Fairy Punishments - Stroke, Cramp & Elfshot

Stroke - The word 'Stroke' for a sudden paralytic seizure comes directly from fairy belief. It is an abbreviation of 'fairy stroke' or 'elf stroke', and was supposed to come from an elf-shot or an elf-blow, which struck down the victim, animal or human, who was then carried off invisibly, while a Stock remained to take its place. Sometimes this was a transformed fairy, sometimes a lump of wood, transformed by glamour and meant to be taken for the corpse of the victim.

Cramps - These were often the penalty for annoying the fairies. Scolding and ill-temper were specially punished in this way.

Elf Shot - Everywhere it seems small round fossils known as an echinite is a 'fairies loaf' and flint arrowheads are fairy darts or elf shots. In North Yorkshire if cattle suddenley became excited it was because elves where shooting at them ; to cure an 'awful shtten' beast it was necessary to give it water in which an elf shot has been dipped.