For centuries we have heard tales and people have had sightings of enchanted-diminutive humanoids. Their stories are found all over the globe… Even in Utah.
I’ve spent my entire life studying Folklore and Legends and because of this I have accumulated an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Nature Spirit Lore… Or as most people have come to know them… “Faeries.” A little background… According to the ancient philosophers there are four distinct species of Nature Spirit: There are the “Gnomes” or the Earth Spirits. They aid in all botanical growth and are the most abundant and easiest to come into contact with. Next there are the “Sylphs” or air spirits. These are the winged faeries known via pop-culture and Lisa Frank. (It must be understood that cute faerie archetype is primarily a Victorian creation.) Then we have the “Undines, or water spirits, these are our Mermaids, Kelpies, and Sirens the “Sea Goddesses of the Ancients,” and lastly we have the “Salamanders!” or the spirits of fire! The most misunderstood and most powerful of the Nature Spirits! No spark, no flame can exist without their aid.
Utah County has a large population of faerie folk. That is if you take into account all of the local sightings and stories I have collected over the last twenty years. I’ve been paying extra close attention to an area between Columbia Lane, 800 North, 1800 South (Orem), and Sand-hill Road. This is an area I have dubbed “The Provo Vortex,” a term of my own making. I call it this because of all the bizarre events that are reported here. In April of 2013 at approximately 1AM a man and woman claimed to have seen a small humanoid in the garden that used to sit next to Grand View Elementary. It was gardening in the Moonlight. (Incidentally Grand View Elementary is “haunted.”) The couple stood and watched the humanoid for about five minutes until it stood up and faced them (They were about thirty-feet away from the it.) and although they couldn’t make out many details or features of the creature it looked at them with a “What the Hell are you looking at?” mentality. Sensing they should mind their own business the couple backed away from the situation and left the area. The two of them reported multiple Fae related occurrences over the course of that Summer.
Every once in a Blue Moon I offer what I call a “Faerie Walk” (usually after midnight) for small groups of people, to and around Provo’s Lion’s Park. This is a hotbed of mysterious activity and has been a central part of my research. I don’t tell stories of anything on this “walk.” I just ask the attendees to keep their eyes and ears open and without fail several group members return asking… “What the Hell did I just see?” or “Is that what I think that was?” They return with reports of encountering small beings darting around the park and the surrounding neighborhood, small balls of light scurrying along the ground, “displaced time,” (More on that in a different article.) and most interesting of all… music that cannot be compared to anything the witnesses have ever heard. A beautiful music that originates out of thin air.
In the Spring of 2014 I lead one of these walks to Lion’s Park and Tabbie Mason was walking near the pathway on the south west side of the park when she says she saw a twenty-foot tall pale humanoid. It was naked and appeared to me emaciated and sad. It was standing next to a dead tree that was covered in ivy. (Historically ivy and overgrowth is “Gnome-Sign.) The appearance of this being made her feel very uneasy, but the simultaneous appearance of smaller beings accompanied with the chiming of mysterious bells helped to calm her.
Vineyard City Utah is also home to some interesting stories. I had taken a few of my former students out for a “Faerie Walk” around Vineyard’s Lake Side Sports Park and it is here that Tara E. Taylor saw something very strange… Tara was walking along the far west side of the park when she saw a “white cat” walking across her path when the “cat” morphed into a one-foot-tall humanoid! It looked at her, “smiled” and then “morphed back into a cat.” That’s a little odd. I am not making any claims with these stories. I’m just presenting a few of the many stories I have stumbled upon. True or not… Utah is an interesting place!
Danny B. Stewart is an “anomalogist”—a scientist of anomalies, a performance artist, teacher, lecturer, and professional storyteller. And when he was a small child he used to play with a two-foot-tall creature that wore yellow overalls under a dead tree next to his house…