Project Idea: Changelings

The legend of the "changeling" is that the fairies (or perhaps the Devil) would steal a newborn human baby and replace it with a fairy baby, and that fairy baby would be abnormal in some way. In order to compel the fairies to return the real baby, people would sometimes abandon the supposed changeling baby outdoors, based on the assumption that the screams of the baby would get the attention of the fairies and compel them to take back their baby and return the human child.

Research Tip: You can start with the Changeling article at Wikipedia, and then you can read this excellent essay by Dan Ashliman: Changeling Legends. He has also collected many changeling legends at his website: Changelings from the British IslesGerman Changeling Legends, and Scandinavian Changeling Legends.

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