Children of Fae

Has anyone ever heard of the Fae switching out their Fairy children with human children.

I’ve seen it in movies, but wondered if this is something they do and why they would do it.

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However, due to this belief many people in history would torture their children under the belief that the child was of faery kind and to bring back their child. It’s not really something I personally believe happens as so far the cases with them have been the child was obviously human, but who knows.


Wow, those poor kids. I read the Fae switch out adults too. So basically anyone who was different was considered a Changling. I’m guessing this was before the Salem Witch Trials.

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They don’t switch out adults no, but there is lore that adults get lost within the fae world from time to time but nothing gets switched in their place.

changelings were only children.

Also Salem witch trials was in america, changelings is a lore that was present in germany, ireland, The British Isles and so forth.


According to the folklore, it was done when something about the child caught their attention, such as bright, blonde hair, or the baby was considered exceptionally beautiful. In Ireland, it was considered dangerous to look at a baby with envy (called “overlooking”) as it would then place the child in the power of the Fae.

Some of the legends say the Fae swapped children so the child could feed on human breast milk. Others say it was done to obtain a human servant, or the love of a human child, or out of straight up malice.

In other stories, changelings were believed to not be Fae children, but old Fae, hidden by glamours, who wanted to be cuddled and cared for before dying.

The Fae did indeed abduct adults, mainly the young and the beautiful. Young women were particular targets, especially young mothers, and were believed to be taken to nurse Fae young.


From Wikipedia:


In Germany, the changeling is known as Wechselbalg ,[13] Wechselkind ,[14] Kielkopf or Dickkopf (the last both hinting at the huge necks and heads of changelings).[13]

Several methods are known in Germany to identify a changeling and to return the replaced real child:

  • confusing the changeling by cooking or brewing in eggshells. This will force the changeling to speak, claiming its real age, revealing its position beyond synchronicity.[13]
  • attempting to heat the changeling in the oven[15] – perhaps a lie by capacity to endure present.
  • hitting[15] or whipping[14] the changeling

I knew I remembered reading about changelings but didn’t remember where then I googled the quote “cooking in eggshells never have I seen” and found it was a Grimm fairytale I remembered it from.

Apparently if you could trick a changing into revealing itself you got your own baby back.


I didn’t know that. I have been Googling Changling, I wasn’t sure how much was accurate.

No problem, with adults it was more just taking they weren’t exactly replaced when taken as far as I know.


I think there might be some local lore in certain regions of adults being swapped as well. There was a case in Ireland back in 1895 where a woman was killed by fire by her husband who thought she was a changling. I imagine it was a case combining anger, fear and a convient excuse using local folklore that was going through the husband’s mind, as that would be a pretty far jump if all the changling stories were strictly children without regional variation of some form.


Doing something to confuse the changeling so that it sits up and speaks instead of acting like a normal baby occurs in the Celtic folktales as well. The British Isles and Ireland have strong fishing traditions, so the stories tend to talk about fishing related oddities, like using inappropriate materials to make fishing line and hooks.

The story called The Fishwife and The Changeling is retold in the book “Folk Tales from Moor and Mountain” 1969 - one of Winifred Finlay’s collected folk takes and my favourite of the series.

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I’m going to check that out.