After reading the submission about duendes in Mexico, and how they have been reported to steal food and scraps from kitchens, etc., I am reminded of a UK newspaper story article that I had read as a teenager from as far back as the mid- to late-1970s, although admittedly my memory of it is somewhat hazy, so what I give here is a bit wanting for details.
The story was titled "Pink men and the mince pies," or something very much like that. In this story, a woman (in the UK) reported that she had baked some mince pies in her kitchen and left the pies to cool by her open kitchen window. Some short time later, she returned to her kitchen and was shocked to see several little pink men (about 6" or 7" tall) with black eyes helping themselves to her mince pies! The woman said that the little men appeared very frightened or alarmed at being discovered, and they then quickly went out of her kitchen window and were never to be seen again.
The woman, if my memory is correct, seemed to emphasize the little men's black eyes as being their most remarkable feature, and that there was something scary about that, rather than that they were coloured pink.
Well, these creatures' appearance obviously does not fit in with the typical, if not universal, stereotype of gnomes or elves, so perhaps this suggests that there is something much more peculiar, something much more fundamental going on in phenomena of this nature that what is popularly believed.