The great fairy hoax

Layout 1ON THIS DATE in 1917, sixteen-year-old Elsie Wright photographed her nine-year-old cousin Frances Griffith posing with what appeared to be four tiny fairies. This is the first of five photographs that spread the fame of the Cottingley (England) fairies, one of the most famous and long-running photographic hoaxes. In reality, the “fairies” were created from paper cutouts.

It’s ironic that the man who created fiction’s most analytical detective would fall for this flimsy fraud. Sherlock Holmes author A. Conan Doyle saw one of the pictures in 1920 and wrote a magazine article that vouched for the existence of these supernatural beings, which became known as the Cottingley fairies. Not until 1982 did Griffiths and Wright confess that the fairies were a fraud.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s