Alp-Luachra, flesh-burrowing fairies
JON KANEKO-JAMES tells us about some gross fairies who’ll literally get under your skin
This week’s spooky creature is the Alp-Luachra, or Joint-Eater. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about weed. This rather unpleasant faerie won’t be munching on that sweet nail of Aunt Mary you cool cats have been burning up on (as you can see, I’m down with the kids). No, this creature will get under your skin, breed inside you body and starve you to death.
To understand why something would do this, particularly an intelligent creature like a faerie, presumably capable of reasoning, morality and abstract thought, we need to go to the manuscript of a Scottish priest named Robert Kirk, writing in 1691. Kirk’s book, called The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies, talks about the society and ecology of the fair folk, explaining how they live, why they live as they do and what it means to us.