mountains. They are also powerful stories that stay with us our entire lives because they tap into our primal fears of the unknown - creepy little archetypes of the human collective unconscious.

But are these creatures only the stuff of folklore and imagination? Do they have a basis in reality? Is that an idea too crazy to even consider? People around the world have claimed to have actually seen and even interacted with such beings. In moments of stress and unfamiliarity, are their minds merely recalling the fairy tales of their childhoods... or are their experiences real? Read the following accounts and decide for yourself.

Sebastian Polizar, The Gnome
I am now 22 years old, but when I was 17 I saw a gnome, and this is how it happened. My mom and I just moved to Puerto Rico. She bought an old house on a hill that she fixed it up, and soon we moved in. One day I came home early from school. No one was home, so I went to take a shower. I could hear my dog barking and chasing something, so I got out of the shower, ran to the window and saw what he was barking at: a gnome! He was standing behind a tree. He was very small, wore a white, cone-shaped hat and pointy shoes. Everything he wore was white. He saw me and we looked at each other. When I blinked, he was gone. I decided not to say anything to anyone. Then a couple of days later when I saw him again outside my window, smiling at me... then he disappeared. The next time I saw him I yelled out, "What's your name?" To my surprise, he yelled back and said, "My name is Sebastian Polizar." I told my mom and she was like, "Yeah, right..." I told her that I would prove that it was true. I yelled his name out loud and told him to come see my mom. At 1 o'clock in the morning, she saw him. She screamed and she made me promise never to call him again. But to this day I still see him. We moved out of that house because a lot of weird things kept happening, like doors slamming and voices that just didn't belong. - Lynn

The Tomte's Cap
This happened to my girlfriend when she was seven or eight years old. Here in Sweden we have old folklore stories of, among other things, gnomes. I do not have a better word for them - you know, those small little buggers with red caps and beards - kind of like those from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but smaller and more mysterious. The Swedish word is tomte. When my girlfriend was sleeping with her mom and dad in their bed one night, she woke up, but didn't exactly know why. She wasn't afraid, but noticed that something was in the room. The atmosphere was kid of gloomy, grayish dawn-like light, and the air was thick. She looked around and noticed a small cap moving from one side of the bed to the other. She was small and could not see to the floor, but what she did see was that a tomte was moving to the door... and then vanished. He looked as I described above, but gloomy - kind of Hollywood movie-dream style gloomy. It all lasted for about two minutes. These kinds of meetings point to the fact that old folklore shouldn't be ridiculed. - Henrik L.

The Four Demon Elves
This happened in 1967. The weirdest part of this story is that my younger sister and I never knew that our older sister had seen the demon elves too until all of us were grown with kids of our own. My younger sister Clarice and I loved to ride horses. Almost every day in the summer we would set off to the stables. We left very early in the morning, so it was our habit to climb out of our bedroom window so that we would not wake the rest of the family. One morning Clarice was part way out the window, when she let out a god-awful scream and started moving in reverse, quickly! I was trying to push her forward, but she came crashing back into me and we landed in a heap on the bedroom floor. Clarice was white, and I could tell she was really frightened - almost in shock. I kept asking her what was wrong, but it took her a while to be able to tell me. When she finally told me what she had seen, I didn't believe her. She said there were four little men outside in the bushes and they looked like little demon elves. She said she could tell they were evil. I didn't believe in the supernatural at the time, so to tease her (and because I couldn't see any demon elves outside) I leapt out of the window and ran over to the bushes and started crouching down calling for the evil elves to show themselves. They didn't, and I wrote the whole thing off as a very vivid imagination on my sister's part. Years later, we three sisters were together visiting and talking, and Clarice asked me if I remembered the demon elves. At that, our older sister Cristi turned as white as a ghost and said, "You saw them too?" It turns out that on the very same morning Clarice had seen them, those evil elves had awakened Cristi by scratching at her window, laughing evilly and calling her name. She said when she got up to see who was at her window, she almost fainted - it was the same evil elves Clarice had seen. She screamed at them to go away, and after some time of tormenting her they backed into the bushes where the unfortunate Clarice saw them. The scariest part was when Clarice said, "Remember that you couldn't see them?" I nodded my head. She continued, "When you ran up to the bushes, they were still there. You were just inches away from them, and then they disappeared." We never saw the demon elves again, but to this day, we three sisters all agree they really were there. - Tyler Z.

TheGnome Road
I live in Beaverton, Oregon. There are still some areas on the outskirts here that have forests, farms and the like. There is a road called Cornelious Pass, which is where this event occurred. Cornelious Pass is mainly a back road used for truckers or people looking for shortcuts, and I had a habit of driving that road at night. I was driving one night with a friend of mine, and he was skeptical to the core - a person who did not believe in anything "mysterious" or "unexplained." As I was rounding the corner on this dark night, my headlights caught something odd. I didn't see it as well as I would have liked, as my eyes were on the road. What I did see was burned into my memory and has been there ever since. There was something on the side of the road; it had been walking on its knuckles, like a gorilla. It reared up and looked at us as the headlights hit it. It was about four feet tall, the size of a child. Its arms were long enough that when it stooped it touched the ground, even though it was standing up. Its face - one of the images that remains hazy - I only remember as incredibly ugly. It was wearing clothes - and a pointed hat! I swear it. That's what got me when I saw it, what my mind focused on. A little pointed, cone hat standing straight up - like a witch hat without the brim and smaller.

The moment it saw us, it turned and shot into the grass on the side of the road. As it turned, I saw what I can only describe as a backpack. I slammed the car to a halt and turned to my friend, who was pale white and staring straight ahead, in shock. "You saw it too?" I asked. He nodded. I put the car in reverse and started to back up. My friend screamed at the top of his lungs, "What in the HE** do you think you are doing?" I screamed back, "Going after it!" He slammed down his lock and reached over me, locking my door. "You are not getting out of this car." He said through gritted teeth. "Drive!" He screamed. I didn't, calmly looked at him and asked him what exactly he thought he saw. "A TROLL! A GNOME or something! I don't care! Just DRIVE!" I knew my friend had gotten a better look at it than I, and afterward tried to ask him about it. He refused to talk about it again, or even acknowledge what had happened. I remember it, though - clearly. - Jovet

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