Fairy Stroke
A strange enchantment, administered through touch or
through blasting (raising a fairy eddy or wind), said to be practiced
by fairies. A fairy stroke had a paralyzing effect, the victim
being deprived of speech or movement. This spell might be
broken by the use of certain flowers or herbs, such as foxglove,
water lily, cow parsnip, or dock, but the latter might also predispose
an individual to be fairy-struck.
One strangely impressive painting by the talented but troubled
artist Richard Dadd (1817–1886) is titled The Fairy-Feller’s
Master Stroke. It hangs in the Tate Gallery, London.