The photographs were black and white. However, the subject was gray in its entirety.
How could two cousins of nine and sixteen procure evidence of pixies when no other had afore? With a borrowed camera, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright presented five most compelling pictures of fairies at Cottingley brook. Of course, their summer (1917) antics couldn’t stay merely between them.
Frances penned a letter to a friend, saying, “I am sending two photos, both of me, one of me in a bathing costume in our back yard, while the other is me with some fairies. Elsie took that one.”
Arthur Wright, to whom the camera belonged, credited the fairies to his daughter’s photography skills. When more fairy prints appeared in his darkroom, he refused the
girls the use of his Midg quarter-plate.
After attending a lecture on “fairy life,” Polly Wright shared the pictures with the speaker. How a bit of cardboard figures and hatpins could fool! The photos were authenticated and garnered the attention of spiritualists—including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Ironic that the author of Sherlock Holmes was quite taken by the hoax. In truth, all of England was. The Cottingley Fairies appeared in a time of war. And in times of war, it is good for people to believe in something . . . something better, something pure and light. . . Even if only for a short while.
Share a time you believed in something magical. . .