Hear me out on this one. Elves are magical creatures with pointy ears, long lives, and flowing gowns. They can also be tiny creatures who help Santa Claus make toys. The elf itself isn’t on the shelf of the paranormal, and I’m going to argue how they aren’t.
Furthermore, the elf is one creature in history that I cannot find a direct historical timeline of. They did start in Germanic religion and mythology. They are considered creatures much like how you would see in The Lord of the Rings mixed in with the spoiler of Midnight Mass, but less bloody. This didn’t make much sense within their paranormal view as this is the only time where they appear.
Now, as we always do, the definition of paranormal is just otherworldly, or just not proven by science. Although I will say, there are paranormal items that can be explained by science, but I will get into that later.
The elf is just another creature in a long dress
If you take a look at the history of the elf, there are so many paranormal creatures that relate to them. The fairy is very heavy in Germanic, English, and overall Celtic mythology. These two, along with the term ‘changeling’, have been intermingled. It seems that the word ‘elf’ itself is something to describe what is already in these cultures.
The word possibly meant, in German, ‘white being’ in its original form, but changed to a different meaning of ‘hidden being’ or ‘dwarf’. So far, the elf has intertwined with 3 other paranormal creatures. If anything, the elf is considered a sub-paranormal creature within the context of creatures who can change form.
This is nothing like how we see elves today and their abilities and style have changed thanks to media. What you would think of a elf nowadays derived from humanity’s ability to change an idea at the will of their story.
The history is short and barely exists at all
There is only one origin of the elf. There are possible offsets of the creature, like the duende, but that is farfetched. From what you have learned before, the paranormal, especially paranormal creatures, need at least two aspects of historical sightings to have any leg to stand on.
What I mean by this, is that a creature needs to have two of the following to be considered a real paranormal creature:
- A story or historical background
- An artifact
- A cultural standpoint
- Varying types in multiple cultures
- In oral or written documents
Without this, anyone with knowledge of SCP could create a paranormal creature and make it fact. That is not the case with paranormal history. You need the documentation. Elves have one historical background and nothing else.
The modern era took the idea and ran with it
From Tolkien to Santa, Dungeons & Dragons to World of Warcraft, elves are everywhere now. Culture saw this creature and took it upon itself to make it real. Unfortunately, this is not the case with real paranormal creatures. They need a long background and ideals to be known as a paranormal entity.
Now, you could argue that in 100 years, the elf could be considered paranormal because of the background it will have, but I’m going to argue this one as well. There is a distinct different between fantasy and paranormal. The world of fantasy involves the imagination and does not include the otherworldly.
This is why ghosts aren’t fantasy. They are, in fact, otherworldly, but not created from a fictional series. Elves, then, would be considered a fantasy creature, not a paranormal one. You could go deeper on this one with all mythology and paranormal, but that would just lead to an existential crisis, and I just don’t condone that.
Fiction does not mean paranormal
It just doesn’t. Fiction can take from the paranormal, but not the other way around. The biggest example of this is dragons, which are literally everywhere in fantasy, but they do have a solid background in multiple cultures. It is even hypothesized that the T. Rex was a dragon in some form.
The same goes with witches, vampires, Bigfoot, demons, and fairies. These big names have a massive amount of evidence from many different cultures and are seen as paranormal. The elf, on the other hand, has one name that kept changing, a description that adheres to other paranormal creatures, and no other sightings.
At this point, you can say that the elf was given a story because of what they could have been. This is brought about by the imagination of humans, which sticks it in the fantasy realm. Thus, the elf is just a figment of our wonderful imagination. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but sadly, the elf is not paranormal.