Will o’ the Wisps

Will o’ the Wisp, sometimes known as Jack-o’-lantern, is a type of Fae pixie believed to inhabit the marshes and bogs of England. Will O’ Wisps are nature spirits that inhabit the elements of the earth.

The name Will o’ the Wisp is derived from the Saxon word wile and means trickery or deceitfulness combined with the Swedish word Wisp, meaning a bundle of tinder.

Travelers at night describe theWill o’ the Wisp as ghost-like blue flames, with an unwavering glow, that floats a few feet above the ground.

Will o’ the Wisps have a variety of folklore associated with them and some say they’re flames created by Fae, lights carried by Elves, unbaptized children, or souls who evaded purgatory.

They’re sometimes claimed to give you the power of divination and prophecy, but mostly they’re believed to be mischievous creatures.

It’s often said Will o’ the Wisps love to flit from one place to another, leading travelers astray with their ghost lights and into ditches or bogs.

Will o’ the Wisps have been observed in a variety of locations throughout the world with different names including Germany (Irrlicht), Finland (Liekko), France, (Feu Follets), Sweden (Irrbloss), the Netherlands (dwaallicht), and in Norway where it’s called Hoberdy’s Lantern.

The scientifc community has provided their explanation for these mysterious blue lights found above swamps and marshes throughout the world. It’s called ignis fatuus meaning foolish or false fire.

The [Jack-o’-lantern] phenomenon is generally believed to be due to the spontaneous ignition of marsh gas, which consists mostly of methane and which is produced by the decomposition of dead plant matter.

Britannica – Jack-o’-lantern phenomenon

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